Innovation - Blog Posts Articles


Drowning in Details? Maybe We Can Surf Instead

10/14/2021
Task management can be discipleship.

Brewery Bible Study

5/17/2021
If you have ever met Rev. Randy Blanton, you will quickly learn that he has a love of craft beer and theology. When he moved to Aldersgate UMC in Shelby in 2016 he decided to combine two of his loves and host a Bible study at Newgrass Brewery in downtown Shelby. His first fall doing this he thought there may be ten to fifteen people who came out. When he showed up for the first study there were almost fifty people there. They had planned to have it inside, but with this number they instead moved...

Ministry Innovation Blog: Everyday Monasticism: How We're Finding Life in Benedict's Rule

3/4/2021
When I was growing up, Dairy Queen was flanked by a little market on one side and Dean’s Dugout on the other. Dean sold collector’s cards. Pokemon, Magic: The Gathering, as well as baseball and football cards. He sold figurines and boards and books for playing Dungeons and Dragons and Warhammer. No one would describe the mix of sports paraphernalia and fantasy figurines as fashionable. Two long tables for tournaments or battles filled the middle of the store. I shopped there sometimes, but my ...

New Monastic Community: A Modern Renewal Movement

3/4/2021
I knew fairly early in my days as a United Methodist pastor that something was going wrong.  I had only been assigned to my first church for a matter of weeks when a woman came to my office upset about some matter at church.   I tried my pastoral best to listen and understand, but to no avail.  When she stood to leave, she drew close and angrily pointed her finger just a short distance from my nose and said, “and YOU…YOU even expect us to live like Jesus!”    Although that was nearly ...

There is a Balm in Gilead

1/15/2021
Rev. Amy Vaughan, pastor of Marvin UMC, took having Bible study in a bar to the next level when she decided to team up with Rev. Mike Collins, pastor of Emmanuel Lutheran Church, and brought Hops and Hymns to downtown Lincolnton. Rev. Amy had been attending Wild Goose Festival for years and was first introduced to the concept of hops and hymns there. She remembers looking around at the festival and seeing everyone singing along, even those who had grown up in the church but left because they ...

Ministry Innovation in 2020

12/23/2020
In case you missed any of the Ministry Innovation Stories in 2020, the links to the stories are listed below by date.  “God Plays Indoor Soccer” (June 30, 2020) https://www.wnccumc.org/newsdetail/god-plays-indoor-soccer-14115172   “Still Waters Landing – Harvesting a God-sized Dream” (July 15, 2020)  https://www.wnccumc.org/newsdetail/still-waters-landing-harvesting-a-god-sized-dream-14129688   “St. Luke’s Dinner Church – Gathering Re-imagined” (August 3, 2020) https://www.wnccumc.org/newsdetai...

Dinner Church at New Covenant UMC

11/2/2020
After reflecting and assessing the neighborhood and needs of the residents in Lenoir, New Covenant UMC decided to re-engage and restore the community.

Pastor's Breakfast Brings Small Community Together

10/15/2020
When we find ourselves living in remote places it can be hard to find ways to fellowship. If you find yourself in a small town with no places to gather, perhaps it is time to consider making the local diner a new favorite for community gathering.

Sacred Ale

10/1/2020
Sometimes the best way to let others know the God you serve isn’t what they may think is to get out of the walls of your church and into the spaces where those who have been hurt by the church congregate.

Pass It On Cafe

9/15/2020
What do you get when you combine Dinner Church with Messy Church? A Messy Dinner Church.

Spiritual Farmer Finds Common Ground

9/1/2020
When thinking about the future of the church, it isn’t hard to wonder what role, if any, the young people of today will take on.

Community Yoga - Karma and Community

8/17/2020
When thinking of what we can do differently to reach our communities, very few people would consider offering a program at a building that isn’t connected with the church at all as an option.

St. Luke's Dinner Church - Gathering Re-imagined

8/3/2020
Doing church well often means looking at what we are currently doing and re-imagining it to help more people.

Still Waters Landing - Harvesting a God-sized Dream

7/15/2020
One of the best things about serving God is when our ideas are turned into something that otherwise would have seemed impossible.

God Plays Indoor Soccer

6/30/2020
As churches strive to do more in their communities, it is common for them to forget that the best way to be a presence in the community is by working with the community.