As I mentioned in my Five Trends for the Future of Church Planting , I foresee a quickening of churches dying in America over the next twenty years. There are tens of thousands of churches filled with communities that have shrunk below 100, 70, 50 and are filled with an aging population. Many of these churches will not know how to survive.
American church statistics1 have reported:
· In America, 3500 – 4000 churches close their doors each year
· Half of all churches last year did not add one new member through conversion growth
· Churches lose an estimated 2,765,000 people each year to nominalism and secularism
The question looms, what are all these churches going to do when they need to close their doors? I believe there are three options:
1) Dying Churches and Denominations can become large REITs.
2) Dying Churches and Denominations can re-invest in the Kingdom by turning over their resources for the purpose of Church Planting.
3) Dying Churches can be replanted through letting go of control and bringing in leaders who will get them back on mission.
The hope is always that # 3 occurs, but sadly this doesn't always work. The Donate Church Group works with dying churches who want to re-plant their church or help start multiple new church plants. These churches believe the gospel needs to continue to reach the generations to come. Like the parable of the mustard seed, on occassion, they willingly die in order that new life may come. Donate Church group will work with partner the church with local Church Planting Networks to assess, assist and allocate resources.
1. George Barna, Twentysomethings Struggle to Find Their Place in Christian Churches, http://www.barna.org/