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An Invitation to Transformation 

Everywhere I travel within the Memphis Conference, and in events around the country, I keep hearing a common question: What's wrong with the church, and what can we do about it?
To ask and answer that question is to ask and answer the wrong question. The real question should be: What is God telling us about our church's mission and where is God asking us to improve our discipleship?
That is the essential set of questions being asked by our Council of Bishop's Call to Action Initiative.
I prefer to call this work an invitation to transformation focusing on the transforming power in the grace of Jesus Christ. Unlike programs that are created at the top of organizations, this invitation - while coming from our bishops - is designed to put the focus on the local church. You can be assured that your Connectional Ministry Team will work alongside you to increase our mutual discipleship.
The process has begun. In each of our Memphis Conference districts, clergy are learning about this opportunity and receiving resources to help lay leadership in local congregations review your mission/ministry with a caring, critical eye.
We could spend great energy on looking for what's wrong; but, I prefer for us to look for the opportunities for ministry and accountability within this initiative.
You will find within the Memphis Conference Web site ( increasing resources designed to help you and your fellow disciples of Jesus Christ discern where God is leading us. All of these resources are valuable, but it will be for each local church to discern which resource best help the local congregation.
God has dreamed a celebration of ministry for churches of the Memphis Conference. As loved children, we are invited to join the party!
John R. Bonson, Sr. - Director of Connectional Ministries



Resources for Memphis Conference 'Call to Action' initiative

General Board of Discipleship Resources

5 New Ideas from GBOD

Dreaming of Vital Congregations: a 5-part film series online

Remembering the Future: Praying for General Conference

Resources from The Connectional Table

Goal Setting Dashboard

YouTube Videos from the Vital Congregations discussing various elements of Vital Congregations Ministry

Baltimore-Washington Conference Article on General Conference Proposals

Books or articles that are recommended (available from Cokesbury - link is provided below)

General Resources

Churches respond to the Call to Action - more introductory information 

UM Vital Congregations Web site

Innovative Leadership Project

Planning Resources

Link2Lead - demographics of your local Church (free to you - paid for by your apportioned giving)

Ministry Plan from UM School of Congregational Development

A Working Document from the General Board of Discipleship for Congregational Planning

Video from General Conference Finance and Administration on Vitality

UMC Website Description of the Call to Action

Spiritual Leadership Institute

Congregational Resource Guide (Alban Institute)

Worship  and Spiritual Formation Planning Resources
The General Board of Discipleship
Community Outreach Resources
The General Board of Church and Society
Extravagant Giving Resources

A Fore–Giving Church - Issue #50

Risk-Taking Mission Resources

         A collection of small group study resources - Borrow from your District Office

When you find additional resources, please send them to the Connectional Ministries Team Office by clicking here:  Resources We Found & Used