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Congregational Development

The Office of Congregational Development seeks to help and empower clergy and lay leaders discover innovative ways to revitalize their congregation and impact their community.  The emphasis for 2023 is "New People, New Ways" as we seek to identify leaders who are ready to plant new expressions of church in the local area in new ways.  


If you think you might be ready to join us in reaching new people in new ways, here is what we are looking for: 

  • Laity or clergy- experience and training isn't required!
  • Willing to receive training and support as you move through the discernment/planting process
  • Desire to grow God's kingdom and share the Gospel
  • Eagerness to go where people are, not just invite people to come to you
  • Openness to new forms and expressions of church, not limited by traditional models and methods
  • Prefer relationships over systems
  • Adapts to change well, enjoys flexibility
  • Willing to take risks

And here are the other things we are planting in South Georgia to reach new people in new ways:

If you’re wondering what it looks like to do something new with us, here are some of the ways we are expanding and growing in the South Georgia Conference right now! 

  • Multisite:  This strategy closely ties a mother 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. 
  • Partnered Start/Mother-Daughter: 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 daughter church develops a charter of its own and will be independent of the mother congregation. 
  • Restart: When an established church fails or is in serious decline but a good potential for success still exists in that community, a restart can take place.  This often means that the old church closes for a period of time and then restarts under new leadership with renewed vision for reaching the community. 
  • Vital Merger: This happens when two congregations choose to combine resources and buildings to form a completely new faith community together.  They usually restart with a new name and new leadership along with renewed vision for reaching the community with the idea they can do more together than apart.
  • Part-Time Planter: Sometimes we may choose to assign or appoint a bi-vocational leader to the role of church planter, allowing the plant to grow naturally and only as fast as the congregation’s funding will allow.  This is a far more sustainable model of planting when resources for new starts are limited and allows the pastor to continue to remain more closely connected with the local community.
  • Church-Within-a-Church: Sometimes a new church or faith community may start meeting in a property belonging to an existing church, but continue to function as a separate community with its own members, ministries, and leadership.  These arrangements may be temporary or permanent.
  • Spiritual Enterprise: In the attempt to reach people in the place where they live and work, some faith communities have established churches that own and run businesses such as a coffeehouse, diner, or other gathering place.  Because the sales help offset the costs of ministry, these new communities can reach sustainability with the right business and ministry minded leader.
  • Home 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.  In SGA, our Home 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 produce disciples. 
  • Fresh Expressions: A Fresh Expression is a phrase used to describe worshipping communities planted outside the established church for people who would never engage with a structured church.  These usually happen within in 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. 
  • Missional Communities- These are groups of individuals who gather for the purpose of being the hands and feet to the community.  Their gathering time is centered around equipping and receiving so they can turn around and evangelize their neighborhoods and make an impact where they live.  These communities often serve less-affluent areas and may rely on support from other established churches.

Are you interested in starting something new in SGA?  Want to start something new that isn’t on this list? Reach out to and let’s have a conversation. 

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3040 Riverside Dr., Suite A-2 - Macon, GA 31210


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