Southern Baptist church plants increase for second consecutive year

Southern Baptists added 1,018 new congregations in 2021 — 735 church plants, 201 affiliations and 82 new campuses. This represents a 25 percent increase in church plants and a 19 percent increase in congregations overall. Of the 735 church plants, 135 were replants, which the North American Mission Board has traditionally counted.

“We celebrate every new church that’s planted, but we also understand that the mission is not simply starting new churches,” said Vance Pitman, president of Send Network. “Our mission is to join in God’s activity of expanding His kingdom in cities and nations all over the world. His kingdom expands as cities are engaged with the gospel, disciples are made, and churches are born. So, we rejoice whenever new believers are welcomed into the kingdom and churches are born by the power of the gospel.”

Beginning with the 2021 new congregations count, NAMB is adding additional detail to show how many church plants are replants. In an average year, Southern Baptists lose more than 900 congregations, many of them dying. Because of this, NAMB started a church replanting emphasis led by Mark Clifton. Clifton says 900 association leaders and others have been trained and certified in church replanting since 2018.