2019 - 2023 Strategic Ministry Plan Summary

Cultivate and equip 100 clergy and 100 laity leaders who make disciples who make disciples. Leadership 100 will change GNJ into a disciple-making and disciple-engaging force to transform the world. Leadership 100 will:

  • develop more transformational and apostolic leaders for our congregations and the community, and
  • grow a pool of talented leaders who can be deployed to increase disciple-making by:
    • changing the culture to nurture leaders who multiply passionate disciples
    • growing vibrant missional congregations and
    • transforming lives and communities

We will know we have achieved this God-sized goal when we have 100 congregations whose worship attendance has moved from one category to the next.


  • 281 congregations with average worship attendance of less than 50
  • 123 congregations with average worship attendance of 50– 84
  • 56 congregations with average worship attendance of 85– 124
  • 52 congregations with average worship attendance of 125-249
  • 6 congregations with average worship attendance of 250-349
  • 8 congregations with average worship attendance of 350-499
  • 7 congregations with average worship attendance of 500-799
  • 2 congregations with average worship attendance of 800+


  • FROM a church that mostly serves its members and clergy TO a mission that connects with the people in the community through relevant ministries.
  • FROM congregations with a single cultural expression and privilege TO congregations with multicultural expression and intercultural competence.
  • FROM concentrating ministry and thinking with current church members TO further extend ministry and thinking to make and engage younger and more diverse generations of disciples.
  • FROM sharing information through workshops to train leaders TO using workshops that interact with and experience the content to form leaders.
  • FROM maintaining congregations and their buildings TO working with congregations to repurpose buildings for regenerative mission.
  • FROM depending exclusively on Shared Ministries (apportionments) for mission and ministry TO cultivating new sources of income to grow mission and ministry.


  • New Faith Communities – new expressions of congregations that gather diverse people in ways that are relevant to them.
  • Intercultural Competency – Develop leadership capacity for intercultural competence in GNJ so we can love across boundaries and differences and work towards inclusion of all people.
  • NextGen Ministries – Cultivate and mobilize new generations of enthusiastic disciples of Jesus Christ that connect, engage and lead in their congregations and communities to transform the world through:
    • IGNITE – life-changing worship, relevant teachings and authentic community for 6th through 12th grade
    • Youth Groups – local, community focused places for young people to be introduced to Christ and shaped as disciples generally for 3rd through 12th grade
    • Camping – outdoors experiences that connect with God, purpose and promote meaningful relationships for elementary through high school students
    • Campus Ministries – places for college students to be introduced to Christ, shaped as disciples and developed as transformational leaders
  • Community Development – Leverage existing human, relational and capital resources to create opportunities for healing, renewal and transformation to communities and sustainable financial support streams for congregations
    • Repurpose church property into vibrant worship and mission centers
    • Repurpose church property into affordable housing, senior living, community space and mission centers
    • Create cooperative ministries within the community
  • Hope Centers – Develop church-based community ministry that meets the needs of the community and serves children and youth, families, seniors and vulnerable populations


  • Develop resources to equip congregations to assess and improve their pathways for disciples to know, grow in, live and share the life of Jesus every day, so that we increase the number of new disciples and vital congregations.
  • Develop laity leadership resources to equip the local church with the knowledge and ability to effectively lead congregations and address challenges in their ministry, so that we grow more vital congregations.
  • Incorporate appropriate training, language and practices into resources, events, agency work, and conference life, so that we grow cultural competency within the life and ministry of GNJ.
  • Create methods to recruit, resource and support congregational youth leaders, so that they are equipped to lead and grow a youth program equal to 20% of their worshiping congregation and we grow youth engagement.
  • Clarify the process, resources and support for Hope Centers, so that we develop 30 Hope Centers focused on community mission with students, the poor and the elderly, and increase missional impact in the community


  • Laity Leadership Academy
  • Coaching
  • PaCE
  • Mosaic Ministries
  • Clergy Leadership Development Initiative
  • Team Vital
  • Communities of Hope
  • Lay Servant Ministries

Download the 2019-2023 Strategic Plan

  • GNJ 2019-2023 Strategic Plan

    GNJ 2019-2023 Strategic Plan

    In May of 2018, United Methodists in Greater New Jersey passed legislation to support a strategic plan that will take their ministry into 2023. Download the plan here.

Resources for Congregation 100: Church Size Theory

  • Church Size Theory

    Church Size Theory

    This document is an easy way to locate your church alongside similarly sized churches who often share the same strengths and challenges. These are generalizations, and while there are always exceptions,
    your chart can be a helpful reference. Begin by “finding yourself on the map” and then identify ways your church can grow to the next level. Pay close attention to the expectations for “growth in impact” columns, as these are
    key ways a church can proactively increase its capacity for mission.