[from my September 30th, 2015 report to the Louisiana Baptists Executive Board, whom I have the privilege of serving as Church Planting Strategist]
[UPDATED November 5th, 2015]
Louisiana Baptist are indeed Multiplying! New church plants have increased 75% in Louisiana since 2011: In 2011, 8 new churches were planted; 14 in 2012; 18 in 2013; 26 in 2014; and so far in 2015, 33 new churches have been planted across Louisiana!
What’s the impact of church planting?
- New commitments to Christ! Since 2010, new churches in years 1-3 have reported 8,909 new commitments to Christ & 1,643 baptisms.
- New partners in cooperation! In the last two years, new churches in Louisiana have given $365,957 to the Cooperative Program of the Southern Baptist Convention and $73,624 to their local Associations.
And through church planting we’re closing some of the missiological gaps & trends in our state. One of the haunting lines in the President’s 2020 Commission report presented at the Louisiana Baptists Annual Meeting in 2013, was that the Louisiana Baptist Convention was a declining, northern, anglo movement. Church Planting is allowing us to change these trends.
- The President’s 2020 Commission found that out of 1,600 churches only 5% were considered non-anglo, while 40% of the population of Louisiana is non-anglo. In the last two years, 69% (41 out of 59) of our new churches have been non-anglo. Including 25 African American, 14 Hispanic, 2 Asian.
- 2 years ago, we found that 74% of the population of Louisiana was in the south (south of Bunkie) while 64% of our LBC churches were in the north. So 64% of our churches are located where only 26% of our population resides. In the last two years, 78% (46 out of 59) of new churches have been planted in south Louisiana. Including 11 in New Orleans, where 21% of our population resides.
We still have much work to do. In 2010, Associations helped us forecast the need in their regions and with their help we set the goal of 300 new churches by 2020. Our current scorecard is at 122. So 178 new churches still needed to meet the needs across Louisiana!
And EVERY CHURCH can get involved. How can your church help? Check out these resources to help you get started:
The Georgia Barnette Offering for Louisiana Missions is one thing that I can give to with great cheer (2 Corinthians 9:7). Why? Through the GBO, among other things, we’re able to cover up to 30% of the first year budget for a new church & provide two additional years of support for a total of 36 months. Current averages for church plant support are around $44,000 per, over a 36 month period. This assures the church planter of substantial support as he plans out the first three years of ministry in the community. Also, as a church planter who has received support through the GBO, I was encouraged by the weight of 1,600 Louisiana Baptist churches who said yes to our calling as a family & our communities need for the gospel. And now, I get to see the results of our together giving up close & personal as I read the reports & follow the work of our church planters in Louisiana. This year, over 200 people have been baptized & over 600 have professed faith in Christ through churches supported by the GBO. I give with cheer cause I know my $$ will be turned into real people engaging communities with the gospel & people’s lives being changed in my home state. Below are a few 2015 pics from works directly supported by the GBO. Give with cheer! Check out GeorgiaBarnette.org for more info & see what other ministries in Louisiana supported by Georgia Barnette.