Big Sigh Ministries offers Grace Break Workshops in 2017


Nine times out of ten, renewal leaves are not sought after by clergy or their district leaders until a crisis situation.  We at Big Sigh Ministries are changing the conversation from burnout crisis to prevention and ministry resilience with our GRACE BREAK program. Through this informative program, we help clergy dream and plan ahead for renewal leaves; we educate church Staff and Pastor Parish Relations Committees as to the unique numerous stressors clergy face, the real threat of compassion fatigue in their clergy, as well as the win-win benefits when a pastor takes renewal time away and returns refreshed, renewed, rested and re-connected with God. GRACE BREAK:  Planning Your Renewal Leave.  Due to a generous grant from the WNCC Leadership Development Team, the cost to clergy is only $25 to participate in one of these events.  All 2017 workshops will be held at the Catholic Conference Center in Hickory, NC, from 9am-3pm.  Please register and pay online, or complete the form (download below) and mail to Big Sigh Ministries.

Tuesday, March 14 (Registration deadline:  March 4th)

Tuesday, May 16 (Registration deadline:  May 6th)

Tuesday, September 12 (Registration deadline:  September 2nd)

GRACE BREAK:  Caring for Our Pastor.  This is a small group study written by Big Sigh Ministries’ founders, Reverends Jack and Jacqueline Tookey.  This five session study includes topics such as:  Jesus’ Pattern for Ministry, External and Internal Stressors and Pressures of Ministry, Compassion Fatigue, Ministry Resilience, Christian Accountability and the Nuts and Bolts of Renewal Leaves.  Jacqueline and Jack can come to your church or district (if several SPRC/PPRCs come together) and facilitate this study.  Please contact Jacqueline at to schedule your leadership team for this small group experience. Churches and pastors who complete the GRACE BREAK programs can jointly apply for Renewal Leave micro-grants:  $1300 for three-month pulpit supply and $500 towards the pastor’s leave expenses.  Please contact Jacqueline for more information. DOWNLOAD FLYER AND REGISTRATION FORM

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.