Dirk Elliott unpacks The United Methodist Church’s goal to start one new church a day.
Rev. Dirk Elliott, the Michigan Area’s Director of New Church Development, recently wrote a feature story for Path 1. Path 1, part of Discipleship Ministries, is The United Methodist Church’s church-planting movement. Path 1 provides collaborative leadership to re-evangelize the United States so that we might reach more people, more young people, and more diverse people for Christ by creating new places for new people. Path 1 seeks to cultivate the leaders, develop the systems and implement the strategies necessary to regain our healthy denominational habit of starting one new church a day.
Dirk explains: “One million new disciples! That is the goal for the next four years set by the 2016 General Conference. To accomplish this goal, the Conference challenged us to start 1,000 new churches by the end of 2020!”
Dirk then explores the reasons why this goal is so important:
- Jesus commissioned us.
- New churches are most effective in making disciples.
- Starting a new church helps the parent church grow.
- Changing and new communities need new churches.
- New churches are more effective in reaching unchurched people groups.
- A new church start creates a new life cycle.
- New churches are innovative centers for outreach and evangelism.
- New disciples have a new place to grow.
Elliott concludes: “The ultimate goal is not to plant churches; the ultimate goal is to make disciples. By starting 1000 new churches in the next four years, the United Methodist Church will be better able to welcome one million new disciples of Jesus Christ, including ‘more people, more young people, more diverse people.’”