Darren Davenport has a piece published at Next-Wave enticingly titled “Churches: The Pamela Anderson Syndrome.” Originally the article had an accompanying photo (as it does here but the image has since disappeared from The-Next-Wave.org; we shouldn’t really need to ask. I could have done without the Pamela Anderson analogy (as could some others), but the part of the article I discussed a few times over the weekend were the stats presented:
- Churches under 3 years old have a member to conversion ratio of 3:1 = 3 members to 1 convert.
- Churches under 3-7 years old have a member to conversion ratio of 7:1 = 7 members to 1 convert.
- Churches Over 10 years old have a member to conversion ratio of 87:1 = 87 members to 1 convert.
The conclusion of his denomination (who presented these stats at a conference) was that church planting is the best means of overcoming this trend and being effective in reaching non-christians. What I’m trying to figure out is whether or not they realize that based on their goal and these statistics, all of the new churches they plant will necessarily need to be shut down after 5 years.