Vital Church Initiative

You are here


Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

Vital Church Initiative

The Vital Church Initiative was launched to meet requests for resources that fit the context of town and country settings. It is designed to train pastors for the unique challenges of disciple making in a smaller setting. There are limited resources available and most materials are not written from the town and country context. Making disciples in smaller settings is not a matter of “paring down” materials that were written for larger settings. The Vital Church Initiative is designed to train pastors to make disciples regardless of the congregational size. 

The idea is to evict a “justa” mindset that often inhibits ministry in smaller settings. That mindset says, “We’re “justa” small church. We can’t do much.”   It is to instill the truth that there is nothing small when Jesus is in it and is giving strngth.

How it works…

The Vital Church Initiative starts by District Superintendents selecting pastors to be trained in a different model of ministry that includes sharing limited resources. The plan is not to merge churches but emerge from the challenges of limited resources that hinder vitality. Once the pastors receive training, They initiate a disciple making process that is designed for smaller church settings.  There will be on-going training for the pastors and opportunities for regional training events for church leaders. In addition to training, a consultation process designed for smaller church settings is in development.  Once completed, congregations will have the opportunity to receive assistance from established leaders in town and country ministry. 

Here are the goals…

  • To change town and country ministry from a stepping stone to a place for vital ministry. 
  •  To provide resources that help re-establish smaller churches as the center of community life. To restore the identity of the smaller church through shared ministry. 
  • To revive the hope that can be part of town and country ministry. 
  • To join forces so that town and country churches become one church in many locations.

The Vital Church Initiative isn’t designed to be a cure-all; it is to be a tool… only as effective as the one that wields it. If you want more information, please feel free to contact Walt Goble, the Conference Coordinator of Rural ministry at:  wgoble [at] WOCUMC.org or at (740) 591-6070.