New Episcopal Communities

Discerning a call to New Episcopal Community Leadership

Are you, or someone you know, discerning a call to start a New Episcopal Community? Church planting is a very particular ministry within the Church, and the gifts exhibited by a strong planter can vary greatly from those needed to succeed in an established ministry. Careful discernment on the front end is important, as this work can be quite painful for someone who isn’t truly called to it; on the other hand, those who are will likely thrive in the challenge.  

Discerning Missional Leadership Retreats

The best way to discern a call to church planting is to attend a Discerning Missional Leadership Retreat. These discernment/assessment events take place in small groups of about 15 people and last 4 days. They involve reflection on missional theology, conversations about the life of a church planter, neighborhood exegesis exercises, and an in-depth behavioral interview process. At the end of the week, you will be offered feedback and a recommendation of “it’s a fit,” “it’s not a fit,” or “it’s potentially a fit.”  

Upcoming Discernment Retreats:

March 2023 Virtual Retreat
Especially for: New Episcopal Community leaders (church planters)
Mondays: March 6, 13, 20 and 27
More information and registration: March Virtual Retreat

May 2023 Onsite Retreat
Tracks for New Episcopal Community leaders (a.k.a. church planters) AND congregational redevelopers)
May 8-11
Location: TBA
Reserve your spot

August 2023 Virtual Retreat
Especially for: New Episcopal Community leaders (church planters)
Mondays: August 7, 14, 21, 28
More information and registration: August Virtual Retreat

November 2023 Onsite Retreat
Tracks for New Episcopal Community leaders (a.k.a. church planters) AND congregational redevelopers)
November 6-9
Location: TBA
Reserve your spot

What gifts do we look for?

Though no one can accurately predict 100% of the time whether a particular leader will succeed at starting a sustainable, new church community, we have found that there are certain gifts and competencies that are very helpful in this work. Among these are: 

  • Having the vision and intrinsic motivation to start a new worshiping community 
  • Emotional resilience and the ability to manage conflict and personal failure 
  • Maintaining a strong base of social relationships that support the call to leadership
  • Entrepreneurial interest and experience
  • A high capacity for risk taking
  • Strong cross cultural skills
  • The ability to build a successful team, gather people into a shared vision and leadership
  • Grit, including the perseverance to pursue long-term goals

To read more about the competencies helpful in a potential church planter, read through the Assessment Guide for New Episcopal Community Leaders, which is used at all of our Discerning Missional Leadership Retreats.  

Contact:
The Rev. Katie Nakamura Rengers

Staff Officer for Church Planting

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