Our Story

Our Name

The name of our organization, 1703: A Faith Collaborative, comes from our roots in the Methodist tradition. 1703 is the birth year of John Wesley, an Anglican priest who was the founder of the Methodist movement. Wesley is known for many things, including the way he gathering people around faith. These gatherings were called “class meetings” where people came together to explore their faith, share their joys and struggles, supported one another, and cared for the “least of these” in the community.

Our Research

In 2017 we acquired grant and private donor funding to conduct a professional market research study on the decline of organized religion in the United States. We partnered with Lieberman Research Worldwide, one of the world’s top marketing research firms. The study was completed in June 2018. The results of our study confirmed much of what we already knew, that people are turning away from organized religion as an avenue to explore their faith. However, it also showed that people are still deeply interested in faith and spirituality and they still want to engage in that journey as part of a community that looks and functions differently from what many churches have traditionally offered.

Inspired by the life and ministry of Wesley and the results of our study with LRW we launched 1703: A Faith Collaborative to launch new communities of faith and partner with existing churches and faith communities to help them learn from our research and decades of ministry experience.

Our Experts

Our founder, president, and CEO, Rob Rynders, is an ordained United Methodist deacon and has a passion for being a connector who coaches professional and volunteer leaders and teams around innovative ideas, projects, events, and partnerships. Rob brings strategic planning, fundraising, networking, leadership, writing, and public speaking skills to organizations and movements focused on positively impacting individual lives and communities. He is the co-author of The Sacred Secular, the co-founder of City Square Church, and the co-founder of The Lead Conference. He’s a member of Valley Leadership Class 36 and is a distinguished alumnus of Claremont School of Theology.

We’ve also partnered with other experts in worship design and leadership, family ministries, stewardship, finance, and fundraising, marketing, communications, graphic design, and more.

Our Board

  • Rob Rynders, 1703
  • Rev. Susan Brims, The Desert Southwest Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church
  • Rev. David McPherson, The Desert Southwest Conference of The United Methodist Church
  • Clyde Moore, Gliocas LLC
  • Amy Notbohm, Dayspring United Methodist Church

Our Commitment

We believe connecting with our neighbors is deeply important, faithful, work. For this reason, we organized 1703 as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. This allows us to be flexible so we can focus on the needs of a wider spectrum of leaders and organizations. In other words, we can prioritize mission over our bottom line. View our profile on Guidestar.

If you’re ready to take the next step and talk about how we can help your organization please click here to schedule a free thirty minute consultation. We look forward to serving you!

Free Download on Church Decline

Join our mailing list and recieve the free PDF "Developing Communities of Faith For the Twenty-First Century" which includes original professional market research on church decline and spiritual needs in the US. 

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