renewing the church united methodist church

Micro Church: Renewing the Mainline Church (1 of 5)

I believe that over the next several years, micro churches will become an important part of renewal within The United Methodist Church.

Micro churches will be supported by existing congregations that use web technology to live stream worship, such as These existing churches will encourage and equip local leaders of a group of 10 to 20 people that will:

  • “proclaim the gospel, seek, welcome and gather persons into the body of Christ” (2008 Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church, ¶122)
  • “nurture persons in Christian living” (2008 Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church, ¶122)
  • incorporate care, discipleship and stewardship.
  • have a process of raising up and equipping leaders.
  • seek to grow and multiply within 12 months.

As these micro churches continue to multiply they create a network.

As networks of micro churches continue to grow, leadership will increasingly move to the local level until a self sustaining network exists.

This solution creates new places for new people, develops leaders and leverages existing resources to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.

How do you respond to this idea?

This is part of a series of posts about micro churches. You can read more in the next several days at

14 replies on “Micro Church: Renewing the Mainline Church (1 of 5)”

J Andersen – Excellent questions. I believe that conferences may be open to it if there they see the evidence of fruit in ministry. I believe that there would need to be flexibility and a willingness to try something new. How do you think conferences might best respond?

I think that micro church could do a lot to bolster diversity and to provide a presence in the inner city where supporting a new church start is not feasible. It could also help dying church’s maintain their identity without closing.
The main problem of course will be Method 1 which requires that congregations stand alone and has specified metrics that must be met.For example how do you assess apportionments? What about tables I II III? Unless a network of micro churches meets the criteria it could find itself outside of the denomination. Can we get out of own way and actually allow these types of churches to thrive?
Finally can local pastors drop their egos and actually embrace this ministry? Many pastors will try to thwart these types of ministries because they threaten their ‘marketing area’. They do this with Churches that are not even UMC so I can imagine what pastors will do with micro churches.
That is really what is top of mind right now but I am fascinated by the potential.

Eric – I agree with you about the possibility for increased diversity and allow congregations to continue to worship together after they may no longer be able to support a pastor or physical building.

I am not familiar with Method 1 or tables I, II and III. Could you help me out on this?

I haven’t had close dealings so I am unsure whether conferences are often supportive of such innovative ideas. I think the conferences should encourage such projects especially when there is such little overhead and risk. Once some sites were running evaluations could be done. “Re:think” church can’t just be a marketing campaign, it must be how young and old clergy reach out to the churched and unchurched.

J Andersen – It will certainly become easier to tell a story when there is one to be told. Right now a lot of it is just thoughts, but they are beginning to take hold and gain traction. A year from now, we will know a lot more than we do today.

Thanks for sharing this, Andrew. I’ve been looking at the digital side of church and realize that it helps connect people with small groups and small groups with each other. It sounds like where you are going. Check out for an intro to what I’ve been seeing.

I agree that the challenge may be doing this within a United Methodist structure. However since we are moving toward a more lay-led church planting process, the potential for success increases.

This is good thinking. It worked for a carpenter in Galilee, a guy named Paul, and a don from Epworth. If we wait for the paperwork to change, you may be able to run a bobsled through hell. We have some bishops and cabinets that have the guts to take these risks. Pray for them and more like them.

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