Churches Think Big by Thinking Small

The Christian Science Monitor provides this analysis of church planting.

Church planting is far from a new phenomenon, but enthusiasm for it has mushroomed in recent years, as populations have shifted and attendance has declined in many traditional settings, particularly among young people. Both Evangelical and mainline Protestant churches are birthing new congregations all across the United States. And some young pastors are striking out on their own to create worship communities in fresh forms. Some of the most vibrant new churches are sprouting in immigrant neighborhoods. The movement, if successful, has the potential to reshape American faith communities.

While church planting is a national and global movement, it is fraught with challenges, and rates of success vary widely. Some speak of 60 to 80 percent failure rates in the past. But new approaches and models are proving more effective, and eager church planters now have more resource materials, training, and coaches to draw on.

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