As the Virginia Conference envisions churches where all God's people are welcomed at table, the Division of Evangelism seeks to help congregations extend invitations to all people, so that the un-churched will know there is a table where they will be welcomed and fed. Resources are available to help congregations be invitational, and to help people learn how to share their faith with those who do not yet know Christ. This is being accomplished in several different ways. Through the use of consultants and training, churches from throughout the conference are using components such as radio and TV spots, a direct-mail Neighbors newsletter, and a plan of neighborhood invitation to the local church to reach out to the un-churched in their particular communities.  

One resource is a ministry known as Natural Church Development. This is designed for churches of all sizes, cultures, and settings, who are seriously committed to growing. The premise behind this ministry is that participating congregations will do in-depth self analysis, which will show them the area of ministry that they will need to focus on over the next 18 months, in order to become a healthy congregation. What has been uncovered in this work is that healthy churches grow... naturally. The key is to become a healthy congregation.

For Local Church Evangelism Coordinators, we offer a A Handbook for Local Church Evangelism. It is free. Just print off a copy to stir up some ideas for your church to use. To open, click here.

Click here for information on clergy, laity, and youth nominations for the 2014 Denman Evangelism Awards.

Recommended Resources:

  • • Rethink Church: The media and welcoming campaign of the United Methodist Church, and evangelism resources for local churches, United Methodist Communications P.O. Box 320 Nashville, TN 37202 www.rethinkchurch.org
  • • Leading Beyond the Walls: Developing Congregations with a Heart for the Unchurched, Adam Hamilton, Abingdon Press, Nashville, 2002.  
  • • Unleashing the Word, Adam Hamilton, Abingdon Press, 2003.
  • • Natural Church Development, Christian A. Schwarz, Church Smart Resources Carol Stream IL 60188 1-800-253-4276  
  • • Faith Sharing, Eddie Fox and George Morris, Discipleship Resources, 1997. Discipleship Resources P.O. Box 840 Nashville, TN 37202 www.cokesbury.com   
  • • Marketing for Congregations, Norman Shawchuck, Philip Kotler, et.al., Abingdon Press, Nashville, 1992.  
  • • Faith Sharing Congregation, Roger Swanson, Shirley Clement, Discipleship Resources, 1996. www.cokesbury.com
  • • The Church Growth Handbook, Bill Easum, Abingdon Press, Nashville, 1990.  
  • • Twelve Keys to an Effective Church, Kennon L. Callahan, Harper & Row, San Francisco, 1983.
  • • Reclaiming the Great Commission, Bishop Claude Payne and Hamilton Beazley, Jossey-Bass, San Francisco, 2000    
  • • 20 Components of an Evangelistically Effective Congregation (Word file)
    • Evangelism Handbook (Word File)



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The Virginia Conference of The United Methodist Church
10330 Staples Mill Road, Glen Allen, VA 23060
P.O. Box 5606, Glen Allen, VA 23058-5606
(804) 521-1100
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