Why a Church?
The local church is the primary means by which the gospel advances.
The local church is God’s representation of himself on earth. Jesus always desires more faithful representations of himself.
Jesus commanded it, Acts assumes it, and the earliest Christians practiced it.
Churches committed to Jesus, each other, and their city make their city better.
Motivates, encourages, and assists other existing churches in the city.
Why in the South?
The South pulls in the highest amount of domestic migrants of any region of the U.S.
In net domestic migration, the South claimed 6 out of the top 8 states last year. (Texas, Florida, North Carolina, Tennessee, South Carolina, and Georgia)
The trends indicate the South will continue to grow as the most populated region of the country.
Over the next 40 years, 14.4 million non-Christians will be added to the South’s current non-Christian population (67.4 million), totaling 81.7 million non-Christians in the South by the year of 2050.
We need to plant 5,700 churches every year (109 per week, 15.6 per day) for the next forty years to reach the projected total population non-Christians in the South by 2050. … 7000 churches close every year (134 per week, 19.2 per day).
All data taken from “How the South Will Rise to Power Again,” Forbes Magazine, January 31, 2013.
Most of the church-going population is located in rural America, as the percentage of church goers drops drastically in the cities.
92.5% of metropolitan areas in South are increasing in total population.
CNN Money named Knoxville the #8 fastest growing city in the nation from 2000-2010 based on percentage population growth.
Knoxville is the home to the state’s flagship university with enrollment of over 28,000 students. Statistically, only 4% of 15-30 year olds in the U.S. are following Jesus.
40% of people in the Knoxville area are unaffiliated with religious organizations of any kind.
Because of the location, Knoxville is a hub for new businesses, new ventures, and a very natural sending outpost.