After 90 minutes of spirited debate, the Church Growth and Presbyterian Investment and Loan Program (PILP) Committee approved a motion that recommends the 220th General Assembly declare a churchwide commitment to ignite a movement that results in the creation of 1001 worshiping communities in the next ten years.
In approving the motion, commissioners added language seeking the development of workable strategies, collaboration with congregations in growing new communities of faith, and a report on the movement’s progress at the 221st General Assembly (2014).
“We wanted to enthusiastically support this movement,” said Craig Hoster, commissioner from Eastern Oklahoma Presbytery, “while adding some accountability and strategy to the creation of new worshiping communities.”
During the debate, Joe Brown, commissioner from Greater Atlanta Presbytery, spoke against the additional wording, stating his belief that language in the initial 1001 motion was intentionally metaphorical, not technical. “There is necessary tension between these two, but I believe we should understand it that way (metaphorically). We should not bog it down, but give it as much freedom as possible, for the Spirit to move.”
The Church Growth and PILP committee also recommended that the 220th General Assembly (2012) direct the General Assembly Mission Council (specifically Racial Ethnic and Women’s Ministries, Presbyterian Women and Evangelism and Church Growth Ministries) to:
- train and deploy five regional coaches to collaborate with mid councils and congregations to implement the African American Church Growth Strategy, and
- hold a national consultation to develop strategies and policies to support racial, ethnic, multicultural and new immigrant church growth in the PC(USA).