New Faith Communities

What is a New Faith Community?

A new faith community is where people, who are committed to “making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world,” gather and seek to do the following (this can include a traditional church plant or a Fresh Expression):

  • Are theologically Wesleyan
  • Gather to worship and celebrate the sacraments;
  • Committed to developing disciples of Jesus Christ;
  • Teaches and practices biblical stewardship;
  • Engages in mission and work toward transformation - of their community, their friends and themselves;
  • Welcomes and encourages new disciples;
  • Celebrates lay and clergy involvement;
  • Fosters a culture of ministry multiplication and commits to planting other new congregations within 3 to 5 years;
  • Remains connected and accountable to the Mississippi Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church.

A new faith community can be very unique, because the opportunity and method may vary, depending on the context of the mission field in which it is located. Some examples are:

Vital Merger  |  Fresh Expressions  |  Dinner Church  | Online Faith Community  |  Laity-Led New Start  |  Close / Reopen  | Multi-site or Satellite             

Click here for a list and description of some of the models/strategies for creating a new faith communityFind additional resources and tools below to help you discern your calling, discover your gifts and your community's gifts and challenges, and take the next step.

Why Start New Things for New People?
  1. The Great Commission given by Jesus
  2. New faith communities frequently offer a different style of worship and ministry, thereby attracting and reaching unchurched people
  3. New faith communities often find it easier to live out new paradigms of mission and ministry
  4. Starting a new faith community in your community will frequently revitalize the existing and/or parent church
  5. Unchurched people are more likely to join new faith communities


The Faith Community Office offers grants to churches that submit an accepted proposal of a New Faith Community it intends on starting within the year of receiving the grant. The proposal must be accepted and approved by your District Chief Missional Strategist, FCF Director, FCF Committee and Bishop Swanson. Click here to apply.

The approved church must complete and submit, a report on the status of the New Faith Community, to the FCF Director and the District Chief Missional Strategist monthly.


New church start funding from the UMC Communications:

UMC Grants:


Do your actions inspire others to: ~ dream more ~ learn more ~ do more ~ become more?

Effective leaders must:

  1. Have a strong sense of calling;
  2. Have a visioning capacity;
  3. Demonstrate a history of building relationships in the community and leading these friends to Christ and into church life;
  4. Understand the culture and the community’s uniqueness and needs;
  5. Have a coachable and adaptable spirit;
  6. Have an entrepreneurial spirit;
  7. Deeply committed to Jesus Christ;
  8. Be willing to engage in the discernment process to explore and assess their calling.


Are you just starting to consider church planting? Find the resources here to discover your gifts and what steps you need to take if you sense God's call.

Initial Assessments:   

   Am I Called to Plant a Church?   |  Spiritual Gifts Assessment [Online Web Forms]

After taking the initial assessments (above), if still interested, contact your district Chief Missional Strategist or pastor.

After you have that conversation, please complete: New Faith Community Planter Application [Online Web Form]

Policy Applications and Documents:

Need our assistance?

Please complete the FCF Assistance Request Form:

A Fresh Expression is quite simply a fresh expression of church. Learn more at

Assess the community in order to identify the place God has called you to plant.

Use MISSIONINSITE to unlock the secrets to your community! Execute a demographic analysis to determine best ministry opportunities, answer strategic questions, understand population trends before they happen and more. 


Want to receive tips, updates and details on events pertaining to new church starts and church revitalization?

Text "faithcommunity" to 95577.