Reflections on the State of Church Planting in the US


  • Michael Cooper


Recent data draws into question the notion that church planting is in fact the most effective evangelistic methodology for fulfilling the Great Commission. The decline of church membership and average attendance in the US church juxtaposed to the increase number of churches and population since 2000 suggest a US church lacking in evangelism and discipleship. This essay will examine data from 1950 to 2020 that seem to lead to a conclusion which does not support the long-standing maxim claimed by Wagner, Keller, and others. The article concludes with a call to a path forward in rethinking church planting. Among the considerations are new church planting metrics, de-emphasizing Sunday morning, and a shift to movemental ecclesiology.