Mapping New Initiatives in Church Life

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Using National Church Life Survey (NCLS) data from 2006 and 2011, this paper explores new initiatives that Australian Protestant churches have been implementing, and trends for different denominations and localities.


Seven new initiative areas were considered: new churches, church plants, parent churches, multi-church planting, new worship services, highly experimental/pioneering forms of church and highly experimental/pioneering forms of outreach.

Results show that new worship services were the most common new initiative pursued by Australian churches. Also of note was the large number of new churches that did not also identify as church plants. While this can partly be explained, it also points to a key issue in this field: terms such as ‘church planting’ do not mean the same thing among different churches and denominations.

Authors: Miriam Pepper, Nicole Hancock, Ruth Powell


Hancock, N., Powell, R. & Pepper, M. (2013) Mapping New Initiatives in Church Life. NCLS Research Occasional Paper 14. Sydney: NCLS Research.