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Church Health

Healthy Congregations to sponsor Training Workshop for Church Turnaround on June 3


On Saturday, June 3, 2017, clergy and key laity from North Alabama Conference congregations are invited to a Training Workshop for Church Turnaround featuring Bishop Robert Schnase. The event, sponsored by Healthy Congregations, will take place at Trinity UMC (607 Airport Road, Huntsville, AL 35802) from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Bishop Schnase will provide practical training for churches of all sizes in the art of growth in mission and ministry. He is known for his practical and effective writings on ...

Wesley’s Chapel UMC triples worship attendance by reaching out to community


Wesley’s Chapel UMC in Belk, AL, in the Southwest District has experienced wonderful new life and growth in the last two years.  The pastor Rev. Tyler Hopkins is a Part-Time Local Pastor and student at Memphis Theological Seminary.  Rev. Hopkins recently told his District Superintendent Rev. Roger Thompson, about meeting a new worship attendance goal.  Rev. Thompson asked him to tell the story of how Wesley’s Chapel has almost tripled its worship attendance since June of 2012!    Here is Rev. ...

Abide Teams meet for third Coaching Session


Fourteen North Alabama Conference small-membership churches are participating in the ABIDE process.  ABIDE is a small-membership church initiative for church revitalization and growth.  It is a part of Spiritual Leadership, Inc. (SLI) who provides the coaching for this journey with our churches.  ABIDE was developed by Rev. Dr. Ron Crandall. Ron is an ordained United Methodist elder and retired Dean of the E. Stanley Jones School of World Mission and Evangelism at Asbury Theological Seminary. ...

Bishop announces new efforts to grow healthy new faith communities and vital existing churches


Over the years, the North Alabama Conference has worked to renew and equip existing congregations as well as plant new congregations.  While the goals are often the same, the process and strategy to achieve those goals are often different. To that end, Bishop Debra Wallace-Padgett has announced the creation of two distinct ministry areas: Church Revitalization and Transformation to be led by Rev. Nancy Cole and New Church Development to be led by Matt Jones. Bishop Wallace-Padgett says, “...

NCD Training Event on May 18, 2012, to focus on leadership and community


On May 18, 2012, Christian Schwarz, the founder and president of the Institute for Natural Church Development (NCD International), will be in the North Alabama Conference leading a workshop to introduce pastors, small group leaders, and NCD Coaches to the dynamic content of his two new books: The 3 Colors of Leadership and The 3 Colors of Community. Natural Church Development Coordinator (NCD) for the North Alabama Conference Rev. Nancy Cole says, “You will not want to miss this opportunity to...

Gurley UMC Family Life Retreat great venue for discovering spiritual gifts


At a recent Family Retreat at Camp Sumatanga, Rev. Zach Seitz and the NCD Health Team at Gurley UMC led their church to a new level of fun and discovery of their Spiritual gifts. The health team had worked for months getting ready to help church members discover their Spiritual gifts during a workshop at the retreat led by Rev. Nancy Cole, NCD Coordinator for the Conference. The Three Colors of Ministry by Christian Schwarz was used by each participant for the gift analysis. Prior to the ...

North Alabama Conference welcomes new NCD coaches


On March 27, 2010, the North Alabama Conference equipped six men and women with Coach Training in the ministry of Natural Church Development. Natural Church Development (NCD) is one of the North Alabama Conference priorities. Coaches are important to the NCD process for local churches. Rev. Lori Carden, Conference NCD Coordinator explained that while the training session was long and at times intense, the take away was tremendous. At the close of the training session participants were asked ...

Alexandria UMC makes gains through NCD


In September 2005, the Rev. Dale Cohen, Director of Connectional Ministries for the North Alabama Conference, preached at Alexandria United Methodist Church. After worship, he introduced church leaders to Natural Church Development, a name and process new to the congregation. In the spring of 2006, the church completed its first survey and began work on the minimum factor it revealed. "In the beginning, Natural Church Development felt anything but natural," said Rev. Paula Calhoun, senior pastor...

NCD helps Columbiana UMC reach its community through better need-based evangelism


Churches throughout North Alabama are participating in Natural Church Development as a way to grow in church health and in their mission to grow more disciples of Jesus Christ. Columbiana UMC in the South Central District is one North Alabama congregation celebrating success as the Natural Church Development process has helped them focus on ways to reach out to their community. The Natural Church Development (NCD) process begins with 30 members of the congregation taking a survey to determine ...

A Calling to Coach


by Kipp McClurg NCD Coach Trainer, North Alabama Conference UMC For the past eighteen months, I have invested increasing amounts of time learning with others to be a Natural Church Development (NCD) Coach.  There is no significant pay-off, financially or politically, for me or the church where I am assigned.   Yet, I have chosen to give of myself to help other churches in this process.   Some of my coaching relationships have been rewarding, and some seem to be stalled.  So why do I get so ...

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