5 Ways to Better Equip Vital Congregations


Discipleship-Min400April 2015 Issue from Discipleship Ministries

Equip the church for African-American new church starts. Candace Lewis, New Church Starts (Path 1) executive director, will lead a team of successful United Methodist Church pastors in a special session on African-American church planting. The session will be April 27 at Exponential East, a four-day conference of inspiration, encouragement and equipping for church planters, in Tampa. For more information and to register, go to http://bit.ly/1ENe9mS.   Strengthen Christian faith in your homes. May is Christian Home Month in the United Methodist Church, and this year's theme is “Families: Called to Justice.” Resources from Discipleship Ministries are available to help your congregation develop and strengthen faith in the home and support Christian families in their faith journeys. For worship suggestions, family devotional ideas, retreat plans and congregational activities, go to http://bit.ly/1FEX7sC. Or for a print copy, email Nancy Dunlap at ndunlap@gbod.org.   Help your youth learn more about acts of mercy. At YOUTH 2015, the church’s quadrennial event for 6-12 grade students and their leaders, mission and workshop offerings will help youth understand what it means to participate in acts of mercy in a hands-on way. YOUTH 2015 will be June 24-28 in Orlando. Registration at $475 per person remains open until the end of May. For more information and to register, go to http://youth2015.com.   Discuss faithful environmental stewardship of God’s creation. Plan to participate in the free webinar “Called to Care for God’s Good Creation: Intergenerational Environmental Stewardship” on May 5 at 10 a.m. CDT. Ken Sloane from Discipleship Resources and John Hill from the General Board of Church and Society will discuss ways to develop, nurture and encourage faithful environmental stewardship in our churches and homes. For more information and to register, go to http://bit.ly/1yg9BqR.   Join a conversation about providing care to others. Upper Room Ministries and the Henri Nouwen Society will host a live call-in seminar, “Caregiving from the Heart: A Spirituality of Caregiving,” for both professional and personal caregivers on April 23 at 11:30 CDT. Gordon Peerman and Marjorie Thompson will discuss their own experiences with caregiving, Henri Nouwen's writing and Nouwen’s life-giving perspective on offering and receiving care. For more information and to register, go to http://elearning.upperroom.org/events/178. SUBSCRIBE TO THE 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.