The New Beginnings process takes six to eight months.
Pre-assessment: After submitting an application for the service, your congregation provides profile information of current participants, financial reports for the last three years and property square footage.
Phase I: Your regional or area staff and a New Beginnings assessor will schedule a time to meet at your church for an on-site assessment: a complete building inspection, financial review with the church finance officer, a “windshield tour” of the community, meeting with the moderator and pastor and an Appreciative Inquiry session with congregational and regional leaders. The assessment helps the assessor and the regional and congregational leaders to understand the programmatic and missional strengths of your church. Your congregation will receive a comprehensive report of this visit.
• Congregational demographics and tenure
• Community demographics (View a sample demographics report.)
• A pin map showing location of membership
• Financial history and analysis (Sample Financial Chart)
• Building condition and attractiveness to visitors
• Facility usage and Stewardship of Time
• Potential strategies for mission
View a sample New Beginnings Report.
Phase II: Within two months of the visit, Hope Partnership staff trains congregational leaders to interpret the report and lead a discernment process with the congregation. In most cases, six to twelve key leaders from your congregation will attend a training event for a cluster of New Beginnings congregations in your region or area. This gathering enables the leaders to analyze their report, explore options, begin to develop a compelling vision for your congregation’s future, and strategize about how to best engage the congregation in a decision-making process. Pastors participate in a short course entitled, “Leading Change in Congregations.”
Phase III: In weekly small-group meetings, the key leaders will guide the congregation through the discernment process. This process will enable you congregation to make a formal “big-picture” decision about what you believe God is calling the church to do and be into the future.
Phase IV: After this decision for a New Beginning is adopted, Hope Partnership will work with the region/area to refer the pastor and key leaders to available mission-planning resources, including Hope Partnership’s MissionPathways service.