Re-Launch Resources

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Which path will your church choose as we focus our energy and efforts on the future?

Thomas Wolfe wrote, “You can’t go home again.” What he meant was that if you try to return to a place you remember from the past it won’t be the same as you remember it.

We are coming to a crossroad. Which path will you and your church choose? While there is certainly a desire from many to just go back to where we were before, for church leaders today, there is no returning to a pre-COVID time. That time is past and it is best to focus our energy and efforts on the future.

We are not re-opening churches as much as we are Re-Launching them!

This pandemic crisis has changed us. It has changed our churches. It has changed our communities.

The website Biblegateway.com reported their largest one-day engagement on Easter 2020 of over 40 million people. They are using phrases like, “historical” and “spiritual awakening” when describing what they are seeing related to prayer requests and Bible usage.

Many churches around our conference have also seen dramatic increases in their worship attendance and engagement since moving from worshiping in person to worshiping only online. How about you and your church? What have these past few weeks held for your ministry?

We encourage you and your church leaders to start now thinking about and planning for some version of in person worship. This page contains many resources we feel can help you in this process of Re-Launching your ministry.

Please start with the video and materials from Discipleship Ministries entitled Re-Launch.

Re-Launch Study Guide:

designed to be used by groups of leaders in your church
as you watch the video and plan for your ministry’s future.

Re-Launch Study Guide
Re-Launch Video:

four church leaders brought together by Discipleship Ministries share some insights and wisdom for the next season of ministry.

Re-Launch Video
You are encouraged to join us in conversation on our Facebook group, Congregational Vitality as we navigate these waters together.
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Here is a schematic Wesley UMC in Morgantown created to see how many could safely gather in their 350 seat sanctuary. They found that they can only seat 60 people at a time with 6 feet of social distancing requirements.
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Online Worship Experiences Matter - and we're here to help you offer your very best:

Why audio quality is more important than video quality.

We have established a new grant program to help churches improve their online worship experience.
Follow this link for more.

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Take this online worship survey to help plan for next steps in your online worship services.
Someone from Conference Communications will follow up with you.

Follow this link for the survey.

Many articles are being written about this season of ministry . . . and what’s to come. Here are a few:

Leading Beyond the Blizzard: Why Every Organization Is Now a Startup: from The Praxis Journal. This 'white paper' is an important piece for church leaders to read. (there is also a 30 minute podcast)

Leading Beyond...

5 Predictions About the Future Church While Everything’s Still Unknown, by Carey Nieuwhof

5 Predictions...

24 Questions Your Church Should Answer Before People Return, by Ken Braddy

24 Questions...

Finding Our New Normal an article by Susan Beaumont, a well known church leadership author. 


Finding Our New...

Our Pandemic Summer, from The Atlantic. 

The fight against the coronavirus won’t be over when the U.S. reopens. Here’s how the nation must prepare itself.

Pandemic Summer...

Singing and the ChurchA Caution for Moving Forward in Our Current Pandemic by Heather R. Nelson, Ph.D.

Why Singing in Church may increase the spread of Covid-19

Singing and Covid-19
Many congregations are eager to reopen their buildings and resume in-person worship services, but it’s important to resist the temptation to rush back before it’s safe. The Lewis Center staff has assembled this list of key questions to consider before a church can safely resume gathering.
Key Questions to ConsiderBefore Resuming in-person Gatherings
Rev. Alex Shanks says the question of whether to reopen is different for a church than for other institutions. Rather than just reacting to what others are doing, churches need to model responsible decision making and exceed basic health guidelines to protect the most vulnerable.
Why Reopening A Church is Different