By Embra Jackson
At this year's General Conference in
God seems to be moving the
Our annual conference, bishop and cabinet have agreed to "plant" a minimum of three new churches per year. Since the 2006 annual conference, five new churches have been started. Three of these churches were started from existing congregations (Anderson South from
This type of new church plant is known as the "parent church model." Today many successful new church starts are birthed from existing congregations. This occurs when the new churches emerge from local churches. The conference still provides resource assistance with these new church starts, however, the local established churches are key to this type of church being successful.
Bishop Felton May led the Baltimore Annual Conference into the "Holy Boldness" – New Church Initiative. The parenting of new churches by existing congregations was very successful in that annual conference. The impact of that movement is still having a positive impact.
Globally, we see that The United Methodist Church of the
In our conference, we are following this model in the areas listed. However, we need more churches to heed the call to become engaged in the planting of new churches. If your church is called by God to this ministry, you may wish to consider various ways of becoming parents; i.e., financial gifts, sending forth teams of members to start new churches, sharing of space with a new congregation, donation of land and buildings, prayers, etc.
Want to help?
For information and guidance on responding to the call to parent churches, contact the Rev. Embra Jackson, administrative assistant to the bishop at 601-948-4561 ext. 23 or firstname.lastname@example.org.