This resource archive contains some of the courses and workshops offered through the Leadership Academy. Select one of the categories below and explore the resources!

  • Worship
  • Spiritual Life
  • Church Organization
  • Church Finances
  • Mission
  • Small Groups
  • Leading Change
  • Racial Justice & Cultural Competency


Sunday’s Coming: The Practice of Preaching
One of the primary tasks of a local church pastor is to provide an inspirational weekly message that calls congregants to live out their lives as disciples of Jesus Christ. This course has five sessions, which include two workshops and three practical applications. Participants will be invited to focus on the discipline of preaching as they learn, write, and preach their own sermons. Feedback in small groups will assist the preacher in their development of both content and delivery. This course is intended for appointed pastors, with a focus on licensed local pastors and supply pastors.

Breakthrough Advent Planning Workshop
Advent is one of the most cherished seasons in the church year, but it is also one of the busiest! This workshop provides ideas, information and brainstorming for the Advent season using the Breakthrough Series, IMPOSSIBLE. View the session.

The Welcoming Church and Worship
Discover how to become the Christ-centered, welcoming church our communities are longing for by exploring the “every member commitment” that is rooted in the Great Commission for all to take part in the growth of the body of Christ. Instructor: Lan Wilson
Session 1 available here. | Session 2 available here. | Session 3 available here. | Presentation slides available here.

Breakthrough: Drink from the Fountain of Grace Lent Planning Workshop
This workshop shares ideas and information for planning Lenten worship and devotion for your congregation using the 2022 Breakthrough Lenten series Drink from the Fountain of Grace. Instructor: Rev. Emily Wilton
 Lent Planning Workshop PowerPoint | View Session

Breakthrough: God with Us Advent Planning Workshop
This workshop shares ideas and information for planning Advent worship using the 2021            Breakthrough Advent series, God With Us. Instructor: Rev. Emily Wilton.
View Session

Making Worship Work Behind the Scenes
This course focuses on best practices in worship technology, and developing and leadership to take your team to the next level through communication, recruitment and organization. Recommended for churches who are considering improving their worship technology, digital ministry and worship team practices. Instructor: Chuck DelCamp.
Course Materials:
Making Worship Work | Session 1 PowerPoint
Making Worship Work | Session 2 PowerPoint
Making Worship Work | Session 3 PowerPoint
Plan Template
Course Resources

Navigating Worship in the New Day
As new dynamics in worship arise for our churches in this new day, this course addresses:

  • Hybrid worship, live worship (live-streamed in different size settings), along with engaging congregants, preaching and leading in the hybrid service.
  • Hospitality in the new normal
  • Intertwining worship presentation software and OBS studio for live streaming and recording
  • Worship media: licensing and resources for products

Recommended for worship committees, musicians and pastors. Instructor: Lan Wilson.
View sessions: Week 1 – Music | Hospitality | Outreach | Week 2 – Livestreaming | Worship Presentation | Engaging People | Week 3 – Preaching/Leading | Setting a Standard | Creating Rhythms | Ideas | Budgeting

May 2022 Annual Conference Learning Moment: The Welcoming Church
Welcoming Church Video Leader Handout | Video

Spiritual Life

Blessing as a Way of Living
This course deepens our understanding of the nature of blessing by examining the blessings of Jesus in scripture, reflecting on everyday blessings, and showing how to write blessings of our own. Instructor: Rev. Dr. Ginny Cetuk.
View sessions: Session 1 (not available) | Session 2 available here. | Session 3 available here.

Church Organization

Statistical Reports Training
All pastors of local churches need to submit a year-end statistical report each year.  As there may be some changes in the 2022 reporting, all pastors and members involved in completing the reports are encouraged to participate in one of the two following trainings to be hosted by our Finance team. 2022 Statistical Reports resources.

Building A Healthy Church Culture
Being a lay, staff, or clergy leader in the local church has many joys and challenges. It is a blessing together with motivated individuals who are committed to the mission of the United Methodist Church and the local church. And it’s a joy to be part of a church with a healthy culture. We have been through so much over the past few years dealing with change, change and more change. Yet, we are often bound by the past –by a culture for a church the way it was a hundred years ago. In this highly interactive workshop, we will learn what organization culture is, how we can take steps to evolve it, and how we utilize processes for laity and clergy to drive and reinforce the culture we need in our local church.

Simplified One Board Model
This course teaches a step-by-step process for discerning and possible implementation of the shift to a One Board Model. Instructor: Rev. Brian Roberts and several clergy and laity from GNJ.
the sessions: Session 1 | Session 2 | Session 3
Power Point presentation, for Session 1, by the Rev. Dr. Steven Bechtold
Three Phases Simplified Accountability Model Process Stages
The “Discerning WHY & 5 Factors worksheet” to be completed for Session 2

Church Finances

Financial Stewardship Practices: Ending the Year Strong
The last six weeks of the year is when many congregations receive a large percentage of their gifts and donations. It is also the Thanksgiving, Advent, and Christmas season when there is potential to attract and welcome more visitors. The potential to increase your year-end giving and reach your community during the Advent and Christmas Seasons is tremendous. In this one-session workshop, you will learn strategies to end the year strong financially AND ideas to connect with your community. We will discuss the importance of storytelling, special end-of-year letters, sharing information about contributions from IRAs and Stock donations, and the impact of saying “thank you.”

Launching a Stewardship Campaign
This workshop will use the Breakthrough Stewardship Worship Series “Releasing God’s Blessings” to teach how to celebrate your church’s ministry through the implementation of a stewardship campaign. Participants reflect together theologically and biblically on generosity, explore the pastor’s and laity’s role in a campaign, ways to gather the campaign team, review the worship, small group and campaign materials, and share best practices for personal testimonies on generosity.

Session 1:
Session 2:
Session 3:

Foundational Day Finance Committee Workshop
This session reviews the finance committee’s role in the financial vitality of congregations, including:

  • Financial reporting
  • Internal controls
  • Budgeting
  • Other best practices

Metro Highlands Workshop here. | Coastal Plains Workshop here. (Please note the first 10 minutes did not record). View the presentation here.

Church & Clergy Taxes
Have questions about the IRS group tax exemption? Unsure how to handle clergy / lay employment taxes? Need help completing a W2? Do you need to understand the difference between a Housing Allowance vs. Housing Exclusion? Is your church considering renting property but not sure about the tax consequences?  GNJ Church & Clergy Taxes will answer all of these and other frequently asked tax-related questions. Instructor: Rob Zuckerman, GNJ CFO/Treasurer

Launching a Stewardship Campaign (using Breakthrough: All In)
This course provides steps for creating a wholistic stewardship campaign, including a timeline for implementing an annual giving campaign and ways to engage church leadership. It uses the 2021 Breakthrough stewardship series All In. Note: only the first of three sessions is available for viewing. Instructor: Rev. Jana Purkis-Brash and Rev. Deb DeVos.
View Session

Preparing a Balanced Budget
This course teaches a process for creating and living into a balanced budget to assist church leaders in ensuring that resources develop life-changing ministry. Recommended for finance committee chairpersons, treasurers, church council chairpersons and pastors. Instructor: Rev. Jana Purkis-Brash.
View sessions: Session 1 | Session 2
Course Materials:
Preparing a Balanced Budget
Preparing a Balanced Budget II
Sample Church Monthly Budget

Stewardship: Growing Legacy and Planned Giving Webinar
As a nation, we are in the midst of what is being called the “Great Wealth Transfer,” where over the next few decades, trillions of dollars will change hands generationally. Is your congregation set up to attract, receive and care for legacy and planned gifts? This course walks through how to establish or re-invigorate a Legacy & Planned Giving program in your congregation.

The Science of Generosity  [FULL VIDEO]
In this one-session workshop, we welcome a special guest, Dr. Femida Handly, Professor at the University of Pennsylvania and explore the facets of generosity by looking closely at the meanings, traits, and motivations behind giving behaviors across communities and cultures. We discuss how generosity contributes to our happiness and well-being, as well as the happiness and well-being of our loved ones, our local communities, and our global society.

Finance: Alternative Income Streams for Ministry  [FULL VIDEO]
Many congregations are finding that the traditional or usual ways of funding ministry through member giving are becoming more difficult. Local congregations are rediscovering or leveraging their entrepreneurial Wesleyan spiritual DNA and finding new ways to generate income, build partnerships, and impact local communities. Diversified or multiple income sources help provide stability. These sessions explore emerging alternative funding models and provide tools for discernment and resources for taking important and increasingly urgent next steps.

Building Your Stewardship Team & Pre-work to Launching a Financial Stewardship Campaign [FULL VIDEO]
Is your congregation struggling to grow stewardship and member giving? Do you want to move toward proportional giving and hold a dynamic, effective stewardship campaign in the fall? This session focuses on building a stewardship & generosity team in your local church. This is important preliminary work as you will get resources for building your team and be ready for training and implementing a stewardship campaign. Congregations that have participated in this training and have built teams have been able to lead very effective stewardship campaigns and grow the culture of generosity in their church.


Local Church & Community: Building Missional Relationships
Building relationships to engage hands-on mission is essential to live out the church’s mission to “make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.” This three session course will aid you in identifying community partnerships for collaboration, understanding the steps, challenges and hurdles of implementation, and developing an action plan for ministry. Instructor: Andrea Wren-Hardin, GNJ Disaster Recovery Coordinator.

Missional Engagement that Opens Hearts, Minds and Doors
This course teaches best practices for engaging in mission that is relational, transformative, and utilizes the gifts and assets of your church and community. Recommended for mission and outreach committees, clergy and those interested in developing hands-on mission in their communities. Instructor: Andrea Wren-Hardin, Ashley Wilson and Rev. Luana Cook-Scott.
View the sessions: Session 1 | Session 2 | Session 3
Course Materials:
Mission Planning Questions
Mission Resources
Missional Engagement | Session 1 PowerPoint
Missional Engagement | Session 2 PowerPoint
Missional Engagement | Session 3 PowerPoint

Small Groups

Be a Leader, Lead a Leader – Small Group Hybrid Training
This course explores ways to develop as a leader and to lead leaders of small groups. It walks through casting a vision for a yearlong plan for small group ministry, learning ways to recruit and equip laity to lead, and skills for online facilitation. Instructor: Rev. Gina Yeske.
View the sessions: Session 1 | Session 2 | Session 3

Leading Change

Pathways Workshop
Over the past few years, our leaders and churches have been faced with a myriad of challenges and many congregations are discerning how to take the next faithful step. Pathways for Congregational Development is designed by GNJ to offer your congregation the tools needed to recall and honor who you were in the past, reflect on your current ministry, and then reset for the future so you can thrive. Pathways is a process to educate and equip congregations to do the important work of making disciples for the transformation of the world. Join Resource Director Gina Yeske in a one-evening workshop to learn about this new resource to determine if Pathways is the right process to help your congregation envision what God has in store next!

Navigating Change| 2021 Adjourned Annual Conference Session

Learning Moment | 2021 Adjourned Annual Conference Session

It’s Not Just Sundays: Church Growth in a Hybrid Context
This training is designed to equip churches and leaders to be effective in a hybrid ministry context to increase engagement and expand their reach. This will aid in developing common language, shared values, and explore practical methods of growing the present-future church. Instructor: Rev. Dr. Jevon Caldwell-Gross.

  • Exploring cultural trends that we define the future-present church
  • Using digital platforms to create community with existing members while reaching new demographics.
  • Moving from a growth mindset of 52 weeks to 365 days
  • Mobilizing and recruiting new volunteers to support new strategies

Pathways for Congregational Development Workshop
This spring, Resource Directors Gina Yeske and Lan Wilson hosted a workshop on Pathways for Congregational Development. This workshop was for congregations to learn about this new resource and to determine if Pathways is the right process to help them congregation envision what God has in store next. You and your congregation are invited to check out the highlights of that evening. View the session.

Racial Justice & Cultural Competency

Courageous Conversations: Racism
This course encourages and equips church leaders to feel more confident about understanding the need for conversations about racism and to glimpse potential outcomes for the local church. This was offered as a self-paced online course through Discipleship Ministries in connection with weekly conversations. The online course can be found here: How to Have a Courageous Conversation: Racism | Discipleship ( Instructors: Rev. Enger Muteteke & Rev. Frank Davis.

Foundations for Just, Inclusive, and Equitable Ministries in the Local Church
GNJ’s Journey of Hope Strategic Plan “strongly encourages all GNJ leaders and disciples each year to participate in a study and conversation that helps people continually turn outward and work toward a racially just, inclusive and equitable church.” With this workshop, both clergy and laity will begin to build the foundations for a Justice and Mercy ministry in their congregations. By the end of this three-session course, participants will be able to (1) think biblically and theologically about the work of justice and mercy in their communities, (2) practice justice and mercy as a spiritual discipline (3) identify areas in which their community can engage in justice and mercy ministries, and (4) explore asset-based organizing.

For more information, please contact: