Eight Hundred Churches

How many churches do we need?

It seems natural to say, “Why do we need another church plant? Aren’t the existing churches good enough?” But when you really think about it, something surprising happens. A pastor not only preaches on Sunday but also engages with his or her congregation, disciples people one-on-one, runs events, gathers volunteers, goes out to do evangelism, and much more. Realistically, a healthy, full-time pastor can lead a church of only up to about 100 people. Beyond that, he or she will need additional staff and/or will not be able to form the personal relationships necessary to properly pastor a congregation.

Now, in State College, PA, there are roughly 80,000 people, including 40,000 undergraduate students at Penn State University. We want all of them to know Jesus, and one pastor can lead 100 of them. How many churches do we need? Eight hundred churches. We need 800 one-pastor churches in State College, PA, if we want to reach the whole town!

Eight hundred churches! Can you imagine putting 800 churches in such a small area? Where would they all go? Now, some churches will be bigger, and other smaller. Even if you have 1000 people in a church, you would still need 80 one-thousand-person churches. That is a lot of churches.

So, when someone comes to you and says, “I’m part of this new church plant.” Don’t think, “You are sheep stealers! You are my competition!” Instead say, “Hallelujah! Thank You, Jesus! This is fantastic news! I am so thankful you are here! You are number 43. We only need 757 more churches just like you!”

How many people are in your town? How many churches does your town need to reach everyone?