Training Event for local churches to grow successful Small Groups will feature Debi Nixon of Church of the Resurrection


On Saturday, February 6, 2010, North Alabama Conference congregations have an opportunity to gather at Canterbury United Methodist Church in Birmingham for a training event called Successful Small Groups.

Small groups have played an important part of the discipleship process in the Methodist Movement since the days of John Wesley and the Holy Clubs. Small groups are still a vital part of growing disciples of Jesus Christ today.

This training event will feature Debi Nixon, one of the premiere leaders in United Methodism on developing and growing small groups at the local church level. The afternoon will include breakout groups led by North Alabama United Methodists seeing growth in their small group ministries. The sessions will focus on specific types of small groups, curriculum suggestions and other intricacies of starting or strengthening small groups in a local church.

Debi Nixon – Who is that spectacular Small Group Leader?

Debi Nixon is Executive Director of Adult Discipleship and Catalyst Ministry for The United Methodist Church of the Resurrection, and serves under senior pastor Adam Hamilton.

Debi serves two roles at Church of the Resurrection. She leads the team focused on helping the congregation on their faith journey to know, love, and serve God which includes small groups, affinities, connection ministries, leadership development, and missions. She also leads the team focused on the renewal of the church through conferencing, teaching events for church leaders, and special initiatives.

Church of the Resurrection encourages all members to participate in small groups, and strives to have everyone in the life of the church involved in a small group setting because of the transformational spiritual dynamics that happen within small groups.

Debi has been through the process of transforming small group ministries at church of the Resurrection into the powerful spiritual formation outlets they are today.

Debi Nixon was the founding children’s ministry director at The Church of the Resurrection and has been on staff since 1994. She is also the author of CATCH: Connecting and Attracting Visitors available October 2009 by Abingdon Press.


The training is designed for small group leaders, discipleship teams, Christian Education Directors and volunteers, church staff, pastors and other church leaders. The cost is only $15 per person.

The afternoon breakout sessions will include:

  • Small groups in small membership churches
    Mark Puckett - Successful church plant senior pastor of The Beacon and believer in the strength of Life Groups.
  • Young Adult Ministry Small Groups
    Mary Hardie – Adult Ministry Coordinator for the Northwest District
  • Older Adult Ministry Small Groups
    Fran Gatch – Older Adult Minister at Canterbury UMC
    Barbara Lee – Older Adult Minister at Vestavia Hills UMC
  • Couples Ministry Small Groups
    Anne Skinner -
  • Building a Faith Home with Children - Small group for parents
    Greg Foust – Associate Pastor at Asbury UMC
  • Men’s Ministry Small Groups
    Andy Wolfe – Senior Pastor of Trinity UMC, Homewood
  • Women’s Ministry Small Groups
    Mary Bendall – Associate Pastor of Tuscaloosa First UMC
    Denise Mullaney – Associate Pastor of Alabaster First UMC
    Joy Morgan – Associate Pastor Florence UMC
  • Service Ministry Small Groups
    Deb Welsh – Director of the Joe Rush Center for Urban Mission and Volunteer Recruitment
  • Activity based Small Groups
    Lana Johnson – Lay leader extraordinaire from Liberty Crossings UMC
  • College Ministry Small Groups
    Ken Smith – Wesley Foundation Director at the University of Alabama
    Sherri Bassham – Wesley Foundation Director at Athens State
  • Outreach Ministry Small Groups
    Edmund Perry – Alpha leader from Highlands UMC who understands the need for authentic outreach to those outside our church walls
  • Stewardship and Financial Resource Small Groups
    Rick Owen – United Methodist Stewardship Resources
  • Caregivers Small Groups –
    Carolyn Neiswander -
  • Support Ministry Small Groups –
    John Douglass – North Alabama UMC Center for Pastoral Care
  • Fundamental Bible Studies (Disciple, Christian Believer, etc.)
    Oliver Clark - Canterbury UMC

If your congregation would like to develop small group ministries or strengthen your current small groups ministries this event and the wsdom of Debi Nixon will help guide you through!

Register a group from your congregation today. We’ll see you on February 6, 2009 at Canterbury UMC from 9 am until 2:30 pm!

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