Discerning Resources

This resource was designed for either an individual or a discernment team. Please understand that discernment should ultimately be done in community, just like much of what we have done in Presbyterian circles. It may take an individual to get an NWC through its initial infancy, but individuals are highly encouraged to form a team. We are also reminded of this in Acts 4:13–14: 

13-14 They couldn’t take their eyes off them — Peter and John standing there so confident, so sure of themselves! Their fascination deepened when they realized these two were laymen with no training in Scripture or formal education. They recognized them as companions of Jesus, but with the man right before them, seeing him standing there so upright — so healed!  — what could they say against that?(The Message). 

In the past, we expected “professional” clergy to be the ones developing and leading the start of new churches. That no longer is the case and follows a biblical precedent of God using ordinary people for extraordinary purposes. We can rest assured that God calls those who are willing and not only those with formal education. 

The purpose of this resource is to provide a process of discernment that a team can work through to form a new worshiping community. This process is not linear! It is tempting to make the work linear (A-B-C-D ...), but this process of discernment is about listening to the Holy Spirit and loving people as God loves them. Following the Spirit is rarely neat and linear. 



each of the following worksheets are to be used working with the Starting New Worshiping Communities guide. Please use the newest version of the guide.


Training Worksheet

Why You Should Create New Worshiping Communities

“Why You Should Create New Worshiping Communities”

Often, we put our ideas of developing a new worshiping community in front of the theological reasoning to do it. This section will build a theological framework for the work you wish to engage in.

Cooresponds to pages 15-19 in the Starting New Worshiping Communities Resource  

Training Worksheet

Are You a Missional Leader?

“Are You A Missional Leader?”

The initial development of a New Worshiping Community will typically be led by a point person. As the leadership structure matures, it becomes more polycentric. In these initial stages, you will explore the characteristics of a missional leader and team. 

Corresponds to pages 20-25 in the Starting New Worshiping Communities Resource

Banner Image_#C4122F.jpg



Throughout the year we offer training events. WE can even bring one to your presbytery.


Team Summit

Team dynamics, communication, and vision are critical in developing of a New Worshiping Community. This one or two day event will help teams better work together, articulate a common vision, and implement the plan.

NWC Lab: Starting Track

Our leadership development weeks are designed to walk alongside both developing and maturing New Worshiping Communities. Each week will build upon itself in areas of evangelism, discipleship, funds development, and help leaders connect with the resources of PCUSA.

Regional Gathering

Regional Gatherings are designed to foster growth and motivate those exploring innovative ministries. This one day event across the country brings together those that are already involved in developing communities with those that have a theological framework to continue to prepare, equip, and sustain leaders.

National Conference

Yearly we host a national conference to bring networking and training to our leaders.


Online Resources

Our online resources provide an additional way to learn and be encouraged.



We are starting multiple cohorts of New Worshiping Community leaders. We have geographically-based and topical cohorts forming. Most will meet online once/month, but the groups can determine what is best for them. Our 1001 team will also have a quarterly training online for all cohort members to expand their competencies as leaders, based on the topics you want to focus on.

Leadership Training Videos

Coming soon!


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.

Banner Image_#C4122F.jpg

Next Step

As you work through the discernment phase, our resources, and the first chapters of the “Starting New Worshiping Communities Resource” there will be the natural momentum to move to the next phase before you are ready. Perhaps you are ready, just be aware that there may be a number of people that need to be led along your path. We encourage you to be in good communication with your partner congregation, mid-council, and other committees. In our download center we have a number of documents that will be helpful for them.


Back to the Guide

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

contact Sean Chow

Do you have questions about our training resources or upcoming events?

look for events near you

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