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Characteristics of New Church Starts

We often hear the question, "What is a new church start?"

Rather than describing planting strategies, quoting paragraphs of United Methodist church law, or defining new churches by size, geography, or other measures, we like to leave flexibility for movements of the Holy Spirit. We prefer instead to describe characteristics. Established congregations, districts, and annual conferences can plant in a variety of ways, ranging from new ministry campuses to newly chartered congregations.

New congregations are simply newly organized places for new people that are committed to making disciples of Jesus Christ and:

  • Are theologically Wesleyan
  • Worship frequently and celebrate the sacraments
  • Have effective systems for developing disciples of Jesus
  • Teach and practice biblical stewardship
  • Are missional and work toward community transformation
  • Receive new members
  • Will embed multiplying DNA in all ministries and plant other new congregations in 3-5 years
  • Will remain connected and accountable to The United Methodist Church

Each planting opportunity and methodology will vary by context. To learn about various strategies currently used to plant new United Methodist congregations, explore the "Strategies" section of this site.