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What Percentage of New Churches Fail?

Updated: Apr 25, 2023

There is an oft repeated statistic that 80% of church plants fail. No one seems to know exactly where that number came from. It is possible that this number got conflated with the number of churches that are either plateaued or in decline.

Lane Corely states that in his work 15 out of 124 churches planted have failed since 2010. That is an 88% success rate (12% failure rate). (1)

The success rate of planting well-conceived projects in the Evangelical Covenant Church after 4 years is 86%...(thus a 14% failure rate). (2)

Note the following quote from "Improving the Health and Survivability of New Churches."

"In September 2006, The North American Mission Board (NAMB) of the Southern Baptist Convention completed a Church Planting Survivability and Health study. Included in the study were church plants from 12 denominations and networks. Leadership Network participated in this study of more than 1,000 churches. Over 500 were phone interviewed to determine their health and the factors that led to survivability and health. From this study it was discovered that 68% of church plants still exist four years after having been started. The graph below displays the survivability by year."‌ (3) - (Here, the failure rate would be 32%.)

In reality, all of them fail. After careful research 😉, it has been discovred that the church at Jerusalem is no longer there. The church at Antioch no longer exists. All seven churches of Asia Minor disappeared a long time ago.

There are ways to increase the longer term survivability of your church.

You are not alone....don't go it alone.

Reach out to us today!

(1) “On Failed Church Plants: How Many Are There? And Why?” 2016. Lane Corley. January 21, 2016.

(2) “9 Myths about Church Planting.” n.d. Accessed April 22, 2023.

(3) “State of Church Planting USA Connecting Innovators to Multiply.” n.d. Accessed April 22, 2023.

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