New and Renewing Churches Newsletter - January 2021

January 28, 2021

A quarterly newsletter from New and Renewing Churches
North Alabama Conference


A Word From Our Director

Have you ever heard the phrase, “New Year, New You?” This phrase is certainly appropriate for those of us who serve and lead in the local church, isn’t it?

Perhaps our version of the phrase might better read like this: “New Year, New Church.” There’s no question the COVID-19 pandemic, racial injustice and political division have left their collective marks on the church in 2020.

As we continue to move forward into whatever our next normal is, there’s one thing we know for certain — change will be a constant.

New and Renewing Churches is excited to roll out a fresh initiative to address the challenges before us. Entitled “We Do New,” our intent is to partner with local churches, pastors and laity to encourage new expressions of church, ministry and serving our community.

Our ever-evolving world requires us to look at people and the communities we serve in new and different ways. Our hope in 2021 and beyond is to create a culture of experimentation, innovation and implementation, all with the goal of more effectively reaching people for Jesus Christ.

In the book of Isaiah, we read the words, “See, I am doing a new thing!”

Now, more than ever, we are called to embrace the power of doing new things in new ways to reach new people. Do you believe it? Can you see it? Do you want to be a part of it?

New and Renewing Churches of North Alabama is here to cheer you on, serve, and equip you. Whether your church is small, mid-size, or large, we can all do something new in 2021. Best of all, we can do it together; even better, we can learn from one another in the process.

What new thing are you doing? What new dream has God laid on your heart? What new idea have you always wanted to try? I’d love to hear about it! New and Renewing Churches exists to help you and your church reach the fullest potential in Christ. I believe we can do new, and I believe in the God who is always doing new things in each of us!

I look forward to hearing all about the new things we will begin in 2021. Please contact me and share what you are doing!

It is an honor to serve with you.

Reverend Suzanne Katschke
Executive Director - New and Renewing Churches
North Alabama Conference


How can we help?


New and Renewing Churches offers financial support to do something new.
Check out grant opportunities here:

*Please note: our grants are not just for new churches; if your church wants to do something new to reach people for Christ, we want to hear about it.

Training opportunities:

New and Renewing Churches offers quarterly trainings to help you ideate and equip you to do new things in your ministry context. Open to clergy and laity, our 2021 offerings are listed under upcoming trainings below.


MissionInsite is an effective and free tool sponsored by the Conference that churches can use to gain valuable demographic data about your community. Who lives there? What are their ages? How many people are unchurched? MissionInsite provides valuable data on income levels, education, ethnicity and much more. If you want to know your community, MissionInsite is the place to start.


After completing MissionInsite, churches can go deeper by utilizing Mosaics. Mosaics can answer questions such as: What kind hospitality are people looking for? What ministry or outreach are they in need of? What are their communication preferences? How do they best connect to a church? Mosaics can help your church find ways to better connect to your community, growth opportunities, and even identify potential new ministries to enable you to do something new.

Social Media:

In our ever evolving world, it is more important than ever for your church to have a quality website and social media presence. Are you struggling with where to start? Do you need help with what to post, when to post, or where to post? Are you unsure of how to organize your website? Or maybe you’d just like a fresh set of eyes to help you identify areas of improvement. Whatever the case may be, New and Renewing Churches is here to help.


Upcoming Trainings

Steeple to Street:
A New Kind of Local Church for A New Kind of World

Feb. 11, 2021
9:30 a.m.- 3:30 p.m. (CST)
*Virtual on Zoom

This workshop will equip you to try new approaches to reach new people. Reverend Matt Lake and Reverend Michael Beck employ very different methods, but their congregations are finding new life. They will explore the theological underpinnings for becoming a new kind of local church, as well as share practical tools, practices and processes to help local congregations cultivate a new future.

Register Here. ?


Discernment Academy:
How Will God Use You to Do Something New?

Wednesday, May 12 and Thursday, May 13, 2021
9 a.m. - 12 p.m. (CST)
*Virtual on Zoom

Have you ever thought about planting something new? Whether it be a new church, a new service, or a new gathering to reach new people, this is the workshop for you. Reverend Rachel Gilmore from Path One and Reverend Matt Temple from First United Methodist Church of Williamsport, Pennsylvania, will help pastors learn more about themselves and their leadership styles in order to develop a vision for their ideal ministry and setting.

Register Now ?


Starting a New Worship Service

Thursday, August 12, 2021
9-11 a.m.(CST)
*Virtual on Zoom

Ready to re-launch or launch something new post-COVID? Launching a New Worship Community is a new book coming out this summer by Paul Nixon and Craig Gilbert and a dozen other voices from around Methodism. It contains thirty-two short how-to chapters for pastors, worship leaders and other team members who should be involved in launching well a worship service. Paul Nixon is a UMC elder who pastored Gulf Breeze United Methodist Church in the Alabama-West Florida Conference. Gulf Breeze added 1300 professions of faith during Paul’s tenure. Additionally, Paul served as the Director of Church Development, overseeing net membership gains, correlated with a blitz of new worship communities. Paul has coached hundreds of pastors in the US and UK.

Register Now ?


Laity Church Planting

Saturday, Nov. 6, 2021
10-11 a.m. (CST)
w/self-paced follow-up sessions to be announced.
*Virtual on Zoom

This training will help laity discern their call to plant something new (a fresh expression of church, a new service, a missional community, a satellite campus of an existing church, etc.) and equip them to lead a new faith community. A key component of the training underscores the importance of laity-clergy partnership in forming new faith communities. Bener Agtarap, Executive Director of Path1 and Doug Ruffle, Director of Church Planting Resources will lead participants in an interactive learning process to address the “why” of planting new faith communities.

Register Now ?

For questions or more information about any of these workshops or more opportunities, contact Executive Director of New and Renewing Churches Rev. Suzanne Katschke at


“We Do New” Spotlight

You can do something new even in the midst of a pandemic! Cove United Methodist Church, led by lead pastor John Tanner and their leadership, have planted another satellite campus called South City Church. Campus pastor Allen Wilson is leading the team at the new location. Please keep South City in your prayers!

Check them out at the following link:

What new thing has your church done recently? We welcome your submissions to share with others. Submit your “We Do New” stories to


Meet our Team

New and Renewing Churches is grateful for our New and Renewing Churches Team. Each member is committed to our initiative, “We Do New”, as they live it out in their ministry contexts each and every day. Our team has expertise in doing new things.They are here to assist you. Feel free to contact them. They would love to have a conversation with you!

New and Renewing Churches Team:

New and Renewing Churches Staff:


Book Corner

Here are some books we are currently reading to learn more ways to do something new. We’d love to hear your recommendations!



Discover, Develop and Deploy Spiritual Leaders to Make Disciples of Jesus Christ for the Transformation of the World.