Lighthouse Congregation Training Prepares Churches to Offer Hope and Welcome Across North Georgia


The Lighthouse Congregation movement is well underway in the North Georgia Conference!

More than 100 people from 28 churches have gone through Lighthouse Training this summer and five more sessions are scheduled for the fall (and additional to come). 

"Lighthouse Congregation" is a designation for churches devoted to Christian hospitality and the welcome and care of people who've been displaced from their church home by disruption, disaffiliation, or closure. Lighthouse Congregations will be equipped to offer an assurance of calm, comfort, and stability.

Good candidates are those churches that are:

  • called to extend radical hospitality
  • focused on Christian discipleship and spiritual formation
  • ​likely to receive, or are already receiving those who for whatever reason felt they could no longer stay with a previous church
Dalton First UMC recently shared a video with the congregation explaining the Lighthouse movement (watch here). 

What's required of a Lighthouse Congregation?

1. Commitment to the UMC. This is a promise of stability to those who were displaced because they want to remain United Methodist  Their trust is likely damaged by their recent experience with church conflict. 

2. Commitment to providing a welcoming space to belong during this time of grief and transition, which might be for a season or for a lifetime. This includes all forms of pastoral and lay-driven care and compassion. This may also include providing physical space for “remnant” groups to gather as they consider what it looks like to stay together.

3. Offering ministry opportunities without any immediate pressure to join, give, or lead.

  • Worship: Provide worship opportunities, whether online or in person. These services should intentionally engage and welcome new people and include the sacraments of communion and baptism.
  • Discipleship: Extend invitations to new and existing groups for spiritual formation and study. Share space and resources (e.g., study books, Amplify Media subscriptions) to allow displaced groups to meet.
  • Mission: Invite fellow United Methodists to serve with you through hands-on service, outreach, evangelism and community engagement. 

4. Organizing efforts to reach out to individuals and groups who have expressed a desire to remain United Methodist.

5. Connecting with other congregations, your District, and the Center for Congregational Excellence to help displaced individuals and groups figure out their best next steps. 

Learn More
The Lighthouse Congregation Movement is meant to enhance the work of our entire connectional church. To learn more about the movement, and the steps to becoming this kind of church, visit