Research has demonstrated a decline within the Western Church for several years. While statistics have shown that 80–85% of American churches are either dying, declining, or plateauing, those numbers are nearly a decade old (Malphurs 2013, 200). Unfortunately, the statistical data has not improved. A recent Barna Group study that included 34 denominations discovered 1.5 churches closed for every church that opened (Barna 2021). To sustain the current pace of population growth, American churches would need to plant at least 2,900 new churches every year. While only 12% of Americans attend church on any given Sunday, 20% of people are leaving their church every year—this would require a visitor rate of at least 30% of the church’s size just to grow.
Unfortunately, 7,000 churches close their doors every year, and only 4,000 open. It is approximated that 15,000 church plants are needed each year to keep up with the population growth.
Church planting exists as one of the most effective means of following the Great Commission in multiplicative disciple-making, depending upon the strategy utilized. With newer strategies of micro-expression, microchurch, missional community, cultural oikos, and more, the Western Church has great opportunities. However, the objective is really not church planting, but disciple-making. Additionally, the Church should be focused on a three-pronged approach of multiplicative disciple-making, revitalizing, planting, and the missionary preparedness of the church.
 Aubrey Malphurs, Look Before You Lead, 200.
 David T. Olson, The American Church in Crisis, 181.
A Message From Matthew
Dr. Fretwell has an unmatched hunger for lostness, communities, and the effectual spread of the gospel. Behind each church plant and every planter he’s trained, a story exists—an incredible story about new gatherings of people, local communities changed, missionary and spiritual endeavors, and miraculous redemption stories of the hurting, suffering, addicted, and downtrodden individuals. Matt passionately follows the Great Commission and the biblical principles of the early church. Church planting is one of the most effective forms of evangelism when it begins with reproducible disciple-making.
How Matt can help you.
As a pioneering innovator, networker, visionary, and systems implementer, Matt can help you solidify your vision and mission to be lived out with practicality. Many people have models and programs but have no idea how to implement strategies that work, strategies that are uniquely designed to fit the DNA of the church or church plant, or how to effectively engage the community. As well, Matt can craft assessments that are specific to your denomination, church, or organization.
Need Leadership Training?
As an ex-restauranteur, owner/operator, church planter, executive director of non-profits, professor, and pastor, Matt understands administrative leadership and the great need for organizations and churches to build pipelines and develop leaders.
One of the great dilemmas of churches and orgainzations is “hiring” from without instead of mentoring and training from within, to grow aspiring leaders with the organization’s DNA.
Matt can help you establish the proper leadership implementation. Contact him today for scheduling a consultation.