#MadeNewGatherings - Vision for The Wesleyan Church

On January 15, 2015 at our Pastors conference in Orlando, Florida I shared a new vision for The Wesleyan Church called "Made New Gatherings." In this vision I called on all Wesleyans to consider starting a new gathering in their community. (See below for the video where I shared this.)

Here are some examples :

  • An innovative outreach at a Kansas bowling Alley had twenty-six out of the 125 who attended fill out a response card. Through this outreach a regular gathering at the bowling alley was birthed with intentional effort to make disciples of Jesus. #MadeNewGatherings
  • A group of seven meet at a pub to talk about God and Stuff, Pub Theology. At the start of the meeting two are from a church in Iowa/Minnesota and four do not attend a church. #MadeNewGatherings
  • In Central New York there is a monthly prayer breakfast for men and a woman's group that meets once a month. #MadeNewGatherings

(These examples change from time to time. Scroll to the bottom of this page for more #MadeNewGatherings stories like these and find out how to share your story and have it included.)

What qualifies as a Made New Gathering?

I shared that it could be a group of people gathering to pray under a tree in a country that doesn't allow churches to start. It might be some that study the Bible in a coffee shop. Those both count. I recounted a friend of mine who started a prayer and sharing group on a daily bus ride commute. I once started a class in a bar that was closed on Sundays many years ago in Kansas City. A new worship service, video venue, or campus site of your church counts. A new ministry of outreach and service you've begun counts. A new church plant would obviously count, and all the new gatherings related to starting it would each count. In fact, many of these other new gatherings could grow into a new church plant, we pray. Go to the Bible to see what counts as a Made New Gathering. Read Acts 2:42-47... if the gathering you are starting is doing that kind of stuff, then it counts! As long as you've started some gathering with others to do life together, and God is moving through that new thing, then it counts. What kind of New Gathering are you going to start?

Sharing your story:

Contact your District Superintendent to share when you've started a new gathering. These are being reported by each district quarterly. This page will celebrate every time we reach the milestone of another 1,000 new gatherings and we will note our number here. Use the hashtag #MadeNewGatherings to share your story on social media and spread the word. Or email the General Superintendent's office to tell us your story. You can even leave your story in the comments below.

Stories of #MadeNewGatherings:

  • A Bible reading campaign was launched at a church in Michigan based on the book, The Divine Mentor, by Wayne Cordeiro. This campaign has encouraged members to follow the acrostic SOAP to help them journal during their devotion time. The acrostic stands for Scripture, Observation, Application and Prayer. Through this reading plan many groups have gathered to "soap" the scriptures and fellowship with one another. #MadeNewGatherings
  • A new group of pastors and business men in New York are joining together to implement John Maxwell's Follow Me strategy. #MadeNewGatherings
  • #MadeNewGatherings in Kentucky-Tennessee District
  • Read this powerful article of a gathering that has been created to love and serve Veterans that suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. #MadeNewGatherings
  • A member of a Wesleyan church in New York was going to meet her trainer for her weekly workout that was pushed back an hour and learned it would also be shared with two complete strangers. As they shared stories about life, the conversation suddenly turned to religion. The woman shared how she had a relationship with Jesus Christ, something none of the other women understood. Taking out a pen and napkin she presented the Gospel as simple as could be. As a result of this unplanned meeting they have all agreed on doing a Bible study together starting in April. Two of the ladies mentioned not even owning a Bible. #MadeNewGatherings
  • A group of members from a church in Arizona started a Tuesday night gathering called, "A Time To Build", where they rotate their locations between a local Pub & Grill and Starbucks. At their first gathering they noticed a man sitting by himself and invited him to join them. What started as inviting a stranger, ended in a friendship. This group has another team of members starting what they will call "Fireside Fridays" gathering. Their goal for their gatherings is to build up, engage and connect with their community. #MadeNewGatherings
  • At a church in Northern Indiana a pastor had been doing a series on Jonah and urging the congregation to focus on people they know need Jesus. One of the members took this challenge to heart when hearing that the sister of a diseased friend had a stroke at 91 years old and became paralyzed. Visiting her at the hospital the member asked simple questions like, "Have you ever invited Jesus to come into your heart?" and the lady replied by shaking her head indicating she had not. Then the woman asked her, "Would you like to ask Jesus into your heart?" the lady shook her head up and down this time and they prayed the sinner's prayer together. The woman died shortly after that. #MadeNewGatherings
  • Two churches in Illinois, one Hispanic and one Anglo, have begun to engage in multi-ethnic and multi-lingual worship together periodically as the pastors have struck up a great friendship. They are now working toward worship together in a new gathering in an ongoing way.
  • This one isn't brand new... but is a good example that you're never too old to start a new gathering to reach people. (Para leer este artículo en español oprime aqui.) #MadeNewGatherings
  • One of our colleges in New York launched an ongoing group of "deacons" connected to chapel where young women and men gather for spiritual mentoring, read great books, and engage in "spiritual leadership" projects around campus. #MadeNewGatherings
  • At the same campus at 8 AM and 4:45 PM each day class is in session, a group of students, faculty and staff gathers for a short service of Scripture and prayer. Several of the students from the group who are in Tanzania this semester started a similar group to practice this on the other side of the world! #MadeNewGatherings
  • A church in Pennsylvania is kicking off a new women's community group on Saturday mornings. #MadeNewGatherings
  • A group of men in Indiana have committed to a once a month gathering of devotional time and prayer. They come together at eight in the morning to lift each other and their community up in prayer. #MadeNewGatherings
  • A wesleyan ministry in Kansas City is handing out Panera bread and water bottles once a month to build relationships and meet needs. #MadeNewGatherings
  • A retired pastor's wife in Michigan has started a neighborhood Bible study and several have come to Christ through these meetings. #MadeNewGatherings
  • A church in Florida is gathering women in the community to make "Angel Gowns" which are transformed wedding dresses (which are donated) which become infant burial gowns and wrap (They also make baby quilts for the hospital.) Within 4 days of announcing their work they had 7 gowns donated from the community and three non-church members offer to help with the work. #MadeNewGatherings
  • A Church that is turning around from near closure in Maine started up two small groups in January 2015. Roughly 15-20 people in this congregation of 40-50 are now a part of these groups. The men are also now meeting for breakfast once a month, and the women are launching a new breakfast meeting as well. This once dying congregation is experiencing new life! #MadeNewGatherings
  • A Church in Georgia started a second youth group in another area of town. They now have two different youth groups meeting at two different times allowing more kids to become involved. The same church started a new group for young men and a group in the pastor's home for new couples to the church. #MadeNewGatherings
  • A group of pastors that went to Wesley Seminary together are starting a bi-monthly lunch gathering to encourage each another in ministry. #MadeNewGatherings
  • A new Wesleyan Church Plant in Clearwater, Florida had it's first public launch in January 2015 with 592 in attendance with 54+ making a commitment for Christ. #MadeNewGatherings
  • A Church in Indiana is starting a young adult group, book club outreach, & a MOPS group all in one month. #MadeNewGatherings
  • At the end of Dr Lyon vision talk at The Gathering a District Superintendent came up to Dr Lyon and said he thought his churches could start 1,000 Made New Gatherings by General Conference 2016. #MadeNewGatherings
  • A large Wesleyan church in the Atlanta, Georgia area launched 5 campuses simultaneously in one Sunday in January 2016. They had 20,651 in attendance across 9 total campuses and each of the 5 new ones launched successfully. No church has attempted something like this before! #MadeNewGatherings
  • A church in Richmond Hill, Georgia is adding a second service into reach out more in the community starting in March 2015. #MadeNewGatherings
  • One Wesleyan pastor says he is the "(un)official chaplain of Starbucks." One of the workers there who has never been to the church gave $100.00 at Christmas for their benevolence ministry. He routinely speaks to 20 people a morning about their faith. At the time of this report, he said, "Right this moment, I am sitting between two women.....One who grew up Muslim/Roman Catholic (long story...) and the other an organic garden advocate who is considering starting an organic box garden at [our church]. Spoke with a guy who struggles with alcohol addiction and one who is having marriage difficulties." #MadeNewGatherings
  • At a church in Colorado there is a group of young adults who are new believers meeting every Friday night to study the book of Philippians. It has been exciting for their church community to see this group of young believers hear and understand God's Word for the first time. #MadeNewGatherings
  • At the same Wesleyan Church in Colorado they have had several new leaders step up to shepherd and minister to other believers and their neighbors by opening up their homes for what they call "Home Team Gatherings." Some of the leaders are new to the church, most are new to leading these Home Team Gatherings and also new to the Christian Community. #MadeNewGatherings
  • At a men's gathering at a coffee shop California they discussed the question, "How has God made you new lately and in what area of life?" One man shared that he has been made new in the area of managing his anger. One teenager opened up on how he has been made new emotionally after dealing with hurts over the past year. Another man shared that he had been made new in the area of trust with people and the church. Another man who has been saved for 40 years shared that he has been made new in the area of really believing in God. And there were countless others being made new in the areas of respect, forgiveness and embracing Christ's love. #MadeNewGatherings
  • A new campus of a church in Virginia opened their doors for a "new gathering" on Palm Sunday with over 100 in attendance; since that day 60 has been their lowest attendace. #MadeNewGatherings
  • A group of members of a church in New York joined Habitat for Humanity and helped build houses. #MadeNewGatherings
  • At another church in New York a Basic Christianity study was developed for new believers and started with 24 in attendance. #MadeNewGatherings
  • At a church in Ontario a new gathering was created for young stay-at-home mothers at a cafe called "Talk Time". Most of the attendees are non-christian. #MadeNewGatherings
  • At a church in North Carolina a pastor recognized a shared interest in his community and created an environment that provides fellowship and discipleship by establishing and hosting a Bluegrass church. The pastor shares a devotional, everyone eats and then the group breaks out their instruments and spend time playing together. #MadeNewGatherings
  • The same church in North Carolina launched a Cowboy church in another town. #MadeNewGatherings
  • A new service was launched at a church in North Carolina to reach the younger generation. The service, because targetted to the younger generation, is offered later in the morning. For this to happen the existing celebration service had to alter their time to meet one hour earlier. #MadeNewGatherings
  • For the past 4 months a group of nine women in Kansas have committed to gathering together for 4 hours, every other week to focus on loving, learning and leading together. As a group, they have walked through many joys and sorrows together and look forward to sharing this beautiful experience with other women in their community. #MadeNewGatherings
  • In Virginia, near a college campus, a Pastor and his wife started to host a weekly gathing in their home that welcomes students that attend the nearby college. The Pastor's wife makes a free home cooked meal every week as they gather for Bible study, fellowship and prayer. #MadeNewGatherings
  • In February of 2015 four small group gatherings started in Oklahoma where they study the Bible once a week and plan special social gatherings. They also, as a group, either chose an existing mission project to partner with or created their own. They are looking forward to two more small groups that will be starting soon. #MadeNewGatherings
  • A New church was launched on Easter Sunday in North Carolina and at the same time has opened its doors to host an African American congregation. #MadeNewGatherings
  • A Made New Gathering began in South Dakota at a church member's work place after feeling prompted by the Holy Spirit with the thought, "You can't change the culture of your work but God can. Start a prayer group." So, he did. #MadeNewGatherings
  • A satelite congregation began by joining a seprarate church that averaged around ten attenders each Sunday. On Easter Sunday the satelite team revamped their worship and had over sixty join in worship for a preview service, with only fourteen being from the launch team. #MadeNewGatherings
  • At a church in New York, five women's Bible study groups began as a follow-up to a Woman of Faith simulcast. #MadeNewGatherings
  • A group of eleven members of a church in Oklahoma meet the 2nd and 4th Monday of the month and on the 5th plan a social outing that includes planning a mission project. One mission project they have done consisted of filling bags with water, snacks and gifts cards to McDonalds. They keep these bags in their cards and when they see homeless people on the side of the road they give these bags to them. #MadeNewGatherings
  • After an inspiring conference, an associate pastor from Canada had a gathering with four "un-churched" business men. After the meeting all four men shared how they couldn't wait to extend the invitation for their next meeting because they were so enthused and want others coming as well for the great conversations. #MadeNewGatherings
  • A pastor in California was asked by his mayor to pray for rain. After this pastor's prayer there was a record breaking number of rainfall in that county. After this encounter, this pastor has had continuous gatherings with his county's leaders. #MadeNewGatherings
  • A men's group started to meet once a month in New York called "Man Up". This group comes together to do "manly" activities such as ax throwing, golf putting competitions and more. So far they have had over 20 men join with more than half of the men from the community that are not connected to a church. #MadeNewGatherings
  • With a call for racial reconciliation a pastor is planting a Mission House as a Wesleyan Church plant with a longtime friend, who when younger, worked together at a similar Mission house. After many years, a vision of a multi-ethnic church flourished and has become a beautiful reality through their Mission house church plant in a downtown in North Carolina. #MadeNewGatherings
  • A Pastor from California led a group of veterans to Washington DC on a 10 day motorcycle ride. Their mission was to "promote healing among ALL veterans and their families and friends..." and they have called themselves the Made New group. The pastor had head rags with the Made New logo on it made for his group members as well. #MadeNewGatherings
Made New Gatherings
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