Joyful Giving Group offers 25 congregations coaching opportunity


Grow in Generosity This Year!

Would you like to grow in generosity this year, both as an individual, and as a church? Would you like to cultivate a mindset and congregation that is more generous?  Would you like to deepen your understanding and practice of generosity as part of discipleship?  What difference can be made in and through you, as an individual and as a church, by growing in your capacity to give? In partnership with Joyful Giving Group LLC and under a grant from The Duke Endowment, we are pleased to offer an opportunity for 25 congregations around the WNCC to participate in a year-long coaching and training course to deepen their understanding and practice of generosity, from July 2017 – June 2018. Who is facilitating the course? The program is led by Rev. A.J. Thomas, Founder of Joyful Giving Group LLC.  A.J. is an elder in the WNCC, and he is appointed to Joyful Giving Group as extension ministry. He is a practiced believer in the power of generosity to transform individual lives, congregations, and entire communities. What does the course involve? The program is an investment in both the leadership of the pastor, and in the congregation itself.  Each pastor will need to commit about 5 hours per month to coaching and training, which will take place both one-on-one and in small, regionally-based groups.  Each pastor will also receive up to five hours of planning services with a Certified Financial Planner (CFP™). Additionally, each church’s leadership team will participate in 2 training sessions with Rev. A.J. Thomas. Who may apply? The program is designed for congregations who have the desire and ability to grow in generosity, in order to expand their capacity for mission and ministry.  Applications are welcome from all churches in the WNCC. Churches who are part of a charge may apply together, if desired.  An application from a charge will be considered one application. When applying together, the church council chair of each church on the charge must sign the submitted application, in addition to the pastor. Does it cost anything? While the value of the course is $3,000 to each congregation, thanks to the grant from The Duke Endowment and the partnership of the districts of the WNCC, each participating congregation’s monetary investment is only $1,000.  Two payments each of $500 will be due in August 2017 and January 2018, allowing congregations to split the investment between two budget years. How does a church apply?
  1. Fill out the application in its entirety, which is due no later than June 30 @ 5pm. Submission instructions are on the application itself.
  2. Churches will be notified of acceptance by July 14.
Questions can be directed to Rev. A.J. Thomas at  You may learn more about the ministry of Joyful Giving Group at Download Application  

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


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