I have seen these come and go over the years so it’s easy to dismiss the the Presbyterian Church in America’s efforts. The PCA does a couple of things that should help them.
- The rise of neo-Calvinist movements in the United States
- They have the model of Tim Keller which is both a good thing (he is a good model) and a bad thing (historically models are highly contextualized).
We’ll see if that is enough to get them going and keep them going as this is no small task as for all of the talk about church planting, not a lot of denominations and churches have shown themselves to very good at it over an extended period of time. Denominational programs are often met with a lot of passive aggressive behaviour because many church leaders feel that they have “seen it all before” and “this will pass”. The one advantage that the PCA has it is a relatively new denomination which means that they they may pull it off.
The article does include this sobering fact.
Since 1970 the rate of church planting has been increasing but only marginally. The net gain in churches over the last eight years has been about one sixth of what would have been needed to keep up with population growth.