Meet Blair Boyd Zant: Director of the Center for Congregational Excellence

7/15/2021

Rev. Blair Boyd Zant
Director, Center for Congregational Excellence

The North Georgia Conference Center for Congregational Excellence exists to support, resource, and equip local church leaders in making disciples of Jesus Christ and witnessing to transformation, beginning in your local community. With over 800 expressions of church currently active in our Conference, this team must adapt staff, resources, and strategies to meet the changing needs of church leaders and communities alike.

We'll introduce you to the 2021-2022 Center for Congregational Excellence staff team over the coming weeks. Let's start with Rev. Blair Zant, Director of the Center for Congregational Excellence. 

Q: Hi Blair! Can you give us a one-sentence explanation of what your job title means? 
I lead and manage a team of specialized ministry practitioners who support, resource, and equip local church leaders to make disciples and witness to transformation in Christ.   

Q:  Complete this sentence: "I'm here to support, equip, and resource you, especially if you are..."
 A congregational leader looking to cast vision, develop new ideas, set goals, build teams, connect with your community, design and lead engaging worship, and welcome new people well.     

Q: In what ministry settings have you previously served? Currently serving? 
Center for Congregational Excellence (2018-Present), Cannon UMC, Co-Senior Pastor (2013-2018), Sandy Springs UMC, Associate (2010-2013), Sardis UMC, Pastor (2009-2012), Nicholson UMC, Youth Pastor (2008-2009), Scottish Rite NICU Chaplain (2007-2008)

Q: What are you most looking forward to about this year in ministry through the Center for Congregational Excellence?
Seeing churches take what they learned during the pandemic - especially about their capacity for empathy, adaptability, courage, and creativity - and using those same gifts to relaunch themselves as churches devoted to serving Christ and making disciples.    

Q: Favorite scripture passage?
Psalm 121: "I will lift up my eyes to hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth."   

Q: What's your go-to Sabbath and/or Spiritual Growth practice?
Singing. Usually musical theater. And usually harmony. Reading scripture aloud. Walks in the mountains. Breath Prayer.     

Q: What's your favorite thing about the UMC?
That at our best, we are one Church in limitless missional expressions.     

Q:  Recommended Reads...
  • Tempered Resilience by Tod Bolsinger
  • Brave Church by Elizabeth Hagan
  • Hearts on Fire! by Robert King; Let Go by Matt Miofsky
  • Both/And by Jason Moore (forthcoming); and
  • Faith and Leadership, https://faithandleadership.com/    
Q: Recommended Listens...
Podcasts:
  • Typology with Ian Cron
  • Bible Binge
  • Not Alone: Conversations on Faith and Wellbeing;   
Q: What's a ministry innovation or adaptation you've encountered recently that everyone should know about?
Everyday Sanctuary App, a pandemic-era church innovation from Rev. Abigail Browka. https://everydaysanctuary.com/    

Q: What's an event, cohort, training opportunity, etc.happening this year through your ministry that congregational leaders should know about?
Leading Edge Learning Series! Each month, we are bringing a featured author/speaker to engage in leading edge conversations and teachings about church health and vitality. Line Up so far includes Tod Bolsinger (July), Elizabeth Hagan (August), Mark DeYmaz (September) and Robert King (Oct/Nov) just to name a few. Visit https://www.ngumc.org/congregationalexcellence to learn more!     

Q: Where online can people find you? (list social media handles, websites, etc.)
Facebook (Blair Boyd Zant), Instagram (@blairzant), and Pinterest (@blairboydzant)   

Q: What's your daily prayer for our North Georgia United Methodist Connection?
"O God, from the cowardice that dares not face new truth... from the laziness that is contented with half-truth... from the arrogance that thinks it knows all truth... Good Lord, deliver us." —Janice Watts Yates, Decatur First UMC, 7/4/2021

"And Lord, make us one with Christ, one with each other, and one in ministry to all the world, until Christ comes in final victory, and we feast at his heavenly banquet."

Check back next week as we introduce more members of the Center for Congregational Excellence! 


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