Church Anew is a Spirit-led movement that nourishes Christian leaders and ignites communities of faith by setting an inclusive table of belonging and developing resources for a fresh, bold, and faithful witness in the world.
Church Anew began in 2018 as a way for Christian leaders to gather around tables for mutual learning, support, and encouragement. Our ministry was born out of renewed vision and life that emerged from St. Andrew Lutheran Church in Eden Prairie, Minnesota, a congregation serving more than 7,000 members in the Twin Cities region. Church Anew is in excellent alignment with the mission statement of St. Andrew Lutheran Church “to live out our faith in daily life.”
After surveying the needs of church leaders and the emerging gap between the needs of leaders and congregations alike, we launched a series of events, where clergy and lay leaders learned from national visionaries and local practitioners of ministry. Building from the local community services offered to nearly 150 preschool children through our Early Learning Program and the vibrant growth of our camp, Spirit in the Pines, that serves more than 700 campers each summer, St. Andrew Lutheran Church continues to support and uplift Church Anew as a vital offering for Christian leaders and communities of faith around the world. St. Andrew utilizes its convening influence and space to set a table for mutual belonging, learning, gathering, and shared vision through Church Anew. Unlike some congregationally based church-growth initiatives, Church Anew consistently decenters our congregation, listening carefully to the needs of small and medium-sized congregations in a variety of theological traditions.
In 2020, responding both to the immediate needs of the COVID-19 pandemic and the renewed call for racial justice that emerged out of the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Church Anew launched a Blog that continues to speak to the pressing needs of the church and the world. We have seen more than 325,000 active users from every continent in the world and nearly every Christian theological tradition in North America receive insight, wisdom, and guidance from national voices and emerging leaders. More than 1500 congregations now rely on Church Anew as a trusted guide in this time of disruptive change for Christian leaders.
We take this responsibility seriously, consistently discerning ways that we can produce and provide resources that these communities need to thrive. As we continue to listen carefully to the needs of Christian leaders, Church Anew now provides learning gatherings, ready-made resources, and ongoing content to equip congregations to make fresh proclamation of good news to a world that longs for healing.
As a congregationally-based initiative, Church Anew has a unique vantage point on the challenges, opportunities, hopes, and dreams of the church that is still becoming in North America. We hear from participants time and again that Church Anew maintains a unique perspective on the needs of Christian leaders and communities of faith as a congregationally-based, grassroots initiative. While there are few models to follow, we trust that our gift to the Body of Christ continues to be guided and shaped by the Holy Spirit blazing a trail ahead of us.