There are no short-cuts or magic formulas that lead to greater church vitality. Inevitably, church vitality requires prayerfulness, a sense of God inspired urgency, leadership readiness, and commitment on the part of laity and clergy to do some hard work together.
This is NOT an exhaustive list of processes or programs currently available to your local church. Each district may decide to offer other events and venues in addition to the ones listed here.
After a time of prayerful discernment you are encouraged to contact your District Office and/or Church Vitality Strategist to determine which programs or processes might be most helpful for you.
Do you want to learn more about your church and its readiness to do any new thing?
READINESS 360 SURVEY AND REPORT
Whether you want to start a new worship service, a new ministry site or even to revitalize an existing faith community, you have to know where your starting point is in order to create the plan to get you where you want to go. The Readiness 360 report helps congregations gain shared, unprecedented insight as to where they are so that any new vision, goal or ministry becomes more achievable. With its ability to gain input from everyone in the congregation and then to synthesize it into a practical report, the Readiness 360 is a valuable tool for gaining broad agreement on where to start and providing ideas for next steps. Through the Office of Church Vitality our annual conference has a contractual relationship with Readiness 360 that allows every local church to take advantage of using Readiness 360. For more information visit readiness360.org
Do you want to learn more about those who are sitting in your seats on Sunday morning and those living out in the community surrounding your church?
Serving your community begins with understanding your community. Our annual conference has a contractual relationship with MissionInsite that allows every local United Methodist Church to access extensive demographic data and resources that will help them understand the make-up of their congregation AND who those who live around them in the wider community. Easy-to-use map based data analytics tools have established MissionInsite as the preferred choice for current community information. For more information visit missioninsite.com.
Do you want to engage in an intentional process that will help your leadership dive more deeply into the study and practice of key things that might help your church thrive?
Based on the best-selling book by Dr. Phil Maynard, Shift- Helping Congregations Back into the Game of Effective Ministry, networks of local church leaders throughout the annual conference can explore 5 key shifts congregations must make to become vital, effective, and fruitful: 1. From Fellowship to Hospitality, 2. From Worship as an Event to Worship as a Lifestyle, 3. From Membership to Discipleship, 4. From ‘Serve Us’ to Service, and 5. From ‘Survival Mentality’ to Generosity.
Based on years of research, coaching, and consulting with local congregations this book, and consultative process, provides helpful, practical methods for developing effective ministry in any size church. For more information visit emc3coaching.com.
Church Transformation Team- training and certification of regional teams (clergy and laity) to provide Plowpoint Transforming Churches services.
Conflict Transformation: Longing to Belong is a biblical process for church leaders and congregations to equip and empower the church to navigate effectively and faithfully through critical ministry transitions.
Good things to God Things Strategic Visioning Seminar: to equip church leaders in conflict transformation, strategic visioning, and assessing local church potential. Staff/Leadership Development Retreats are specifically designed with your group in mind. Your staff or leadership team will be strengthened for ministry after one of these day or weekend long retreats.
For more information visit plowpoint.org
Abide, by Spiritual Leadership, Inc., is a model for regenerating smaller membership churches. More than a revitalization process, ABIDE addresses root causes of the decline of fruitful disciple-making in the existing church. As a “walk-alongside process” focusing on groups of 10-15 small membership churches ABIDE draws on the biblical model of John 15:1-11 and helps participants examine where their churches are in regard to overall vitality, how they impact their surrounding community, why they exist, what direction God is leading them, and how they will best move forward from where they are to where God intends them to be. An ABIDE process involves carefully selected teams from each local church who will commit to 2 retreats- a month apart, 8 hours a month meeting together, reading between meetings, and being coached by an SLI team member. For more information visit spiritual-leadership.org
SIX ESSENTIAL QUESTIONS CONSULTATION (based on Patrick Lencioni’s book, The Advantage)
Often times, before launching into a long-term process of revitalization, it is helpful for a congregation to engage in dialogue around these six key questions:
- Why do we exist? (Vision)
- What do we do? (Purpose)
- How do we behave? (Values)
- How do we define success? (Strategy)
- What’s most important now? (Focus)
- Who does what? (Engagement)
Congregational leaders may choose to discuss these questions by themselves or invite a member from our Church Vitality Team to facilitate conversation.
Do you want to engage in an intentional process that will help your leadership multiply its impact and influence in your church and surrounding community?
Intentional Impact co-founder Brian Zehr leads annual Impact Groups of 30-40 new and seasoned clergy to help them develop leadership skills, gain insights from peers and be held accountable through monthly coaching sessions or stand alone, full-day or half day sessions with their leadership peers. This highly engaging process has quickly become a very popular and effective leadership development tool in our annual conference. Space is limited! New groups are organized annually each fall and begin in the New Year. For more information visit intentionalimpact.com
Do you want to learn more about micro-communities as a model for Christian discipleship or church planting in your cultural context?
ACADEMY FOR MISSIONAL WISDOM (Dr. Elaine Heath)
The Academy for Missional Wisdom is a two year non-degree program that provides laity and clergy with the theological foundation and practical skills needed for starting and leading micro-communities of contemplative prayer and missional action. The program integrates distance learning technology, immersion experiences, and retreats as well as a contextualized practicum with coaching to provide accessible and affordable education for persons who work full-time.
Monasticism, I learned, isn’t about achieving some sort of individual or communal piety. It’s about helping the church be the church. – Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove
The goal of the Academy for Missional Wisdom is to provide clergy and laity with the training and support needed to cultivate and lead micro-communities of contemplative prayer and missional action. Our goal is to help the church be the church. For more information visit missionalwisdom.com.
For more information about any of these programs or processes please contact your District Superintendent or Church Vitality Strategist.