Starting New Congregations in the United Methodist Church

The following is from Bishop Scott Jones blog and he addresses starting New Churches for the future growth of the church. Path 1 is a United Methodist Group who plans to revive the tradition of starting a new church every day of the year. They make a great and convincing argument.


Bishop Scott Jones Blog Site

The case for new congregations

Published: 8/4/2008

I am at the School of Congregational Development helping lead the Annual Conference leaders track. Dr. Lovett Weems, formerly President of St. Paul School of Theology and now with the Lewis Center for Church Leadership at Wesley Theological Seminary, presented yesterday.

It was a compelling case for starting new churches. He gave statistics showing that as the age of a congregation increases, the proportion of churches in that age bracket experiencing growth declines. Existing churches cannot be expected to match the population growth in a given geographical area.

This means we have done well in Kansas to give emphasis to starting new congregations. We must continue to strengthen our existing ones and help them to prove the statistics wrong. But our existing congregations can do three things. First, they can consider being supportive if a new congregation is being planted in their area. Second, they can pay their “Bridges to the Future” campaign pledge in full. Third, they can pray for the new congregations being started in the Fort Riley area and in northwest Johnson County.

For many years, Methodism was starting one new church every day. Weems said that in 1906 there were 57,087 Methodist churches, and one-half of them were less than 25 years old. We were growing! We need more new churches today!

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