The Center for Congregational Excellence

What excites you about ministry?

It excites me to be able to share that The Center for Congregational Excellence is always ready to equip your congregation and leaders with resources to help you transform lives—and entire communities.

We put this report together to make sure you know all that is available to the local church.

Click the image below for the report.

Robert Besser


Youth & Young Adults

Youth & Young Adult Ministries offer a variety of events, camps and meetings for your youth & young adults to be involved in.

Visit for details on events

listed below and future events

The Big Event is a weekend retreat specifically designed for 6th graders in the Texas Annual Conference. This event will be an extremely fun weekend designed to welcome our new 6th graders and begin to build community in their group! The worship is designed around our Wesleyan understanding of grace, some program elements are designed to foster Christian leadership & fellowship, others are just to have fun as a 6th grader. We will be at Camp Cho-Yeh this year! It's like a whole week of summer camp crammed in one amazing weekend!


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Heading Here


We're looking to connect high school seniors to the campus ministries they'll be arriving to in the Fall. Securely share their information with us and we'll pass it along.

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Ignite is our retreat for 7-12th graders where our prayer is that something is sparked in your student's faith. We will have two very similar retreats this year, with the same program and price, but two different weekends and locations. We'll have worship, workshops, small groups, and activities centered around the theme of commencement in ministry. The cost is $135 if registered by Jan. 21 and $150 if registered by February 4. Registration

Texas Youth Academy

10th-12th graders

June 15-27, 2020


Illuminating deeper discipleship through theological education, spiritual formation, & Christian community.

For more information, to nominate a student or applications for students or staff, click on the image above.



Perkins School of Youth Ministry: January 6-9

LEAD Retreat: April 17-19

Ministry Worker’s Spiritual Formation Cruise: September 14-19, 2020

Could you use some help taking your church communication 

from GOOD to GREAT ? 

When your budget, time and staff are limited, and communication technology seems to change weekly, it makes sense to get help (and a fresh perspective) from communication professionals. 

Here's some GOOD NEWS! Call our "virtual" Communication Department. The Texas Annual Conference Revitalization Ministry is offering ‘affordable’ communication solutions for churches of all sizes. TAC's Communication Workshop Leader April Canik and other communication experts are available to help you address challenges, large and small. For example, do you need a communication strategy, sermon series graphic, social media assistance or help with your website? We are ready to help. In addition to developing the Communication Connection service to help the local church, the Center for Congregational Excellence has developed several half-day communication workshops ideal for staff and volunteers. Workshop attendees can learn about six "Best Practices for Kingdom Communication" through an interactive half-day session that includes group work and communication planning. Another workshop offers specific tips for each of the critical tools in your communication toolkit — from Facebook to texting. Call to learn how to host either of these energetic sessions at your church.

Contact us for an estimate: 713-416-6837. You might be surprised about the results you can get for a minimum investment ! (See examples on the Communication Connection website).

Visit our Website

A Word of Encouragement to Clergy

 Some of you may be aware that I was involve in a pretty terrible bicycle accident this summer.   Thankfully no bones were broken and there no concussion.  I did take a trip the emergency room and needed 26 stitches in my face.   Read More

Morris Matthis

Cultivating generosity in a church can be challenging. The last time we checked, there were not any money trees growing behind your church!

So, to give you additional tools to take you to the next level financially, we have put together a one day workshop designed for pastors of a small sized church and a two-day workshop designed for pastors of a medium-sized church. Growing in Generosity will give you tools to dig in and grow your congregation in their giving - producing a more confident ministry team.


Workshops for Small Churches    

Workshops for Medium/Large Church


Bishop Jones understands there are special challenges and opportunities facing the black community, and is putting in place some steps to help United Methodists receive the Holy Spirit's help in new ways. Bishop Jones is announcing the creation of the "African-American Church Initiative: Transitioning Toward the Future." This initiative will consist of several components with the centerpiece being a local church consultation process and a Lay Academy.

Each district held an informational meeting about the consultation process that is intended for pastors and the lay leadership team from each African American congregation in the district.

On November 9th at Jones Memorial UMC in Houston and on November 16th at FUMC Tyler the Bishop's Lay Academy on Evangelism will be held, where Bishop Jones will teach about the many ways God can use your church and you personally to reach your community. This academy is open to all who are able to attend and lunch will be provided to those who register. There is no fee for this academy.

Bishop Jones' Lay Academy

CLM Module I

Connection for Ministry-United Methodist Theology, History and Polity

Oct. 12 and Oct. 26, 2019

9 AM to 4 pm

at Deer Park UMC (South District)

1300 E 13th St. 

Deer Park, TX 77536  Instructor, TBS

October 5 and 12, 2019

9 AM to 3 PM

at Ore City UMC (North District)

Instructor: Rev. David Williamson



CLM Module III:

Organizing a Congregation for Mission and Ministry

September 28, 2019

1 PM – 4 PM 


October 5, 2019

9 AM – 4 PM

Kingwood UMC 

1799 Woodlands Hills Dr. 

Kingwood, TX 77379

with instructor, Rev. Bill Posey



Spirit Journey 2019

Spirit Journey – A spiritual renewal experience

Spirit Journey is a 3 day, 2 night faith-enriching experience presented in conjunction with the Texas Conference and Upper Room Ministries. In its fourteenth year, Spirit Journey is headed up by a team of lay and clergy from across the Conference. It will be held October 17-19 at Lakeview Conference Center, this year’s presenter will be Amy Oden, Ph.D. who is currently a professor at Saint Paul Seminary in Oklahoma City, OK. Dr. Oden is a sought-out speaker and retreat leader and will lead from her most current book, Right Here Right Now: The Practice of Christian Mindfulness. She will guide retreat participants in rediscovering the ancient Christian practice of mindfulness. Prayerful attention to God’s presence “right here right now” leads us deeper into our relationship with our Creator.

More Information

The Upper Room Soul Reset Retreat

November 20-21, 2019

The Upper Room, The Texas Annual Conference, and Rev. Junius Dotson, General Secretary of Discipleship Ministries, invite you to a retreat based on Rev. Dotson’s newly released book, Soul Reset: Breakdown, Breakthrough, and Spiritual Wholeness. The retreat will provide space for clergy and laypersons to move from feeling overwhelmed and depleted toward a life of spiritual well-being. Join us for this meaningful time of worship, centering prayer, and spiritual guidance. Registration includes a complimentary copy of the book. 

Registrants will receive .5 CEUs. 

Registration includes accommodations, snacks, 3 meals, and a copy of the book. 

Texas Conference Christian Educators Fellowship (TCCEF)

Professions of all kinds recognize “certifications.” Accountants are CPAs. Engineers are CPEs. Leaders in the church can get extra training to be professionally certified as well. Professional Certification is recognized by the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry (GBHEM) and requires a total of five courses -- Teaching the Bible, Teaching and Learning, Leadership and Administration, Teaching Theology, and United Methodist Studies. Most students from our conference attend classes at Perkins School of Theology at SMU. The students come from all over the country and serve as a learning community that extends beyond the time in class. The Texas Conference Christian Educators Fellowship (TCCEF) has a long history of supporting students in their certification studies through a scholarship program. After completing the required courses, The Texas Conference Board of Ordained Ministry members shepherd students through the final steps of interviews, recommendations, and simple paperwork to be recognized by the conference. Our churches are strengthened by having staff and laity who are theologically trained, practically equipped, and encouraged and inspired to serve in ministries ranging from children, youth, adult and other spiritual formation expressions.

In their ongoing effort to equip as many people for ministry as possible, Perkins School of Theology has revamped the course schedule for Christian Education and Children’s Ministry Certification courses, making it easier to complete the required courses in a shorter amount of time. Youth Ministry certification follows a similar schedule. This year, for the first time, students in all three programs will take the basic courses together. This is an excellent time for lay leaders, church staff and clergy to enter the process and meet their professional, ministry, and personal goals.

In 2020, two courses will be taught in the same year –Teaching the Bible (morning) and Teaching and Learning (afternoon). UM Studies is a hybrid online and in-class course that is offered every year. We do not recommend doing all three in one year. The days for the morning and afternoon sessions are Sunday – Friday, January 5 – 9, 2020. Perkins reserves a block of hotel rooms at a discounted rate for students. Lunch is included in the tuition. Registration is open now for the best early-bird prices. You can find lots of details on this link.

Teresa Rossy, director of Grow Ministries at Chapelwood United Methodist Church in Houston is the director of the program at Perkins. She is assisted by Barb Horsch, from Gibson City, Illinois, who is also a graduate of the program.

At the October meeting of Texas Conference Christian Educators Fellowship, Teresa Rossy will lead a program explaining the benefits of professional certification, both for the individual and for churches and other ministries. She will describe the program, answer questions, and share her story of transformation through participating in certification courses and the community of educators in the Texas Annual Conference. Wednesday, October 9, 12:00 p.m., St. Paul’s UMC Go to for details.


ArkLaTex Lectures to Feature

Rev. Dr. Paul Scott Wilson, Premier Teacher of Preachers

Dallas (SMU) – One of this generation’s leading scholars in homiletics will be the featured speaker at the third annual ArkLaTex (Arkansas-Louisiana-Texas) Lectures in Preaching on Monday, Oct. 7 at Williams Memorial United Methodist Church in Texarkana, Texas. Read More


Perkins 2019 Convo

Come on up to Dallas for a not-to-be-missed Perkins Fall Convocation on the theme, “Mission Quest: Finding Your Place in God’s World.” Mission, travel, global and local perspectives, and how we and our churches fit into this mix will be front and center for two days, November 11 & 12. Keynote speakers coming at this theme from a range of contexts and perspectives are Rick Steves, Samira Izadi Page, and Celestin Musekura. There will also be worship, Bible study, seven workshops to choose from, and lots of dialogue and discussion.

Congregational Excellence Staff

Click to email, Congregational Excellence Director

Click to email, Coordinator of Mission Field Development

Click to email, We Love All God's Children Director

Click to email Youth & Young Adult Director

Click to email, New Faith Communities Director

Click to email Administrative Assistant

Click to email, Congregational Excellence Administrative Assistant

Click to email Vibrant Church Initiative Director



Texas Annual Conference UMC Congregational Excellence |