Dear friends,

I hope this message finds you well as we embark on a new year filled with anticipation and blessings. I am genuinely excited to share the journey of New Church Ministry with every one of you. As we continue to embrace the DisciplesNEXT mindset, I am grateful for the four priorities of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada that have guided us thus far.  

  1. Becoming a Pro-reconciling/Anti-racist church
  2. Formation of 1,000 new congregations by 2020  
  3. Transformation of 1,000 current congregations by 2020  
  4. Leadership development necessary to realize these new and renewed congregations 

In light of the lessons we have learned from the challenges faced in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we must make some adjustments. The updated priorities reflect our commitment to the church, which are to: 

  1. Deepen our practices of promoting reconciliation and fighting against racism. 
  2. Invest in 3,000 emerging leaders who will affiliate with us by 2050. 
  3. Implement a coaching program aimed at enhancing leadership growth. 
  4. Cultivating experiences. Fostering smaller groups for stronger connections. 

While these changes may have nuances, our primary focus – empowering and equipping emerging leaders who will help shape a church that embodies “a movement for wholeness in a fragmented world” – remains unchanged. We must remember that New Church Ministry cannot do this journey alone. The New Church movement is a Whole Church movement. 

As we begin 2024, let us come together in prayer and take action to bring peace to a world that needs it. May the divine grace of God lead us on this journey. 

~ Rev. Dr. Jose Martinez, Minister of New Church Strategies

This post also appeared in the January 2024 issue of New Church Ministry’s monthly newsletter, the New Church Know-It-All.

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