Why should we plant churches in the 21st century? Stuart Murray wrote in his book Planting Churches in the 21st Century, “I am convinced that church planting is crucial for the continuing mission of the church and the health of the Christian community.” But why is this true? The overarching dynamic that is requiring us to rethink how we do church is globalization. Globalization equates to movement - movement of people, movement of economies, movement of religious influence, movement of data.
What does this mean to us in the U.S. and in Philadelphia in particular?
Between 2000 and 2010 the total number of foreign-born people in the U.S. increased by 7.5 million. Most of the increase came from Asia (2.5 million), Africa (.6 million) and Latin America (4.5 million) whereas the number of foreign-born from Europe actually decreased by almost .1 million.
What does this mean to the church?
It means our churches must be able to effectively minister to a much more diverse population. Where can we find this diversity? Mostly in the cities as people are drawn to existing family and friends as well as a variety of economic opportunities. Urbanization has increased to a point where over 80% of the U.S. population can be found in urban areas.