Revitalizing existing churches and starting new faith communities go hand-in-hand.

The most effective strategy for cultivating vital Christians in vital churches who are changing communities includes BOTH strengthening the vitality of our current congregations AND starting new faith communities in appropriate areas and contexts. In fact, recent research shows that churches which help to start new faith communities actually benefit from the experience. Churches which actively and intentionally support the planting of new faith communities normally experience an increase in Sunday worship attendance and Sunday School participation.

This is our current cultural reality in Northern Illinois:

  • On any given Sunday, less than 20% of the population in Northern Illinois is in a church service, according to the groundbreaking The American Church in Crisis (2009).
  • Mainline churches, included the United Methodist Church, are declining in their attendance percentage every year.
  • One out of six Americans indicate “non-affiliated” or “none” for their religious affiliation.
  • One out of every three young adults ages 18-29 indicate “non-affiliated” or “none” for their religious affiliation.

We do not have to choose between planting and revitalizing. We can do both. If we are to reach more people, more young people, and more diverse people, then we must plant new faith communities. In the Northern Illinois Conference, we believe in planting and revitalizing, and we are working and praying to be a Conference that does both with excellence.

For more information, visit:  
Are you called to plant a new faith community or a new ministry? Planting a new church requires careful planning, resourcing, and leadership. The Northern Illinois Conference has numerous resources and programs to help assess, equip, and resource our planters. Assessment is how we identify high-potential planters and locations for new faith communities.
Whether you are an individual or an existing church, please follow these steps of assessment for discerning your readiness to plant:  
New Faith Community Planting ProcessBefore you can launch a new faith community, you must complete the assessment process. The assessment process must be completed before you are ever assigned or appointed to a position. Click "Am I Ready to Plant?" for more information on assessment.      
  After being assigned or appointed, follow these steps as you prepare to launch the new faith community:
  • Read some of our RECOMMENDED BOOKS
  • Stay connected to PATH1
  • Ask your District Superintendent to call a CONSTITUTING CHURCH CONFERENCE
  • Celebrate the chartering of your new church!
  • You can DONATE TODAY. Most new faith communities do NOT receive funding from the Conference budget. Instead, funding comes from the Harvest 2.0 campaign, from partner churches, and from national grants. Help supporting planting in our Conference by making a pledge to the Harvest 2.0 campaign!



NIC churches receive Discipleship One Matters Awards

For the first time, six churches in the NIC received the One Matters Award presented by the Rev. Dr. Bener Agtarap, Path One Executive Director, at the 2017 Annual Conference. Discipleship Ministries created the award in 2015 to lift up churches who have in recent years moved from zero baptisms and zero professions of faith…


2017 Annual Conference awards

Rainbow Covenant Advances for 2016 The Philip Otterbein Award – Highest Amount Given Barrington United Methodist Church The John Wesley Award – Highest Per Capita Giving Redeemer of Calvary/El Redentor del Calvario UMC One Matters: Discipleship Ministries Award Aurora District: Orland Park: Faith United Methodist Church Chicago Northwestern District: Skokie: Jesus-Love Korean New Faith Community Chicago…


Enhanced Find-A-Church features now available

Today’s tech-savvy seekers turn to the Internet as their primary source for information. Local United Methodist churches can be prepared with an updated profile on Find-A-Church, which now has enhanced tools to create easily viewed events, social media links, and worship information. New Find-A-Church features include: GoogleMap with movable pin to exactly communicate location Links…

Vaccinations Van

Grants help churches get creative

Thanks to your apportionment dollars 17 ministries in the Northern Illinois Conference received Creative Ministries Grants from the Program Council totaling close to $20,000. The grants helped fund a music academy, vacation Bible schools, a paper products pantry for homeless families, senior resource workshops, school supply giveaways and a weekend retreat for Chicago youth caught…

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