Job posting – Program Coordinator

We are no longer accepting applications. Thank you for your interest.

ANNOUNCEMENT FOR POSITION OPENING 

PROGRAM COORDINATOR FOR NEW CHURCH MINISTRY 

Full-Time Employment 

Summary

Disciples Church Extension Fund (DCEF) functions as a ministry of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada. New Church Ministry (NCM), under the umbrella of DCEF, trains, equips, assists and multiplies emerging and affiliating congregations and leaders. The Program Coordinator is responsible for performing a variety of support activities for the NCM team, services, programs, and operations. 

Core Requirements 

  • Provide administrative support for NCM Team such as calendaring/scheduling, travel arrangements, reports management, note-taking, contact management, expense processing, event logistics coordination, project management, metrics oversite, research, and other duties as may be assigned
  • Ensure the efficiency of operations by collaboratively driving organizational systems and processes 
  • Coordinate and oversee the logistics, administration, and development for NCM services, initiatives and programs 
  • Coordinate, organize, and manage virtual and in-person gatherings, conferences, events, and trainings. This includes registration, communication, accommodations, materials, budgeting, catering, booking, etc. 
  • Maintain the customer relationship management system, contact management system, database, project management system, and metrics manager 
  • Provide support using technology and online platforms, i.e. social media, Zoom, Concur, TripIt, MissionInsite, Prezi, Basecamp, Teachable, etc. 
  • Coordinate travel logistics such as booking flights, hotels, and car rentals, scheduling meetings, preparing itineraries, managing expenses, and follow-up correspondences 
  • Assist with preparing expense reports and budget oversight 
  • Prepare, edit, file, and distribute correspondence, reports, presentations, and agendas 
  • Prepare, distribute, and interpret demographic analysis reports 

Skills 

  • Demonstrate experience in being organized, innovative, proactive, resourceful, self-starting, focused, persistent, detail-oriented, discreet, communicative, decisive, and an adaptive problem-solver 
  • Have a “servant’s heart”, foresight, self-awareness, and grit 
  • Manage the overall risks and issues that may arise as well as take measures to correct them when they occur 
  • Proficiency in technology, cloud-based tools, and software including Microsoft Office Suite 
  • Organize, maximize, and prioritize multiple tasks, projects, programs, and events simultaneously 
  • Excellent communication, interpersonal and customer relations skills 
  • Accommodating and responsive to changing priorities and fluctuating workloads 
  • Excellent judgment, tact, and experience in exercising discretion with confidential information 
  • Strong work ethic with intrinsic motivation and ability to take a high level of personal accountability for the quality and timeliness of work 
  • Able to work independently and as a member of an integrated team 
  • Cooperate effectively and respectfully with a wide range of staff members, constituents, and diversities 

Bonus 

  • Church planting, pastoral/ministerial, innovation, and/or entrepreneurial experience is a plus 
  • Familiarity with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) is a plus 
  • Spanish-speaking or multi-lingual is a plus 

Educational Requirements and/or Experience 

  • At least two years of college or equivalent experience preferred 
  • Proven administrative and coordination experience 

Travel 

  • Minimal travel will be required for meetings, conferences, and professional enrichment 

Salary 

  • Salary range is between US $40,000 – $45,000, plus benefits 

Interested and qualified candidates should submit a resume and cover letter to Rhonda Hopewell, Vice President for Human Resources, rhopewell@disciplescef.org. Resumes of candidates will be reviewed on a rolling basis and the job posting will remain open until the position is filled. 

Disciples Church Extension Fund/New Church Ministry does not discriminate in employment opportunities or practices on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, or any other characteristics protected by law. 

A Year to Remember

When we set out to plan New Church Ministry (NCM)’s activities for 2020, we did not know what the year would bring. But NCM’s mission to train, equip, assist, and multiply emerging and affiliating congregations and their leaders has continued amidst a year with many unexpected twists and turns. Our team made meaningful connections and nurtured new church leaders across the United States and Canada in a variety of innovative ways.

Over the past twelve months, our ministry:

These are just a few of the ways that NCM has made a real difference in people’s lives during such a challenging year. Each one of you has played an essential role in that ministry. We are grateful for your prayers, partnership, and support and we look forward to working with you in 2021!

Work Hard, Play Harder

Sometimes ministers need to laugh together. 

Clergy members from several denominations did just that during a recent ecumenical-led virtual gathering to celebrate the first calendar year of the COVID-19 pandemic nearing its close.

“It was so amazing to goof around with church planters,” said the Rev. Chris Davies, leader of the United Church of Christ’s (UCC) Faith Education, Innovation and Formation Team.

She was describing the Founders’ Festival which attracted 89 participants from six denominations (CCDOC, UCC, Presbyterian Church in Canada, Presbyterian Church (USA), United Church of Canada and United Methodist Church and others) via Zoom on December 3rd.

‘’’Founders’ Fest’ was “purely for celebration of what has been a difficult year,” Davies said. Billed as an evening of “laughter, music, games and shenanigans,” it invited participants to “take a break from planning, preaching and pandemic to party with your pals.” 

“I can’t remember having more fun in a Zoom meeting! I love church planters. It was an honor to appreciate their hard work in a fun way. Thank you to my ecumenical siblings,” adds Pastor Terrell L McTyer.

Founders’ Festival 2020 was organized by Ecumenical Partners in Outreach (EPO), a network of church-starting specialists from eight – and sometimes more – North American denominations. 

EPO wanted to acknowledge church planters and provide them with a space to just be. There was no learning content, just games and fun with new friends.

A UCC minister and comedian, Rev Liz Miller of Edgewood United Church, Lansing, Mich., served as emcee.

“This was the most engaging and welcoming Zoom party I’ve ever attended,” said the Rev. Rachel Gilmore of the staff of Path 1, the Methodists’ church planting project. “It was wonderful to see church planters come together for a time of laugher and camaraderie, to be reminded that we are not alone in this holy and hard work.”  


church the new way

Training for the Future

New Church Ministry gathers Disciples every fall to share leadership experiences, wisdom, and training at Leadership Academy (LA).

Usually, it takes place in Indianapolis, IN, but due to public health concerns, this year’s Academy was hosted on Zoom, with resources available on Teachable.

And that’s not all that was new for 2020.

LA was held from Tuesday, September 29 to Thursday, October 1, reducing the length of the event from five days to three.

In addition, group registration was introduced, allowing core teams to register. After all, church planting is a team sport, and all the players should get training. This enabled a record number of 83 registrants!

To accommodate such a large number of people, various breakout rooms were provided on Wednesday and Thursday morning, giving participants an opportunity to network in rooms for prayer, self-care, revitalization, and more.

Also new to the Academy was improving accessibility for non-English speakers, with Spanish translations provided by Rev. Selena Reyes, Pastor of Nueva Comunidad Christian Church and Korean translations provided by Rev. Young Lan Kim, Associate Regional Minister of the Pacific Southwest Region, as well as breakout rooms for members of North American Pacific/Asian Disciples (NAPAD) and Obra Hispana.

As for workshop content, New Church Ministry worked to address the latest drastic shifts in the Church in an effort to remain relevant and resourceful. This was evident in workshops such as “The Church After COVID: Four Crucial Pathways of Belonging for An Anxious Culture,” where author Tim Soerens explored alternatives to anxiety and pathways of possibility during this pivotal moment for the Church, and in “Fundraising 2.0,” where spiritual entrepreneur Carla Leon of the United Church of Canada covered ten ways of generating revenue in light of new giving patterns presented by Millennials and the Z Generation.

Tim and Carla were joined by other new guest speakers, including Rick Reisinger (DCEF President), Cynthia Newman (minister, investment principal, and co-owner of the Newman Group), Rev. Dr. Delesslyn Kennebrew (Regional Minister for Ministry Innovation in the Greater Kansas City Region), DeAmon Harges (founder of The Learning Tree), Rev. Dr. Ken Crawford (Transformation Pastor at Central Christian Church in Dallas), Rev. Lee Ivey (Disciples Minister and therapist at the CTS Counseling Center), Natalie Teague (Disciples Immigration Legal Counsel), Lisa Pilat (Church Manager and Bookkeeper), and Christiana Rice (Director at The Parish Collective).

Supplementing these voices with their art were Pastor YaNi Davis, who delivered two spoken word performances, and Rev. Chantilly Mers, who sang as she played her guitar.

While various aspects of New Church Ministry’s first virtual Leadership Academy were new, participants were still able to engage in what made events of years past work so well.

For example, both pre- and post-launch cohorts were empowered by track sessions tailored to their experiences. Participants learned from thought leaders in joint plenary sessions called DOCTalks. LEADLabs (Learn.Explore.Actuate.Discover.Laboratories) helped leaders imagine, ideate, and implement missional and sustainable concepts through interactive, practical trainings.

Previous guest speakers made an appearance, too. Fr. Lorenzo Lebrija, the founding director of the TryTank Experimental Lab for church growth and innovation at the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles, returned with his workshop on idea formulation and Nadine Compton delivered another workshop on brand building. Terri Hord Owens closed out the third and final day with a Commissioning Service as she did last year, where she delivered a sermon.

In a meld of new and old, Terrell McTyer facilitated TechSoup, and a DOCTalk on Facebook Live featured Loren Richmond (pastor, entrepreneur, and disruptor), Lashaundra McCarty (owner of 3 C: Creative Communications & Consulting), and Katy Valentine (coach at katyvalentine.com and founder of the Creative Christian Spirituality, LLC), where they shared their 12 hacks for transforming a collective’s technology. Attendees were able to submit their questions in the Zoom meeting’s chat, or by leaving a comment on Facebook Live video. Both of these features enabled the plenary guests to answer in real time and reach participants far beyond Leadership Academy. 

With dozens of participants and speakers as well as multiple platforms to juggle over the course of three days, Laura Ginn, New Church Ministry’s Services Support Assistant who coordinated logistics for the whole event, was witness to many of the conversations and transformative moments that took place. For her, New Church Ministry’s first virtual Leadership Academy

“allowed for a new approach of team and New Church Movement training to happen along with having people from coast to coast learn to grow new churches virtually and adapt in the age of COVID.”

In other words, this year’s Leadership Academy prepared its participants for Church, the new way.

What significant changes could revolutionize giving at your church?

Building a budget, eliminating debt, and investing your savings will help your community of faith build a solid financial foundation for long-term success. In “Secure a Firm Financial Foundation,” our last New Church Hacks episode of the season, New Church Ministry will:

  • Discover how vision clarity gives your stewardship life
  • Learn how generous leadership draws followers
  • Construct pillars for financial success
  • Understand the spiritual relationship between scarcity and abundance
  • Celebrate what you have, not what you don’t

Join host Terrell L McTyer, the Minister of New Church Strategies for the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada, and featured guests Belinda King, the Building and Capital Services Advisor for the Canada, Tennessee, North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Capital Area and North Eastern Regions and Vice President of Disciples Church Extension FundBruce Barkhauer, the Director of the Center for Faith and Giving, and Mike Mather, the pastor of First United Methodist Church of Boulder, Colorado and the author of Having Nothing, Possessing Everything: Finding Abundant Communities in Unexpected Places on Wednesday, October 28 from 3:00 to 4:00 PM EST.

A link to a recording of the webinar will be emailed to all registrants after the episode airs, regardless of attendance.

Immediately following the webinar, the episode’s guests and host will go live on the New Church Ministry Facebook page for a Q&A with Building Manager and Church Manager/Bookkeeper Lisa Pilat.


New Church Hacks provides practical (and sometimes peculiar) prompts for churches from start to restart. This free webinar series is jam-packed with clever solutions to tricky problems and empowers courageous leaders with the tools, tips and how-tos to start, sustain and strengthen congregations. For regular updates, be sure to check the New Church Hacks page and follow along on social media with #NewChurchHacks!

church the new way

Join us for our annual leadership event

The novel coronavirus has caused us to do church in a new way.

And that’s why New Church Ministry is doing Leadership Academy in a new way as well.

This year, core teams of up to five people can register for the low price of USD $500. Now each member of your team, from your treasurer to your worship leader, can benefit from our workshops. We encourage the lead pastor to register for everyone. If the pastor can’t attend, then others can attend.

New to the annual event will also be accommodations for Spanish speakers. If other languages are needed, please advise accordingly as soon as possible.

Disciples from throughout the United States and Canada can still expect to be brought together to share leadership experiences, wisdom, and training.

The track sessions will include:

  1. the Start Track, which is designed to empower leaders whose church/projects have not yet launched, and
  2. the Sustain Track, which is geared to empower leaders whose projects have recently launched and leaders of congregations newly affiliated with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).

Leadership Academy 2020 also features DOCTalks, joint sessions that address missional transformation inclusive of every stage of leadership and congregational vitality, and LEADLabs, interactive, practical trainings designed to help leaders imagine, ideate, innovate, and implement missional concepts.

The 2020 Leadership Academy will be held online from Tuesday, September 29 to Thursday, October 1 (11:00 AM EST to 6:00 PM EST).

Our featured speakers include:

Rev. Teresa “Terri” Hord Owens is the General Minister and President of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). Rev. Hord Owens is the first woman of color to head a mainline Christian denomination in North America. Terri is widely sought after as a preacher, speaker and workshop facilitator. Her ministry and intellectual interests include cultural intelligence, and developing inclusive and multicultural congregations.

Rev. Lorenzo Lebrija is the Founding Director of TryTank, an experimental laboratory for church growth and innovation. He is responsible for the entire process of development and implementation of experiments in innovation for the church. Fr. Lorenzo frequently speaks to groups on the topics of development, community involvement, the arts, business strategy and marketing.

Christiana Rice is an on the ground practitioner and visionary voice in the Parish Church movement, serving as a Director of the Parish Collective. She is a trainer, writer and convener, helping to reorganize the church around God’s dreams in the neighborhood. Christiana is co-author of To Alter Your World: Partnering with God to Rebirth Our Communities with Michael Frost, and lives in San Diego with her husband Derek, their two daughters, and their neighborhood church community.

Tim Soerens is a pastor, social entrepreneur, and co-founding director of the Parish Collective. He is the author of the newly released book, Everywhere You Look: Discovering the Church, Right Where You Are, and the co-author of The New Parish. He’s also the co-founder of Resistencia Coffee, a neighborhood coffee shop and the South Park Idea Lab. He lives in Seattle with his wife Maria-Jose and their two boys.

Registration is now closed.

New Church Summit 2020

New Church Summit convened

On August 19th through the 21st, 2020, the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) convened a New Church Summit to strategize about the future of the Disciples’ New Church Movement over the coming decade in light of current realities and next normals. This three-day virtual event was hosted by Pastor Terrell L McTyer, Minister of New Church Strategies with New Church Ministry (NCM), and Erick D. ‘Rick’ Reisinger, President of Disciples Church Extension Fund (DCEF). Summit attendees included nearly 90 general ministry leaders, regional ministers, regional new church team leaders, church planters, seminary leaders, and representatives from various demographic and church planting initiatives.

Day One

After welcoming those assembled, Pastor Terrell introduced General Minister and President Terri Hord Owens who opened the Summit with scripture and prayer. She quoted from Isaiah 43:19 saying, in part, “I am doing a new thing” and urged all attendees to move beyond the familiar, citing the need of the Church to re-imagine itself.

“Now is the time to pivot and evolve,” she said, “to insure the New Church Movement remains a denomination-wide tool that all Disciples can connect with to support new faith communities.”

Terri then referenced the Preamble of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), before stating that “Hope” (for the Summit) “is on fire as long as there is openness to what God is saying.”

Following Terri, Rick Reisinger presented a brief history of the Disciples of Christ starting with the Stone-Campbell Movement and showing how strength of mission defined our denomination.

“The DOC started as a new church movement,“ he explained. “From 1832 to 1929, we were planting hundreds of new churches a year and continued to do so until the stock market crash.”

In 1902 alone, 300 new congregations were formed. During the Great Depression, however, very few congregations were started. Activity picked up, though, following World War II and remained steady through the mid-60s. Since then, several summit-like gatherings have been held to re-energize, and set goals for, the new church movement, including the 1980 ‘consultation’ which set a goal of 100 new congregations over the next ten years with a third of those being churches of color. Under the leadership of Jim Powell, 128 congregations were formed with just under a third being of color. In 2000, another summit was held which resulted in the 2020 Vision and the goal of planting 1,000 new churches by this year, 2020.

“We exceeded that goal,” Rick noted, “but we’re now in a completely different time and need to find new ways to be ministry to the community.”

Terrell noted the success of the 2020 Vision and the 1,049 faith communities that have been formed or have affiliated with the DOC over the last 20 years with about a third of these being racially or ethnically diverse.

“It appears that we’ve become the family of choice for our many newly affiliated congregations,” he said, “thanks to our dedication to God’s covenant of love which binds us to God and to one another.”

He noted that there was much about the 2020 Vision that had to do with denominational survival and projected congregational loss.

“Now is the time,” he said, “to push the new church movement from survival to service, from comfort to courage. Now is the time to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ through our actions, to serve all people, and to make Disciples.” 

Keynote speaker for the event was Mark DeYmaz, author of DISRUPTION: Repurposing The Church To Redeem the Community, whose basic assertion is that we need to do church differently to remain relevant. He noted that the first question any church planter is asked when looking for support is “Who’s your target audience?” Historically, this approach has led to homogenous churches with non-diverse congregations. He said the real question should be, “How can we be multi-cultural?” Why? Because the greater your diversity, the greater your community influence and the more likely your sustainability. This way your church is connected to more groups, more causes, and more influencers beyond its walls. DeYmaz asserted that disruption is a structural shift of the church; that spiritual church is not just a spiritual entity. It is a model of reconciliation and a reflection of the community’s composition that promotes peace. 

He used as a model of a community-transforming church a three-legged stool. DeYmaz used the image of a three-legged stool to model a community-transforming church. One leg represents the SPIRITUAL. It is coached by the Senior Pastor and supported through tithes and offerings. The second leg is the SOCIAL, which is coached by an Executive Director and supported through grants and donations. And, the third leg is the FINANCIAL which is coached by a Chief Executive Officer and supported through a for-profit enterprise. In this way, the church achieves sustainability and is able to leverage its assets to bless the community, spread the gospel, and teach Jesus.

After a break, Yaw Kyeremating (a.k.a. King Yaw), a Ghanaian spoken-word artist, performed an original composition illustrating for the summit diversity in culture, in age and thought. Then, Rodney Cooper, PhD., made a presentation on Cultural Intelligence. Dr. Cooper is a Clinical Psychologist, Consultant and Certified Facilitator for Mosaix Global Network, of which Mark DeYmaz is president. Summit participants were asked to fill out a cultural intelligence survey prior to the gathering, and Dr. Cooper presented the results to the group, reflecting the cultural intelligence of this body of DOC leadership. Prior to doing so, he noted that cross-cultural competency is considered the fourth most desirable business skill needed for the future and that, by the year 2044, only half of the U.S. population will be Caucasian. 

The four key quadrants of Cultural Intelligence

Cultural Intelligence (CQ), as explained by Dr. Cooper, is based on these four key quadrants: CQ Drive, which reflects the level of interest; CQ Knowledge, or knowing how cultures are different or alike; CQ Strategy, or one’s ability to adapt when dealing with members of other cultures; and, CQ Action, or one’s willingness to adapt. In all quadrants, the group attending the Summit scored well above the average of those who have taken the survey (150,000+ in 167 countries), with CQ Drive being the highest at 82% and CQ Knowledge being the lowest at 57%. Specific group characteristics Dr. Cooper cited include a tendency toward collectivism, or the valuing of group goals and relationships, over individualism; uncertainty avoidance through planning and predicting rather than flexibility and adaptability; cooperative and collaborative behaviors over competitive, assertive behaviors: and, a preference for long time orientation over short.

Following another break, Peter Wernett of MissionInsite by ACS Technologies spoke on the benefits of big data available from the community demographic analysis tools his organization provides to churches, denominations, and faith-based nonprofits. Big data can be analyzed for insights to aid organizational decision-making. It also provides on-going discovery. For churches, that can mean finding a new area where they are likely to grow or where current members will be more comfortable worshipping. Wernett asserted that religious big data innovators believe big data is essential to their ministry, that it provides faster and/or greater missional results, and that church leadership and budget rely on and are tied to, big data discoveries.

 

Day Two

The second day of the Summit started with a presentation by Mark DeYmaz and Terrell called Disruption & TEAM Review. The purpose of this presentation was to prepare attendees to break into separate groups and develop their own ‘huddle pitches’ just as disruptors do when seeking support for their initiatives. Mr. Deymaz again focused on information from his book, pointing out that successful church planters are, by their nature, disruptors. He also advised would-be disruptors/church planters that in the 21st century demonstration, not proclamation, will build churches. In other words, show your good works. He then laid out the four steps needed to sell a vision or plan a pitch compelling enough to attract support. They are:

• Identify the problem you’re trying to solve.

• Present what you’d do to solve it.

• Detail the features and benefits of your solution.

• Ask for support in specific terms.

Terrell followed by describing the T.E.A.M. concept used to support church planters by New Church Ministry. It identifies what leaders of the new church movement need to succeed. They need to be Trained, Equipped, Assisted, and Multiplied.

These four needs were paired with the three legs of the Disruption stool to assign topics to the break-out groups around which each would develop their two-minute pitch. There were twelve groups in all, and the various topics included Training & Spiritual, Equipping & Social, Assisting & Financial, and Multiplying & Social. After an hour to prepare, and a thirty-minute break, each group presented its ‘huddle pitch’ followed by three minutes of Q and A.

Another half-hour break followed before Rick Reisinger returned for a presentation on funding. He started by explaining that DCEF, the general ministry that houses NCM, helps congregations and other organizations with their capital needs through loans, capital fundraising, and building planning. 

Funding NCM itself, however, is a complex issue because it requires connecting general ministries, regions, congregations, and leaders. Furthermore, general ministries participate in different ways. In particular, Christian Church Foundation works with individuals and congregations on providing funds to new churches as old ones close.

Rick went on to explain how funds have been and are being raised by other expressions of the church, and what’s in the future. This included a call for Disciples Mission Fund giving to be instilled into the DNA of new congregations to support the mission of the whole church. 

Rick moved on to discuss how the need for buildings is changing. He introduced DCEF’s pilot program, which facilitates the transfer of a building previously owned by a congregation that is closing, usually to the region. Its results can be seen in the Glendale Mission and Ministry Center

Rick closed out his presentation by mentioning congregations that are creating space by launching their own nonprofit organizations, such as Missiongathering Charlotte, which bought a building, using the sanctuary for themselves and leasing office space to local nonprofits. He encouraged general ministries and regions to be creative in how they work with new churches to generate income.

As Rebecca Hale, Executive Vice President of the National Benevolent Association, noted in the chat, the question becomes,

“How do we create a theological and ethical ‘culture’ where buildings are not ‘our’ asset, but an asset for the good of God’s work in the world?”

The last workshop of the day, presented by NCM Associate Minister Rev. Dr. Jose Martinez, was on competitive analysis, standardization, and best practices through the lens of starting new churches before and after the pandemic of 2020. He started with the history of church planting after 9/11, which experienced a boom as the model shifted from denominations to networks, and a new theological undergirding was developed. 

NCM Associate Minister Rev. Dr. Jose Martinez

Jose went on to break down the ten models of church planting networks recognized before COVID-19, which ranged from collaborative to regional and urban to rural and their various strategies. Jose said that overall, this methodology, which included identifying potential planters, sponsoring churches, and coaching was very successful.

The next part of the presentation saw Jose discussing 2020 as a pivot year due to the coronavirus pandemic. He explored strategies that are currently being utilized, what church planters are saying, and what to keep in mind which echoed Rick’s earlier call to get creative.

Jose then looked at what’s been taking place in culture this past year because of the current global health crisis that will continue to affect people’s lives and the practice of church planting.

He ended the presentation by talking about the next steps that Disciples can take after the pandemic, urging them to change the metrics, adopt new mental models, and develop a process of hybridity where new models of church planting can grow.

Regional representatives and others participating in the chat continued the conversation about metrics, sharing what they’ve each learned about defining metrics within one’s context and vision/mission and letting data tell a story instead of assigning a passing or failing grade. As one participant noted,

“God says, ‘Well done good and faithful servant,’ not ‘well done good and successful servant.’”

Day Three

Terrell opened the third and last day of the Summit explaining the purpose and process for the Implementation Strategizing unconference of the morning. An ‘unConference’ is an informal gathering of collaborators/participants who set the agenda for an event focused on discussion.

“We’re going to decide on our topics now for the discussion groups that follow,” he explained. “We’ll follow the rule of two feet, meaning you can go in and out of different conversation huddles, but we’re trying to get to a place of strategic thinking.”

It was impressed on participants that every conversation should arrive at a goal. Also, that this exercise was seeking the contributions of ‘butterflies’ (those moving easily from conversation to conversation) rather than ‘bulldogs (individuals dominating group conversation).

The subjects developed during Topic Brainstorming included:

  • What does church look like after COVID-19?
  • How do we make church cross-generational?
  • How can we build sustainable new churches?
  • How can dying churches help plant new churches?
  • How do we make all congregations immigrant-welcoming?
  • How do we recruit for and assess new churches?
  • How do we make regional new church teams stronger?
  • How do we build multi-diverse, inclusive congregations?

As in day two of the Summit, the strategy huddles had an hour to prepare, discussing their topics in detail, and arriving at their recommended goals. Unlike in day two, these huddles were not followed by pitches. Instead, participants elected to submit their discussion notes and goals to New Church Ministry for consideration and documentation.

Pastor Terrell L McTyer,
Minister of New Church Strategies

Following a break, Terrell identified eight tactical teams that would implement new church movement strategies related to the list of topics developed during brainstorming. All participants were asked to sign up for two teams to continue working on the evolution of the new church movement post-summit. The tactical teams include:

  1. Funding, Facilities, Location, Place
  2. Inclusion, Diversity, Multiculturalism, Affiliation, Immigration Relations
  3. Nonprofit, Social Enterprise
  4. Post-Pandemic, Innovation, Disrupters
  5. Recruitment, Assessment
  6. Region Responsibilities, General Responsibilities
  7. Training, Technology, Resources/Data
  8. Transformation to New Church

Near the conclusion of the Summit, DCEF President Rick Reisinger thanked all attendees for the three days of time, effort, and ideas they contributed to the future of the new church movement.

“My hope is that we can expand our collaboration in making Disciples in the world,” he said. “I look forward to a re-imagined and energized new church movement.”

Terrell then closed the Summit with an impassioned plea for all to actively participate in the Multiply Movement. Quoting Mark 9:23, he said, “all things are possible to him that believes.” He then referenced the Great Commission and our denomination’s charge to ‘go and make Disciples.’

“That is in our DNA. It’s who we are as Disciples,” he said. “Every member of a congregation is responsible for making disciples, not just the pastor. In fact, some believe you’re not a disciple, until you’ve made a disciple.”

Recalling the goal he set forth at the 2019 General Assembly of making 1,000,000 new disciples by 2030, Terrell noted that while that’s a big number some feel it’s not big enough. Jose Martinez agreed, noting that five years ago 57,000,000 Americans were religiously unaffiliated.

“Surely, that number is even bigger now,” he noted. “So, maybe we should be setting the bar higher.”

To make a million or more new disciples over the next ten years one thing is certain: a covenantal direction for the New Church Movement relevant to current realities and next normals is a must. The New Church Summit, with its three days of presentations, strategy huddles and pitch exercises, was just the first step. 

Office closure announcement

The offices of Disciples Church Extension Fund (DCEF) and New Church Ministry will be closed on Thursday, August 6 and Friday, August 7 to provide a period of rest and reflection for our staff. We want to give our employees the opportunity to step away from their work and unplug or volunteer with a non-profit, justice/equality organization, or any program they are passionate about. DCEF recognizes that all of the unrest due to social and racial injustice, along with the uncertainty and fear surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic and its resurgence, is taking a toll on everyone, particularly our colleagues of color.

We are grateful to the members of our team for their continued dedication to our ministry these past few months, and to our customers for honoring our time away from work.

In the case of an urgent need, please call (317) 319-9579.

Water the Plants_prayer initiative

Who’s got your back?

If you’re a new church planter or a member of a new faith community, you may have your friends, family, and colleagues in your corner.

What if we told you that you could have 1,000 intercessors praying for you as well?

That’s what our new church-wide initiative, Water the Plants, is all about. 

Water the Plants is bringing together 1000 intercessors to pray for the leaders and congregations of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) New Church Movement.

The challenges of starting a church are unique. Prayer is a vital component in congregation and community development. This program aims to gather a team of dedicated supporters of new worship expressions to prioritize the spiritual discipline of prayer. Based on 1 Corinthians 3:6, “I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow,” we will take a proactive approach to “watering” DOC church “plants” with prayer (Living Water).

pray lori tapia

The team will gather for regular calls and provide the Body of Christ with a calendar to serve as a guide for collective prayer. If you are interested in participating, we ask that you commit to praying for the ministries and leaders of the New Church Movement. You will receive a Prayer Calendar that will guide daily and weekly prayers during your own personal prayer times as well as during our Group Prayer times led by a New Church Ministry Prayer Leader. In addition, you will receive regular communication prayer reminders as well as a physical prayer reminder of your choice.

calendar to pray for new church movement
For a PDF of July’s prayer calendar, click here.

As part of their Covenant Agreement, intercessors will be expected to embrace a lifestyle of prayer, regularly join a prayer group by phone, and more.

If you’d like to pray for the New Church Movement or want to learn more, please visit our new Water the Plants page!

New Church Ministry hosts first-ever virtual Coaching Academy

At New Church Ministry, a coach is a partner who comes alongside a pastor as they plant or start a new church here in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). They don’t tell pastors what to do and what not to do. Instead, they assist pastors in fulfilling their ministry’s vision, mission, and values.

“A coach elicits from a pastor what it is that they want to accomplish, but also serves as an accountability partner,” says Rev. Dr. Joi Robinson, Associate Minister of New Church Ministry, “someone the pastor can check in with, someone they can vent to while still focusing on the goals for the ministry.”

Each time a pastor connects with their coach, (once a month, for one hour), each session is confidential. That way, a relationship of mutual respect and trust is formed. 

“Sometimes things don’t go as the pastor had planned,” Joi points out. “And so, the coach helps the pastor reassess, and sometimes refocus to determine new priorities and action steps.” 

Many sessions take place over the phone, and Zoom is now an available option. But no matter how a coach chooses to communicate with a new church pastor, the most important skills they must practice are precise listening and strategic questioning.

In fact, you don’t even have to be a pastor in order to be a coach. Those who are pastors as well as coaches have to work extra hard to guide the new church pastor to her/his own decisions rather than simply provide suggestions based on their own pastoral experiences. All coaches are trained in the skills and processes of coaching during an initial 16-hour Coaching Academy.

However, this year’s Coaching Academy was history-making.

Hosted by Rev. Dr. Robinson from May 27 to May 29, this was the first time that the Coaching Academy went virtual! Using Zoom, 13 coaches from across the country had an opportunity to learn the next level of coaching for New Church Ministry – Group Coaching. Now, instead of only coaching the lead pastor, our coaches will include the Core Team as well. This year’s Virtual Coaching Academy was an opportunity for both veteran and novice coaches to expand their coaching skills and competencies for the purpose of supporting a newly starting congregation.,

Prior to this first virtual Coaching Academy, new coaches attended four Online Coaching  Sessions from November 2019 to February 2020. The November and December sessions were conducted by John Mocko – Professional Coach with International Coach Federation, ELCA Coach Trainer, ICF Mentor Coach and a CoachNet Global Trainer who has been coaching since 2006.

The January and February 2020 Online Coaching Sessions and the 2020 Virtual Coaching Academy were conducted by Rev. Gregg Carlson, Director of Coaching and Contracted Services at Convergence US. During the Virtual Academy, Rev. Carlson prepared a Pre-Academy Preparation Video that reviewed everything that had been taught in the Online Training Sessions. After watching this video, each novice coach applied the information they had learned by participating in a recorded Zoom Practice Coaching Session in which Joi played the role of a new pastor – and each coach applied their newly learned skills to coach her. These recorded practice sessions were shared with Rev. Carlson, who then provided written feedback to all of the participants.

“Most of the coaches received their feedback before the Academy began. That provided them with a reference point as they prepared to learn new information and skills related to Group Coaching,” shares Joi. 

Practice really was key to the event.

Participants practice their coaching skills in one of the Breakout Rooms.

On the first day, attendees watched a recording of another role-play interaction, this time between Gregg and Terrell L McTyer, Minister of New Church Strategies – with Gregg as the coach and Terrell as the new church pastor. After observing and discussing what they saw, coaches were divided into Breakout Rooms on Zoom, where small groups of three played different roles in a given scenario (that of a pastor, coach, and observer), using the skills they had been taught. While these skills included asking the kinds of questions that help new church leaders make action steps to answer God’s call, they also included cultural competency. Keeping church leaders accountable to the mission, vision and values of their ministry may vary according to cultures, but Joi reminded coaches to be attentive to cultural differences while still helping pastors follow the action plans they have set for their ministries.

Participants play the roles of pastor, coach, and observer in Breakout Room #1.

“[Disciples] speak in dozens of different languages, and have just as many cultures,” Joi points out. “One of the things that we were talking about was, ‘how do you present things to people to get them to think, and to get them to move in the direction that they say that they want to move in, without you telling them how to do that?’” 

The second and third days had live coaching sessions, where group coaching was introduced.

Coaches learned about “The Nine Roles of a Coach in Team or Group Coaching” and then practiced these roles in small groups of four – one as lead pastor, two core team members and the coach – rotating between the various roles.

“The veteran coaches – who’ve already been coaching – brought up real-life issues to address,” recalls Joi. “Although the new coaches hadn’t yet coached anyone, they anticipated possible areas of concern which provided rich problem-solving discussions.”

The third and final day, continued with more practice sessions and culminated with Terrell presenting a powerful Commissioning Service and Closing Communion.  

Terrell presents the Closing Ceremony to all the participants.

The lessons learned at New Church Ministry’s first Virtual Coaching Academy have proven to be valuable in other areas of the lives of its participants, especially when so many of their communities are currently struggling with various systemic issues that are targeting their most vulnerable members. 

“[Coaching] has made me aware that there is always a solution to conflicts,” reflected one participant. “It has opened my eyes to the possibility of growing even in the midst of challenging scenarios.” 

“The Coaching Academy has positively influenced my ministry since I have learned techniques to use not only with my projects, but with my congregation,” reflected another.

New Church Ministry seeks to provide coaches for our new church pastors from at least 12 different languages. So if you, or someone you know, has a heart to serve God through the Coaching Ministry, please contact Joi Robinson at jrobinson@newchurchministry.org. We are especially in need of Haitian Creole, Chuukese, or Korean-speaking coaches.