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 community. Find 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?
- The Great Commission given by Jesus
- New faith communities frequently offer a different style of worship and ministry, thereby attracting and reaching unchurched people
- New faith communities often find it easier to live out new paradigms of mission and ministry
- Starting a new faith community in your community will frequently revitalize the existing and/or parent church
- 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.
OTHER GRANT OPPORTUNITIES:
New church start funding from the UMC Communications:
Do your actions inspire others to: ~ dream more ~ learn more ~ do more ~ become more?
Effective leaders must:
- Have a strong sense of calling;
- Have a visioning capacity;
- Demonstrate a history of building relationships in the community and leading these friends to Christ and into church life;
- Understand the culture and the community’s uniqueness and needs;
- Have a coachable and adaptable spirit;
- Have an entrepreneurial spirit;
- Deeply committed to Jesus Christ;
- Be willing to engage in the discernment process to explore and assess their calling.
NEW FAITH COMMUNITY RESOURCES AND TOOLS
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.
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:
- FCF New Faith Community Grant Application
- Steps to New Faith Community Planting
- New Faith Community (New Church Planters) Policy and Procedures
- New Faith Community Planter Application [Online Web Form]
- Your MAP Out of the Wilderness of Ministry by Dr. Marty Cauley
- Ministry Action Plan (MAP) - Detailed Report [Online Web Form]
- Ministry Action Plan (MAP) Summary Worksheet
- Supporting documents for new planters
- Sample Budget Worksheet
- Quick Financial Estimate Worksheet
- Existing Facility Assessment [online form]
- New Site Selection Worksheet
- Traits of High-Potential Planters (Path 1)
- Church Development Strategies (Path 1)
- Seven Seasons of Church Planting (Path 1)
- Best Practices (Path 1)
- For additional Path 1 documents and information, visit their website at www.path1.org.
Need our assistance?
Please complete the FCF Assistance Request Form:
A Fresh Expression is quite simply a fresh expression of church. Fresh Expressions is a movement that is cultivating new forms of church - the presentation of the gospel and church in context - alongside existing congregations in order to reach changing, diverse cultures and world. At its heart, Fresh Expressions is about empowering and equipping God's people (LAY and/or CLERGY) to develop creative expressions of church that can reach the increasing diversity of our society in order to share a message that is transformative. Learn more at https://www.mississippi-umc.org/freshexpressionsms.
COMMUNITY ASSESSMENT & ANALYSIS
Assess the community in order to identify the place God has called you to plant. A community analysis/assessment includes but is not limited to, using a full array of demographic tools, site visits, economic development office plus other community interviews, the church’s 10-year metrics data and other available resources. Click here for more information.
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. MissionInsite is an online demographic analysis tool available, free of charge, to all United Methodist Churches in Mississippi.
Want to receive tips, updates and details on events pertaining to new church starts and church revitalization?
Text "faithcommunity" to 95577.