Light the Way Campaign

Campaign Vision and Purpose

Our purpose is to multiply the number of vibrant, robust, effective congregations and in turn multiply the number of people who are choosing to live in the hope of Jesus Christ, being shaped from the inside out by the justice, love and peace that Jesus brings to us all.

IF we sincerely believe that God is calling us to offer Christ in a Wesleyan way, passionately and respectfully, that is relevant to our cultural context and inspires hope and new life…

AND we are sincere in asking God to send one more person, family, or child for us to love and disciple…

THEN we are called to come together to plant new churches and nurture congregational vitality in order to reach new people of all ages and life circumstances and connect them with Jesus Christ.

“I believe our next faithful step is to focus on taking a bold leap here in West Ohio in starting new churches and strategically revitalizing others so that “more people, more young people, more diverse people” meet the Risen Christ who yearns to be in relationship with each of us.”
– Bishop Gregory Palmer


Light the Way Strategic Pathways

“In this same way let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:16

Light the Way is a focused plan to develop NEW faith communities and increase the number of highly vital EXISTING faith communities throughout the West Ohio Conference. We will achieve the plan through two investment areas that reflect our strategic vision.

  1. Invest in existing congregations with the vision to spark a new life cycle or expand their reach.

  1. Invest in new faith communities that offer the light of Christ to a hurting world.

Our strategy depends on support, and intention through a team approach with five pillars:
Recruiting excellent, gifted, and called leaders
Assessing leadership skills, gifts, strengths, and personality
Training new church start leaders 
Coaching new church start leaders 
Funding new church start leaders 

“Starting a new campus for us at King Avenue actually brought new energy and focus to our main campus.” – Pastor John Keeny, King Avenue UMC, Columbus.

Light the Way Cost Basis for Five years

The cost of starting a new church and/or multi-site ministry varies based on the model, but ranges between $300,000 and $500,000 over a 5-year period. Funding is released as the new church or ministry meets predetermined benchmarks.

The costs associated with strengthening existing churches is $10,000 for each church involved in the MCCI process, and up to $3,000 for each church involved in Traction Tracks. Funding is made available for various stages as churches reach designated and agreed-to benchmarks Developing leaders and training/coaching is included in the numbers above.

Light the Way Summary of Expenditures and Funding

  • At least twelve new churches and/or multi-site ministries        $3,600,000
  • 310 churches strengthened through MCCI/Traction Tracks        $1,400,000
  • Total 5-year plan expenditures                                                               $5,000,000

While MCCI and Traction Tracks are the current strategies for strengthening churches, campaign proceeds may be applied to successor programming that is substantially similar to MCCI or Traction Tracks. 

Campaign Prayer

God of our hearts—
May the miraculous light of Christ engage and unite us with
unstoppable faith, 
passionate courage,
gladness of heart,
and unbounded love
So that your Spirit-birthed possibilities shine through us
and break through with the dawn of new hope and transformation to your world.

For more information on the Light the Way Campaign contact:

Susan Black, CFRE
Executive Director, United Methodist Foundation of West Ohio
sblack [at]

Rev. Sue Nilson Kibbey
Director, Office of Missional Church Development
snkibbey [at]

Mr. Brad Aycock
Director of New Church Development
bradaycock [at]






Light the Way Video from Annual Conference 2017.

PDF icon Light the Way Case Statement988.75 KB
PDF icon Prayer Card515.61 KB