New Beginnings Process

The New Beginnings process takes six to eight months.


After submitting an application for the service, the congregation provides profile information of current participants, financial reports for the last three years and property square footage.

Phase I:

CEF’s assessor will meet at the church for an on-site assessment: a complete building inspection, financial review with the church finance officer, a “windshield tour” of the community, meeting with the pastor and an Appreciative Inquiry session with the congregation, assessor and a Michigan District CMMF. The assessment helps the congregational leaders to understand the programmatic and missional strengths of their church. The congregation will receive a comprehensive report of this visit.

This report includes:

  • Congregational demographics and tenure
  • Community demographics
  • A pin map showing location of membership
  • Financial history and analysis
  • Building condition and attractiveness to visitors
  • Facility usage and Stewardship of Time
  • Potential strategies for mission
Phase II:

Within two months of the visit, Paul Wills from Church Extension trains congregational leaders to interpret the report and lead a discernment process with the congregation. In most cases, six to twelve key leaders from the congregation will attend a training event. This gathering enables the leaders to analyze their report, explore options, begin to develop a compelling vision for their congregation’s future, and strategize about how to best engage the congregation in a decision-making process.

Phase III:

In weekly small-group meetings, the key leaders will guide the congregation through the discernment process. This process will enable the congregation to make a formal “big-picture” decision about what they believe God is calling the church to do and be into the future.

Phase IV:

After this decision for a New Beginning is adopted, the congregation will work with their regional CMMF to refer the pastor and key leaders to available mission-planning resources.

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

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.