New Faith Communities


Here are some of the ways we are expanding and growing new faith communities in the North Georgia Conference. Which model fits your vision?

Multisite:  This strategy closely ties a parent church to a new campus or extension of the established church.  Multisite campuses are not intended to become completely independent, but are to remain connected in mission, oversight, resourcing, and accountability.

Sending Church: This happens when one church, or even several churches come together to serve as an anchor, sponsor, or parent in launching a new congregation.  Unlike a Multisite, which is to remain connected to the parent church, the new birthed church develops a charter of its own and will be independent of the parent congregation.

Restart:  When an established church closes or is in serious decline but a good potential for success still exists in that community, a restart can take place.  The old church goes fallow for a season and then restarts under new leadership with renewed vision for reaching the community.

Strategic Merger: This happens when two congregations choose to combine resources and buildings to enable a joint ministry in two places as one church.

New Church in an area of disaffiliation. A gathering of United Methodists who desire to form a new church. See the guidelines for this unique and growing group of new places.


House Church: Planting a church in a home is reminiscent of the church in Acts and also of the early Methodist movement.  These home churches go beyond small-group discipleship to provide a full expression of discipleship on a smaller, more intimate scale.  House Churches are partnered with a Host Church that provides oversight and accountability from an established church and clergy member.

Online Community: In the digital age, we are able to build relationships with people and connect online in real and meaningful ways.  Churches can create new faith communities with people online who are geographically spread apart and looking for a community with which to engage.  The focus in an online community is not views, but engagement and relationship building in order to make disciples.

Fresh Expressions: A Fresh Expression is a phrase used to describe faith communities planted outside the established church for people who would never engage with a structured church.  These usually happen within the community in places where people are already gathered around a common goal or interest.  They often do not have traditional worship services, but they are tethered to a church that provides oversight and accountability.

Mission Center:  This is an extension center of a local UMC in our conference where the church offers intentional missional ministry. It can be a place where a recovery group meets, a shelter, clothes closet, food pantry or counseling center. Worship may be offered to specific groups or interests, yet these are extensions of the sponsoring local church.

Are you interested in starting something new in the North Georgia Conference?  Contact Dr. Richard Hunter in the Center for Congregational Excellence and let’s have a conversation and pray over your vision!


Designed especially for new faith communities in an area where we have had disaffiliation of our churches in the North Georgia Annual Conference.

A new congregation is more than a mission project, new worship service or new building. It is a newly organized faith community that is committed to making disciples of Jesus Christ. Chartering a new congregation speaks to its stability and sustainability. With that in mind, the following criteria should be met:

  • 50 youth and adults committed to join as charter members. (Confirmed youth ages 13 and up can be counted in this number.)
  • Regular community worship, communal prayer emphasis and celebration of the sacraments.
  • Definitive and functioning leadership structure that complies with the current Book of Discipline.
  • Intentional discipleship system that is producing fruitful disciples offered through small groups for faith formation.
  • Faithful stewardship system and collaborative partners that provide established financial sustainability.
  • Discernable flow of new people into the faith community through personal invitations, marketing, hospitality and follow up of interested persons.
  • Established involvement in community missional transformation. A new faith community should choose a mission focus that identifies their values for the community they serve.
  • A trained cadre of leaders in the practices of safe sanctuary for children, youth, and vulnerable adults.
  • Theologically Wesleyan, committed to Be UMC, and willing to be a part of the itinerant appointment system of the North Georgia Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church.