New Church Movement

2023 was a year of change, review, spiritual growth, and celebration for the New Church Ministry. There was shift of focus on how new church is viewed in terms of worship, as in the kinds of worship, and on the importance for outreach to local communities. Churches are more than numbers and money: church tell us a lot about themselves in their worship. New Church Ministry look for inclusiveness, joyful expression and interaction, scriptural based messaging and the applicability of worship to their outreach ministry; worship and ministry should be tied together. Also it is encouraged that there is a commitment to learn, study and practice being a Disciple. What does it mean to be a Disciple today and what are the signs that clearly identifies one as a Disciple.

There were thirteen new churches in CCNCN, a few of them being under care for years. At the behest of Dr Bynum, New Church Ministry did a review of the regulations, evaluating their applicability and developing new criteria for qualified churches to attain full standing. During a New Church Gathering at Woodside, Dr Bynum encouraged the new churches to be open to new expressions of worship, not sly away from developing ways of communal prayer to deepen their prayer life and communal interactions. Also to seek to apply their worship to enhance their outreach. An example of this is Shannon Tiltin’s hybrid church; this was a development made out of necessity an circumstance of COVID. This is the result of Dr Bynum’s insistence that New Church Ministry clear new churches to become full active participants in their communities and in their worship.

Two Churches were elevated to full standing status: Re Kyung-Min’s Walking in Faith and Rev Moon’s church. Rev Ulysses church of Newark was brought under care status. Rev Ulysses’ church will be participating at Annual Gathering 2024.

In 2023 New Church Ministry was made very much aware of the challenges many new churches especially the Samoan churches in balancing their obligations among three churches: first, to their primary denominational affiliation, second, to the Disciples and third, to their own local churches. These new churches fortunately have learned to manage this challenge and have become resilient and productive in all three churches.

At present 2024, there are nine new churches under care. The New Church Ministry is progressing forward in reaching out to new applicants. It looks like a good year for CCNCN.