About NEXT Church
NEXT Church is a network of leaders — church members, ruling elders, youth leaders, educators, pastors, seminarians and professors — across the Presbyterian Church (USA) who believe the church of the future will be more relational, more diverse, more collaborative, more hopeful and more agile. We provide hopeful space for robust conversations about the theology, culture, and the practice of ministry, support strong, faithful leadership in a time of adaptive change, and encourage collaboration and creativity across congregations and geographies. We are fostering a conversation about how to follow Christ in our particular day and age. We are a movement seeking to strengthen the relational fabric of the PC(USA) so that our congregations are strong and healthy enough to be a sustained, effective, faithful and moral voice that is engaged in the transformation of our communities toward the common good.
We host a national gathering each year, curate online conversation about the practice of ministry, and are available for preaching and teaching in regional and local settings throughout the year. Each of these settings allows us to carry out these reflective conversations on culture and ministry as well as make and deepen connections in the church.
We focus our efforts in three main areas:
Support & Equip Congregations
God calls and equips local congregations for transformation: gathering people in Christ-centered community, and dispersing them into the world to seek justice, peace, and reconciliation. Informed by that conviction, NEXT Church strengthens congregations by connecting their leaders to one another, to creative and challenging ideas, and to best practices.
NEXT Church believes “To be a Christian is to be continuously undone and remade by a Savior who encounters us in ways we might not expect, through a collection of people we might otherwise reject, screen, or censor.”1 That belief grounds our individual and collective work of interrupting patterns of racism and white supremacy.
Ruling elders are equal partners in leadership within the denomination, but ruling elders rarely have education funds available to them from the church to further their own development. So a team of people within the Charlotte Presbytery created an elder symposium.
Cultivated Ministry is a culture and process of ministry that does not rest on traditional metrics nor does it abdicate accountability altogether. See our free field guide resource for more.
NEXT Church Chaplains
In recognition of these unprecedented times of challenge and upheaval, we’ve put together a virtual chaplaincy corps to be available for virtual visits at no cost to any church leader in need.
NEXT Church Blog
Our blog features monthly themes that highlight a particular intersection of life and ministry, through which we aim to connect congregations to creative ideas and best practices.
Thriving congregations result from strong leadership. Strong leaders are formed through training, practice, and accountability. Through its national gatherings, peer groups, electronic resources and trainings, NEXT Church is developing leaders who are courageous, theologically centered, and practically equipped to navigate the changing cultural contexts into which God sends the Church. We prioritize relationships as essential to ministries that fuel reconciliation in the world.
Community Organizing for Church Leaders
A wholly re-imagined set of trainings in conjunction with Johnson C. Smith Theological Seminary.
NEXT Church gatherings are filled with church leaders sharing stories of their experiences of ministry, new ideas they are trying, and opportunities for strategic learning.
NEXT Steps Coaching
NEXT Steps Coaching is a new initiative designed to support leaders as they shepherd their communities through real and lasting change.
Strengthen Connections Across the Denomination
Strong connections sustain vibrant and diverse ministries, and NEXT Church treasures the blessings of our Reformed tradition and connectional polity. Where existing structures, systems, and practices no longer adequately equip and connect the leaders and congregations of the PC(USA), we seek to nurture transformation. Locally and nationally, NEXT Church models and creates opportunities for collaboration, truth-telling, deep listening, and action.
The Sarasota Statement
The Sarasota Statement is a confession developed by a diverse group of Presbyterian leaders, speaking into the heart of the discord and division of our present moment as a nation.
A collaboration between NEXT Church and the Presbyterian Board of Pensions that aims to connect clergy with valuable resources.