Church renewal vs. church planting

Michael Spencer argues that church planting must take precedence over church renewal:

I’m convinced that the greatest answer evangelicals have within their power is the determination to start new churches. Renewal and revival of existing churches is a worthy cause, but I don’t think you are going to reverse the downward, deteriorating direction in most existing churches. The hope for evangelicalism lies in becoming a massive church planting movement, and in encouraging as many churches as possible to make the creation of networks of new churches a priority in their 5-25 year goals.
The resources evangelicals are pouring into facilities and staff for megachurches need to be directed towards new churches. It’s a decision for every church, but it may be the single most important decision a church can make. We don’t need bigger churches; we need more and more diverse churches.

Tim Keller has said some similar things. Church plants not only reach people that existing churches don’t, but they help to revitalize existing churches.

No doubt there’s a role for both renewal and planting, but I am wondering if we need to shift more of our energy to planting.

Darryl Dash

Darryl Dash

I'm a grateful husband, father, oupa, and pastor of Grace Fellowship Church Don Mills. I love learning, writing, and encouraging. I'm on a lifelong quest to become a humble, gracious old man.
Toronto, Canada