Why is church planting important? In Frankfurt, as in the rest of Germany, most people belong to a state church. Their relationship to the church is typically expressed through dedications, confirmations, marriage if it actually happens, and funerals. Those who go to state churches commute in from the countryside.
“Our denomination is dying,” said Stephan. “It’s not the best motivation but it works.” It would take 50 new churches with 150 people each to reach 10% of Stephan’s neighborhood. “We have to plant more in our neighborhood. We need to be not growing in numbers, but growing in numbers, meaning that we need more churches with smaller congregations, not a couple of megachurches.”
Stephan says that church planting is different from evangelism because it is not a one-time thing but a full-time missional way of living. It is missions at its best because missions should always lead into church planting. “There’s no doubt, we have to plant more churches here and begin showing our neighbors how much we want to love and care for them. I believe church planting is the most effective way to reach my generation.”