WANTED: More Churches!
Two recent articles further illustrates what we already know. We need to see a movement of church planting in SW Ohio and North America!
One article was a blog by a CMA (Christian Missionary Alliance) church planter in Lexington, Kentucky, Gavin Duerson. I would encourage you to read the entire blog (see here), but here is the summary. Presently, we are seeing an increase of 500 churches a year in North America. We need to see another 6,000 churches started every year just to keep pace with population growth.
The second hits a little closer to home. The Dayton Daily News ran an article on the population trends in the Miami Valley region over the past decade based upon U.S. Census data (See article here)
A quick glance at the map shows what we already know to be true... The I-75 Dayton-Cincnnati Corridor continues to grow and the need for church planting in this region is great. Consider the following...
• The population in Warren (+34.3%) and Butler (+10.6%) counties has grown by nearly 90,000 people in the last decade
• 6 of the 7 fastest growing cities/villages over the last decade in the region are in Warren and Butler counties
• Cities and villages in Warren County showed the most population gain in the region. Springboro grew 40.6 percent during the decade to reach 17,409. Lebanon grew more than 18 percent.
• Warren/Butler counties grew a combined 18.2% in the last decade, while Miami Valley Baptist Association churches’ worship attendance grew 4% in the same time period. 57% of MVBA churches saw a decline in worship attendance over the last decade. These churches saw a 22% average decline in weekly worship attendance over the past decade.
• These churches are an average of 44 years old.
The purpose of this information is not to be critical of any church's ministry. Many of these churches are in transitioning communities and are led by faithful, hard-working pastors. I pray that they will continue to be faithful in preaching the Gospel. The Lord has promised a harvest "if we faint not" (Galatians 6:9). My point is, there is a critical need NOW for MORE churches in SW Ohio!
To all our partnering churches, the State Convention of Baptists in Ohio and the North American Mission Board, we want to say "THANK YOU!" for helping us expand the Kingdom of God in our region through church planting. Your continued partnership is greatly needed.
For all of us, let's allow the Lord of the Harvest to burden our hearts as never before for the lost, praying earnestly for more laborers (Join us in PRAY10.2)