A friend who is planting churches in the north of England asked me to put together a short document to help introduce what we do to his leaders. Having written it, I thought I would share it here in case you are interested – or to pass on?
NewThing began in Chicago under the leadership of a church planter called Dave Ferguson. Having started many Community Churches in the Chicagoland area, they began to plant across the USA. Other types of churches with a heart to reach people far from God connected informally, then formed more formal networks to encourage best practice for reproducing disciples, and coaching to multiply churches and networks.
We like to keep things simple – so NewThing champions 4 Rs:
RELATIONSHIPS (which grow and are fostered through regular meeting)
RESOURCES (sharing ideas, stories, best practices and being financially generous to help other ‘NewThings’ happen
REPRODUCING goals that we hold one another accountable on.
RESIDENCIES to train new church planters and leaders of the future. These happen locally and now globally.
Here in the UK I took up the model as Ivy Church had grown from one to multiple sites, after I underwent LARN (Leading A Reproducing Network) training, with coaching from Dave and others.
2015 was our inaugural global summit in Kenya hosted by Oscar Muriu of Nairobi Chapel to establish NewThing as a worldwide movement. We covenanted together to helping people find their way back to God, to the 4 Rs, and to the bold aim of helping plant ten thousand reproducing churches globally by the end of 2020! Various apostolic leaders were assigned a place to prayerfully begin, and I returned to the UK – with no clue how to do it.
I began to reach out to other leaders to form NewThing UK and western Europe, aiming to help see 500 new reproducing churches planted as part of that grand scheme.
We started the LAUNCH church multiplication catalyst event in 2016 with 250 leaders, repeated in 2017 with 400 leaders, and ready to go with 600 in November 2018. NewThing Europe partners with LAUNCH which aims to change the church conversation, recalibrate biblically – believing that the best days of the church here are ahead of us. We have heard many stories of new churches being planted as a result of LAUNCH so far. Imagine if all those who attend actually go ahead and start planting more and more great churches?
To go beyond inspiration into action we meet together as NewThing leaders relationally whenever possible to pray and encourage one another. We also arrange regular calls by Zoom (we just had to multiply that into north and south groups) to allow manageable group sizes to spur one another on. We have shared resources for opportunities generously. We share prayer needs in various ways.
We are planning to roll out LARN here in the UK in 2019 for a few larger network churches to apply to be coached on becoming reproducing networks, and are excited to connect with 100movements.com to make that an incredible learning community.
We are planning Catalyst Communities from early 2019 to follow on from LAUNCH, a practical process for church teams committed to multiply to gather and be coached through a process which field tested through NewThing Eastern Europe where Joe Wilson has seen 50 new churches and 8 new networks in 3 years in Albania, branching out to see more many multiplying churches starting in Macedonia, Montenegro, Belarus, Bulgaria and many other nations as the gospel spreads across borders. NewThing Catalyst Communities in the Philippines have seen 300 new churches in the last 3 years!
SUNDAY MAY 20th is our worldwide day of prayer for NewThing! PRAY FOR US!
And if this makes your heart beat faster, get in touch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org in the first instance. We are excited to connect with you and encourage you to prayerfully consider joining us if you share our commitment and passion to see a new move of God through church planting in a hero maker movement where we stop asking, ‘How do I grow my church’ but rather, ‘How do we grow God’s kingdom together?”