This week I’ll be heading to lovely California for a Stadia Blue Sky strategy session. I’ll be joining 20 high impact leaders who, for two days, will be wrestling with one question: “How does Stadia move from planting 25 new churches per year to 100?” High capacity business leaders, leaders from Compassion International, megachurch leaders, new church planters, college Presidents, leaders of the missional movement . . . visionaries will throw the play book out the window and simply seek God’s guidance for the future of His church.
What compels already busy people to invest time, energy and resources in new church planting? Let’s start with the fact that 77% of Americans are not attached to a local church in any meaningful way. The fact that the church in the U.S. has been in decline for decades. Or how about the fact that 21,000 children around the world die every 24 hours as a result of poverty or poverty related preventable diseases? Maybe it’s because we watch our own children increasingly more at risk in a culture that is becoming more and more difficult to navigate. Perhaps it’s the fact that world population recently crossed 7 billion people! Seems reason enough.
If new church planting is the single most effective way to reach people for Jesus and 85% of the people who choose to follow Jesus do so between the ages of four and fourteen, then it seems that God’s heart would be for every new church plant to highly value children! That’s what we’ll be dreaming about. That’s what we’ll be praying for. It’s a blue sky.