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Stories of Vital Congregations

Members of the Steel Pan Ministry at Westchester United Methodist Church in New York perform during a worship service. Video image by United Methodist Communications.

Church drum ministry shares musical gifts

“The reason I come to this church is to pray, celebrate God, and play the drums.” Visit a congregation that is growing to the beat of a steel drum band. View

Pastor Rudy Rasmus preaches at his Houston United Methodist church. Image by United Methodist Communications.

UMTV: Rasmus’ Church Growth Tips

Pastor Rudy's challenge: make the most of 52 Sundays a year. His church grew from 9 members to 9,000. The secret: "Don't bore 'em!" View

Jonathan Wilke, at right, and other young people are flocking to Immanuel United Methodist Church in Eberswalde, Germany. The church is defying the odds in the formerly Communist region by welcoming newcomers. Now, the church is striving to help refugees. Photo by Heather Hahn, UMNS

How a church overcomes hostility to Christianity

A church in formerly Communist eastern Germany defies the odds by welcoming newcomers, including the influx of recent asylum-seekers. Read More

About 35 people gathered at Knox United Methodist Church in Manila for the first day of a “bright spots” training. The gathering drew people from all three episcopal areas in the Philippines to discuss how

Filipino United Methodists learn about `bright spots’

United Methodist churches in the Philippines looking at “bright spots” approach to vital congregations. Read More

With a strong belief in social outreach, members of First United Methodist Church in Portland volunteer at the Oregon Food Bank in Beaverton, Ore. Photo by Mark Ohlson, courtesy of First United Methodist Church

How a church shares faith where faith is suspect

The United Methodist church closest to the 2016 General Conference site in Portland, Oregon, is defying local religious trends. Read More

UMTV: Worship and Workout

Pastor at gym stresses faith, fitness all week. "I look at the Y like the woman at the well. People come here. I provide that spiritual connect." View

The Rev. Molly Simpson confirms a young church member. From story in Interpreter Magazine. Photo courtesy of Molly Simpson.

Women church planters reach new disciples

'We were ready to take risks, to try new things, and if they didn't work, we made the changes necessary.' Interpreter Magazine profiles two female pastors. Read More

UMTV: Vital Church Makes Disciples

"I've been here for 10 years, haven't left. It's my juice." How Grace UMC in Florida grew from 400 members to 2600. "Everybody is called." View

The Rev. Stephen Handy prays with the staff of the YouthWorks mission camp at  McKendree United Methodist Church in Nashville, Tenn.  Photo courtesy of McKendree United Methodist Church.

United Methodist church vitality increases in U.S.

Between 2010 and 2012, the denomination more than doubled its percentage of ‘highly vital’ congregations in the U.S. Here’s what makes churches vibrant. Read More

Video image of congregants at Garfield United Methodist Church in Ohio.

UMTV: Church Thrives on Diversity

People drive for miles to be part of an Ohio church in an exclusive suburb because it seeks to be more inclusive. Learn what keeps this congregation growing. View

Growth of Hispanic/Latino Ministries in Wisconsin

"There is great movement of existing churches that are passionate about reaching out to people of all nations and races," writes a Wisconsin District Superintendent. Read More

Tom Arthur leads a

UMTV: Church in a Diner

Young pastor finds recipe for reaching those who might not go to church in a traditional setting. “We’re all comfortable in a diner.” View

The Rev. Jerry Herships (left) offers communion bread to a homeless man in Denver. A UMNS photo by Carey Moots. ; A UMNS photo by Carey Moots

Church vitality: Professions of faith rise

Churches in the U.S. are reaching more people. For the first time in 11 years, conferences report an increase in professions of faith. Read More

The Rev. Adam Weber, lead pastor, delivers the message during a Sunday service at Embrace Church in Sioux Falls, S.D. Embrace, a United Methodist Church founded in 2007, is one of the top 50 fastest-growing U.S. churches in 2013 according to Outreach magazine. Photo by Amie Hansen Photography for Embrace Church. Accompanies UMNS story #268. 10/17/13.; Photo by Amie Hansen Photography for Embrace Church

S.D. church makes ‘fastest-growing’ list

Embrace in Sioux Falls is the only United Methodist church to make magazine's 2013 list of U.S. top 50 in growth. Read More

Oak Forest United Methodist saw a surge in new members after opening a free community clinic.

Church vitality: Turning mission into members

Ten years ago, the ministry of Oak Forest United Methodist Church appeared to be flatlining. View

Oak Forest United Methodist saw a surge in new members after opening a free community clinic.

UMTV: Church Turns Mission Into Members

Pastor of historic church says "recycling people" is key to being vital. "I want to challenge pastors that are in declining congregations." View

Church vitality: From ‘dying’ to ‘reborn’

Failing German congregation had planned to sell its building, but God had other plans. Last year the church was re-consecrated. Read More

Pastor Russell Clark of the United Methodist Church of Reddick (Fla.) welcomes new members, Lannie and Erin Thompson and their children.

Church vitality: What is the secret to growth?

Florida pastor sees congregation grow by 25 percent in one Sunday as he does 'what a pastor is called to do.' Read More

Church vitality: How do you define it?

Leaders across the denomination ponder that question even as they try to increase the number of highly vital churches. Read More

UMTV: Storage Unit Ministry

Thinking outside the box lands one pastor inside a place with plenty of boxes: a storage facility. His new office reaches those in transition. View

UMTV: Bowling Church

When an Ohio congregation tried worship outside the walls, attendance doubled, then tripled. "We had lines waiting to get into the building." View

The 2012 State of the Church Report focuses on Vital Congregations

Responding to the call for more vital congregations in The United Methodist Church Read More

Young Black Church Leader: Rev. Ronnie Miller-Yow

As head of Black Methodists for Church Renewal, a popular pastor and college chaplain, Ronnie Miller-Yow shares ideas for church growth. View

Mentoring and Ministry: Rev. Kirbyjon Caldwell

In three decades of leading one of the largest congregations in the U. S., the Rev. Kirbyjon Caldwell has developed his own style of preaching, and his own strong opinions... View

UMTV: Car Care for Single Moms

Church makes mothers' day. "They came for free gas, but the look in their eyes when you said 'I would be glad to pray for you' was a God moment." View