Do We Really Need Another Church?

by Lee Buford on March 15, 2010

Ask this question and you’re likely to get a wide variety of responses. Most people I have asked say “NO.” After all, there’s a church on every corner right?

I have to respectfully disagree with those in the “NO” camp.

We DO need another church, another several hundred to be exact, and I’m excited to be part of one that is officially launching on Sunday, March 21st, here in Greenville, SC.

After several years of tremendous growth and blessing at Rocky Creek Baptist Church my family and I are answering the call to go out, take what God’s taught us, and serve alongside other individuals and families with Renewal Church. Yesterday I wrote about the bittersweet emotion of leaving one family to join another, but God has so graciously aligned the steps for this transition in a way that has clearly shown us His plan and will for the next season of our lives.

While I encourage you to take a deeper look at the various state of, and statistics on, churches on mission in America from wonderful experts like Ed Stetzer and Alan Hirsch, I do want to share a couple staggering statistics in support of church planting, especially here in my hometown. These were shared by Renewal Church Pastor Matt Rogers, after attending a recent gathering of pastors in the area. After you chew on this for a few minutes ask yourself the question again, “Do we really need another church?”

Greenville County has a population of roughly 440,000 people. Of these residents only 16.3%, or 71,720 people, attend an evangelical church on Sundays. That means about 370,000 people DO NOT attend on any given Sunday.

(source: David T. Olson, 2006,

That, my friends, is alarming to say the least!

There are a lot of churches in Greenville County, many of which are doing amazing things in our communities, but there is clearly an opportunity here for new churches to answer the call. We are sitting in the middle of an enormous mission field, and we must rally together as disciples of Christ to go out and make other disciples. Appropriately, we looked at the following scriptures today in our final pre-launch service:

16Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. 17And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted. 18And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:16-20 – ESV

My personal call to do so came about through much prayer, study in the Word, and through many conversations and experiences with other church planters in this city. I went to school with Chris Lewis (Revolution Church) and Ricky Motes (Radiant Church). I have known Chris Hall for several years. And, I have followed and read many other church planters through social media channels and blogs, all a testament to how these platforms can be leveraged for the kingdom of God. In fact, I had conversations with Matt Rogers via Twitter before we ever met in person.

What does this all mean, you ask?

I believe it means God is raising up a new group of pastors, churches, and servants in Greenville to serve alongside the existing churches to accomplish His purposes in our city. We are all servants of the same King, players on the same team, and I believe we have a clear calling and mandate to plant, partner, and serve our city together…for His glory.

We need more churches! We need more church planters. We need more pastors. And most importantly, we need YOU! We need more Christ followers like you and me to pray, to study the Word, and to go out and pour our lives and learnings into others in our city, so that they may go out and do the same in due time. We need to go make disciples!

Will you join me in this pursuit? Will you pray for a mighty manifestation of the Holy Spirit in our city, a movement like we read about in the book of Acts. Will you commit to study, to seek, and to obey God’s calling on your life? Will you commit to the Great Commission?

Brethren, to this we are called.

I would appreciate you prayers for me, my family, Renewal Church, and all the other churches in our great city going forward. I am praying that we serve and love our city well, and that we honor God with every word and step along the way.

To Him be the glory!

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