1001 New Worshiping Communities, an initiative of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), passed a major milestone of 101 New Worshiping Communities this week, and then some. As of today there are 115.
“We’re seeing the number go up on a daily basis,” says 1001 New Worshipping Communities associate, Vera White. “This is a reason to celebrate, to acknowledge the movement of the Holy Spirit in our church.”
Of those 115 identified new worshiping communities, 70 have registered on the 1001 website.
“We want to keep the door as wide open as possible for innovative ministries, especially in these early years of this grass roots movement,” says White.
“To welcome all who choose to self-report and identify with the 1001 movement is important,” she adds. It provides a way for our coaches and trainers to connect and partner early on with the leaders forming these communities.”
The Presbyterian Mission Agency is providing financial support to many of these new worshiping communities in their first year. Through Evangelism and Church Growth ministry, Mission Program Grants has given out 31 New Worshiping Community Seed grants totaling $7,500 each.
Another 36 have received level one or two new church grants in the past year. Two leaders have received assistance with health care cost — another two are pending — through the just announced, new Health Insurance Grant program.
White acknowledges counting these 1001 new worshiping communities are an important part of the ministry — of being accountable to wider church.
“It’s the number one question I get every day,” she says. “How many are there? But we’re asking additional questions that are related to the movement’s core principles of making new disciples, transforming the church and changing the world.”
Some of the questions are:
- How many new people are participating in these worshiping communities?
- How many contacts with non-churched people have they had?
- How many new leaders have they raised up for the whole church?
- What impact have new worshiping communities had on existing congregations?
- How many congregations are participating in ministry outside the walls of their church?
- How many churches in each presbytery are partnering with a new worshiping community?
On July 6, 2012 the 220th General Assembly declared a commitment to a church wide movement that results in the creation of 1001 new worshiping communities in the next 10 years.
As the “official” first year anniversary of the movement approaches watch the newest video stories. Look for additional stories in July to see how this 1001 movement is taking shape in the denomination.