SBC Life has this article on church growth and planing. Why do we need another church?
Several things hit me as I read the article:
There has been a great deal of emphasis in our Convention recently regarding church planting. The International Mission Board is talking about it. The North American Mission Board is talking about it. Our seven Southern Baptist seminaries offer courses in church planting and have professors of church planting. Our state conventions are talking about it. Our associations are talking about it. Some of our churches are even involved in planting churches. We are the largest non-Catholic, Christian denomination in the world. We consist of more than 16.2 million members and more than forty-three thousand churches. Do we really need another Southern Baptist church?
As of 2004, the estimated population of the United States was 293 million, and Canada was thirty-three million. These numbers, of course, increase when you factor in all of those who live here temporarily (legally or illegally). There are more than 386 thousand churches of all types in the United States and more than twenty-two thousand in Canada.
This means that there is roughly one church — orthodox or heretical — for every 800 people in North America. In particular, there is no Southern Baptist church in Newfoundland, and less than 250 Southern Baptist churches in the entire nation of Canada! Even more surprising, recent reports from Western Canada have revealed that there are towns with populations as high as one thousand without a single church of any kind!
Consider the following statistics: It is estimated that the unchurched populations of the United States and Canada are 195 million and twenty-four million, respectively. From the mid-1980s to the mid-1990s, the population in the United States increased 11.4 percent, but the overall church membership declined 9.5 percent. Less than 5 percent of all Canadians could be identified as evangelical
Do we care that people are dying and going to Hell? Do we really care about people? Are we too caught up in "doing the church thing" or "going" to church? People are dying without knowing Christ and His forgiveness. Let's get going!