Why 95Network Exists: 7 Truths About the Church in America
Have you ever spent time reflecting on the mission of your church?
I am not necessarily referring to the biblical mandate of the Great Commission to go into all the world and preach the Gospel. Jesus made it abundantly clear that He expects the Church to carry out what He started. My question is more along the lines of knowing the specifics of your individual church’s mission: Why do you exist? Why did God plant you in your church in your city at this time?
Since accepting the role of Executive Director at 95Network, I have spent a lot of time asking myself the same question: Why does 95Network exist?
These questions are the main focal point of the Strategic Planning Process that I have shared with many churches throughout my years in ministry. It is extremely difficult for any organization to fulfill their mission, or purpose, if they have never answered this question.
95Network has developed some very helpful resources designed to assist small and mid-sized churches in growing, both deep and wide. We also have clarity in our ministry focus of content, conferences, and grant funds for coaching and consulting to allow churches throughout the country to take advantage of the help that is available today.
What I just described, though, is what we do. However, it really does not communicate why we do it. It is the reasoning behind why we exist that personally fuels my passion for 95Network!
Listed below are some of the passion promoters for our existence:
1) The discouraged pastor.
Nothing touches my heart more than knowing that there are thousands of isolated and lonely pastors who are in need of an uplifting friend. Having served as the Lead Pastor of a small church personally, I know the hopelessness and despair that can invade even the most optimistic pastor.
We exist to be your friend!
2) The time for revitalization.
The church in America has always been hesitant to embrace change. The plurality of congregationally-led churches cause the process of change and innovation to become bogged down in agendas and personal preferences. I have often heard it said, “God so loved the world that He didn’t send a committee.”
We exist to connect you to proven change agents, leadership development tools, and personal coaching.
3) The desperate need for a spiritual awakening throughout America.
It is no secret that America is divided, broken, and in need of a renewal. However, many of our churches conduct business as usual by providing an abundance of programs and activities for insiders. It is imperative that we begin to develop a discipleship process that is more path-driven instead of program-driven in order to create clear and healthy next steps in a person’s spiritual journey.
We exist to help you to prioritize the equipping of the saints towards spiritual maturity through a discipleship path.
4) The makeup of the majority.
Research tells us that there are 300,000+ churches in America. It also informs us that around 95% of all churches have less than 500 in average attendance. In fact, between 85% and 90% are under 200 in attendance. With this in mind, we continue developing resources to assist the small church pastor in growing their churches in spiritual maturity and evangelism.
We exist to provide resources specifically focused on small church dynamics.
5) The need for connection.
I grew up in an era where there was not a lot of cross-denominational gatherings. But with the growth of social media and past movements like Promise Keepers, the willingness to work together and learn from each other has brought a refreshing bond of connection to many communities. It is so important for churches to work in harmony to advance the Kingdom regionally.
We exist to connect pastors in a unity of common purpose to reach their regions.
6) The lack of practical equipping.
The majority of ministry training has failed to equip pastors to understand how to lead. It is so important to add practical leadership skills to work in harmony with our spiritual training in order to provide consistent and steady growth for our church.
We exist to connect pastors with practical resources to develop and grow their leadership.
7) The limited number of dollars for most small churches.
The challenge of budget needs is a never-ending problem in most small churches. It is difficult to use your limited resources in a smaller church to pay for training and consulting, no matter how needed or helpful it would be. This is the reason for our focus on grant funds.
We exist to connect small and mid-size churches to BIG resources.
Want to help us support small and mid-size churches? Our team has a big vision: to help 5,000 churches in 15 years. We want to equip small churches who recognize that things need to change and are hungry to have the greatest impact for Jesus they possibly can, but are limited by finances.
Would you consider partnering with us to support small churches across the country? The support of our donors allows us to give generously to churches who can’t afford the services they need, to host meaningful conferences across the country for pastors of small and mid-size churches, and to produce great content for the leaders in our network.
Here are two ways we recommend starting to give:
- Give in a multiple of 95. Whether it's $9.50, $95, or $950, we highly value the support and can guarantee that this money goes directly towards our mission of helping churches across the country.
- Give a small percentage of your missions giving. Especially for churches, this is a great way to support local churches across America as we join together on one mission to reach people for Jesus.
Whether your support is a one-time gift of $10 or a monthly gift of $95, every dollar you give goes directly towards the churches we resource.