I just returned from a training event with Tom Nebel and Paul Johnson from Converge International. They shared that when their church planting movement began they had a 50 – 60% success rate (the determining factor being that the church still existed after 5 years). Then they began doing church planter assessments and their success rate rose to 70%. I will be observing at one of their Assessment Centers next month.
After that they began a system of coaching for all of their church planters and their success rate rose to 80%. (The training event I was attending is part of their coach training process.) This rate is above the national average which is good. But they were still troubled that one in five of their plants were still failing. They then developed a way of determining the risk potential for a planter including cultural, geographical financial and other related factors. Using this tool to help manage risk, their success rate is 85% or above.
They believe the other 15% or so is due to spiritual factors – how much prayer, listening to God, etc. went in to the launch.