New Church Development
New churches attract many unchurched persons, including new constituent groups not being reached by existing congregations. Why? Partly because they are often fresh, energetic and distinct in their vision, culture and approach to evangelization and ministry.
In many areas where the denomination is growing, much of that growth is attributed to new congregations. Thus, it is not an either/or situation; but resources, training, and strategic efforts must be utilized for both creating new congregations and renewing existing ones. Moreover, existing churches often reap new ideas, learn new outreach and leadership development techniques, and gain new excitement from innovative and successful new church development efforts.
The Office of New Church Development works with annual and central conferences, district superintendents, and congregational leaders to create strategic plans for church growth, to train leaders in evangelization methods, and to help establish new churches and faith communities. It also assists "fresh start" congregations that are undergoing merger or relocation.
The office frequently sponsors or co-sponsors national training and networking events, including the annual School of Congregational Development, and resources similar events on a jurisdictional level.
The Office of New Church Development further identifies and promotes innovative models, trends and initiatives in starting and growing new churches. We assess their viability, support their development, and promote them churchwide through media resources, seminars, think tanks, and other events. It collaborates with various other Global Ministries offices, including Research and Loans Administration, to offer comprehensive services on behalf of the board.
The Evangelism and Church Growth program area also provides funding grants and consultation to help conferences, districts, and occasionally local churches address various church extension and congregational development concerns.
Photo: John Coleman