Church Development

When the Feast of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Without warning there was a sound like a strong wind, gale force — no one could tell where it came from. It filled the whole building. Then, like a wildfire, the Holy Spirit spread through their ranks, and they started speaking in a number of different languages as the Spirit prompted them.

Acts 2:1-4 (The Message).

Shaping Spaces, Changing Lives.

Some theology behind the Scripture passage that gives purpose to this committee goes here.

Church Development is established by the Board of Directors of the South Central Conference of the United Church of Christ, through our Conference Bylaws, to offer leadership in the pursuit of the following good works:

  • Identify opportunities for new church development in the Conference and provide leadership in creating new local churches
  • Work with existing local churches that are preparing to establish new and intentional growth in ministry
  • Administer the various Church Development conference funds in accordance with metrics-based disbursement policies developed by the Board of Directors of the South Central Conference of the United Church of Christ
  • Receive grant requests from local churches seeking funding from the Conference and, following a thorough review process with the church, will send approved grants with appropriate documentation for the distribution of funds on a quarterly basis

 

Who is Eligible for Funding?

We live in a growing, rapidly changing part of the United States. An influx of new people into the region provides tremendous opportunity for the United Church of Christ to offer a word of hope and the impact of vital community relationships that reflect our values and proclaim the good news of the Gospel. Given the size of our territory, many opportunities exist to establish new faith communities and positively affect lives with God’s help.

We welcome existing communities of faith who share our values to covenant with us and become congregations of the United Church of Christ across the South Central Conference. Engage with us to explore opportunities through a comprehensive evaluation and on-boarding process that will strengthen your congregation and create powerful ties so that your community becomes a vital part of our denomination.

We profess that God is still speaking in our world today, constantly endeavoring to restore and equip faith communities to effectively proclaim the good news of the Gospel in their communities in ways that are winsome, meaningful, and relevant. We are proud to serve as a ministry partner with each congregation in the South Central Conference and seek to utilize Church Development resources to “restart” and “renew” faith communities throughout our region.

How Projects are Funded

Both new and renewing congregations will be funded through quarterly installments on a three-year total grant administered by the Church Development committee and issued by the Board of Directors of the South Central Conference.

Churches receiving funding will be provided financial services by the Conference for the duration of the grant.

We encourage congregations to apply for additional funding through the United Church of Christ as a supplemental source.

Begin a grant application

Funds are available to new and existing congregations in the South Central Conference of the United Church of Christ on an annual basis. A successful application will clearly articulate how the funds will be utilized to achieve growth in the particular setting and offer measurable benchmarks and clearly-defined outcomes. Some grants may be eligible for multi-year renewal dependent upon initial outcomes.

download grant application

How Projects are Evaluated

Every planter is assigned a mentor in the South Central Conference, with whom they will consult on a monthly basis. Each planter also consults monthly with the Conference Minister, who will join the community several times each year to participate in worship or other activities as scheduling allows.

Once per quarter the committee will receive a progress report from the church planter, then engage with the planter in a Zoom meeting the following month to walk through the submission and provide relevant insights, feedback, and assistance.

Benchmarks set in the initial funding request are analyzed by the planter and the committee, as well through on-site supervision and consultation with the assigned mentor. Ongoing funding is evaluated based on successful attainment, and adjustment when necessary, of those benchmarks.

Quarterly progress report

Every project recipient will submit a quarterly progress report to Church Development.

Download and complete the form here.

download progress report

Is God Calling You to Plant or Revitalize a Church?

We cover a vast geographic territory. 1,000 people move into our region each day. In other words, the harvest is plentiful, yet the workers are few. Planting or revitalizing congregations ensures that new generations have the opportunity to hear the voice of our still-speaking God offering hope and connection in every community. It is taxing and difficult, while filled with incredible wonder and opportunity. If you feel God is calling you to undertake such a mighty work in our midst and you’ve completed the initial paperwork referenced above, please submit the completed document below for consideration of the South Central Conference Church Development Committee.

submit documentation

When you’re ready to submit a Grant Application or Quarterly Progress Report, or if you’d like to learn more about Church Development, click the button below.

submit documentation

OneNewChurch Initiative

In 2020 Bering Church affiliated with our denomination. At our upcoming annual meeting in 2023, we are excited to welcome Touchstone Community Church into full connection as a congregation of the South Central Conference of the United Church of Christ. These are just a few examples of recently joined communities we are excited to have in our Conference. It is our fervent prayer that the Spirit will spark pastors, community leaders, and congregations to join with us so that each year one new or renewing church joins our vibrant, diverse, and still-speaking community!

Make a gift today

Help us create spaces to change lives for generations to come by making a gift to the endowment that underwrites Church Development ministry in the South Central Conference. It’s fast, easy, and incredibly appreciated! Click the button below and select “Church Development” from the drop-down list.

We appreciate your generosity!

make a gift

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