The Mission of the Office of Congregational Development
Created by the 1991 Annual Conference, the Office of Congregational Development serves as a resource to the Bishop and Cabinet; coordinates conference planning for the re-formation of existing churches and creation of new ones; provides training, demographic information and consultation to local churches and districts; coordinates the facilitators (consultation) ministry of the Annual Conference; provides administrative supervision for the Congregational Development Fund; promotes and interprets the fund; counsels churches about outside funding sources; assists district boards for congregational development; gathers and distributes demographic data; assists the Conference Committee on Congregational Development and its task forces.
Facilitators are Conference-trained clergy and lay people who assist churches with strategic planning. Consultations are provided by the Director for Congregational Development. These include:
- Demographic information
- facilities (expansion, renovation)
- 12 Keys to an Effective Church
- One Hour Church Growth Consultation
- Assistance with grant applications
Community Demographic Summaries are available through the Office of Congregational Development
Developing New Congregations
African-American Communities – Ten South Carolina counties do not have an African-American United Methodist church and six have only one. We also have opportunities to start new congregations in cities such as Charleston and Columbia.
Other Ethnic Minority Populations – United Methodists in South Carolina face splendid opportunities to launch congregations and other ministries with Native Americans, with Hispanics and with Asian-Americans.
Those Living In Poverty – The vision: that more and more persons living below the poverty level will find hope and strength in the fellowship of new and existing United Methodist churches.
Fast Growing Communities – As our state’s population increases and becomes more urban, South Carolina United Methodists face untold opportunities to start new churches in suburbs and coastal communities.
The Office of Congregational Development assists churches and agencies to identify appropriate sources of funds from the districts and from agencies of the Annual Conference and the General Church.