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.
- Becoming a Pro-reconciling/Anti-racist church
- Formation of 1,000 new congregations by 2020
- Transformation of 1,000 current congregations by 2020
- 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:
- Deepen our practices of promoting reconciliation and fighting against racism.
- Invest in 3,000 emerging leaders who will affiliate with us by 2050.
- Implement a coaching program aimed at enhancing leadership growth.
- 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