Over the last few days at Hope Church we’ve been challenged and burdened by statistics. The facts are these: there are around 15,000 people in our area and there are around 300 regular churchgoers. That’s 2%. It’s compounded by the census information which says around 70% think they’re Christians. That last fact I blame almost entirely on infant baptism but the church as a whole must take responsibility for allowing such great nominal and token faith to take root.
In our area of 15,000 people there is 1 Catholic church, 1 Elim Church, 1 Anglican church (with 2 congregations) and 1 Newfrontiers church (with 2 congregations). The Methodists closed down years ago and joined with the Anglicans, the FIEC recently joined with Newfrontiers.
Eight years ago the Newfrontiers church did not exist and now regularly gathers 80+ children and adults, many of whom are new believers plus another 20-30 in the former FIEC congregation. To me those facts alone justify church planting. Eight years ago I could have looked and said there are already 4 churches here, we don’t need another one. But there are still 15,000 people to reach with the good news of Jesus.
It’s likely that many of the 70% are living under some false assurance, some false notion of eternal safety not rooted in Christ. There are 15,000 people who need Jesus, there are 300 workers.