NEW CITY REACHING METRO DC THROUGH CHURCH PLANTING. Section Title 1

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1 NEW CITY REACHING METRO DC THROUGH CHURCH PLANTING Section Title 1

2 Beautiful, prosperous, INNOVATIVE and diverse, our nation s capital is one of the most influential cities in the modern world. On the surface, Washington, DC is a thriving metropolis, well known for its rich political and social history, and home to some of America s most impressive architecture, art, food, sports and entertainment. Spiritually speaking, however, our city is in deep decline. More than six million people representing various racial, cultural and religious backgrounds live in Metro DC. Sadly, research shows that only 12.5 percent have an affiliation with an evangelical church. There are also several unreached, largely immigrant people groups right here in our region. Against this backdrop, McLean Bible Church (MBC) has been a beacon of hope for more than 50 years. God has used our church powerfully to reach many in our city with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. However, there is more work that lies ahead of us, and we recognize that we cannot tackle it alone. Reaching our city for Christ will require hundreds of mighty churches, all working together toward the same goal. For this reason, we are prayerfully launching New City Network, a new church planting network that we pray will establish Gospel-centered churches throughout Metro DC. Given that there are already many churches in the Metro DC, you may be wondering whether we really need more churches. Please continue reading to learn why we believe new churches are needed all over the world, and particularly here in the Metro DC. WASHINGTON, DC IS THE 7TH LARGEST METROPOLITAN AREA IN NORTH AMERICA. 2 INTRODUCTION

3 1: The Bible Instructs us to Plant Churches AN ATTENTIVE READING SHOWS CHURCH PLANTING ALL THROUGH THE NEW TESTAMENT. Jesus was a church planter. Jesus, the hero of the Bible and our example, was the very first church planter. While on earth, Jesus established the universal Church and claimed that the Gates of hell would not prevail against it (Matthew 16:18). He also led a small congregation of disciples, teaching them the Word of God, sharing communion with them, and commissioning them to plant more churches. Paul was a church planter. Once the church commissioned the Apostle Paul at Antioch in Acts 13, he immediately began an incredible church-planting career. Over the course of 13 years, he embarked on three missionary journeys, traveling more than 7,000 miles and planting at least 14 new churches. We encourage our members to leave us to found other Churches; nay, we seek to persuade them to do it. We ask them to scatter throughout the land to become the goodly seed, which God shall bless. I believe that so long as we do this we shall prosper. CHARLES SPURGEON BRITISH NINETEENTH-CENTURY PREACHER The Apostles were church planters. The apostles were church planters, and the entire book of Acts is an account of their church-planting ministry. Despite little support from other churches, and against great political and religious opposition, they persisted in their mission to plant new churches. Ultimately, their commitment to obey the Great Commission by planting churches cost them their lives. The Great Commission is a call to plant churches. Spoken by Jesus in Matthew 28:19-20, the Great Commission is essentially a call to plant new churches. We can say this with confidence because baptizing, teaching, and making disciples, the core tenets of the Great Commission, are exactly what churches are called to do throughout the rest of the New Testament. Additionally, the disciples who heard Jesus instruction to baptize, teach, and make disciples responded by spending the rest of their lives organizing new churches. THE BIBLE INSTRUCTS... 3

4 2: New Churches Will MORE EFFECTIV You might be tempted to think that one larger church is better than many smaller churches, but a survey of more than 1,000 churches from 32 countries and six continents found that small churches (averaging 51 in attendance) were 16 times more effective in winning the lost to Christ than larger, more established churches. 1 church of 1000 members or 10 churches of 100 members? The Christian Church was designed from the first to be aggressive. It was not intended to remain stationary at any period, but to advance onward until its boundaries became commensurate with those of the world. It was to spread from Jerusalem to all Judea, from Judea to Samaria, and from Samaria until the uttermost parts of the earth. It was not intended to radiate from one central point only; but to form numerous centers from which its influence might spread to the surrounding parts The plan upon which the apostles proceeded was to plant churches in all the great cities and centers of influence in the known world. CHARLES SPURGEON BRITISH NINETEENTH-CENTURY PREACHER 4 NEW CHURCHES...

5 ECTIVELY reach the Lost of our city Christian history teaches that church planting is the means by which the Gospel spreads throughout the world. The book of Acts records how Christianity rapidly changed from a regional uprising to a worldwide movement through the multiplication of small churches. Newer, smaller churches reach more people (per capita) than older, larger ones. Having more churches is like having more doors into the Kingdom of God. Dozens of denominational studies have confirmed that the average new church gains most of its new members (60-80 percent) from the ranks of people who are not attending any worshipping body, while churches over 1015 years of age gain percent of new members by transfer from other congregations. This means that the average new congregation will bring six to eight times more new people into the life of the Body of Christ than an older congregation of the same size. This certainly doesn t mean that larger, more established churches are ineffective, but it would be short-sighted to assume that a few large churches in metropolitan Washington can effectively reach an entire region with the Gospel. Reaching our city and its surrounding communities with the Gospel will require many new churches. Teacher, we saw someone casting out demons in your name, and we tried to stop him, because he was not following us. But Jesus said, Do not stop him, for no one who does a mighty work in my name will be able soon afterward to speak evil of me. For the one who is not against us is for us. MARK 9:38-40 TIM KELLER PASTOR OF REDEEMER PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH IN MANHATTAN, NY NEW CHURCHES... 5

6 His intent was that now the manifold wisdom of God to the rulers and authorities EPHESIAN

7 now, through the church, God should be made known ties in the heavenly realms. SIANS 3:10

8 3: Our city is diverse and in need of many types of New churches COULD ONE RESTAURANT CHAIN SERVICE THE ENTIRE CITY? One restaurant chain could never satisfactorily serve the entire Metro DC area. More restaurant choices with varied menus, aesthetics and locations mean more people eating out. The same is true for churches. Many different types of churches are needed in our city because there are many different types of people who live and work here. Penn State researchers ranked the top 25 most-diverse metropolitan areas, and only three metro areas all in California had greater diversity than Washington. The Washington Post, 9/6/12 When ranked with the 50 states, D.C. was fifth from last in the percentage of its residents who attend church services at least once a week. CNS News, 2/25/15 The vast majority of communities in Metro DC are ethnically, religiously, linguistically, socially and economically diverse. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of combinations of ethnic, socioeconomic and affinity groups in the city. The harvest is diverse and so must the church be if we hope to reach the many people of our city. If we hope to reach our city with the Gospel, we must send missionaries (church planters) into these communities to bring the Gospel to those who would never consider attending a church otherwise. 8 OUR CITY IS DIVERSE... I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some. The Apostle Paul (1 Corinthians 9:22)

9 4: THE MAJORITY OF EXISTING CHURCHES IN OUR REGION ARE PLATEAUED OR DECLINING Nearly 80 percent of those living in Metro DC hava no meaningful relationship with a local church. As startling as this statistic seems, that s not the real tragedy. The real tragedy is that most of those people don t have any church pursuing them. Not because there isn t a church in their community, but because the local churches are struggling to survive. Today, of the approximately 350,000 churches in America, four out of five are either plateaued or declining. Many churches begin a plateau or slow decline about their fifteenth to eighteenth year percent are on the down-side of this cycle. DR. WIN ARN AUTHOR AND PIONEER IN THE CHURCH GROWTH MOVEMENT WHY NOT JUST HELP STRUGGLING CHURCHES? We intend to help revitalize existing churches, but to be effective, our strategy must be twofold. We must increase the birth rate of evangelical churches (by planting new ones) while simultaneously decreasing the death rate (by helping existing churches). We should invest in renewing our city s struggling churches, but church renewal alone is simply not enough. The vigorous, continual planting of new congregations is the single most crucial strategy for 1) the numerical growth of the Body of Christ in any city, and 2) the continual corporate renewal and revival of the existing churches in a city. Nothing else not crusades, outreach programs, para-church ministries, growing mega-churches, congregational consulting, nor church renewal processes will have the consistent impact of dynamic, extensive church planting. TIM KELLER PASTOR OF REDEEMER PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH IN MANHATTAN, NY MAJORITY OF EXISTING CHURCHES... 9

10 5: Churches have lifecycles THAT NECESSITATE CHURCH PLANTING Between the years 2010 and 2012, more than half of all churches in America added not one new member. Each year, nearly three million more previous churchgoers enter the ranks of the religiously unaffiliated. Huffington Post, 10/14/13 Churches in North America are closing their doors at an alarming pace. Incredibly, about 170 churches have closed in the last week that s 24 churches a day, 750 churches a month and 9,000 churches a year melting under the heat of our increasingly secular society. These numbers may seem surprising since we don t see a drastic reduction in the number of church buildings, but don t be fooled by appearances, the American church is in steep, steady decline. Western European churches experienced a similar decline over the course of the 20th century, particularly during the 1960 s. Today, the streets of major European cities are lined with church buildings that outlived the congregations that built them. Hundreds of buildings throughout Europe now operate as restaurants, nightclubs, concert venues, cafés, modern condominiums, museums and even mosques. They stand as a stark reminder that western culture has rejected Christianity. Church Planting is the normal business of the local church and the local church is where Christians are taught to obey everything Jesus commanded. Mark Dever SENIOR PASTOR OF CAPITOL HILL BAPTIST CHURCH IN WASHINGTON, DC 10 LIFE CYCLES

11 This is the St. Matthews Baptist facility just before it was demolished in 2014 to make space for a new apartment building. Church Planter Zack Randles planted Waterfront Church in the hotel across the street from the St. Matthews facility. Pictured here are the founding members of Waterfront Church meeting in a hotel just 50 yards from the property where St. Matthews Baptist once stood. In our city, churches that were once thriving are relocating at the plea of developers wishing to replace church buildings with facilities that are more profitable. For example, St. Matthews Baptist Church near Nationals Park in Southeast Washington, DC was founded in 1902 and had a rich history of ministry in the local community. In February of 2014, St. Matthews sold its facility in Southeast Washington, abandoning its legacy of evangelism and discipleship in that area. The small congregation then relocated to the Maryland suburbs. At the same time, church planter Zack Randles was busy planting Waterfront Church in the hotel across the street from the St. Matthews facility. Thanks to Randles efforts, Waterfront Church is now establishing its Gospel legacy in Southeast Washington, DC. Without a new, vibrant church plant, the work of the Gospel could not continue as effectively as it does today. Just as with people, churches are finite and have life cycles. Therefore, church planting is an essential activity for the continual spread of the Gospel in our city and around the world. I WILL BUILD MY CHURCH, AND THE GATES OF HELL SHALL NOT PREVAIL AGAINST IT. MATTHEW 16:18 LIFE CYCLES Section Title 11

12 DC MAP CITY STATS Frederick GallAudet University is the world s only university specifically designed to accommodate deaf students, and it serves as a center for global deaf culture. Warren Jefferson Montgomery Clarke Loudoun Fairfax Manassas DC Prince George s Prince William Fauquier Calvert Stafford Charles Fredericksburg Spotsylvania It is estimated that more than 250,000 Ethiopians live in the metro DC area, making it the largest Ethiopian population outside of Ethiopia. Loudoun County earned the highest median income ($122,294) in the US in There are over 450,000 college students in the metro DC area. In the metro DC area, 240,000 of 712,000 Hispanics are of Salvadoran descent. Over 40,000 West Africans live in the metro DC area. There are more than 23,000 people of Arab descent living in Fairfax County alone.

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