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New Beginnings

New Beginnings

For the congregation that knows it can’t continue ‘as is’ but doesn’t yet know what to do.

Over 1,000 congregations have engaged the New Beginnings process, with 99% finding clarity and embracing a new vision for their future ministry.

Purpose: During the ~9-month process you will clarify your context, explore your options, and make an informed decision about your future direction.

Hope knows that if a church is not prepared to meet the neighbors and show them that this church has relevance for their lives, they will likely not connect.  Ministry planning allows the church to develop around the needs of the community and provide programs and services that the community needs.

Hope proposes to work with the congregation on a New Beginnings process in several phases:

  1. Assessment of the current ministry of the church, discovery of church strengths and resources.
  2. Leadership Development to help the congregation understand the changes in spiritual practices in this new era and why “mission-driven” churches are changing the landscape of Church today.
  3. House Meetings to reorient to new ways to think about the church and its role in the community and to choose a bold decision.
  4. Coaching to help develop the capacities to implement the Future Story.


On a mutually determined date, Hope will send an assessor to the church for ~6 hours to get to know the church and the setting firsthand.

During the assessment visit your Hope Assessor will:

  • Meet with pastor/moderator/clergy leadership
  • Meet with your treasurer/financial officer and review financial statements
  • Tour your building and property to learn how the building is used and maintained
  • Tour your neighborhood
  • Hold an open forum Appreciative Inquiry Session for church members to share the ways your church has excelled in meeting spiritual, missional, and relational needs.
  • Identify the programmatic and missional strengths of your church
  • Research the area demographics

Following the assessment visit, a report will be written that will name your congregation’s current condition. It will include:

  • Your congregation’s demographics and membership tenure
  • A pin map showing the location of your members in location to the church
  • Your Community demographics and neighborhood trends
  • Financial history and analysis
  • Building condition and usage
  • Ministry activities and metrics of your congregation’s vitality
  • Three possible Future Stories to choose from and expand on during your House Meetings

Leadership Training

On a mutually determined date at least 6 weeks after the Assessment visit, Hope will send a Facilitator to the church for a Friday evening-Saturday Leadership Training—designed to prepare the congregation for the House Meetings and to develop House Meeting “Facilitators” who will feel confident to lead the small groups in a healthy conversation about the future of their church.

Leader Training happens over a Friday evening and Saturday and includes:

  • Friday evening: Any church participant interested in the future of the church is invited to learn more about how spirituality practices have changed in North America and why Mission-driven churches are “changing the scorecard.”
  • Saturday: Those selected as House Meeting Facilitators will understand their role as facilitators and discover how they can guide church participants through the House Meetings. To do this, the House Meeting Facilitators are trained on how to explain and interpret the Assessment Report and to lead a healthy discernment process using videos and prepared questions using a clear House Meeting Facilitator’s Guide.

House Meetings

About one month after the Leadership Training, your church will have an opportunity to reflect on the Assessment Report in a series of 4 small group meetings held in members’ homes (each group of ~10 people will each meet 4 times).

House Meetings are an opportunity for every member of your congregation to participate in a relaxed environment where they will be able to absorb each portion of the Assessment report in an intimate setting. During this four-week period, the House Meeting facilitators will lead your congregation through honest and exciting conversations about what God is calling you to do next in ministry.


Coaching will begin right after the House Group Meeting Leaders meet, make a decision, and write the Report to the Congregation. The first coaching session should be scheduled with the facilitator/coach as soon as House Group Meetings are scheduled.

This service will include three sessions of coaching over three months for the pastor (or vison team/leader) to help develop the right questions to aid in capacity building. If coaching does not begin within at least four months after the Leadership Training, it will be forfeited.

Extended coaching for 3, 6, or 12 months is available for an additional fee.

Service Fee

$3800 plus travel expenses for two contractors (assessor and facilitator)

Included in The Service

Congregational Assessment, Demographics, Leadership Training and Coaching for the Main Clergy Leader (Pastor, Rector, etc.) for 3 months.

Not Included

  • Travel Expenses for 2 trips (avg. $850-$1000 per trip including airfare)
  • Hospitality costs for gatherings


Assessment:  ~4-6 weeks after application received by Hope

Leadership Training:  At Least 6 Weeks after Assessment

House Meetings:  Will start 2 weeks to 1 month after Leadership Training and usually meet every 2 weeks (although the schedule is up to the church to decide—some churches will meet once a month)

Coaching: For the Clergy Leader, one e-session per month for 3 months

Total Time:  ~9 months

Download a Request Form for New Beginnings

For more information contact Gilberto Collazo: gcollazo@disciplescef.org 317-713-2534