Journey Toward Vitality

The Dakotas Conference experienced a 4% growth in attendance during 2011.  How did this happen?  Churches throughout the conference have focused on tools and resources to become vital congregations.

The Dakotas Conference is also working towards vitality guided by our Journey Toward Vitality document. Outcomes in each of the Pathways include:

Developing Missional Leaders

  • A greater supply of young clergy to reach younger people and ensure future church leadership.

  • Clergy with a clear understanding of their leadership & disciple-making abilities and an implemented plan for continued growth.

  • United Methodists who can articulate their "God stories." (i.e. how they have seen God work in their lives, felt God's calling.)

  • Trained, equipped and empowered laity serving in vital ministry positions throughout the conference.

Equipping Missional Congregations

  • 10-20 congregations each year assessed and taking the next steps toward vitality.

  • "New places for new people" (i.e. new churches, worship services, outreach ministries, etc.)

  • Effective leadership available for new ministries and/or new life cycles of ministry.

Extending Missional Impact

  • Congregations understanding of their local "mission field," desiring to positively impact it and moving towards doing that.

  • Congregations in active partnership with at least one of our conference supported missions (Tree of Life, Spirit Lake Ministry Center, Haiti Solar Oven, Bakken area).

  • A significant UMC impact in the Bakken area through an increase of UMs who are following Jesus and reaching out to love their neighbors.

  • Individuals and congregations engaged in new opportunities to heal a broken world through global missions.

Generating Missional Resources

  • Congregations with a greater understanding of and trust in the vision of the Dakotas Conference and how their giving supports the local church through that vision.

  • Individuals/Congregations growing in Christ-likeness by looking beyond themselves in the area of financial giving.

  • A Conference financial capacity to support initiatives to make new disciples through starting new churches and revitalizing existing churches.