Church Planting Research Paper

Below you will find the results of my church planting research project. I have performed this investigation to provide a better picture of what is going on among Reformed Baptists in North America in the area of church planting, and to make several recommendations that will help us to be more faithful to the great commission and its fulfillment here at home. The document can be printed or read online. I am aware that there are limitations to all research, and that ultimately the teaching of scripture is all that matters. Consequently I realize that this paper is just one point of view, and that not everyone will agree with what I have said. I welcome any comments and input on this paper, and hope that this brief treatment of church planting will promote more discussion and continued reformation of our beliefs and practices to the will of Christ.

I discovered several things that are encouraging in this area, but more causes for concern, and perhaps even alarm. This project suggests that RB’s are not excelling in the area of domestic church planting, and that some common approaches to planting churches among RB’s are in need of reformation.

Several comments on the format of the paper are in order. Azusa Pacific University (where I was studying) requires the use of APA style. This format requires citations within the text, and stylistically is very “dry.” It does not allow for very much expressiveness in the way a paper is written. My apologies ahead of time.

Additionally, the format of the paper requires a bit of redundancy throughout the chapters in the form of summaries. For those who are not interested in research theory, you may find that reading chapter 2 (the literature review) is helpful. But most important is chapter 4 (page 40-70). This is the meat of the research where the results are presented and discussed.

The State of RB Church Planting by Matt Troupe

This is appendix C from the research which shows the list of known RB church plants in the last 10 years.

RB Church Planting Appendix Table

7 thoughts on “Church Planting Research Paper

  1. Good stuff Matt!
    So far I've just read Ch. 1 but I think your analysis of the RB movement is perceptive and you've captured some of its weaknesses in a balanced and gracious way. I hope this contributes to a resurgence of church planting in our circles. You've put in print several things I've thought the last couple years. I look forward to reading the rest when I'm on vacation later this week…

  2. I received the following email from Edwin Gonzalez and thought it would be helpful to post it here with his permission:


    Very good research paper Matt. I am sharing it with our deacons and two church planters.

    By the way, I do not remember what I answered in the survey, but the below paragraph poses a little inacuracy which is probably the result of my own erred answer. Cornerstone Bible Church – which I believe to be the one alluded in the Spanish Ministry effort – does have an English Speaking church Plant in Key Largo, FL in English, geared to English speaking people

    “It is noteworthy that there was little mention of efforts by English-Speaking congregations to plant churches that reach lost people of other languages or cultures in North America. Though not a primary focus of the survey, when respondents provided answers in their own words they mentioned only limited involvement in this arena. Once church mentioned several plants in French-Speaking Quebec, another mentioned a Spanish ministry that they hope will become a church plant and another mentioned supporting two African-American congregations…”

    I only mention it for the sake of accuracy, again not attributing the fault to you but to me.

    Regardless, your paper is an excellent piece of work and research, and I hope it is well received.

    Our Vision for the English Church Plant in the Keys is to reach the “unsaved”, the “churched” (in what we label bad churches), and the “unchurched” (Christians moving into the area who are looking for a church). Your paper will make us seek to make a strong emphasis on the “unsaved”.

    As to the Spanish church plant. For the most part and given the context, that definitely aims at the “unsaved”.

    Good job!

  3. Matt,
    I just printed your paper and am anxious to read it. Thanks for making it available here. Thanks for your hard work. We beat with the same heart bro. Much love.

  4. Jonathan, I hope the paper is helpful in the discussion that is growing. I would love to hear your thoughts on this. I have had some good feedback publicly on blogs as well as via email.

    We prayed for your trip to India, glad you are back.

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