2017 LEAD Conference scheduled for Jan. 22-25 in Charlotte


charlotte-umc-lead-fb-cover Missiongathering Charlotte and the Hyatt Place Downtown Hotel will host the 2017 LEAD conference from January 22-25, 2017 in Charlotte, NC. LEAD is an innovative experience for leaders in ministry where the participants provide much of the content. This includes TED-style talks, interactive breakouts, worship, networking opportunities, and immersion trips to local ministries and non-profits. LEAD is now in its sixth year and each year has provided a new experience for its participants. Highlights of the 2017 conference include: Dynamic Speakers All speakers at LEAD are full participants in the conference. They do not simply come to give their talk and hop on a plane back home but come for the entire LEAD experience. This means there will be multiple opportunities to engage with the speakers and other participants about the stories and ideas that are shared from the LEAD stage. This year’s speakers will share talks around topics of relationships, challenges and opportunities in rural churches, justice, and ways that new opportunities have risen up out of formerly dying churches. Our speakers include Janina Graves, Rori Blakeney, Courtney McHill, Jarell Wilson, Brandon Wrencher, Olivia Poole, Kimberly Pope, Keith Ray, Chris Logan, Jordan McKenzie, Eilidh Lowery, Meredith and Mark Schol, and John Pavlovitz. Immersion Trips Immersion Trips are back for the first time since the 2014 LEAD Conference. On Monday afternoon you will have the opportunity to visit innovative ministries in the Charlotte are. These include community development organization The Harvest Center, intentional community QC Family Tree, small business incubator Area 15, an innovative mixed use church facility project at Sharon UMC, and a different side of Charlotte tour with local advocate Steven Tilley. Interactive Evening Experiences  On Monday and Tuesday night participants will have interactive worship experiences. Monday night will include an evening of arts led by pastor, poet, and teacher Dale Fredrickson from Denver, Colorado and pastor, author, speaker, and artist Sarah Heath from Costa Mesa, California. You will not want to miss this evening as Sarah and Dale will lead the conference in a night of Poetry, visual arts, music, and whatever else they have in store for us. Tuesday night the conference will end with a meal and worship at the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African American Arts and Culture. Regular registration rates have been extended until December 16 but is limited to 85 participants. The deadline for the hotel option ends December 20th and commuter option closes January 5th. Single and Double registrations include three nights in the Hyatt Place Downtown hotel and all registrations include two breakfasts, two lunches, a dinner, and an opening reception of coffee and desserts. You can register here. For questions or information on sponsorship and marketing opportunities at the conference please contact leadumc@gmail.com. For the latest on speakers and other announcements visit umclead.net.

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.