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NEW BEGINNINGS

“We are at a different place than we were before and now have a vision for what our mission can be in the future.” - Kevin, pastor of a New Beginnings congregation. “What is God calling our congregation to do and be in this time and this place?”

 

Over the last decade, more and more small congregations are applying to Church Extension Fund, for property repair loans. Congregations that worship under seventy are applying for funds to repair their roofs or replace their boilers. Since the expense to replace these items is so high, repairs add an extra burden on already small and struggling congregations. This led to a question, “What is another way CEF can help struggling congregations, beyond providing a loan?”

The New Beginnings focus is to help redirect lay and clergy leadership towards the development of a contextually relevant, missional focused congregation within the Michigan District. 

New Beginnings is a process for congregations that need to make a significant shift in ministry, but are hampered by older membership, lack of imagination, or leadership. The process involves:

  • An assessment by a trained assessor to gather data and create a 50 page assessment for use by the congregation which names the current condition of their ministry.
  • A follow-up visit by a facilitator that introduces the report to the congregation’s leadership and training these leaders to facilitate 4 sessions of conversation with more than 50% of the congregation.
  • House meetings that engage church participants in naming their current condition and considering one of three future stories provided by the assessor.
  • Once the congregation records their decision with Church Extension, a District CMMF is assigned to help the groups develop capacity for meeting their future story—or making the appropriate introduction to other resources within the LCMS.

As a result of this process, congregations that have been stuck will make a bold decision about their future, and begin the steps of implementing this future story. These decisions may include:

  • Relocation
  • Restarting as a new congregation
  • Closure and assigning assets towards the development of new congregations
  • Parallel start in which a new church emerges while the faithful remnant are cared for pastorally.
  • Redefinition of their mission, reaching a new segment of the population

New Beginnings is a new CEF resource* to make a commitment to serve congregations in the context of their later stages of their lifecycle, leading struggling congregations to invest in fresh, new and much-needed ministries to their neighbors.

Church Extension Fund is a ministry of partnering Christians to make resources available for members and churches of the Michigan District in carrying forward the Great Commission

Learn about our process Application Form
Is New Beginnings right for our Congregation?

New Beginnings is an opportunity for your church to assess your options for ministry and make bold decisions for the future.

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the new beginnings experience