Congregational Development

God calls on God’s people to make disciples. A sign and a result of deepening discipleship is church growth. The BWC’s Office of Vibrant Communities oversees and nurtures new church starts in creating new places for new people, and assists in the renewal and revitalizing of faith communities.

By being relevant and vital, United Methodists will touch more lives and draw more people to Christ. Our primary purpose is not to help churches grow, but rather we seek to help them reach more people with the good news of the Gospel, to grow more people as gifted and called disciples of Jesus, and to send more people into the world to love and serve God and their neighbors in all they do. We provide tools, resources, workshops, events and training to help congregations more effectively make disciples for the transformation of the world.

Upcoming Events and Scholarship Opportunities

Launchpad Training for Planting Pastors and Teams | August 10-12, 2017
Hosted by The Greater New Jersey Annual Conference, Neptune City, NJ
Similar to a boot camp, but focused on the varied and changing planting contexts of the NEJ.  Launchpad was created for the Northeast USA.  Hundreds have been through this training.  It is taught in both Spanish and English.  The event is hosted by Greater New Jersey Conference this year in Neptune NJ, about an hour south of NYC.  Paul Nixon and Sam Rodriguez will be the lead facilitators.  Registration will be available by early spring.

School of Congregational Development 2017 | August 17-20, 2017
Peachtree Road UMC, Atlanta, GA
Join Us At The Lord's Table. One of the highlights of the School of Congregational Development is gathering to pray, sing, and learn in our worship and plenary sessions. This year we have a group of leaders who will be encouraging us to look at the big picture. On Thursday, Bishop Sue Haupert-Johnson will start us off with worship and communion as she focuses on the theme of this year's event "At the Lord's Table". View the full lineup of speakers.

Registration rates:

  • Regular (May 2–July 15) - $375
  • July 16 on - $425

Location:  Peachtree Road UMC, 3180 Peachtree Rd, Atlanta, GA 30305 - right next to a MARTA stop and easy walking distance to hotels

Hotel:   Arrangements can be made at Atlanta Marriott Buckhead

3405 Lenox Rd NE
Atlanta, GA  30326
Cut off date: July 5, 2017
Rooms are $149 singe/double

Five Things Your Visitors are Thinking But Won't Ask | September 9, 2017
Location: To be determined
It’s been said that every church wants to grow.  If that is true, are we poised for growth in the way we treat and attend to our new visitors? While you wouldn’t think so, guest readiness is one of the most important issues facing the church in this present time, and many churches have unintentionally become blind to their own realities.   This workshop will include instructions on how to develop and train a more intentional and welcoming hospitality team, how to and why to develop a formal child check in procedure, how do audit signage, and what to do with your existing space.  Jason Moore from Midnight Oil will help you discover these and so much more to help you recognize what you may have been missing for years.  Come… learn…  discover… Bring a team…

Leadership Institute 2017 | September 27-29, 2017
The United Methodist Church of the Resurrection, Kansas City, MO
Leadership Institute 2017 will provide an opportunity to invest in your leadership and the leadership of your team through three days of General Sessions developed with a focus on practical ministry tools, leadership growth strategies and inspired vision for ministry. Hear form compelling line-up of speakers, who will bring messages on leading with Hope, Meaning and Purpose. Learn more about registration, lodging, speaker and pre-institute


  • Super Early Bird: through July 13 - $149, Pre-Institute $35/session
  • Early Bird: July 14-August 31 $159, Pre-Institute $45/session
  • Standard: September 1-27, $199, Pre-Institute $49/session
  • SPECIAL Young Adult discount rate: $49 through September 27, for individuals 28 and younger and only applies to Leadership Institute



Seeking funding for new church start coaching, new faith communities coaching, or other coachingContact Rev. Tony Love or Jo Chesson.