Grants totaling $200,000 are now available from the General Board of Discipleship to encourage local churches and annual 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
The grant application deadline is Jan. 30, 2015.