Board of Discipleship
The Board of Discipleship exists to provide resources and training to local ministries to assist them in building contextual discipleship processes to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. We foster and promote a holistic approach to disciple-making through Christian education, small-group ministries, camping, retreats, evangelism, stewardship, worship, lay development, spiritual formation, age-level/life-span ministries, leadership education, and other areas as the Annual Conference determines.
- Assists churches of all sizes in their efforts to win persons to Jesus Christ as his disciples and to help these persons grow in their understanding of God.
- Assists congregations in building, improving, and sustaining systems that develop spiritual leaders for congregations
- Promoting Emmaus Ministries to assist churches in developing leaders
- Provides resources and training that will assist leaders in planning and administering comprehensive age-level ministries
- In consultation with the Board of Ordained Ministry, recommend annually to the conference and to the bishop in charge the appointment of general evangelists as provided for in The Book of Discipline.
- Recognizes clergy, laity, and youth for excellence through the Denman Award and One Matters Award
- Identify and gather best practices and resources in disciple-making
- Make recommendations to local churches for curriculum, materials, and programs resources that would enhance the ministries of the faith communities
Rev. Robin G. BeMiller
Rev. James H. Carey Jr.
Rev. John H. Conway
Mr. Richard B. Dawson
Dr. Timothy D. Hazlett – Chairperson
Rev. Michael P. Kendall
Mr. Kevin O. Mooers
Gayle D. Porias
Dr. Susan Schall
Rev. Matthew B. Sergent
Rev. George M. Warner Sr.
Rev. James N. Wishmyer
Mrs. Nancy Yarborough
Mr. Dwayne Stinson
Ms. Becky Tate
Email us at [email protected]
The Board of Discipleship administers two awards on behalf of the Virginia Conference of the United Methodist Church.
Nominees for the awards are to be submitted by March of every year. The Board will select and award the nominee during the Annual Conference gathers.
The board will also support an additional celebration and recognition at the recipient’s congregation in the fall.
Conference Youth Council
Young Adult Council
Older Adult Council
We have gathered material from many sources to provide what we believe are useful resources for disciple-making. But we are always on the lookout to add helpful material, so if you find a resource that you believe is worth sharing, please let us know. And if you find an area we haven’t listed and for which you want resources, let us know that also.
Contact: Board of Discipleship
Click Title to expand
Ins and Outs of Disciple Making
Online Documents, Articles and Websites
- Connect with Your Neighbors DVD/CD Resource Learn to connect with your
church’s neighbors through understanding, engagement, and service. This
resource includes video and PowerPoint presentations you can use for self study
or with groups in your church as well as supplemental resources to help you
reach new disciples. (Cost, $75)
- Fifty Ways to Build Strength Welcoming New People
- “Five Types of Church Visitors: Are You Ready for Them?” United Methodist
- Four Ways to Pray for Your Church’s Hospitality Ministry.”
- Krejcir, Richard. “Implementing Hospitality.”
- Vital Congregations- Best Practices, Evangelism
- Walker, Chris. “A Hospitality Audit for Your Church”
- Am, Charles. Side Door: How to Open Your Church to Reach More People.
(Indianapolis: Wesleyan Publishing House, 2013). ($14.99)
- Anderson, Douglas & Farr, Bob. Get Their Name: Grow Your Church by Building
Relationships. (Nashville:Abingdon Press, 2013). ($10.19)
- Maynard, Phil, Membership to Discipleship. (Dr. Phil Maynard, 2015).
http://emc3coaching.com/store/#!/Membership-to-DiscipleshipBook/p/56490294/category=0 and also Creating a Discipleship Pathway,
- Maynard, Phil, Shift. https://www.amazon.com/Shift-Helping-CongregationsEffective-Ministryebook/dp/B00H30BLZS?ie=UTF8&keywords=membership%20to%20discipleship
- Weems, Jr., Lovett and Tom Berlin, Overflow (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2013).
- Weems, Jr., Lovett and Tom Berlin, Bearing Fruit (Nashville: Abingdon Press,
- Break the Unseen Barriers That Keep Visitors from Returning
- “Five Tips for Welcoming Church Visitors.” United Methodist Communications
- Videos from Virginia Conference Five Talent Academy Evangelism Event, Parts
1 & 2
- “Small Churches Struggle to Grow Because of the People they Attract.” Barna
- Speidel, Royal. Evangelism in the Small Membership Church. Nashville:
Abingdon Press, 2007.
Online Documents & Articles
- Crossman, Robert, “Fifty-eight Ways to Increase Worship Attendance (Without a
Change of Pastors).”
- Crossman, Robert, “Fifty Ways to Increase Worship Attendance.”
- General Board of Discipleship Website – Worship Section:
- “How a Two-Hundred-Year-Old, Declining, Mainline Church Got Its Groove
Back.” Originally published in Circuit Rider, Aug/Sept/Oct 2010.
- Miller, Herb, “Church Effectiveness Nuggets: Volume 4: How to Increase Worship
Attendance.” www.theparishpaper.com. (This is a free study-discussion for
congregations to evaluate their worship attendance.)
- Toolbox A- Worship Attendance, Kansas East Conference of the United
Methodist Church http://kesite.brickriver.com/pages/detail/1044
- Website Building through WordPress.com
- Bush, Peter & O’Reilly, Christine. Where 20 or 30 Are Gathered: Leading
Worship in the Small Church. (Herndon: Alban Institute, 2006).
- Cherry, Constance, Mary Brown, and Christopher Bounds. Selecting Worship
Songs: A Guide for (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 2011).
- Cherry, Constance. The Worship Architect: A Blueprint for Designing Culturally
Relevant and Biblically Faithful Services (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House,
- Duck, Ruth. Worship for the Whole People of God: Vital Worship for the 21st
Century. (Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2013)
- McFee, Marcia. The Worship Workshop: Creative Ways to Design Worship
Together. (Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press, 2002).
- Miller, Barbara Day. Encounters with the Holy: A Conversational Model for
Worship Planning. (Herndon, VA: The Alban Institute 2010).
- O’Dell, Shannon. Transforming Church in Rural America: Breaking All the Rurals.
Arkansas: New Leaf Press, 2012. ($10.39, www.cokesbury.com)
- Patton, Jeffrey H., If It Could Happen Here: Turning the Small-Membership
Church Around. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2002. ($9.45, www.cokesbury.com)
- Townley, Cathy. Missional Worship: Increasing Attendance and Expanding the
Boundaries of Your Church. (Atlanta, GA: Chalice Press, 2011).
- Wallace, Robin Knowles. Worshiping in the Small Membership Church.
(Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2008). ($13.99, www.cokesbury.com)
- Weems, Lovett, and Tom Berlin. Overflow: Increase Worship Attendance and
Bear More Fruit. (Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press, 2013).
- Reaching Others through Worship DVD/CD Resource Worship attendance is
vital to the mission of the church. Through engaging videos, PowerPoint
presentations, and supplemental materials, this resource provides you with tools
and strategies to improve your worship attendance. Reaching Others through
Worship is appropriate for self-study and for use with groups in your church.
(Cost, $75 for full kit)
- Vital Congregations- Best Practices,
- “Why Worship Attendance Matters and Clues for Improving It” This 10-minute
video by Lewis Center Director Lovett H. Weems, Jr., provides an overview of the
importance of worship attendance and ways you can improve it. While free as an
online stand alone, it is included in the Reaching Others Through Worship
- Worship Seminary Channel on YouTube, with John David Walt
Small Church Resources
- Corvelay, Art. “How to Increase Attendance at a Small Membership Church.”
- Daman, Glenn C., “Developing Worship in the Small Church.”
http://www.smallchurchleaders.org/the-small-church-shepherd/developingworship-in-the.html This entire website is a great resource.
Midsized Church Resources
- Miller, Herb, “Church Effectiveness Nuggets: Volume 28: Coaching Midsize
Congregations toward Positive Change.” www.theparishpaper.com.
Small Group Formation
Online Documents, Articles, Websites
- Chiapperino, Frank. “Six Reasons You Need a Small Group Ministry.”http://www.churchleaders.com/smallgroups/leading-small-groupleaders/141557-6-reasons-you-needa-small-group-ministry.html
- Facebook http://www.facebook.com
- Fifty Ways to Strengthen Adult Education
- General Board of Discipleship Website – “Living the United Methodist Way”
- Lentz, Dan. “Four Thing a Church (Small Group) Must Do.”
- Rice, Kami. “Forming Disciples, Building Relationships: The Ministry of Small
- Small Group Resources and Information, General Board of Discipleship. (This is
an excellent resource with a variety of articles.) http://www.gbod.org/live-the-umway/small-groups
- Twitter https://twitter.com
- Vital Congregations- “Best Practices, Spiritual Formation.”
- Adam Hamilton, 24 Hours That Changed the World (or others)
- Arnold, Jeffrey. Big Book on Small Groups, 2nd Edition (Downers Grove, IL:
InterVarsity Press, 2004). https://www.amazon.com/Big-Book-Small-Groupsebook/dp/B002XDQU74?ie=UTF8&keywords=Jeffrey%20Arnold%20Big%20Book%20on%20small%20groups&qid=1464988177&ref_=sr_1_1&s=digitaltext&sr=1-1
- Arnold, Jeffrey, Starting Small Groups: Building Communities That Matter,
Abingdon Press, 1997. http://www.amazon.com/Starting-Small-GroupsCommunities-Leadership/dp/0687018560/ref=sr_1_1?s=digitaltext&ie=UTF8&qid=1464988298&sr=8-
- Boren, M. Scott. Missional Small Groups: Becoming a Community That Makes a Difference in the World. (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2010).
- Boren, M. Scott. The Relational Way: From Small Groups Structures to Holistic Life Connections. (Houston, TX: TOUCH Publications, 2007).
- Brown, Marc. Does Your Church Have a Prayer: Book and Bible Study (this is
helpful for churches of any size) http://www.amazon.com/Does-Church-PrayerLeadersGuide/dp/0881775665/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1465217994&sr=1-1&keywords=does+your+church+have+a+prayer
- Carder, Kenneth L., and Lacey C. Warner. Grace to Lead: Practicing Leadership in the Wesleyan Tradition. Nashville, TN: General Board of Higher
Education and Ministry, 2010). http://www.amazon.com/Grace-Lead-PracticingLeadershipTradition/dp/0938162764/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1465218088&sr=1-1&keywords=grace+to+lead+practicing+leadership+in+the+wesleyan+tradition
- Cloud, Henry, and John Townsend. Making Small Groups Work: What Every Small Group Leader Needs to Know. (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2010).
- Larry Davies’ list of top ten books each January.
- Donahue, Bill, and Russ Robinson. Building a Church of Small Groups: A Place Where Nobody Stands Alone. (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2005).
- Donahue, Bill & Robinson, Russ. Building a Life-Changing Small Group Ministry.
Zondervan, 2012. ($15.19, www.cokesbury.com)
- Easum, Bill. Go BIG with Small Groups. (Abingdon Press).
- Hamilton, Adam. When Christians Get It Wrong. (Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press,
- Harper, Steve. Devotional Life in the Wesleyan Tradition.
www.upperroom.org/bookstore , (800) 972-0433.
- Hawkins, Thomas R. The Christian Small-Group Leader – Lay Servant Ministry
course materials (Nashville, TN: Discipleship Resources, 2004).
- Manskar, Steven. W. Accountable Discipleship: Living in God’s Household.
(Nashville, TN:Discipleship Resources, 2000) http://www.amazon.com/Accountable-Discipleship-Living-GodsHousehold/dp/0881773395/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1465218430&sr=1-1&keywords=accountable+discipleship
- McLaren, Brian. Finding Our Way Again: The Return of the Ancient Practices.
(Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 2008). https://www.amazon.com/Finding-OurWay-Again-Practicesebook/dp/B007V917P0?ie=UTF8&keywords=finding%20our%20way%20again&
- Platt, David. Radical https://www.amazon.com/Radical-Taking-Faith-AmericanDreamebook/dp/B0036S4C9I?ie=UTF8&keywords=radical%20platt&qid=1465218498&r
- Pollock, Doug. God Space: Where Spiritual Conversations Happy Naturally. http://www.amazon.com/God-Space-Spiritual-ConversationsNaturally/dp/0764438719/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1465218532&sr=1
- Poole, Gary. Seeker Small Groups: Engaging Spiritual Seekers in Life-Changing Discussions. (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan/Willow Creek Associates, 2003).
- Schnase, Robert. Five Practices of Fruitful Living . (Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press, 2010). https://www.amazon.com/Practices-Fruitful-Living-RobertSchnaseebook/dp/B0055UPAPU/ref=pd_sim_351_2?ie=UTF8&dpID=51a37CPT%2BLL&dpSrc=sims&preST=_OU01_AC_UL320_SR214%2C320_&refRID=Z2KHAPGTQYG07JAV2BEW
- Search, Bill. Simple Small Groups: A User-Friendly Guide for Small Group Leaders. (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House,2008).
- Tickle, Phyllis. The Great Emergence. https://www.amazon.com/GreatEmergence-How-Christianity-Changingebook/dp/B008PRGPS6?ie=UTF8&keywords=great%20emergence&qid=146521
- Upper Room. Companions in Christ: A Small Group Experience in Spiritual Formation series available through The Upper Room (Nashville, TN: Upper Room Books, 2006). http://companions.upperroom.org/the-journey
- Watson, David Lowes. Class Leaders: Recovering a Tradition. (Eugene, OR: Wipf & Stock Publishers, 2002). http://www.amazon.com/Class-Leaders-DavidLowes-Watson/dp/1579109543/ref=sr_1_2?s=digitaltext&ie=UTF8&qid=1465218859&sr=8-2&keywords=class+leaders+watson
- Watson, David Lowes. Covenant Discipleship: Christian Formation through Mutual Accountability. Nashville: Abingdon Press, www.cokesbury.com , (800)
- Watson, David Lowes. Forming Christian Disciples: The Role of Covenant Discipleship and Class Leaders in the Congregation. (Eugene, OR: Wipf & Stock
Publishers, 2002). http://www.amazon.com/Forming-Christian-DisciplesDiscipleshipCongregation/dp/1579109462/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1465219033&sr=8-1&keywords=the+role+of+covenant+discipleship+watson
- Watson, David Lowes. Recovering a Tradition. (Eugene, OR: Wipf & Stock Publishers, 2002). http://www.amazon.com/Class-Leaders-Recovering-Tradition-1998-03-03/dp/B01FKU0FTK/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1465219091&sr=8-3&keywords=recovering+a+discipleship+watson
- Watson, David Lowes. The Early Methodist Class Meeting: Its Origins and Significance. (Eugene, OR: Wipf & Stock Publishers, 2002).
- Watson, Gayle Turner. Guide for Covenant Discipleship Groups. (Nashville, TN: Discipleship Resources, 2000). http://www.amazon.com/Covenant-DiscipleshipGroups-TurnerWatson/dp/1610973968/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1465219186&sr=1-1&keywords=turner+watson
- Watson, Kevin M. Blueprint for Discipleship: Wesley’s General Rules as a Guide for Christian Living. (Nashville, TN: Discipleship Resources, 2009).
- Virginia United Methodist Conference Five Talent Academy Event on Faith Development, February 23, 2013, Mindy Caliguire
- Doodle (a way to set up meetings, connect with people, keep groups together)
- Mini Retreats done at your church by Camp Highroad
- Crossroads UMC put a weekly study on back of bulletin, also can email you the
scriptures each day Www.everydaylifewithgod.org. Www.crossroadsnova.org.
- Upward Sports to reach the community. Upward.org
- MOPS http://www.mops.org/
- Moms in Touch https://momsinprayer.org/ and
- Coffee with the pastor – to ask questions and get answers in a more personal
setting than Sunday. Here is an example: http://saokc.org/coffee-with-thepastor.html
- Pie with the Pastor(s) for visitors
- Lunch Bunch – for students during summer break – Ed Johnson
Online Documents, Articles and Websites
- General Board of Global Ministries Website – “Resources for Global Ministries”
- It’s About Time (free MP3 New Testament) (a group that does solar powered
MP3 players that translate scripture into many languages) https://www.faithcomesbyhearing.com/
- Mentorship with a local school
- Use Members as Mentors for Confirmation – youth seem to be more engaged
and more connected when they have a mentor. Here is an example.
- Corbett, Steve, and Brian Fikkert. When Helping Hurts – How to Alleviate
Poverty Without Hurting the Poor…and Yourself. (Chicago, IL: Moody
Publishers, 2009). https://www.amazon.com/When-Helping-Hurts-AlleviateYourself-ebook/dp/B00EDY1YU4?ie=UTF8&btkr=1&ref_=dp-kindle-redirect
- General Board of Global Ministries. A Mission Journey: A Handbook for Volunteers. (Nashville, TN: Discipleship Resources, 2013).
- Huessle, John. Faithful Witnesses: United Methodist Theology of Mission. (New
York, NY: General Board of Global Ministries/Academy of Mission Renewal, 2007). http://www.amazon.com/Faithful-Witnesses-Methodist-TheologyMission/dp/B00CFLXCDY/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1465225629&sr=1-3&keywords=faithful+witnesses
- Lupton, Robert. Toxic Charity: How Churches and Charities Hurt Those They Help, And How to Reverse It . (New York, NY: Harper One Publishers, 2011).
- Mancini, Will. Church Unique: How Missional Leaders Cast Vision, Capture Culture, and Create Movement. (San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, 2008).
- McLaren, Brian. A Generous Orthodoxy by Brian McLaren (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Press, 2009). https://www.amazon.com/Generous-Orthodoxyconservative-contemplative-fundamentalistebook/dp/B000MAHCKO?ie=UTF8&keywords=generous%20orthodoxy&qid=1465225497&ref_=sr_1_1&s=books&sr=1-1
- McNeal, Reggie. Missional Renaissance: Changing the Scorecard for the Church. (San Francisco, CA: Josey-Bass, 2009).
- Slaughter, Mike. Change the World: Recovering the Message and Mission of Jesus. (Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press, 2010).
Online Documents, Articles and Websites
- Ecumenical Stewardship Center: www.stewardshipresources.org
- General Board of Discipleship Website – Stewardship Section:
- General Board of Global Ministries Website – “How to Give” Section:
- J. Clif Christopher resource: www.horizonsstewardship.com
- “Stewardship Matters” – Stewardship Consulting to churches/districts/pastors by
David Rash, Waynesboro https://www.linkedin.com/in/david-rash-b2969069 or
contact David directly at [email protected] or (540) 335-5175.
- United Methodist Communications: www.umcgiving.org
- Vital Congregations- Best Practices, Stewardship
Real Discipleship Survey
Free Discipleship Maturity Measurement Tool
All churches in the Virginia Conference have access to the Real Discipleship Survey online. This system, designed by Phil Maynard of EMC3 Coaching, offers a way for churches to survey their members’ maturity on six dimensions of the discipleship journey. This service is offered to all VAUMC churches free of charge.
The survey measures: a life of worship, a life of hospitality, a life open to Jesus, a life of obeying Jesus, a life of service, and a life of generosity. Upon taking the survey, participants discover if they are exploring, beginning, growing, or maturing in each of those categories.
To access the Real Discipleship Survey, please click here: www.discipleshipsurvey.com
For church use questions, please contact Dwayne Stinson, [email protected]
For technical issues, please contact Amanda Landry, [email protected]
The Garden, A Discipleship display at the 2022 Annual Conference.
Links to Other Websites
Below are links to other useful sites in our Annual Conference and General Conference as well as to other sites.
General Board of Discipleship http://www.umcdiscipleship.org
Vital Congregations http://www.umvitalcongregations.org
General Board of Global Ministries Website http://www.umcmission.org
Discipleship Ministries www.umcdiscipleship.org
United Methodist Communications www.umcom.org