Funding New Christian communities
God for All identifies significant match-funded financial resources to help districts and circuits start New Places for New People and Church at the Margins projects with the expectation that starting new Christian communities will become the norm in district and circuit mission planning.
Resources will be distributed to every district and are secured for a five-year window. We hope this will mean that decision-making will come from missional readiness, not rushed urgency and will encourage sustained collaboration between circuits and districts to be bold, dream, pray, plan, and test ideas together.
Planning will be rooted in the slower, spiritual practice of mutual discernment – especially important in a pandemic-marked world. It encourages honesty about other resources that may be contributed from circuits and churches and celebrates a wide diversity of approaches to pioneering and planting that emerge from the wisdom and contexts of local communities and leaders. And it is connected directly to starting new Christian communities that make new disciples of Jesus Christ.
The work will happen in stages, ten districts will start the work in the 2020/2021 Connexional year with the other 20 engaging at some point between Connexional years 2021/2022 and 2022/2023.
General structure and Connexional Team support of the process
Connexional Team support for the embedding of this process will be offered in three primary ways:
1) A Project Officer (located outside of the Evangelism and Growth Team) will coordinate the funding elements of the process, review project proposals, and make recommendations to the Mission Committee.
2) The Mission Committee will make formal decisions on the recommendations and provide official oversight for the entire process.
3) The Evangelism and Growth team, which has no project funding authority, will equip and support district/circuit teams in the building of their pioneering and planting strategy.
A webinar on engaging the new funding process was offered in April 2021. Hear the story – Share the vision, was a time to hear the evolving story of how funding will enable every district to put beginning new Christian communities at the heart of its vision for mission. Listen to insights from the journey with the first tranche districts which highlight why honest conversation is key to this process and how these projects will inspire other circuits to discern and seek funding to begin a New Place for New People/Church at the Margins project. A recording of the webinar can be viewed below or using this link
This process seeks a culture change in the way districts and circuits access and steward funding for new Christian communities. Such a change will require many seasons of attentiveness. The Church is grateful for your faithfulness and openness, and the Connexional Team is here to help as you take the next steps into mission and ministry.
As part of equipping districts, circuits and local churches to begin NPNP projects (including Church at the Margins projects), we have written Starting new Christian communities: A practical guide (click on the picture to open, download or print the guide, 78 pages). This guide contains a range of materials including a Methodist theological foundation of NPNPs and the core NPNP practices which we believe are crucial to developing an NPNP. We have written some short starter guides, brief introductions, and signposted resources that we believe will be helpful as your project begins.
You can read, download and print individual chapters of the guide on this page.
We have also produced this Funding Submission Form to enable districts to claim their share of NPNP funding. We are currently receiving submissions from districts in Tranche 1 of the NPNP programme. For convenience, the district funding chapter from the guide can be accessed here.
If you have any questions about NPNP funding, please contact Julian Bond, Project Officer (Funding Allocation & Distribution): email@example.com
"There’s nothing better than conversation for creating a space in which the Spirit can move. The process for me has felt genuinely collaborative, prayerful and connected, full of grace, discernment, seriousness and laughter. If you’re feeling hesitant be reassured. You’ll find it an opportunity to break some new ground both practically and imaginatively." Richard Andrew, Chair of the Darlington District
“We give thanks to God for the wisdom of the God for All initiative which the Methodist Church has developed. This has enabled us, through prayerful reflection in our District and Circuit, to develop a vision in the City of Portsmouth building on the foundations of worship and mission of previous generations as we listen to God’s call today and engage with our New Places for New People project. The positive relationships which have developed between connexional, district and circuit teams throughout this process is very encouraging and, together with the release of funds for the initial piece of work, I know will mean that this God-given opportunity will have the best chance to flourish.” Andrew de Ville, Chair of Southampton District.
"As we have developed our vision for New Places for New People in the District, the input and constructive support of the Evangelism and Growth Team has been invaluable. They have helped us clarify our vision, provided advice to deepen our understanding and encouraged us to broaden our horizons. As we now move from vision to action, we are equally glad for their support in ensuring that we plan carefully and are as prepared as possible for the next stage of the journey." Leslie Newton, Chair of the Yorkshire North and East District
Note: The 2020 Methodist Conference adopted God for All: The Connexional Strategy for Evangelism and Growth, part of a deep commitment to being an inclusive, growing, evangelistic, justice-seeking Church for all.