New and Renewing Churches Newsletter - September 2022

September 15, 2022

Let’s do new things to reach new people for Jesus Christ.

A newsletter from New and Renewing Churches
North Alabama Conference

A Word From Our Director

There’s no question the Church is in uncharted territory. In the midst of  post-pandemic realities, political divisiveness, denominational challenges, and cultural changes, we are somewhat adrift.

As human beings, we often look for the “answer”.  But what if the answer isn’t what we should be looking for? What if it’s the “question” we should  be seeking?

I recently heard someone say the number one question we need to ask ourselves as church leaders is this, “Who is missing?”

As you look around your ministry context, who are the people who aren’t there? Who are the people we have overlooked? Who are the people yearning for relationship? Who are the people who need our help?

I challenge all of us to ask this question in our churches, in our communities, and in our lives.  Who is missing, and what can we do to invest, invite, and include them?

I think the answer to our current situation will be found in asking the right questions instead of seeking the right answers. Don’t you?

New and Renewing Churches would love to help you develop questions and seek ways to reach the people missing from your church and life.

Let us know how we can help you.

Praying for you as we do new things together,

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


“We Do New” Spotlight

Open Door Church -  Decatur, Alabama 


Open Door Church is a Fresh Expression in Decatur, Alabama, led by Rev. Michael Jefferson. Open Door’s goal is to reach new people for Christ through a loving community utilizing the Dinner Church model. Open Door believes meals not only nourish, but also provide ways to build relationships and friendships.

Each Sunday, Open Door gathers for a meal, discusses creative ways to reach new people, and spends time in God’s Word. Open Door also looks for ways to serve the Decatur community monthly. To date, Open Door has served 400 plus free meals, fed the homeless, provided hygiene products to women in need, given non-perishable food items to kids in need, and provided over 100 backpacks filled with school supplies for local school students.

Open Door continues to develop and grow the Sunday gathering in order to reach their full potential. Please pray for the people of Open Door, Rev. Jefferson, and the people they serve.

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


How can we help?


New and Renewing Churches offers financial support to do something new.  We offer New Church grants, Online Ministry grants, and “We Do New” grants. 

Check out our 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.


Celebrate Recovery:

Your church can help reach new people through a Celebrate Recovery ministry — a program designed for anyone struggling with hurt, pain, or addiction of any kind. If your church is interested in starting a Celebrate Recovery ministry, contact your District Director of Celebrate Recovery Ministries or email


Training opportunities:

New and Renewing Churches offers training to equip you to do new things in your ministry context. Open to clergy and laity, upcoming trainings are listed below: 

Fresh Expressions 101

Fresh Expressions are one of the most impactful ways to reach people outside the walls of your church. Join us for this Zoom call conversation on Monday, September 26 at 10 AM. Learn about starting a fresh expression, how to mobilize your congregation, and ways we can support you. Cost: $10 per church.

Register Now ?

Contact our Executive Director, with any questions.


Church Mergers 101

Church mergers are a unique way to do something new by combining resources. Join us for this Zoom call conversation on Monday, October 24 at 10 AM with Rev. Ted Amey. Learn about mergers, their benefits and challenges, and ways we can support you if you’re contemplating a merger. Cost $10. 

Register Now ?

Contact our Executive Director, with any questions.


House Church 101

Want to try something new? House Churches are a rapidly expanding ministry model. Join us for this Zoom call conversation on Wednesday, November 16 at 10 AM to discover more. Learn about house churches, strategies for growth, and ways we can support you if you’d be interested in beginning a house church. Cost: $10.

Register Now ?

Contact our Executive Director, with any questions.


Ministry Innovation Cohort

Want to try something new? Without question, our mission field is changing fast, even in Alabama. What would it look like to spend two years being coached in new ways to reach new people? We invite pastors to participate in a Ministry Innovation cohort with Paul Nixon*. Pastors will work with ministry peers in developing new ministries that help people connect with the Gospel in ways that will not happen if we wait for them to decide to like church as it currently exists.

Almost every church that is thriving in the 2020s is innovating!  The 2018 ministry playbook is a pathway to decline. In this cohort we learn how we can be true to the Gospel and true to the cultures we seek to reach, while creating new ways of gathering, discipling and developing relevant ministry. 

This experience represents a $4000 value, but is available to North Alabama pastors for $1000 per year over two years. 5.0 CEUs available across two years.

Contact our Executive Director, ? for additional info.

*Paul was a pastor at Gulf Breeze UMC in northwest Florida for nine years during a ministry season when 1350 persons joined the church by profession of faith and the church’s ministry expanded from one campus location to three. Paul has worked with church leaders in all fifty states and several other countries. He leads the Innovators Greenhouse project at Discipleship Ministries and is the head of The Epicenter Group coaching organization.



Want to learn about your community? MissionInsite is the place to start. 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.

Contact our Church and Community Strategist Faith Hooper at



After completing MissionInsite, churches can go deeper by utilizing Mosaics. Mosaics can answer questions such as: What kind of 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, discover growth opportunities, and even identify potential new ministries to enable you to do something new.

Contact our Church and Community Strategist Faith Hooper at


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, we are here to help.

Contact Faith Hooper at


Book Corner

Enjoy this recommendation to assist you as we strive to do new things to reach new people. We’d love to hear your recommendations!

Fresh Expressions of the Rural Church

Fresh Expressions of the Rural Church offers hope for the renewal that can take place in “out of the way” places. In these sacred rural places folks can experience the love of God and neighbor, undergo true healing, participate in the renewal of community, and discover a place to belong. Fresh Expressions of the Rural Church helps us to reconsider our Wesleyan roots and the gifts of our rural contexts, a seedbed packed with possibility for new communities of faith to form and flourish.






Meet our Team

New and Renewing Churches is grateful for the New and Renewing Churches team. Each member is committed to our initiative, “We Do New,” as they live it out in their ministry contexts. Our team has expertise in doing new things. We 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:

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