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:
- 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?
- 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?
- 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?
- 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!