Vital Congregations Resources
These resources are available for any local church or ministry, circuit, or district to use.
Vitality Resource Grants
These matching grants, up to $1000 apiece, are meant to assist ministry settings in knowing themselves and their communities well enough to envision and achieve truly effective ministry in their particular contexts. While there is no universal template outlining the “steps to success” in ministry, there are best practices and resources that can lead congregations away from futility and toward vitality. Gone are the days of throwing something at the wall to see if it sticks. It’s time to get real about who we are and our place in our communities/contexts, and there are resources available to do that.
Download application | View application
Vitality Innovation Grants
These grants, of up to $5000 apiece, target experiments and entrepreneurial endeavors aimed at sparking new ministries with new people in new places. Applicants should have done their homework and have documentation (see Vitality Resource Grants, above) to show the viability of their project, as well as its theological and missional grounding. These grants are most relevant to existing congregations and ministries seeking to enhance their standing as vital missional outposts in their communities, as opposed to initiating new stand-alone ministries (see New Church Development Grants).
Download application | View application
- Wesleyan Small Group 8 Week Guide
- This booklet is a great resource to use when a new team is formed. It suggests using a Convener (group leader) as the spiritual formation leader. Additionally, groups can read a book together. There are a few suggestions of books to read. This booklet suggests a team meet weekly for 8 weeks.
- Wesley Small Group 4 Week Guide
- This booklet is a great resource to use when a new team is formed. It suggests using a Convener (group leader) as the spiritual formation leader. Additionally, groups can read a book together. There are a few suggestions of books to read. This booklet suggests a team meet weekly for 4 weeks.
- Spiritual Formation Booklet
- This booklet provides spiritual formation activities for a small group. Thank you to the “Pilot Group” of SonRise Church, Pueblo West, Colorado, for letting WCI use these resources they collected.
- Discovering Your Spiritual Gifts Booklet
- There are may spiritual gifts studies and inventories. The United Methodist Church has a booklet and an online assessment that individuals and groups can use to discover their spiritual gifts. These are provided by UMC.com at no cost.
- PDF booklet
- Online assessment
- Whole Discipleship: Workbook and Leader Guide
- How do churches make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world? This workbook helps a church team create a process for making disciples. This is not a one-size-fits-all resource. Instead, because each church and context are different, an organic process developed by a church team could meet its needs better. A workbook and leader guide are both available.
- Know Your Neighbor: Workbook and Leader Guide — works with MissionInsite
- What do you do with demographic data about your church? Each church in the conference has access to MissionInsite, one such resource that provides a wealth of demographic data. This workbook helps a church team look at the data and figure out how the data can inform a church’s mission and ministries offered. A workbook and leader guide are both available.
- Missional Outreach: Workbook and Leader Guide
- Your church would like to meet our neighbors and provide ministries that meet their needs. Great! Now what? This workbook provides a way for a church team to look at how to create relationships with the community, how to imagine what resources are already available to do this important work, and the importance of building community. At the end is a task list to help in creating a ministry experiment. A workbook and leader guide are both available.
- Whole Church Initiative
- The formal WCI process includes the Spiritual Development and Church Vitality resources listed above. A facilitator guides 3-5 churches through this process over approximately 12 months. Want to know more? Check out the WCI page, and contact Rev. Laura Rainwater if you would like to participate.
- A modified WCI process is also available for churches that would like to use these resources on their own or within a circuit. This document explains the process.
- Creating Next Steps
- How does a church team move from learning to implementing? This booklet helps a church team create a experiments that utilize what they have learned about themselves and about their community. It is a great guide to help a team move from what it has just learned to doing something new.
- Case Study Format
- This Format provides a way for any group to use Case Studies in its work. This can be used in any setting, both clergy and lay.