“Forward by creating new faith communities with new people” - said the central conference in the spring of 2009. And that is exactly what we are going to do.
I consider relearning to create new faith communities key to the growth and the development of the United Methodist Church in the Nordic and Baltic region. “Faith communities” understood as made up by two interacting components a worship experience and a discipleship system. This may be adding an additional worship service however in particular the focus of the annual conferences will be on planting new churches.
At this point there are 5 church planting projects in the area and in addition a small number of pastors and leaders are considering entering into a church planting project. Most of the annual conferences have either set aside funding or are willing to supply funding for church planting.
We are exploring different new ways to create new faith communities with new people – like:
- Migrant churches – with immigrants, refugees etc.
- Creating “Peace of mind worship” and building community with the “12step” people
- Gospel-music churches
- House churches
- Established churches planting new churches
- Established churches becoming multicultural as they reach out to and/or receive people from others cultures
We are in the process of setting up a network for church planters – which includes
- A support system
- Training for people going into church planting
- Continued training for church planters
- Partnering with experienced church plant coordinators in the Methodist family and in other denominations