New Church Starts

How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” 

Romans 10:14-15

Research tells us that over 60% of the people who live within the West Virginia Conference do not have a strong connection to a local church. The harvest is plentiful!

One of the most effective ways of reaching unchurched people for Jesus is by starting a new church of some type.

We believe that all churches can and should reach new people. We also believe that new people tend to connect best to new churches.

Starting new churches takes the gospel to where people live, work, and hang out. Since we all have different likes and dislikes, no single church can reach everyone. Multiple types of churches provide more points of entry for the pre-Christian, the de-Christian, the unchurched, and all of the others in our mission field who are not currently connected to a church. A growing number of churches makes it possible for more people to know Christ.

Another reason for starting churches is that our existing churches often have local traditions that are meaningful to the members but have little relevance to those who have not grown up in the church. A new church will begin new local traditions relevant for a new generation or culture.

Most new churches grow rapidly as a result of bringing new people to Christ. Not surprisingly, the excitement of a new church in the area often spreads to surrounding church—brining new life and vitality back into those congregations.


Path 1 is a part of Discipleship Ministries for The United Methodist Church and supports conferences in starting new churches. Find out more about Path 1 and new church starts in The United Methodist Church by clicking HERE.

The West Virginia Conference is currently in a season of prayer and discernment concerning new churches and ministry opportunities in our mission field. Please join us by praying for God to lead us. We are seeking leaders of all types who may be hearing a call from God’s Spirit to start something new. Please contact Ken Willard ( if you are hearing this call.

The following will provide you more information concerning new church starts:

What is a new church? Click HERE for a description of a new church.

New Church Start Models

The models used for starting new churches are many and varied. It’s important to note that:

  • No one model will work in every setting.
  • The model used for a New Church Start should reflect the need of the targeted group.
  • The characteristics developed by any New Church Start may not fit neatly into any given model.

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