Ed Stetzer dives into recent research on church planting in African-American contexts.
"The new study … found that most black church plants start small (average Sunday worship attendance: 37) but grow steadily and become financially self-sufficient within four to six years.
What doesn't keep growing: the number of "new commitments to Christ," which peak in the third year of a church's existence. Two standout sources of conversions: door-to-door evangelism (75%) and offering a class for new members (68%).
Very encouraging—only 6% of plants have had to close their church.
From Stetzer's CT blog:
"LifeWay Research has conducted large national studies on church planting in the past. But it would be wrong to assume that national factors are the same for every particular culture or contexts of church planters and plants. Furthermore, it's a bad idea to even generalize from research and say, "All African-American church plants are like this." This study had a particular focus culturally and a set of participants denominationally, but we were also able to compare to a larger sample including all ethnic and racial groups.
This research has begun productive conversations among church planting leaders across the U.S. about how best to train and equip new church plants led by African-American planters and in African-American contexts. As denominations become more and more diverse, it's important that we note the differences in the contexts in which we are planting. As it is with many ministry methods, one size does not fit all."
Here's the full LifeWay summary.
Copyright © 2013 by the author or Christianity Today/Leadership Journal.
Click here for reprint information on Leadership Journal.