Posts Tagged ‘growth’

Does your church need helping funding its revitalization effort?  Then take a look at this grant opportunity…


Discipleship Ministries Communications Office
Steve Horswill-Johnston, Executive Director
(615) 340-1726 (O) (615) 429-3431 (C)
Grants Available to Spark Creative Vital Congregation Growth

NASHVILLE, Tenn. Nov. 18, 2014  /Discipleship Ministries/  – Grants totaling $200,000 are now available from Discipleship Ministries to encourage local churches, annual conferences and central conferences to experiment with innovative and creative approaches to growing vital congregations.
The grants seek to spur quantifiable growth in worship attendance, professions of faith, small groups, mission engagement and missional giving.

“Offering these experimentation grants across the connection hopefully will nurture more creativity among our church leaders to seek ways to grow grace-filed Christ followers through worship, small groups, mission and stewardship,” said Dr. Timothy L. Bias, General Secretary (chief executive) of Discipleship Ministries. “Our hope is that these innovative efforts to increase vital congregations will result in more opportunities for people to grow in discipleship in and through The United Methodist Church.”

Underwritten by the Connectional Table’s World Service Contingency Fund, the grants are part of a churchwide effort to increase the number of highly vital congregations 15 percent by 2016.

The experimental funds are being offered to help any local church, annual conference or central conference develop new projects or events to inspire vital congregation growth.

The grant application asks these questions:

•    What are the outcomes of the event/project? How will you measure them?
•    How will the event/project assist in the development of vital congregations, within the context of the church’s four areas of focus – raising up principled leaders, new places for new people, ministry with the poor and global health concerns?
•    Describe how the event/project assists in the development of vital congregations through the process of carrying out our mission found in paragraph 122 of the Book of Discipline?

To obtain a grant application, contact Jeffrey Campbell, Director of Annual Conference Relationships at Discipleship Ministries, at

The grant application deadline is Jan. 30, 2015.

The mission of Discipleship Ministries is to support annual conference and local church leaders for their task of equipping world-changing disciples. An agency of The United Methodist Church, Discipleship Ministries is located at 1908 Grand Ave. in Nashville, Tenn. For more information, visit, the Press Center at or call the Communications Office at (877) 899-2780, Ext. 1726.

# # #



CCI LogoAfter at least a decade of signs that the institutional church is on the decline, there is some hopeful news…

According to Warren Bird and Ed Stetzer in their book, Viral Churches (Leadership Network), for the first time in years American churches are planting more churches than they’re closing.   Additionally, in 2012 The United Methodist Church (in the U.S.) had its first increase in Professions of Faith after eleven straight years of decline.  And, there is a sense among leaders in the Indiana Conference that its churches are become more outwardly focused thanks, at least in large part, to its Fruitful Congregation Journey effort.

Although the number of church planting projects in 2012 didn’t exceed the number of Indiana Conference churches that closed, there are a growing number of church planting efforts going on, including the following:

Jeffersonville Riverside UMC.  Leader:  Daniel Payton.  South District.

Plainfield The Branches UMC.  Leader:  Alex Hershey.  Central District.

Indianapolis Casa de Dios (second campus of Fort Wayne Getsemani UMC).  Leader:  Marisa Calleja.  Central District.

Hammond Torre Fuerta (Strong Tower) Hispanic UMC relocating to East Chicago.  It also has a second congregation called Rio de Gracias that meets at Hobart Trinity UMC.  Leaders:  Esequiel and Suri Becerra.  North District.

South Bend Monson Community UMC‘s storefront United Methodist Church for All People, South Bend.  Leader:  Tim Aydelotte.  North District.

Fort Wayne Kristo’s Hands and Feet, a missional plant by St. Joseph UMC.  Leader:  Steve Mekaru.  Northeast District.

Add Bishop Mike Coyner’s vision of starting a hundred new worshiping opportunities in Indiana, and one can easily sense that the future of The United Methodist Church, at least in Indiana, is encouraging and hopeful.  Praise God!

— Ed Fenstermacher, Associate Director of Church Development