WANTED – 1000 Reformed Charismatic Churches

WANTED – 1000 Reformed Charismatic Churches July 23, 2008

In case the title of this post completely mystifys you and you have not heard of this group of Christians, I have written previously about them in “What is a Reformed Charismatic?

The phrase “1,000 reformed charismatic churches” has been going around in my head on and off for awhile now. Because several different applications of that number are running through my mind, I thought I’d share each of them with you here.

The first thought I had was simply this: although often considered to be a small minority, the number of reformed charismatics is increasing. I therefore wondered if there are now 1,000 reformed charismatic churches around the world? I suspect there must be. According to my interview with Terry Virgo, Newfrontiers is now nearing 600 churches, so surely there must be at least 1,000 if you add to that Sovereign Grace Ministries, Acts 29, and of course, other individual churches and networks, some of which, no doubt, I have not yet even heard about. (Incidentally, I’d particularly like to hear about any of you out there who go to a reformed charismatic church that isn’t part of one of the three groups I just mentioned—drop me an e-mail at adrian.warnock@gmail.com.)

We probably can agree that there must be at least 1,000 reformed charismatic churches in the world. But are there 1,000 reformed charismatic churches in any individual country in the world? I doubt it very much. I am certain we don’t have 1,000 such churches here in there UK. I would be very surprised indeed if there were that number in the USA.

But why do I mention 1,000 reformed charismatic churches when it comes to an individual country like the USA or the UK? In the UK, Newfrontiers now has 220 churches, which because we have 60 million people, works out to one church per 270,000 people. So, along with other groups, we have made some small impact, although surely there is still much work for us to do, even in the UK. But here is where it gets interesting. A church for every 270,000 people in the USA would work out to aproximately 1,000 churches. So I guess we have still further to go in America. I suspect, however, that there are many reformed charismatic churches in the USA which are not part of any network with which I’m familiar.

But the number 1,000 is featured in other ways as well. The Acts 29 Network’s audacious goal is to plant 1,000 churches themselves over twenty years. I fully expect them to reach that goal given their current rate of growth. Also, a number of years ago a prophetic word led Newfrontiers in the UK to dare to believe God for 1,000 churches in our own nation. Within Newfrontiers meetings we often hear the challenging goal for church planting and growing large churches — “1,000 churches and churches of 1,000 people.”

Do we need lots of reformed charismatic churches? I believe we do. Firstly, we need reformed charismatic churches to show Christians that there really is a third option between arid intellectualism and brainless experiential showmanship. It’s not that the caricatures we tend to make of both cessationists and charismatics are entirely accurate; it’s just that churches that are unashamedly both reformed and charismatic can give confidence to others to make that plunge, or at least ensure they do not meet the caricature defining their end of the spectrum. I believe that it is a good thing to have different churches in any given town that can provoke each other and learn from one another.

But I also believe that reformed charismatic churches are often uniquely placed to become genuinely missional churches that can reach out and grow largely by salvation. We live in a culture that has, for the most part, turned its back on traditional church. Why shouldn’t we offer the world a church whose methods, music, style, and experience are totally up-to-date, but where the message remains old-fashioned and traditional in the sense of being solidly biblical?

One man with a vision to plant churches that will affect thousands of people is John Lanferman. He speaks of having on his laptop a list of the top 100 cities of the USA where 87 per cent of the people live. The cry of his heart is that 100 reproducing missional reformed charismatic churches be planted by Newfrontiers USA in those cities. Here’s what he said about it in an interview with me. I had asked him what a missional church was:

“A church that understands that it exists for the express purpose of carrying the gospel to the next door neighbor, to the person in the next block, to the person in the next city, state, and nation, and they exist for the purpose of being carriers of the gospel.John Lanferman So they are involved, not only in proclamation, but they are involved in changing the whole culture of a community. They would be people who would be involved in cross-cultural evangelism. They would be people who would be involved in changing the social justice—be involved in that ministry to the poor—so they have a desire to see the whole community that they are involved with, the towns they are involved with, changed and made into a kingdom community. It’s people who understand, “We do not exist for ourselves, but we exist for them.” So the way we spend our money, the way we staff our churches, the way our churches feel, the way they operate, have that outward appeal. And it’s a God-centered approach to humanity rather than an inward, “What about me and my needs?” It’s a man-centered approach . . . If we can get outstanding churches in each of these 100 large cities, and out from that, begin to reproduce ourselves—because I’m fanatical on reproducing churches. We must not just plant churches, but we [want to] see churches that view themselves as reproducing churches multiply themselves, raise up leaders, give themselves away, spread out in the communities and the nations beyond.”

John Lanferman

Here is a list of those 100 cities. With the new sense of urgency in our movement following the Brighton conference, you could be finding a reformed charismatic church starting near you sooner than you think if you live in one of them. I would be only too happy to pass e-mails on to the relevant people if YOU live in one of these cities and would like to play a part in seeing this vision come to fruition. Attending one of our USA conferences would be a good first step.
Please join me in mentioning each of these cities before the Lord in prayer as you finish reading this post. May each of them soon have a reformed charismatic church. Actually, most of them will need more than one church given their size. This table shows three columns—the city, its state, and the population. In the last column, I will also gradually add links to Newfrontiers churches and church plants in these cities:

1 New York New York &0000000008250567.0000008,250,5
2 Los Angeles California &0000000003849378.0000003,849,378
3 Chicago Illinois &0000000002833321.0000002,833,321
Fusion Church, Chicago
4 Houston Texas &0000000002144491.0000002,144,491
5 Phoenix Arizona &0000000001512986.0000001,512,986
6 Philadelphia Pennsylvania &0000000001448394.0000001,448,394
7 San Antonio Texas &0000000001296682.0000001,296,682
8 San Diego California &0000000001256951.0000001,256,951
9 Dallas Texas &0000000001232940.0000001,232,940
10 San Jose California &0000000000929936.000000929,936
11 Detroit Michigan &0000000000918849.000000918,849
12 Jacksonville Florida &0000000000794555.000000794,555
13 Indianapolis Indiana &0000000000785597.000000785,597
14 San Francisco California &0000000000744041.000000744,041
15 Columbus Ohio &0000000000733203.000000733,203
16 Austin Texas &0000000000709893.000000709,893
17 Memphis Tennessee &0000000000670902.000000670,902
18 Fort Worth Texas &0000000000653320.000000653,320
19 Baltimore Maryland &0000000000640961.000000640,961
20 Charlotte North Carolina &0000000000630478.000000630,478
21 El Paso Texas &0000000000609415.000000609,415
22 Milwaukee Wisconsin &0000000000602782.000000602,782
23 Boston Massachusetts &0000000000590763.000000590,763
Abundant Church and Fenway Church
24 Seattle Washington &0000000000582454.000000582,454
25 Washington District of Columbia &0000000000581530.000000581,530
26 Denver Colorado &0000000000566974.000000566,974
27 Louisville Kentucky &0000000000554496.000000554,496
28 Las Vegas Nevada &0000000000552539.000000552,539
29 Nashville Tennessee &0000000000552120.000000552,120
30 Oklahoma City Oklahoma &0000000000537734.000000537,734
31 Portland Oregon &0000000000537081.000000537,081
32 Tucson Arizona &0000000000518956.000000518,956
33 Albuquerque New Mexico &0000000000504949.000000504,949
34 Atlanta Georgia &0000000000486411.000000486,411
35 Long Beach California &0000000000472494.000000472,494
36 Fresno California &0000000000466714.000000466,714
37 Sacramento California &0000000000453781.000000453,781
38 Mesa Arizona &0000000000447541.000000447,541
39 Kansas City Missouri &0000000000447306.000000447,306
40 Cleveland Ohio &0000000000444323.000000444,323
41 Virginia Beach Virginia &0000000000435619.000000435,619
42 Omaha Nebraska &0000000000427872.000000427,872
43 Miami Florida &0000000000404048.000000404,048
44 Oakland California &0000000000397067.000000397,067
45 Tulsa Oklahoma &0000000000382872.000000382,872
46 Honolulu Hawaii &0000000000377357.000000377,357
47 Minneapolis Minnesota &0000000000372833.000000372,833
48 Colorado Springs Colorado &0000000000372437.000000372,437
49 Arlington Texas &0000000000367197.000000367,197
50 Wichita Kansas &0000000000357698.000000357,698
51 Raleigh North Carolina &0000000000356321.000000356,321
52 St. Louis Missouri &0000000000353837.000000353,837
53 Santa Ana California &0000000000340024.000000340,024
54 Anaheim California &0000000000334425.000000334,425
55 Tampa Florida &0000000000332888.000000332,888
56 Cincinnati Ohio &0000000000332252.000000332,252
57 Pittsburgh Pennsylvania &0000000000312819.000000312,819
58 Bakersfield California &0000000000308392.000000308,392
59 Aurora Colorado &0000000000303582.000000303,582
60 Toledo Ohio &0000000000298446.000000298,446
61 Riverside California &0000000000293761.000000293,761
62 Stockton California &0000000000290141.000000290,141
63 Corpus Christi Texas &0000000000285267.000000285,267
64 Newark New Jersey &0000000000281402.000000281,402
65 Anchorage Alaska &0000000000278700.000000278,700
66 Buffalo New York &0000000000276059.000000276,059
67 St. Paul Minnesota &0000000000273535.000000273,535
68 Lexington Kentucky &0000000000270789.000000270,789
69 Plano Texas &0000000000255009.000000255,009
70 Fort Wayne Indiana &0000000000248637.000000248,637
71 St. Petersburg Florida &0000000000248098.000000248,098
72 Glendale Arizona &0000000000246531.000000246,531
73 Jersey City New Jersey &0000000000241789.000000241,789
74 Lincoln Nebraska &0000000000241167.000000241,167
75 Henderson Nevada &0000000000240614.000000240,614
76 Chandler Arizona &0000000000240595.000000240,595
77 Norfolk Virginia &0000000000238832.000000238,832
78 Greensboro North Carolina &0000000000236865.000000236,865
79 Scottsdale Arizona &0000000000231127.000000231,127
80 Baton Rouge Louisiana &0000000000229553.000000229,553
81 Birmingham Alabama &0000000000229424.000000229,424
82 Madison Wisconsin &0000000000223389.000000223,389
83 New Orleans Louisiana &0000000000223388.000000223,388
84 Chesapeake Virginia &0000000000220560.000000220,560
85 Orlando Florida &0000000000220186.000000220,186
86 Garland Texas &0000000000217963.000000217,963
87 Hialeah Florida &0000000000217141.000000217,141
88 Laredo Texas &0000000000215484.000000215,484
89 Chula Vista California &0000000000212756.000000212,756
90 Lubbock Texas &0000000000212169.000000212,169
91 Reno Nevada &0000000000210255.000000210,255
92 Akron Ohio &0000000000209704.000000209,704
93 Durham North Carolina &0000000000209009.000000209,009
94 Rochester New York &0000000000208123.000000208,123
95 Modesto California &0000000000205721.000000205,721
96 Montgomery Alabama &0000000000201998.000000201,998
97 Fremont California &0000000000201691.000000201,691
98 Shreveport Louisiana &0000000000200199.000000200,199
99 Arlington Virginia
100 Glendale California &0000000000199463.000000199,463

Wikipedia—List of United States Cities by Population

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