Description and Purpose: This grant is available to Indiana United Methodist Churches that are starting a new congregation. This new congregation (at least fifty constituents) can be an extension of the sponsoring church (e.g. as an additional campus) or as a standalone church. There are Fresh Expressions grants for smaller new faith community efforts.
The grant will provide up to $25,000 per year for up to three consecutive years; therefore, the maximum amount is $75,000. The grant funds may be used for any costs related to starting the new congregation. This includes, salary support, supplies, equipment, facility purchase and renovation, and ministry expenses.
Terms of the grant:
- The grant is for starting a new congregation, not funding one that has already been started.
- A church can receive only one of these grants at any given time.
- The project must be approved in advance of the grant application by the church’s council.
- Before applying, the church must have completed new-church-planting training. Contact CD@inumc.org for approved training options.
- The project must have the approval of the church’s district Conference Superintendent (CS).
- If the project will be in close proximity to existing United Methodist congregations, the church must work with the CS in sharing the concept with those churches before completing this application process. Collaboration is encouraged!
- A church must notify the CD Committee if the purpose of the project, as described in this application, changes; the grant may be suspended and what was paid out may need to be returned.
- A church is expected to pay its full tithe to the conference and district during the duration of the grant or have an alternative payment plan approved by the CS and the CD Committee.
- A church with a delinquent CD loan is not eligible for this grant.
- A church must remain a part of the Indiana Annual Conference during the entire payout period. If it should leave during the payout of the grant, the grant will be suspended and what was paid out must be returned.
- A church receiving a grant agrees to submit electronically a monthly progress report during the payout of the grant.
- The project’s leader is expected to have already helped start an outreach ministry (new worship service, small groups, Fresh Expressions, etc.) in the past.
- The project leader, or someone on the project leadership team, should have fundraising experience.
- The project’s leader is expected to be credentialed or in the credentialing process of the UMC or be under the supervision of appointed clergy.
- The project’s leader agrees to hire a coach, approved by Church Development, during the payout of the grant.
- Continued payout of the grant is contingent upon the project meeting its milestones, which are set by the applicant church. (See appendix below.)
Grant Approval: The Church Development Committee considers these grants at its quarterly meetings. Applications received at least two weeks prior to the meeting will be considered. The committee may take the following action:
- approve the full amount requested (perhaps with conditions)
- approve part of the amount request (perhaps with conditions)
- not approve the request
- table the request
Applicants will be notified as to the committee’s decision soon after the meeting. If a grant is approved, the church’s council chair, pastor, project leader, CS, and Church Development representative will sign a letter of agreement before the grant payout begins.