Around 2013, Exponential (a church-multiplication advocacy group, exponential.org) did a survey across many denominations throughout the country on the state of the church. They found that around:
- 80% of churches were declining or stagnant
- 15% of churches were growing
- 5% of churches were reproducing or multiplying
If this is true, it's no wonder the church is experiencing a decline in membership, biblical accuracy and confusion over how to engage the current cultural mindset. However, the body of Christ is thriving in other parts of the world. Areas of Africa, India, China and even Iran are seeing tremendous growth in Christianity. As people study what is happening in these cultures as opposed to places where the church is in decline they have found a number of common characteristics:
- An emphasis on prayer & fasting
- An emphasis on gospel sharing
- An emphasis on disciple making
- An emphasis on spiritual gifts
- An emphasis on church planting
the elders of Grace Fellowship wrestle through where we stand in the current
stream of Christianity, we are encouraged that we seem to be growing as part of
the 15%, but also desire to advance the kingdom in the direction of the 5%.
Therefore, we are intentionally shifting time and resources to focus our entire congregation on kingdom multiplication. Twice a year we will have Multiply Months where our Sunday services and Life Groups engage the topics above as they relate to our current culture. Over time, as Grace Fellowship fulfills its new vision “to be a community of people being transformed by the gospel who love and serve where they live, work and play”, we hope to multiply believers, disciple makers, leaders and churches.