Sad, but the first a quote here tends to scare the dickens out of denominational and established church pastors:
“Consider two congregations, Church A and Church Z.
Church A starts one church a year for the next twenty years. That’s terrific. That’s far beyond what most churches do in a lifetime. If that happened, a lot of lost people would be found and a lot of broken lives would be restored and transformed. We’re totally in favor of Church A.
Most books on church planting are written to support and develop a church like that. If church planting were likened to horticulture, Church A is trying to plant one healthy tree a year.
But the Church Z people we’re describing see things differently. They see an open fertile field and they don’t want to plant one tree at a time. They want to fill the entire field with healthy orchards. This means they’re thinking about new levels of fertilizing, watering, pruning and pollinating. They’re even thinking about the different types of ‘trees’ that should be planted. They like to ponder the age-old question, ‘How many future apple trees are in this one apple? … We’re writing this book primarily to serve the people who work with Church Z–or would like to help Church A become a Church Z.”–Viral Churches, p. 19
“New churches today tend to remain focused outward and in tune with their communities, which helps explain their higher ratio of conversions and baptisms. They also have the advantage of being at the front end of their life-cycle, not yet struggling with mission drift.
Mission drift occurs as a church is established and new ministries are formed that serve the needs within the congregation. —Viral Churches, p. 25
“Studies have shown that, in general, churches typically plateau in attendance by their fifteen year, and by about thirty-five years they begin having trouble replacing the members they lose.” —Viral Churches, p. 26
“Joining the kingdom of Jesus Christ revokes our citizenship in the kingdom of this world …” –Larry Poland, Rise to Conquer, p. 69