This page begins with an outline of what we mean by New Worshipping Community as you start out. We then offer some further questions about values to help your team stay on track.
We’re longing, praying and working to see hundreds of new people reached through dozens of New Worshipping Communities across the Diocese of York. Each will be unique as creativity flourishes. Most will build on mission activities already taking place. But what do we mean by a New Worshipping Community?
Q: Can we call our toddler group or our lunch club a “New Worshipping Community?”
Q: We’re adding another service on a Sunday, does that count?
Q: What about our monthly café church/messy church/outreach service?
‘Multiply’ is supporting those on a journey to becoming the spiritual home for those they gather as worshipping, serving and ministering communities. Three sets of questions can help to indicate a New Worshipping Community is developing.
o Are you reaching into new areas or groups of people to make new disciples of Jesus?
o Are you baptising new disciples of Jesus or planning to do so?
The process will usually not start with a worship service. But it will not be complete until you have regular, probably weekly, gatherings to worship God together.
o Do you gather regularly for worship, or intend to do so?
o Do you learn about the scriptures and pray when you gather?
o Do you share Holy Communion or intend to do so?
o Are you growing as a community in love for God, for one another, and for those he is calling you to reach?
o Are you learning how to live in obedience to Jesus, seeing the effect on your relationships, time, energy and money?
Staying on track
“culture eats strategy for breakfast” (Peter Drucker)
Values matter more than vision because they form your culture. It’s easy to lose sight of what really matters in all the excitement, challenge and busyness of starting and growing a New Worshipping Community.
Here are two questions under each of the same headings New, Worshipping and Community to use with your team regularly to check you are on track.
See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
and streams in the wasteland. (Isaiah 43:19)
It’s not about doing something novel to amuse bored Christians! It’s about reaching out to new people, making new disciples, growing new leaders and planting new worshipping communities.
Are you starting with mission and keeping it the priority?
Are you taking risks, trying new things and growing a culture where experiments are celebrated?
Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. (Matthew 22:37-38)
It’s about Jesus. Depending on Jesus. Obeying Jesus. Sharing what we have received from Jesus. Spreading the gospel of Jesus. Making disciples of Jesus. It’s not about whether your NWC is perceived as a “success” it’s about people seeing the presence and work of Christ in their lives.
Are you rooting your team and community life in prayer and learning to worship wholeheartedly when you meet?
Are you growing as disciples of Jesus so that your whole lives are becoming an act of worship?
This is how everyone will recognize that you are my disciples—when they see the love you have for each other. (John 13:35)
It’s not about meetings, rotas and events though they may all be useful. It’s about creating a community. “Church is what happens when people encounter the Risen Jesus and commit themselves to sustaining and deepening that encounter in their encounter with each other” (Archbishop Rowan Williams)
Are you trying to be a hero-leader doing everything yourself or are you a hero-maker, building teams and investing in others to see them grow?
Are you investing in relationships: resolving conflicts, resisting cliques and resolved to be more than a cosy club?