The Assemblies of God recorded its second-highest ever number of new church openings in the United States, planting just more than one church a day, with 368 new churches opening in 2011.
AG Statistician Sherri Doty states that the number of new churches planted comes second only to the 400 churches planted in 1982 and ties the number of churches planted in 1991. Currently, the Assemblies of God now has 12,595 churches in the United States—the highest on record.
"One of our strategic values is to vigorously plant new churches," states AG General Superintendent George O. Wood. "Our goal was to plant a church a day in 2011. It was exciting to see how God helped us meet—and then exceed—that goal. This is also a strong step in the direction we believe God is directing the Assemblies of God. We're believing God to help us plant at least 410 new churches in 2012, with an ultimate goal of planting at least 500 churches a year, every year, in the United States alone."
Wood also points out that in addition to a surge in church openings, the number of church closings in 2011 had also decreased—only two times in the last decade has there been fewer than 230 church closings. "Overall, we had a net gain of 138 churches," Wood says. "That stands as our 11th highest net gain of churches."
Recognizing the impact that Parent Affiliated Church plants have had on the growing number of church openings, Wood also gives a strong endorsement to the Church Multiplication Network. "CMN has given a huge boost to church planting in providing matching funds, training and mentoring of church planters," Wood states.
"I think the surge in new plants is attributable to several factors," says Steve Pike, national director of CMN. "Under the unflinching leadership of Dr. Wood, starting new churches has become a premier activity of the Assemblies of God. God has seen our willingness and hunger to yield ourselves to His mission and He is working through that. As a result, the AG is rapidly emerging as a great organization to plant a church with. Effective planters are attracted to the excellent opportunities we are able to provide."
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