WHY CHURCH PLANT IN A CITY WITH so MANY CHURCHES?
Each year, depending on the studies you read, there are between 2,500 and up to 7,000 churches that close their doors each year in the United States. Thom Rainer, a leading missiologist, believes we may see 100,000 churches close their doors in the next 10 years. We are seeing new church plants at about 2,500 per year that survive past year five.
A great majority of churches are in a stage of plateau or decline. With over 80% of churches in plateau or decline, there is actually only 10% of churches in the "growing" category. Of those "growing," 8% of the 10% are growing by members "transferring" membership to another church. Only 2% of churches considered "growing," are growing by seeing lost people being converted. Add to that, 2.7 million people drop out of the church each year, never to return again.
Simply put, we need to double the number of church plants in the US and globally in order to keep up with church attrition.
Sojourn Church (Tulsa) desires to be a launching pad for church planters and missionaries. We hope to train up and partner with others to plant many churches here in Tulsa, in our state and this region of the country, as well as a focused intention on the darkest and most unreached places on the planet--the 10/40 Window.
There are nearly one million people in the Tulsa and surrounding areas. From 2000 to 2010 in Tulsa proper, those surveyed as "Non-religious," or "No Church" (referred to as "nones") grew from 175,000 people to nearly 230,000 people. That is clearly outgrowing the number of church attenders that went from 176,000 people to nearly 213,000 people.
There are over 25,000 students from the different universities around Tulsa. This is the future of the church. These are future lay leaders and congregations. These are future pastors, church planters, and missionaries. We cannot have all of them. But what if God were to allow us to reach, equip, and send out 100? Or 500? Or 1,000 new professionals, planters, missionaries, and pastors, over the next couple of decades for new gospel works?