According to UMC Path1:
We believe a new congregation is more than a mission project, new worship service or new building. For us, it is a newly organized faith community that is committed to making disciples of Jesus Christ and:
- includes regular community worship
- is theologically Wesleyan
- has an effective discipling system
- receives new members
- demonstrates faithful stewardship
- is deeply involved in community outreach
- is willing to plant a new congregation in its first decade
Annual conferences will obviously continue to define what they consider a new congregation.
This definition does not have anything to do with numbers or the way that worship is facilitated. I would add to the list one, holy, catholic, apostolic.
I believe that a home, small group or house church would fit this definition and forget about a decade for this type of community to start a new church. I would say within the first 10 months.
What do you think?