A JOURNEY TOWARD MORE VIBRANT CHURCH COMMUNITIES

Thrive invites churches to reimagine what it means to be vibrant and thriving communities of faith. This is the new strategic focus for the Texas Annual Conference from 2024 - 2028 as we embark on a new journey towards renewal and vitality within the Texas Annual Conference.

Thrive Overview - English / Spanish

 

Within the 56 counties of the Texas Annual Conference, we will equip our churches to live into five markers of thriving.  We are ready to learn, innovate, and lead by equipping, encouraging, and deploying congregations to transform our neighborhoods—and thereby transform the world—through the love of God. 

 

The five markers of thriving––clarity, witness, abundance, kinship, and joy––are vital indicators of our shared mission to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. Congregations can use these five markers to become more aware, nimble, and responsive to how well they are engaging their unique missional context in order to nurture communities that truly thrive together.

 

Clarity invites churches to discern and articulate their identity, purpose, and mission, fostering a deep understanding of who they are and why they exist.

 

Witness challenges congregations to boldly proclaim the message of Christ's love and grace, both in word and deed, becoming agents of transformation in their communities.

 

Abundance calls churches to recognize and steward the rich resources—both tangible and intangible—that God has provided, embracing a mindset of generosity and trust in God's provision.

 

Kinship emphasizes the importance of authentic relationships, both within the church community and with those outside its walls, fostering a sense of belonging and interconnectedness.

 

Joy reminds congregations that true vitality is marked by an enduring sense of joy and celebration, emanating from spaces filled with purpose, love, and hope.

 

WHERE DO WE BEGIN?

The Texas Annual Conference has identified and secured funding for three initiatives that will help equip us with tools to cultivate the five markers of thriving in our congregations and communities. This is only a starting place, and we encourage you to imagine even more ways to live this out!

 

Laity & Clergy Development

Creating a healthy, thriving “priesthood of all believers” by empowering laity through leadership training and in-depth conversations and investing in the well-being and imagination of clergy. Focused attention and alignment of vitality and leadership capacity among both laity and clergy.

 

The Parish Project

Yearlong learning cohorts of both laity and clergy (geographically or missionally based). Discovering, implementing, and sharing best practices to strengthen and leverage the United Methodist connection.

 

Fresh Expressions

Forging new pathways of being church for people not currently connected to a faith community. Laity and clergy work together to launch and nurture these fresh expressions of the Holy Spirit throughout the conference.

 

Bishop Cynthia Fierro Harvey on Thrive 

 

Learn More: Embracing Thrive