The vigorous, continual planting of new congregations is the single most crucial strategy for the numerical growth of the body of Christ in any city, and the continual corporate renewal and revival of the existing churches in a city. Nothing else, - not crusades, outreach programs, para-church ministries, growing mega churches, congregational consulting, nor church renewal processes—will have the consistent impact of dynamic, extensive church planting.
Virtually all the great evangelistic challenges of the New Testament are basically calls to plant churches, not simply to share the faith. The ‘Great Commission’ (Matt.28:18-20) is not just a call to ‘make disciples’ but to ‘baptize’. In Acts and elsewhere, it is clear that baptism means incorporation into a worshipping community with accountability and boundaries. The only way to be truly sure you are increasing the number of Christians in a town is to increase the number of churches.