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attention church planters….


Attention church planters….I have a list of the top 9 cities in the US that are ready for a church plant.  Looking for somewhere to make a difference….a good place to offer hope….try…

Norwich, CT

Brunswick, GA

Abilene, TX

Wichita Falls, TX

Flint, MI

Champaign, IL

Santa Barbara, CA

Reno, NV

Carson City, NV

Now these aren’t your typical prime cities for church planting.  These aren’t seminary cities, these cities don’t contain large corporations or tons of affluent people.  In fact, the opposite is true. Fox Business.com lists these cities as the 9 American Cities nearly destroyed by the recession.  Planting in these types of cities goes against conventional wisdom.  Andy Stanley planted Buckhead among the most affluent of Atlanta and recently the team of Giglio/Tomlin also chose Atlanta, a city which has a mega-church for every Starbucks around the city.  I’m not saying they chose easy locations….but it makes you wonder….what if Giglio and Tomlin had planted in Flint, MI where there is a 21% poverty rate….would they have a mega -church before they even opened the doors.

What is the purpose of planting a church?  To build a name, a brand, to launch a career, to gather disgruntled sheep from smaller, more traditional flocks…..or is it more than that.  I see the church as a manifestation of “His Kingdom come” here on earth.  A community of authenticity, a community that offers hope, a helping hand, a message of hope to those that are hurting.  These 9 cities don’t need entertaining, they don’t need self-promoting, churches with laser shows and billion dollar budgets.  They need people that will love them, serve them, and help them come together for the greater good.  They need pastors who would rather feed the poor than dine with the wealthy, they need pastors who would rather cater to the spiritually lost than the spiritually disgruntled, they need pastors who would rather spend times in homes than they would at conferences.  They need you!

-edited 1/25 for content and clarity

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Categories : church, missiology


  1. Tim says:

    YES! I couldn’t agree more! Thanks so much for posting this.

  2. Jon says:

    Amen! And yet, due to the economic realities in these locations, conventional church planting strategies might fall short, particularly in the area of becoming a financially self-sufficient congregation in the first 1-2 years. I wonder what it would look like for mega-churches (or any faith community with the means) to send teams of missionary-planters to these locations and support them prayerfully and financially for the first 3-5 years of their living there, thereby removing the heaviest burden most planters feel after year 2 (raising support) and at the same time freeing them to live, work (or look for work), and struggle alongside the very people they are sent to serve.

    I appreciate the thought-provoking post. Keep ’em coming!

  3. George says:

    As an associate pastor in one of the cities you listed, I would respectfully disagree on the need for a church plant here. Not only have I been an associate pastor here for over ten years, but I have also spent my entire life in this city. The research data does not fit the actual situation of the city. We have over 350 churches of all denominations. Most of the churches Unfortunately have been started off of church splits. However, at the moment there are at least 4 church plants in their first year and the growth is tedious. I am a firm believer in church planting but not in a city that has literally 3-6 churches within 1 mile of each other throughout the neighborhoods of this city. Instead we need more of the current churches to focus on reaching this community with the Gospel and preaching Truth from the pulpit to encourage each congregation to become burdened for the unsaved.
    When the restaraunts are full, the retail stores are on buget, and the city is surplusing, I find it hard to believe the research concerning this city.
    I do agree with the fact that this city needs churches to get out of the building and into the lives of people. Of course, that is what Christ called us to do.
    If someone in Wichita Falls, TX needs a church to love them, encourage them, serve them, and lead them in a relationship with Jesus Christ then I know of one that would love the opportunity. Liberty Baltist Church. http://Www.libertybaptistwf.org.
    We have refocused our idea of church and placed the focus back on being the Church Jesus gave His life for. We are providing community events, passing out flyers weekly, welcoming new move ins personally, and trying our best to be the servants of Christ to the people of this community. We average 155 people on Sundays and offer many different opportunities throughout the week for the believer to be discipled and the unbeliever to be reached, loved, served and Saved.
    Once again I love church plants and church planters and do understand the need for true biblical churches in every city, town, state, and country. We are in the process of planting a church in San Antonio following Gods lead on a crazy idea :).
    Thank you for this post and blog and I pray this comes across as an honest observation and a heart that desires that in depth research goes into each city that a church is being planted in. And if God is truly leading someone to plant a church in Wichita Falls, then that man better follow the call of God on His life because that is when God is glorified the most and His man is used greatly.

    Serving Him Together Until His Return,


  4. […] attention church planters…. […]

  5. I’m involved in a church plant in one of the lowest socio areas within Sydney in Australia. But the plant has been done differently to most. A urban ministry group called UNOH has been building relationship in the area for the last 4 years. From here they have developed a kids, men’s, women’s, school and community ministry and the church plant is called to be a natural expression of what is already happening and bringing the ministries together.

    In reply to George, within a 5km radius of this plant, there are at least 15 churches. But their expectation is that they want the community to come to them, and are not willing to come into the community and build real relationship.

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