In my previous two blogs concerning the need to strengthen the Church of the Nazarene’s USA/Canada region in the next decade for the good and health of the global church, I made a critical math error.
Let me explain.
The stated goal in the blogs was that by the end of the decade there would be 1,000 new USA/Canada house churches, but my math was not totally accurate. The Church of the Nazarene does not need to start 1,000 new churches in USA/Canada. The Church of the Nazarene needs to start 5,000 new churches in USA/Canada. Now, in a moment of full discloser, I felt if I originally wrote that the church needs 5,000 new churches (when there are only approximately 5,000 existing churches in USA/Canada), I would have been written off as a lunatic and everyone would have stopped reading. I don’t think I am crazy and I do think we can start 5,000 house churches in USA/Canada in the next decade.
Here’s the “How” and “Why” of 5,000 new house churches?
OK, let’s say the number was 1,000 new house churches. I couldn’t locate the number of districts (or any other meaningful stat on the new Nazarene.org website. Wikipedia says 80 districts. Thank you, Wikipedia, for providing info not found on the Nazarene website… ugh), so the number is 80 districts. 80 districts planting 12.5 house churches in 10 years will get to 1,000 churches. Yawn! If a district is only planting one house church a year (and maybe twice in the next decade it plants two or three house churches), they need to re-read the Great Commission. They need to re-hear Jesus words that “the Harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few.”
But what if all 5,247 churches (again Thanks Wikipedia for the stat) planted one house church? Just one. In ten years. Some of these churches currently ARE house churches… don’t you think in a decade they should be able to duplicate themselves? Some churches could plant many, many more than one. For argument sake, let’s say each church plants one house church that averages 25 people.
1,000 house churches with an average attendance of 25 is 25,000 new Nazarenes. (We will have more Nazarenes die off in the next decade than that). But 5,000 new house churches with attendance of 25 is 125,000 new Nazarenes. 125,000 Nazarenes contributing to WEF can make a big difference and greatly help the global church. If the USA/Canada per capita income stays the same as it was just reported ($1233.33), and if these 125,000 new USA/Canada Nazarenes gave at the same rate (maybe they will, maybe they won’t) then amount raised would be (drum roll please): $154,166, 250. You read that right… over 150 million dollars if they gave at the current per capita giving rate.
Of course, not all of that 154 million would go to WEF… but what if 5.5% of it did? That would mean the WEF would get an additional $8,479,143. Do you think the global church would benefit from an additional $8.5 million? Moreover, if these house churches are not encumbered by huge church building mortgages payments and multi-staff salaries they might catch fire to this global mission fire and give at a higher rate for world evangelism.
Is it worth the investment in the USA/Canada region and strengthening the USA/Canada churches? The answer is simple.
Some of the 5000 house churches will not stay 25 they will grow to need a building so rent and/or mortgages etc. will be needed.
What if they either split or plant when they get beyond their capacity? No building, rent, mortgages….