Quadrennial Leadership Training Held on July 9th


Goodpaster-0709The Western North Carolina Conference held its quadrennial leadership organizing and training event for the 2016-2020 quadrennium at St. Luke's United Methodist Church  in Hickory, N.C. on Saturday, July 8, 2016, from 10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. The theme for the day was: " Leading Into the Future." Those invited to the event included all conference and district staff, and all elected members of boards, commissions and committees of the annual conference.  These persons were elected as leaders of the conference at the 2016 Annual Conference session held in June. Close to 300 were in attendance at Saturday's event. The day began in worship with music prepared by Rev. Josh Sherfey of First United Methodist Church in Taylorsville. The band, One Acchord,  from that church led the music for the morning. Various conference leaders led in prayers and readings, and Bishop Goodpaster preached from Exodus 13:17-22 a sermon entitled, "Leading into, through and out of the wilderness." Beginning with reflections of the week previous and mentioning the violence in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Minneapolis, Minnesota and Dallas, Texas, he called the leadership to build, model and encourage kingdom community across Western North Carolina. He shared three lessons from the scripture for the gathering to take with them:
  1. Beware of short cuts- "Innovation happens when you make mistakes...keep your eyes on the Promised Land."
  2. Don't forget the past- "Hold on to who we are as Wesleyans..the warm-heart and working hands, the love of God and neighbor, the both/and."
  3. Look for God's signposts- "Look for God in your midst...Lead the church where God would have us go."
After a short break, Rev. Tom Berlin, pastor of Floris United Methodist Church in Herndon, Virginia, in suburban, Washington, D.C., led the body in a session entitled: "Leading Through Change." Building upon Bishop Goodpaster's leadership on the adaptive challenge over the psat eight years, Berlin used the story from Acts 15:6-11 and the early church as a focus for leading in the midst of change. BerlinHe outlined five key leadership traits for leaders with the question, "What should they expect from you?"
  1. Candor- "Speak the truth in love...candor begins conversations that matter."
  2. Camaraderie- "Make connections and linkages with others in the conference...United Methodists don't do their best work behind microphones, but across the table from each other."
  3. Clarity- "In your context, why are people not heading in the same direction?...What one thing is the main thing for the Annual Conference?"
  4. Connections- "Our resources and relationships among each other are what matter in connectionalism."
  5. Courage- "Note that this word is right in the middle of an important word for today- Encouragement....we need to be courageous, not in obtaining power and control, but courageous in love."
Following lunch, leadership from eighteen different teams gathered in small groups and organized for the coming quadrennium.  IN some groups that involved electing officers and assigning committees, and in all groups they discerned how their team aligned with the conference mission: "Follow Jesus. Make Disciples. Transform the World." The day closed with a brief time of commitment, with each team stating publicly their purpose and how it aligned to the mission, and each individual making a personal commitment to lead into the future.  

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.