5 Ways to Better Equip Vital Congregations


5 wAYS This is the May 2015 issue from DISCIPLESHIP MINISTRIES.  Idea 1How is your church offering H.O.P.E.? Making disciples for the transformation of the world means offering the hope of Jesus Christ in all aspects of life. At Discipleship Ministries, H.O.P.E. is an acronym that helps us remember the core process of making disciples found in The Book of Discipline: Hospitality, Opportunity, Purpose and Engagement. Tell the world how is your congregation making disciples and offering hope to your community. Visit UMCHOPE.org.   Idea 2Renew your congregation’s focus on discipleship because One Matters. Discipleship Ministries is urging each annual conference to use the new One Matters Discipleship Award to recognize a church that is turning zero annual baptisms and professions of faith into positive numbers. Each "1" in those categories represents a transformed life – a life that matters to God and a life that should matter to us all. For more information about the One Matters Discipleship Award, contact your conference office, or go to http://bit.ly/1IvZ52n.   Idea 3Create ‘prayer spaces’ at annual conference or camp gatherings. The Upper Room staff has prayerfully designed 12 ideas for creating prayer stations in your settings this summer. Each of these prayer spaces incorporates a visual focus, a simple written meditation guide and a prompt to respond to God’s calling. Download information about how to create each of the dozen prayer spaces athttp://voices.upperroom.org/prayerspaces.   Idea 4Connect young people to opportunities for putting their faith into action. Use the searchable platform on the new website UMConnector from Young People’s Ministries to get young people involved in the many opportunities provided by the agencies of the United Methodist Church. Browse one-page profiles of other UMConnector users that include direct contact information, and then go directly to a program or event webpage, or contact the staff in charge of that program. Explorewww.umconnector.org today.   Idea 5Learn the basics of children’s ministry for New Church Starts. Participate in a two-part webinar series with Melanie Gordon of Discipleship Ministries at 9 a.m. CDT on June 16 and at 1 p.m. CDT on June 22. The interactive webinars will focus on the basics needed for programming and developing resources in New Church Starts to welcome and form children from birth to age 11. For more information and to register, go to http://bit.ly/1PeFXKa. That’s all this month.  5 more ideas coming your way in June. SUBSCRIBE TO THIS MONTHLY NEWSLETTER

Resources for Vital Congregations



Lewis Center for Church Leadership

Lewis Center for Church Leadership: Books

Lewis Center for Church Leadership: Serve Your Neighbor

GBHEM Leadership Resources


Living Faithfully: Human Sexuality and the United Methodist Church

Englewood Book Review

Five Practices of Fruitful Congregations

Ted Talks: The Golden Circle

Ted Talks: The Power of Vulnerability

Ted Talks: The Price of Invulnerability

Design Thinking

Meditations on the Ministry of All Christians


Be A Disciple

A Disciple’s Path; A Guide for United Methodist

Lewis Center for Church Leadership: Adult Christian Studies from the Wesley Ministry Network

Traveling Together: A Guide for Disciple Forming Congregations


Living As United Methodist Christians

Methodist Doctrine: The Essentials

Reclaiming our Wesleyan Tradition: John Wesley’s Sermons for Today

John Wesley Sermons: Anthology


Get Their Name

Evangelism & Theology in the Wesleyan Spirit

Canoeing the Mountains

Fresh Expressions

Fresh Expressions: Dinner Church

Lewis Center for Church Leadership: Reach New Disciples

Lewis Center for Church Leadership: 50 Ways to Reach People

Community: The Structure of Belonging


Institute for Emerging Issues

Congregations 4 Children


The Royce and Jane Reynolds Ministry Fund Grants

The Duke Endowment


The Appalachian District Church Vitality Team has been prayerfully seeking ways to help support you and the ministries of your local congregation during this COVID-19 pandemic. Together they have diligently researched and connected with others throughout the conference and our denomination to identify resources and offer them to you. We hope they will be helpful to you and bless you greatly in leading your churches and communities through this unprecedented time. We are very grateful to the District Vitality Team and other contributors for their great work on this resource.
This faithful team has created three documents, two of which you are receiving today. They include:

  • Family Home Worship – designed to help families establish a regular worship space within their homes as well as a time where they can worship together.
  • Tech Strategies – to help guide you in selecting effective tools and resources within your budget to best communicate in the digital world.

We believe these resources will be of great benefit to you. Also know that the District Vitality Team is available to answer any questions you might have in regards to the documents attached. If you have questions, you may email Rev. Howard Fleming at hfleming@wnccumc.net.


  • Resources
Follow Jesus. Make Disciples. Transform the World.