Starting Guide

The Beginning Stages of a New Worshiping COmmunity

As your team moves from the “Discernment” to the “Starting” stage there are a mixture of feelings. It might be excitement and it may be apprehension. This stage does not automatically start with a worship component but involves experimentation and getting to know the community that you feel led to work within.

By the end of this stage you will have experimented and given structure to the vision for the new worshiping community that was only a concept before. Remember you are not on this walk alone.


Go to a Specific Section

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Starting New worshiping communities online resource

Our online and downloadable guide will walk you through the resources and the process to start a New Worshiping Community.


Throughout this process many questions may arise. Look in our frequently asked question for Mid-Councils.

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Neighborhood Exegesis

A neighborhood exegesis is not an all-encompassing demographic study of a particular community. Instead it is an “interpretation” of a community in which you feel God has called you. There are many ways in which you could seek interpretation of the community, but one of the most important ways is to engage the community. You will be not only looking at demographic data but at the history and context of the area.

Prayer walk

Walking your neighborhood involves taking our prayers to the very place we feel God calling us. Take in the sights, smells and sounds to engage yourself in prayer for the neighborhood. You don’t have to prayer walk by yourself. We encourage you to go with your small group, family, friends, neighbors or your discernment team. 

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Look for an event near you

Our events are continually being updated as we are invited to participate with mid-councils and our partners. Check back frequently.


Our team has developed a series of videos that highlight New Worshiping Communities in a variety of stages of development. The videos also include conversations with leaders about areas of interest.

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continue working through the starting new worshiping communities resource

The process of getting to know your community, experimentation, relationship building, and discipleship is unending. As you continue to shape your new worshiping community our resource can help your community.

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work with Coach

The New Worshiping Communities movement encourages coaching for all new worshiping community leaders, as the work of starting new ministry from ground zero can be a grueling and lonely task. 1001 has a network of trained coaches to assist these leaders. However, in some cases, a leader or presbytery will choose to work with a local coach or a coach from another network. Where this occurs, we encourage intentional and ongoing coaching that takes seriously discernment and mission planning.


coaching manual

Please explore our coaching manual. It has everything about our network and coaching philosophy.

coaching application

Are you interested in being partnered with a coach? Download and fill out the application through the link

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As you are in the starting stage, there are grants that are available for your New Worshiping Communities. For a complete list of grants you can go to our funding page.

There are a number of grants that are available to you. If you have not applied for the Seed Grant ($7,500) you remain eligible for that. A match is not required for this grant.

There are also two additional grants that are available after the Seed Grant. They are Investment Grant followed by the Growth Grant. Both of these grants are for up to $25,000 and require matching funds from a congregation, mid-council, or in-kind support.

For those New Worshiping Communities that have completed the grant cycle Sam and Helen R. Walton Award is available. It is given each March and is for New Worshiping Communities to help with capital expenses.

Leaders of New Worshiping Communities are also eligible for the Health Insurance Grant which supplements health insurance for leaders. This grant is $1,500 per year- twice renewable.


Making a stewardship COMMITMENT

The Stewardship Commitment is the foundational piece used in seeking future gifts from those both inside and outside of the community. Who we are, what we do, what it costs and how one can make a difference thorough a gift in support of our mission are key points in inviting others into our work.


As you work through this starting stage, there are times this work can be overwhelming but also incredibly rewarding. At times you can feel alone. These resources and team were developed to prepare, equip, and sustain you into the ministry you were called. Throughout the times of planning, praying, experimenting, and creating our prayers are with you.


Find A coach

Coaches meet regularly with you to listen, ask great questions, help you discover your gifts, and enable you to discern the way forward when you get stuck..

contact our team

Perhaps you have a number of questions about the resources that we provide in the discerning stage. Contact us and we can help you.

upcoming events near you

Our events are continually being updated as we are invited to participate with mid-councils and our partners. Check back frequently.