New and Renewing Churches Newsletter - January 2023

January 24, 2023

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

A newsletter from New and Renewing Churches
North Alabama Conference of The United Methodist Church

A Word From Our Director

“We’ve got spirit, yes we do; We’ve got spirit, how ‘bout you? 

As a high school and collegiate cheerleader, we would often raise the energy of the crowd and motivate everyone to support their team by repeatedly shouting this refrain. We knew that energy is everything; anything is possible with enough heart and spirit. 

In recent days, it sometimes feels like our “team”, the North Alabama Conference, is struggling to find its way. We have endured the loss of many of our churches, pastors, and people who were our teammates. These losses have caused us to feel disillusioned, defeated, and often disappointed. While these emotions are valid, our mission remains. 

As the new year begins, it is time for us to cease being distracted and get back in the game! The game of reaching people for Jesus Christ. It’s time to lean into the many rallying cries found in our scripture. Unlike sports teams, we don’t have to drum up spirit, God’s spirit is always with us. These words from the apostle Paul remind us: 

For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. 2 Timothy 1:7

God has given us everything we need to move forward. God has given us his power, his love, and the self-discipline we need to get back to the work he has prepared in advance for each of us. 

Best of all, none of us have to do this alone. We are moving forward together. We can move forward in boldness as we try new things to reach new people in new places. We can be confident because we are fortified through the power of the Holy Spirit. We’ve got the heart. We’ve got the spirit. I believe anything is possible; how ‘bout you? 

Praying for you as we leave it on the field together

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


“We Do New” Spotlight

District Developers 

As we enter a new day in the North Alabama Conference, we are excited to share our newest strategy to reach new people for Christ. We have deployed a District Developer into each district to be a “boots on the ground” presence. The District Developers will be responsible for creating, facilitating, and starting new ways to reach new people in new places within their respective district. This work includes (but is not limited to) house churches, mergers, dinner churches, online churches, fresh expressions, new ministries, and new ways of doing ministry that have yet to be discovered. 

Our District Developers have already begun their work in earnest. We have several new expressions of Methodism forming across the districts. While we are in the preliminary phase of our work, we believe the work of the District Developers will enhance our mission to make disciples for the transformation of the world. 

If you have an idea of something your church could do to reach your community, please let your District Developer know and/or contact our Executive DIrector, Suzanne Katschke. The North Alabama Conference District Developers are listed below: 

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


Moving Forward Together

Have you joined the private Facebook group Moving Forward Together?  

The group exists for those who desire to enrich their United Methodist presence in their community.  We are here to support and encourage one another with ideas and strategies as we move forward. 

Join the discussion, learn from others, and keep up on the latest new things happening in the NAC as we move forward together. 




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:

Want to bring healing and hope to your community? A great way to reach and serve your neighbors is through Celebrate Recovery ministry - a program designed for anyone struggling with hurt, pain, or addiction of any kind.

Need info? Contact Neal Fuller at



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 our Church and Community Strategist Faith Hooper at


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:

Customizable Training

Tired of attending trainings that don’t address your situation? Can’t find a particular training being offered? Can’t find any help because your idea is so innovative? Don’t know where to go for help? We are here to help. We recognize that today is a new day when it comes to being equipped. We want to offer training that meets your needs. To that end, we are offering customizable training to resource you. Whatever you need to fulfill the mission God has laid on your heart, just let us know, and we will point you in the right direction. In addition, we are glad to talk with you about your dream and help you bring it to fruition. Want details? 

Contact our Executive Director Suzanne Katschke at


House Church 101

Want to try something new? House Churches are a rapidly expanding ministry model. Join us for this Zoom call conversation on Monday, January 23 at 7 p.m. 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.

Register Now ?

Contact our Executive Director Suzanne Katschke at with any questions.



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, February 13 at 7 p.m. with special guest Rev. Heather Jallad.  Learn about FX UMC, starting a fresh expression, how to mobilize your congregation, and ways we can support you.

Register Now ?

Contact our Executive Director Suzanne Katschke at 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, March 6 at 7 p.m. with special guest Rev. Ted Amey. Learn about mergers, their benefits and challenges and ways we can support if you’re contemplating a merger.

Register Now ?

Contact our Executive Director Suzanne Katschke at with any questions.


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!

Ready, Set, Plant

In Ready, Set, Plant Bener Agtarap and Curtis Brown provide tools for planting churches--looking at the spiritual, social, and economic aspects of the process. Creating new church bodies requires redefining priorities and practices. Yet one thing that never changes is that the mission must be God's mission.

Ready, Set, Plant raises questions about church planting that every new church community must address: Why? Who? How? What? Where? When? Agtarap and Brown provide a broad range of answers to each question. By examining these questions and various answers, church planters will be equipped to fulfill their divine call to make disciples and transform the world.






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.