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Workshops are offered after each plenary session. These learning experiences give detail and insight into the plenary topic, will provide practical approaches for annual conference leaders to address the plenary topic in their area of responsibility, and will offer opportunities for annual conferences to partner with program general agencies and/or other annual conferences.


Friday, January 30, 2009
10:15 – 11:30 a.m.

C1 Learning and the Congregation’s DNA

MaryJane Pierce Norton and Carol Krau

This workshop will concentrate on how the Annual Conference can help new congregations intentionally plan settings for learning the faith, practicing spiritual disciplines, and reflecting on what they are learning as a part of their congregational DNA from the very start.

Audience: Leaders in Christian Education, Nurture, Small Groups, and Discipleship


C2 Congregational Transformation

Vance P. Ross and Sandy Jackson

What does a Jesus loving, disciple making congregation look like? See a biblical and 21st century “photograph” and compare the churches of your Annual Conference to it.

Audience: Lay and Clergy Leaders


C3 Stewardship and the Congregation’s DNA

Don Joiner

This workshop will concentrate on how the Annual Conference can help new congregations include holistic stewardship in their congregational DNA from the beginning.

Audience: Leaders in Stewardship


C4 Your Church Exists to Reach Others for Christ – Right?

Tom Butcher, Kwasi Kena and Bener Agtarap

This workshop highlights key strategies and practices exhibited by churches whose purpose is reaching others for Jesus Christ.

Audience: Leaders in Congregational Development and Evangelism


C5 Congregational Transformation: It’s God’s Agenda!

Betsey Heavner

We will look at the elements that are needed for congregations to move more into alignment with God’s mission in their local context and what can be done at the conference level.

Audience: Leaders in Congregational Development


C6 The Congregation’s Plan for Family and Age Level Ministries

Melanie Gordon and Richard Gentzler

In this workshop, leaders will explore ways to help congregations establish healthy ministries for families and the age levels through identifying the conference’s role in training, in research, in networking, and in communication.

Audience: Leaders in Family/Age Level Ministries


C7 Indigenous Worship/Missiology 101 for Worship

Safiyah Fosua and Taylor Burton-Edwards

This workshop will help participants develop and offer worship that reflects that PLACE where your congregation is located and the PEOPLE who are part of its life and mission.

Audience: Pastors, Worship Leaders, Annual Conference Leaders for Worship Resourcing


C8 Prayer, Passion, and Compassion: The Heart of Congregational Life

Tom Albin

Beginning with the life and work of Jesus and the first disciples, this workshop will examine the basic elements of spiritual formation in the body of Christ, the church. There is a difference in the individual spiritual journey and the spiritual journey of a community. What are the differences, why do they matter? Come and learn how lay and clergy leaders today can nurture the soul of the congregation!

Audience: Leaders in Spiritual Formation


C9 Becoming Transforming Congregations: Fostering a Culture of Disciple Formation

Stephen Bryant

Spiritual formation in the church is not an extracurricular option for the “spiritually minded” few. It has to do with the way we foster in our common life a culture of formation that feeds and sustains both spiritual growth and mission engagement. In this workshop, we’ll unfold the "five-fold path" by which to lead for Christian transformation.

Audience: Leaders in Spiritual Formation


C10 Youth and Young Adults in Congregational Development

Mike Ratliff and Micki McCorkle

Who are the young people with whom we are called to be in ministry? In this workshop, explore how we can develop strategies for healthy involvement of young people in every aspect of our ministries at each level of the church, allowing them to discover faith, be nurtured as disciples, and provide leadership for our church and world.

Audience: Leaders of Youth and Young Adult Ministry


C11 A Spiritual Assessment Guide for Congregations

Jerry Haas

Understanding the dynamics of grace, so well illustrated in Jesus’ own life, is a key to understanding how leaders are formed and sustained. We will look at the various spiritual practices that are such a blessing for weary leaders and talk about how congregations can become “environments of grace”.

Audience: Leaders in Spiritual Formation


C12 Expanding the Church Around the World

Jong Sung Kim and John Nuessle

This workshop will help participants to gain an understanding of the theology, policies, and operations of UMC Mission Initiatives through GBGM.

Audience: Leaders involved/interested in the Mission Initiatives


C13 Resourcing New and Growing Congregations

Kelvin Sauls, Dionisio Salazar, and John Southwick

This workshop will help participants to become more aware of the resources available from GBGM to annual conferences in congregational development.

Audience: Leaders in Congregational Development


C14 Reaching the Unchurched to Start New Churches and Revitalize Existing Ones

Emily Reece

Igniting Ministry has given the UMC a new voice in and new tools to reach the unchurched. Trainers can show you how these tools of welcoming, advertising, marketing and research can help start new congregations and revitalize existing ones.

Audience: Leaders in New Church Starts and Congregational Revitalization


C15 Reaching the Disillusioned: Opening Doors to People Who Are Socially Engaged But Unchurched

R. Clayton Childers

Building relationships outside the church expands the church’s ministry. This workshop will enable conference leaders to direct church resources in ways that would connect the church with passionate, socially engaged people in their communities.

Audience: Conference leaders shaping the conference’s ministry regarding the church growth outreach


C16 Growth in the Midst of Racial and Cultural Diversity: Local Churches Building Bridges Across our Racial, Economic, and Social Divides

Neal Christie

Local congregations, like society, struggle to maintain unity in the midst of racial, economic, and social diversity. This workshop will focus on building mutual relationships for ministry, appreciative inquiry, dignity, and inclusiveness. The church can play an important role in working against the sin of racism while also building bridges of community across our racial and ethnic divides.

Audience: Leaders in Mission and Outreach, Church and Society, Racial/Ethnic Ministries; DCMs, Conference Communicators


C17 Making Numbers Make Sense: Using Data to Evaluate Ministry

Scott Brewer

This workshop looks at how Annual Conference leaders can use statistical and charge conference information in evaluating and coaching lay and pastoral leadership for change.

Audience: Pastors, District Superintendents, Directors of Connectional Ministry


C18 MEN and Church Renewal

Larry Malone

This workshop will present a plan and process to engage the men of the congregation in a process aimed at lifelong spiritual growth to maturity. Spiritual fatherhood is presented as a state of Christian maturity to be sought that enables the faith of men to pass into the lives of others. When men are growing spiritually as disciples, families are healed, congregations grow, communities benefit, and God’s love is made real to the world.

Audience: UMM leaders at all levels


C19 Strengthening Your Congregation Through Ecumenical Partnerships

W. Douglas Mills

Many local churches have been able to strengthen their ministry through active engagement in ecumenical partnerships. Using examples of current partnerships in a variety of settings, workshop participants will learn how to assist local churches in their conference to use this model to develop and enhance existing congregations.

Audience: Conference Leaders in Ecumenical Ministry


C20 Designing an Ecumenical Action Plan

Wendy Whiteside

Expect to take away a relevant plan for use in your leadership setting! Each situation is different. Participants in this workshop will be guided through a process for designing a plan for building ecumenical engagement into your portfolio.

Audience: Leaders in Ecumenical and Inter-Religious Concerns

C21 One Size Fits All? Reflections On and Best Practices in Starting New Churches With Racial Ethnic Populations


C22 Shaping a Female-Friendly Church

Garlinda Burton and Kim Coffing

What does a female-friendly church look like? What may prevent visiting girls and women from pursuing your church as a trusted, faith community home? Participants will explore and assess their own local church’s "signs and wanders" as well as return home with a helpful “door opening” checklist in how to becoming a more welcoming beloved community to all God’s girls and women.

Audience: Church planters and those assessing why visiting women are not in their congregation.

C23 The Mobilization Process Transforming the Realities of our Communities: An Alternative Model on Congregational Development

Francisco Cañas

Expect to take away a relevant plan for use in your leadership setting! Each situation is different. Participants in this workshop will be guided through a process for designing a plan for building ecumenical engagement into your portfolio.

Audience: Persons interested in Hispanic ministry

CLC Learning Center on Church Growth (10:15—11:30 a.m.)

The Four Areas of Focus learning center is a self-guided, web-based exploration of each of the quadrennial initiative emphases of the church. Through interactive learning objects, discussion forums, fun quizzes, multimedia and online exploration, participants will build a strong foundation for understanding and interpreting these areas of focus. These four separate learning opportunities will be offered once each following the foci emphasis in plenary. Facilitators will be available to assist participants with using the technology and engaging in the variety of activities to foster learning and exploration.