Tracking house church growth in the USA

From the Editor of Joel News and a similar account on the home page of Dawn Europe, etc:

The organic church guys from North America broke the rules again: instead of a Powerpoint with numbers they took a collective time-out to model simple church – basically listening to Jesus and doing what He says. It touched me to see three ex-megapastors, one ex-normalpastor and a seminary professor do just that. No program, just Jesus. John White challenged us with what he calls ‘the leadership solution’, daily praying the Luke 10:2b prayer for laborers, together with a soul mate. Since he started doing this, and teaching this organic principle to other believers, God sent people on his way, one after the other, asking advice on how to plant churches, and he could simply coach them in doing that. This way, the simple church networks in the States are growing exponentially.

While 530 simple churches were planned ‘in faith’ for 2005, they hit the 6,000 mark. While they intended to train 530 church planters in 2005, they saw 1,000 church planters trained in the first two months of 2006 alone. With this kind exponential growth (the current growth rate is 70%) they could reach their target of 4 million simple churches in North America (400,000 networks, 40,000 network coaches, 4,000 lead coaches) by the year 2018. Then they still have two years left to rest from their labors.

In a message dated 8/14/2007 10:12:14 A.M. Mountain Daylight Time
—–Original Message—–
From: D Anderson
Sent: Tuesday, August 14, 2007 11:24 AM


I am very interested in studying, visiting, and writing at length
about the house churches and church planters reported by DAWN. I just
had a few quick questions for the present.

Is there a detailed report already available? I would be happy to
link to it in my research which will result in a free on-line paper.
What are the 2007 numbers and where are these churches concentrated
in the USA? Who is keeping these records? Who is the “they” which
trained 1,000 church planters in two months?

Much, much thanks in advance,

David Anderson
Bristol, TN

On Aug 14, 2007, at 1:45 PM, (withheld @ DAWN) wrote:

Dear David,

I’m afraid we won’t be much help in providing the numbers you requested. We have attempted over the years to estimate the number of house churches in North America. However, we have slowly come to the conclusion that it is an impossible task and perhaps not even that necessary. For instance, we did a study of just the state of Colorado and were able to identify 13 networks of 5 to 10 house churches. We were quite sure there were many times that number but it just took too much time to track them all down.

Perhaps you have seen the little article comparing the reproductive capacities of elephants (traditional churches) and rabbits (house churches). Not only are rabbits way more prolific than elephants. They are also much more difficult to count. You will have no difficulty determining the number of elephants in a large field. Counting the rabbits is another story.

Rather than trying to keep track of rabbits, we have felt that our calling was to do all we can to pray for, identify, connect and support the apostolic church planters. Currently there are about 120 of those folks that we are connect with. Our feeling is that if those people are healthy, the number of healthy churches will increase naturally and spontaneously.

In reference to the “1000 church planters trained in two months”, Mike Steele said that had mostly to do with a large gathering in Norway a couple of years ago led by Neil Cole. The attendance at that training event was combined with several smaller training events in the US to come up with 1000.

I’m sure you are familiar with George Barna’s book Revolution. That’s the only source that we know of that even begins to estimate the number of house churches in the US. And, he is, of course, only extrapolating from sample groups.

Again, I’m sorry I can’t be of more help.

(name withheld)

Me again. I’ve been trying to track down this unprecedented work of the Holy Spirit via house churches for awhile now. I doubt that it is occurring in Norway as Marc, cited above, is from that part of the world. Have you seen it?

The original report of “exponential growth” was more than 2 years ago. What would the numbers be now?