There are several ways to grow a church. We talk about four major ways, but there are others. The standard four are: internal church growth where members are growing in their relation to Christ and to each other; evangelistic growth which refers to conversion growth; a daughter church growing out of an existing ministry; and the establishment of churches cross-culturally.
The PCA is committed both in principle and practice to planting new churches. To do this takes much prayer, patience, time and effort; and there are a multitude of ways to go about it. We welcome Christians into the PCA, but we also are aware that the best growth comes as the Gospel is presented and people are converted and added to the church.
New church growth is a major part of the PCA’s strategy. But is it worth the energy, resources and sacrifice to plant churches? Given all the other factors in the PCA, that has to be a legitimate question to answer. But before we do, we should have some information that would help us respond intelligently.
Recently Win Arn with Church Growth, Inc., released the following statistics: Out of the 240 million Americans, 40 percent have no religious affiliation, and 31 percent are Christians in name only. Between 80 and 85 percent of the churches in America are either plateaued or are declining. In 1900 there were twenty-seven churches for every 10,000 people. In 1987 there were only twelve churches for every 10,000 people. Black Ameri