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The Need For A New Church
Is there a need for a new church in Birmingham?
Yes, because the percentage of the unchurched is growing
“During the last ten years, combined communicant membership of all Protestant denominations declined by 9.5 percent (4,498,242), while the national population increased by 11.4 percent (24,153,000).” Tom Clegg
Yes, because established churches are failing to sufficiently reach those around them.
“While there is abundant access to Christian information, many unchurched persons in North America are amazingly untouched by the evangelical subculture because the Christian subculture is largely incapable of providing a culturally relevant gospel witness.” Ed Stetzer
“New churches can indigenize in ways that established churches rarely can accomplish.” Ed Stetzer
“No single church, no matter how large and active, can all by itself change an entire city. [Therefore] saturating [the city] with gospel-centered new churches is the only way to truly insure the transformation of our city that we so much desire.” Tim Keller
Yes, because the majority of churches in America are dying.
Of the approximately 350,000 churches in America, four out of five are either plateaued or declining. Win Arn
Each year 3,500 to 4,000 churches close their doors forever; yet only 1,100 to 1,500 new churches are started. Win Arn
Yes, because Birmingham is a major city.
The Birmingham Metropolitan Area, in estimate by the U.S. Census Bureau in 2009, had a population of about 1,212,848. The Birmingham Metropolitan Area contains about one-quarter of the entire population of Alabama. Wikipedia.com
“Because cities are marked by density and diversity, the city is the most strategic place from which to evangelize and convert a large number of diverse people.” Mark Driscoll
Urban centers represent more people, more needs, and less churches (per capita) than rural areas. Furthermore, there is a growing trend in major cities of churches pulling out of the inner city and relocating in the suburbs, leaving the inner city bankrupt of solid evangelical churches.
“Plainly stated, cities are the most strategic place for Christians and the gospel. Because government, law, education, healthcare, information, media, arts, sports, entertainment, trade, travel, population, and industry are concentrated most in a city, cities are the fountains from which culture flows…The answer is for Christians to love the city, move to the city, pray for the city, and serve the city until Jesus returns with his city…” Mark Driscoll
Yes, because there are unique cultural issues in Birmingham.
Cultural Christianity is rampant in the south. Many people have a form of religion but do not actually have a relationship with Jesus. Despite the fact that the Birmingham area boasts of having nearly 700 churches and 60.1% of people claim a religious affiliation, one researcher found that attendance is only half of what is reported.
Despite the perceived religious nature of Birmingham, the crime rate in Birmingham is 2.82 times higher than the national average, which indicates something is amiss.
There is a great challenge to reach the de-churched who have abandoned their parents’ faith or left the church from a bad church experience, or for some other reason.
There is a growing number of people who are not affiliated at all with Christianity.
Yes, because church planting is the most effective means of evangelism.
“On a per capita basis, new churches win more people to Christ than established churches.” Ed Stetzer
The single most effective evangelistic methodology under heaven is planting new churches. Peter Wagner