My Appointment Plan 2011-12

Pastor:  Rev Nicole Reilley

Requested Ministry Appointment:  The Mission Field

My Calling:

I am an ordained elder in the UMC.  In my 19 years in the local church I have started

new things (including worship gatherings) and gathered new people into the local church (with a focus on young adults and those new or disenfranchised from the church).   I have also been blessed to be part of leadership in a church that tripled in worship attendance (Hope UMC) and a church that added 51+ new families in five years (SMUMC).

Out of my experience, I have found a great passion for the local church and believe it is God’s tool to bring salvation to the world.  Within the last year, I have felt a new dimension to my calling: I believe God is calling me to give leadership to an additional (but certainly not new) model to start and grow local churches.

My hope is that my new direction enables me to build upon what I have learned and hopefully do best: build the local church by gathering people, develop leadership (especially among new people/young adults) and communicate the gospel in a contemporary and life changing way while enabling churches to grow and flourish without the outlay of money for either clergy or buildings.

This model would cultivate micro-churches (10-20 people) who would meet in homes, (backyards, parks, coffee shops) for the purpose of worship and learning & living the way of Jesus for the transformation of the world. These churches would be lay led, simple and focused on Jesus and living his way.

The weekly gathering would be for a meal, worship, prayer and hands on mission.  There would be various options for what would happen at each gathering.

My calling isn’t to run a house church but rather to give leadership to gathering, training, encouraging and networking these churches together.  There might be a larger network gathering quarterly (at a local UMC for dinner, communion, baptism and more “traditional” worship), etc.

I would like to be appointed to “the mission field” for the next year so I might explore this concept and begin a network.

Proposed Focus for 2011-2012:

I will focus on starting and growing a network of churches that are small (10-20 people), lay run, meeting in homes (or parks, coffee shops) simple (easy to start, lead and grow), and focused on Jesus and living his way as a one model of growth for the UMC in the Cal-Pac Conference.

Goal: 10 house churches in one network with 10 people in each church with 5 groups being led by young adults (ages 18-35) by Easter 2012.  An additional 10 churches would be started in the fall of 2012.  House church offerings would fund ministry and mission—not clergy salaries or buildings.

Larger Goal: 20-25 house churches with 10 people in each church with 50% of leaders being young adults.


  1. Who is doing this from whom I can learn? (NewDayDallas)
  2. How can I set up accountability and coaching for myself?
  3. What would make these churches/network specifically United Methodist?
  4. How do I build support for this alternative way of doing church in a traditional and building-centered denomination?
  5. What would weekly gatherings look like?
  6. Would larger gatherings (once a quarter?) strengthen the house churches?  Where would we do these gatherings and what would their purpose be?
  7. How would I raise $5,000-$10,000 for expenses (BBQs & other food, retreat, larger gathering expenses such as musician and space usage, etc.)
  8. What makes it church instead of a bible study or other gathering?
  9. What DNA (values, theology, etc.) needs to be present so that both leaders & attenders stay focused on the main thing (Jesus and living his way)?
  10. What training would be needed for house church leaders so that they would experience their own faith more fully, feel confident in gathering and leading, and experience that their group is a manifestation of the kingdom of God (and thus worthy of their time and energy).
  11. How do I best get the word out so that the highest quality of potential leaders would come forward for pilot group?
  12. How are youth and children part of this model?

Related Questions:

  1. How do I provide at least $40,000+ income for myself my 2nd year?
  2. If I am bi-vocational, what training do I need and how would I balance this training with my calling?  (For example, going back to school for a Masters in Counseling Psychology would take substantial money and time but would have better income possibilities than returning to school to be a teacher).

Phase 1 (April –May 2011)

Meet with 1 person each (over 3 months, so 12 people) to share model and get feedback.

Personal work of 2 hours daily prayer and meditation (5 x week), 1 day weekly fasting

June – Renewal Leave

Phase 2 – (July – September 2011)

Prayer 1-hour daily/fasting 1 day per week (continues monthly)

Put together Prayer Team

Review Methodist movement in history.

Find local house church in which to participate and local congregation to attend.

Explore (internet, contacts, books & articles) who has been doing this among other Annual Conferences as well as what other mainline & non-denominational churches have been doing.

Attend trainings of those who are successfully doing house churches and house church network.

Approach partners such as Conference Young Adults, local churches that would welcome having a house church connected to their congregation.

Develop DNA for network including, core values, mission statement, theological framework,

Develop worship designs—some house churches would be organized around a focus (arts focus, discussion focus, music focus, meditation focus, etc) while others would choose weekly (so some weeks they might do prayer stations one week and another week do more a discussion format).

Finished project:  Put together a model for house church (weekly meetings plus larger group/retreats).

BBQ to share vision.

Begin recruiting leaders for house churches

Phase 3: (October-December 2011)

Develop training model

Develop oversight model

BBQ to share vision and recruit

Campfire Dinner and Prayer gatherings (monthly)

Recruiting leaders (50% young adult)

Advent Retreat for leadership


 Phase 4: (mid-January-March 2012)

House church with future leadership gathers (at Nicole’s) and training begins (10 weeks).

Focus of training to include:  spiritual formation of leaders, exploring models of celebration-connection-contribution for house churches, worship, how to gather people, how to give and share leadership, etc.

Lent Retreat for leadership

Campfire Dinners and Prayer gathering (at Nicole & Jeff’s)

Phase 5 (April-June)

House churches start Palm Sunday/Easter 2012.

Oversight and continued development of leadership.

Start development of summer Mission Project.

Phase 6 (Summer 2012)

1st Network gathering (at local UMC) for worship, dinner, communion, baptisms, professions of faith. (July)

Oversight and continued development of leadership and churches

Second wave of leaders gathered to be trained in October

BBQ for supporters of ministry & churches (August)

Network Mission Project (August- September)

 Phase 7 (Fall 2012)

2nd network gathering (October)

Second wave of churches planted