GEM project to celebrate, support small-membership churches


                Some of North Georgia’s most vital churches are small membership churches -- in fact, most churches fall in the small membership category (difined for the purpose of this program as under 150 in Sunday worship). 
                This month, with the first meeting of the GEM (Growing Effective Ministers) Covenant Group, Connectional Ministries launches a new program to celebrate and support small-membership churches. 
                Connectional Ministries’ Small Membership Church Initiative, invites all clergy who serve a small membership church to take part in the GEM convent group meeting Jan 21 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. at Central UMC in Atlanta. The purpose of the group is to provide and share practical resources that address the needs of  ministries in small settings. 
                For more information on GEM or the first Covenant Group Meeting, please contact Shari Rates at
 Media Resources for Small Churches
• Why? Making Sense of God’s Will by Adam Hamilton. This four session video study includes a DVD and Leader Guide and participant book, copyright 2011, Abingdon Press. 
• 24 Hours That Changed the World, by Adam Hamilton.  A seven- session study, including hard cover book, DVD video journey, leader guide. Copyright 2009, Abingdon Press.
• The Power of a Whisper, Hearing God.  Having the Guts to Respond.  A four-session video-based study by Bill Hybels.  Learn how to discern the “voice” of God from the other voices that vie for your attention, how to invite his input into your daily routine, how to “practice” his presence and how to allow heaven-sent input to direct your life toward making a kingdom-
oriented difference in this world.  Book, Participant Guide, DVD with Leader’s Guide, Copyright 2010, Zondervan.
• Attentiveness, being present, Living the Good Life Together.  The study is based on two complementary teachings of Jesus:  “Come and See” (6 weeks) – the group will use Scripture, videos,
and the study & reflection guide for each participant to experience, discuss, and meditate on the Christian model of attentiveness; “Go and Do” (6 weeks); together, supported by the leader guide, the group will create and implement an action plan for applying and embodying attentiveness in their own lives. Copyright 2006 by Abingdon Press. 
• Sermon Starters by  Sermonspice is the
world’s largest library of downloadable Church videos for Church leaders to engage their congregations., 499 W. Bedford Ste. 101, Fresno, California 93711.  Phone: 1-800-887-5745 (24 Hours a Day). 
• Christianity’s Family Tree – What Other Christians Believe and Why, by Adam Hamilton.  A generous, inspiring vision of eight Christian denominations and faith traditions. Copyright2007, Abingdon Press.  Study materials include Book, Leader’s Guide and DVD.
• How God Takes Our Little & Makes It Much, by James W. Moore. Copyright 2010 by Abingdon Press.  “Six amazing Bible stories to strangely warm our hearts.”  Key scriptures that distinctively shape us as United Methodist.  Study questions at the end of each chapter.  Materials include DVD, participant book and Leader’s Guide. 
• Psalmist’s Cry – Scripts for embracing lament, by Walter Brueggemann, copyright 2010, The House Studio and the Work of the People.  Explores Psalms as scripts for lament—guides for how to express feeling honestly, in ways normally not permitted or expected within Christian community. 
• Seeing Gray in a World of Black and White, by Adam Hamilton.
Copyright 2009 by Abingdon Press.  The Participant Study Guide presents new and original chapters that delve deeper into five of the themes found in the original book and in Hamilton’s sermons featured on the DVD.
• Vital Congregations Web site. The site breaks down resources for churches with fewer than 100 in worship, with 100 to 350 in worship, and 350+.