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New Beginnings – PC(USA)

New Beginnings – PC(USA)

What is New Beginnings?

New Beginnings is a service that resources congregations to assess their strengths and challenges as they seek to engage in significant ministry in their communities. The service enables congregations who have experienced uncertainty about their next season of ministry to envision a new path for their future. Just as the world around our churches changes, so should our ministry and mission goals. In fact, it is estimated that churches should have a transformative conversation about their ministry every five to seven years to keep up-to-date with their community’s current needs and conditions. For some congregations, this sort of conversation has been so far in their past that they don’t remember how to plan for the future. This may lead to decline in many areas of their congregational life. For other congregations, a structured format for this type of conversation may be necessary as previous methods have not brought meaningful results.

The assessment and follow-up training intend to help congregations gain a realistic picture of their resources, their demographic strengths, their potential for change, and their potential for vital ministry in order to put them on the road to sustainable Christian witness and action in their communities. The New Beginnings service seeks answers to the question, “What is God calling our congregation to do and to be in this time and in this place?”

“Enrolling in New Beginnings was the best investment in our congregation’s ministry we’ve made since I started coming to this church in the 80’s.”
– Elder at a PC(USA) congregation in Colorado

2017 Improvements:

  • Streamlined Process
  • New Application Process
  • New Coaching Format
  • New Demographic Integrations
  • Less hassle for Presbyteries that choose to be involved
  • Process has been broadened to incorporate the needs of congregations that are not necessarily in decline or a time of struggle.


“Our presbytery has had several congregations complete the New Beginnings process. Each church took a different path forward, but they all continue to ask different questions about their ministry potential.”
Presbytery Executive in the Northeast


  • PHASE I: Assessment – A congregational assessor visits your congregation to complete a assessment report that forms the foundation of a realistic conversation about the church’s current condition.
  • PHASE II: Training – Congregational leaders are trained to facilitate an adaptive conversation within house meetings, as well as in understanding the necessity of such a conversation.
  • PHASE III: Discernment – A series of four house meetings, facilitated by those trained congregational leaders, guides the church through a focused, proven method of discussing the future of the church.
  • PHASE IV: Decision – A decision about the congregation’s next phase of ministry is made, rested in fact-based reasoning and a realistic view of how they should move forward. At this point, congregational coaches are matched with churches to guide them as they take their first steps toward this new ministry vision.


More Information:

For more information about the process for churches, read our Program Details for Congregations.

For more information about how presbyteries can facilitate the process for a cluster of churches, read our Program Details for Presbyteries.

For questions about the process or to schedule an informational meeting about New Beginnings in your area, contact Michael Whitman, New Beginnings Associate, mwhitman@hopepmt.org, 317.713.2533.