What is a New Church?

New-Church“And Jesus said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20 NRSV

Our United Methodist Church has defined a new church as a newly organized faith community that is committed to making disciples of Jesus Christ and:

  • Is theologically Wesleyan
  • Worships regularly and celebrates the sacraments (can be any day/time or regularity and is non-style specific)
  • Has an intentional plan or system for discipleship (how do we help others to find and follow Jesus?)
  • Teaches and invites people into faithful stewardship (generosity) and has a funding plan which may include multiple funding sources (e.g. grants, large donor asks, district and/or conference support)
  • Is deeply committed to and engaged in community transformation (how will the community around us be difference because God has placed us there?)
  • Embeds in its DNA from the very beginning a commitment to multiply (leaders, ministries, and other new communities of faith)

There are many effective strategies our existing churches use to reach new people (Bible studies, outreach ministries, new worship services, and etc.,) but these, though important, may not necessarily be considered as new church plants.