Congregational Excellence

Congregational Excellence is one of three core practices for the Missouri Annual Conference. The Missouri Conference believes that churches of any size can create new places for new people to connect with Christ and one another. Congregational excellence includes helping churches plant several kinds of new places, including small groups, recovery ministries, fresh expressions, new worship services, collaborative partnerships, and new churches or multi-sites.

No matter your church size, you can be dreaming and tuning into how God is calling your church community to create God’s kingdom here on earth. The Center for Congregational Excellence serves as a resource to help you dream new ministry dreams, jumpstart existing church ministries and try new things.

Church Revitalization

According to a Pew Research report, “Asked directly whether they now attend religious services more or less often than they did before the pandemic, more Americans indicate that their attendance habits have declined than risen.” The church is different now than it was before. To help Missouri Conference churches live into this new reality, the Center for Congregational Excellences offers opportunities to dream, learn and try new things.

Revitalization Cohort

The revitalization cohort uses 10 compass points to help churches move beyond simply responding to what is happening around them and give leaders the tools to begin seeing in ways that empower them to create a future they sense God is inviting them toward. Local church leaders are either pushed by the pain of the present - this is often where adaptive leadership is necessary - or pulled by a preferred tomorrow. This is generative leadership, creating the future results we as local church leaders desire for both our churches and communities.

Dream Lab

Dream Lab is a 24-hour getaway for a team of up to five people from your church. Sitting around a table with your team, a brainstorming facilitator will guide the room through creative prompts and questions to allow the Holy Spirit to lead them to the next dream God has for their church. Starting something new? Tweaking/refining something existing? What is God calling your church to next? Find out at Dream Lab!

Historically Black Churches

The historically Black Church is the faith and body of Christian congregations and denominations in the United States that minister predominantly to African Americans, as well as their collective traditions and members. The term can also refer to individual congregations.

While many Black congregations belong to the seven major black Protestant denominations: the African Methodist Episcopal Church, the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, the Church of God in Christ, the National Baptist Convention, the National Baptist Convention of America, and the Progressive National Convention, many others are in predominantly white Protestant denominations including The United Methodist Church.

African American Christians never were and currently are not monolithic; they have always been diverse and their churches highly decentralized.

See also:

Jumpstart Workshop Series

Does your ministry feel stuck? Is yesterday's approach to ministry not yielding hoped-for results? Jumpstart is a monthly workshop series that reimagines ministry essentials and offers new questions, new thoughts and new scorecards. Each month is a stand-alone essential workshop geared at jumpstarting a ministry that needs new life. Together we’ll hear from experts on topics such as generosity, discipleship, evangelism, starting new places, missions, community partnerships, and self- and congregational care.

New Place Grants

In the Missouri Conference, we recognize God is doing new things to reach people in fresh new ways. We refer to these ways as New Places for New People (NPNP). The Center for Congregational Excellence offers grants twice a year, once in the spring and once in the fall, and the amounts given out vary by the type of grant requested. We offer new places grants for several kinds of new places, including small groups, recovery ministries, fresh expressions, new worship services, collaborative partnerships, and new churches or multi-sites.

Center for Congregational Excellence

Mark Sheets

Director of the Center for Congregational Excellence

Brittany McIntyre

Executive Assistant and Strategist
(573) 777-1203

Headshots by Schaefer Photography