Innovation - Resources


Tell us you're out there! We are building a database of WNCC Innovators to help to foster community among those who are re-thinking what ministry could look like. Tell us about yourself and the ministry you're running.   
Resourcing Ministries that support and expand the work of innovation throughout WNC.

This isn’t an exhaustive list—but we’ll keep updating it over time.


Latest Stories

Register for Upcoming Innovator's Buzz Session

Register for Upcoming Innovator's Buzz Session

Here's a little invitation for you: can you join us for a little while on October 4 by Zoom? A Buzz Session is a gathering where Christian innovators (typically from WNCC churches, though not always!) talk about the project they're working on, and then have give-and-take of ideas and suggestions for next steps of development from the folks on the call. You never know when someone will suggest an "aha!" idea or make a contact they didn't know they needed. It's good stuff.   Anyway, we'd love to...
A Few Words on Innovation: Paul Reissman, Mystic Winds

A Few Words on Innovation: Paul Reissman, Mystic Winds

Check out this interview with Rev. Paul Reissman of the Michigan Conference about his ministry, Mystic Winds.     
Brewery Bible Study

Brewery Bible Study

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...
A Few Words about Innovation: A Few Words with Mark DeVries

A Few Words about Innovation: A Few Words with Mark DeVries

What's the first thing to know about innovating in your ministry context? Rev. Meg Gaston spends a few minutes with our colleague Mark DeVries of Ministry Incubators to learn some of the tools and tips he's picked up along the way. Click here to watch this 15-minute video.  Innovating in the WNCC? Let us know! Visit  to tell us you’re out there.
There is a Balm in Gilead

There is a Balm in Gilead

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 ...
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Fresh Expressions —A fresh expression is a new form of church for those not connected to any church. They take shape outside of the walls of the church in places where our neighbors are already gathering. Fresh expressions in the WNC Conference are making new disciples and are passing on the traditions of our Wesleyan faith in new and creative ways. Fresh expressions are anchored to existing churches, connecting churches with people who would never enter the church building on a Sunday morning. They do not exist to get folks to come to our church, but rather to form church with folks in places where they are.

Innovators’ Table — As the myriad innovation ministries of the WNC continue to re-imagine how to reach people with the grace, love, and justice of the Living God, the Table is a collaborative community where leaders from several key initiatives can connect the conference’s far-reaching innovation efforts. Contact Caroline Wood for information on what the Innovators' Table is doing to imagine new forms of ministry in the WNCC.

SALT (Spiritual Academy for Leading Transformation) —To help congregations toward building a core of spiritually mature laypeople, SALT is an eight-month training program that prepares laypeople to join together with clergy and other laity to lead effective change.

Academy for Missional Wisdom —This is a two-year training program that helps to lay the groundwork for new missional communities by raising up and equipping new leaders for that purpose.

Justice and Reconciliation—This body promotes excellence and fruitfulness in congregational life and ecclesial structures that reflect full diversity, works of justice, and participation by all people in the WNC. See the website link for more information on the groups, boards, and agencies that relate to this work, and for contact information.

Transformation Network —A three-year process by which local churches develop their vision, values, purpose, and processes to align with God’s call for the congregation. Information and contact information are available at the link.

The Transformational Index is a tool that helps others identify their social impact and the best way to do it. The TI Group works with charities, social groups, foundations and social investors.

M-LAB, or "Movement - Learning Action Aboard", helps to inspire and help others and make ideas into action. They work mainly with laity and clergy in an effort to collaborate with many. 


Ministry Incubators works with local Christian social entrepreneurs in order to both create other's ideas and give back to their local communities.