Summary: Stop building churches where there is already a good work in place! No need for fifteen churches of like faith within twenty miles of each other. We are wasting God's gifts and manpower and giving reason for the enemies of God to blaspheme.
An email was promoting a church growth conference aka multiplication. I think it is fairly evident why we have an issue. You cannot have multiplication until we cease division that comes from addition of fleshly efforts that subtracts from the testimony of the Lord causing the wrong answer to the problem and a flunking grade.
Another new church has started in my 30K town making at least 81. With all the churches we have only around 10K actually go to church as at least SMOs. The Creasters bump that up a couple of times a year as does Mom & Pop Day attenders.
Another church is not the answer. We have everything you could want here and too many of the same kind. New is most likely not because of doctrine, but personality or other conflicts at an already established church. Thus many new church is built by man, not necessarily called by God. It is possible that the "good" guys left the "bad: guys behind though in most splits they may be hard to tell apart. Sometimes we build a new church because we want a new area of concentration so rather than working within the established Body we have to move a mile down the road and create another building to maintain.
How well the new church will do is up for grabs as many will visit in a Mars Hill mentality seeking to hear a new thing, but then will wander on when the newness wears off. folks are into new fads that fade and like fast food churches that they can visit the drive though or look for the weekly specials at different churches. We have trouble keeping businesses in town for lack of consistent support so a church may suffer from that practice as well. What is hot this week is cold in a month.
Admittedly, some established churches are dying because the old people will not allow the young to transition into leadership for various reasons such as music or just refusal to acknowledge the need to transfer duties and responsibilities out of denial or love of power. Thus, in five or less years they will close when the last man is left standing due to deaths and transfers to nursing homes. Maybe that is a good thing and a part of life just as people age and pass from the scene. The church that becomes owned by the people instead of God will lose power and die.
When will we be able to all sit together in the same building if we preach the same doctrine? Will will the old and young interact as they are supposed to according to the Word? When will skeptics and unbelievers be shocked into questioning their beliefs? When we realize that when there are five churches in the same town preaching the same thing four are superfluous as we are called to unity, not divided over carnal things and personalities. When they see that we see church as more important in our lives than a hour on Sunday. When they see us more involved with the community to serve as well as seeking to save. When we start following the Lord and being guided by His Spirit into all truth.
Eph 4:11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:
14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;
15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:
16 From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.
Verse 13 states that the reason we have teachers and such is to bring us into unity of the faith and make us perfect or complete. When that happens we do not have splits that divides us and that will bring us to multiplication or increase of the Body that is seen by all as we edify ourselves in love.
The time to start was long ago, so may get on the same sheet of music so that the aria of our lives is a sweet savor to God and causes the unbelievers to wonder where that music is coming from with a desire to join the choir. Make it so, Lord Jesus!