May 22, 2021
In 2012, the General Assembly made a bold commitment — to create an environment within the denomination that would lead to the flourishing of the existing church and the birth of at least 1001 new communities of worship and witness. The Presbyterian Mission Agency went to work creating a system of resources to support this call to equip presbyteries, help potential leaders discern God’s call, develop a system of grants, build leadership capacity and create a network of coaches prepared to accompany a new worshiping community through all the stages of development. Establishing partnerships and collaboration with other North American denominations, the reach of these resources extends far beyond the PC(USA).
Research reveals that 1 in 10 new members of an existing congregation was previously unchurched or de-churched, but 44% of the people participating in these new worshiping communities say they were unchurched or of a non-Christian faith before becoming a part of this new community. One leader describes their mission this way: “Our greatest focus is on the ‘unchurched’ people in our area. We seek to introduce (or reintroduce) Jesus to people in our area who either did not grow up in the church or left the church for some reason. We seek to do so in the manner that is hospitable, nonthreatening and reflecting the love of which Jesus so often spoke.”
The Presbyterian Mission Agency supports these new communities, their leaders, and the presbyteries and congregations supporting them through a system of resources and a network of relationships. Since 2012, we have provided over $10 million in direct grants to presbyteries for these communities. Surrounding the financial support, the 1001 New Worshiping Community team provides assessments for discerning potential leaders, coaching, training, and site-based learning through apprenticeships and residencies.
How can you pray for the 1001 movement?
- Pray for the leaders of these new communities. They are often multi-vocational. Many are recent immigrants serving without the full privileges of U.S. citizenship or ordination in the PC(USA). All of these leaders are serving the church because they are called by God to make new disciples of Jesus.
- Pray for these new disciples — that they will experience the love and grace of God in these communities and grow in their faith and witness.
- Pray for presbyteries and partner congregations — that they will be renewed through their relationship with new communities, leaders and followers. And pray that more presbyteries and congregations will be led by the Spirit to new ventures and new people with the good news of the Gospel.
- And give thanks to God for the continuing work of the Spirit among us. To God be the glory!
Nikki Collins, Coordinator, 1001 New Worshiping Communities
Today’s Focus: 1001 New Worshiping Communities
Let us join in prayer for:
Let us pray:
Come, Holy Spirit, and fill us with love for neighbor and stranger. Show us your love for the people around us and send us to befriend them and serve them and welcome them in your grace and in your power.