What Is A Congregation?

Before we start new Congregations, we need to be sure that we agree what we mean by the word: 'Congregation'. Some common questions are...

  • Q: Can we call our toddler group or our lunch club a 'Congregation?'
  • Q: If we add another service on a Sunday, is that a multiplying congregations?
  • Q: What about our monthly café church/messy church/outreach service etc.?
  • Q: Which of our other, existing mission initiatives have the potential to be developed into a new congregations?

The following video may help to clarify things...

Your first task together is to decide if a congregation is emerging. Your answers to the following four sets of questions will further clarify whether or not this is the case:

1. Mission

  • Is your new congregation reaching areas or networks, people and groups that your existing congregations are missing?
  • What activities and connections have you built up? Is there an ongoing desire to share the Gospel with those who are not yet part of your community?
  • Do those who have joined share your clear missional focus on a neighbourhood or a network of people?

2. Leadership

  • Do you have a leader or a team of leaders with agreed oversight of the community?
  • Is that leadership intentionally shared with and expanded to others in the community?
  • Is there a clear relationship with, and accountability to, existing church structures?

3. Discipleship

  • Are you making new disciples of Jesus?
  • Are you – new members and old together – growing as a community in faith and understanding?
  • Are all your people learning how to live in obedience to Jesus and seeing the effect on their time, skills, energy and money?

4. Worship

  • Do you already gather regularly (probably weekly) for worship, or intend to do so in the future?
  • Do you read and learn about the scriptures when you gather together?
  • Do you pray together, offering your love to God in praise and intercession?


You can download these questions here to share with your PCC, and if you sense together that a new congregation may be emerging, please don't hesitate to get in touch!