New grant-funding opportunities are now available for new worshiping communities through Mission Program Grants.

"We’re thrilled to put this $600,000 of restricted giving for church planting to work,” says Philip Lotspeich, director of Church Growth ministries for the Presbyterian Mission Agency. “We’re excited to partner with entrepreneurial individuals, congregations, and mid council leaders in creating 1,001 new worshiping communities in 10 years.”

Worshiping communities established no earlier than July 2010 are encouraged to apply for a one-time $7,500 Seed Grant to help pay for things like salary, benefits, insurance, and rent. 

Six months after receiving a Seed Grant, worshiping communities may apply for a one-time $17,500 Investment Grant. A 50 percent dollar-for-dollar match from a partner congregation(s), presbytery, and/or synod is required.

According to Mission Program Grants associate Tim McCallister, the matching component for Investment Grants “is meant to encourage congregations, mid councils, and the Presbyterian Mission Agency to covenant with these new worshiping communities.”

“This is one of the most exciting things our denomination has ever done,” adds pastor Maryann Farnsworth, of Liberty, Missouri. Farnsworth is on the Mission Development Resources Committee (MDRC) responsible for allocating funding and developing policies and procedures for Mission Program Grant initiatives.

A year after receiving an Investment Grant, a one-time WOW! Award of up to $25,000 is available. Consideration will be based on exceptional progress being made toward meeting the definition of a new worshiping community.

“These grants for new worshiping communities do nationally what we in mid councils need to do more locally,” says MDRC member Steve Schusett, teaching presbyter and stated clerk of Lehigh Presbytery. “Let’s foster new ideas, encourage movement, and hold one another accountable to make progress toward their—and God’s—goal.”

Editor’s note: Download Seed and Investment Grant applications from Mission Program Grants. Continue to support this ministry of Evangelism and Church Growth, of the Presbyterian Mission Agency, to expand the reach of Presbyterian mission through evangelism, discipleship, and transformation efforts.

For helpful resources about leadership assessment, coaching and development training visit the Presbyterian Centers for New Church Innovation website.