Implementation Strategy: Timeline, Structure, and Resources
In 2004 the Office of Congregational Development of the Illinois Great Rivers Conference was given the responsibility of responding to requests from twelve district superintendents for consulting on church growth and revitalization in over 120 individual churches within twelve months. Consulting is a time-consuming, individualized, highly interactive, on-site process. Information delivered via seminar would be cost effective and accommodate any number of churches. This project was designed to provide a basic common understanding of church growth to meet the basic needs of churches that would not be able to receive individual consulting. The project was approved by the person serving as executive director of the Office of Congregational Development at that time. An informed, shared vision of church growth understanding is a valid and still unmet need in these churches. This project has been carefully written to bring the best research in disciple-making and overcoming resistance to change to these local churches in harmony with United Methodist history, theology, and connectional polity as well as with the vision, mission, and strategies of the Illinois Great Rivers Conference leadership.
The Office of Congregational Development is still the best gateway for presenting this information to these ordinary churches. District superintendents and District Ministry Teams will be able to schedule presentations of this material in their districts. While all are welcome and all should benefit, the target population will be churches with less than one hundred in attendance. I will seek to fulfill the commitment made in 2004 to present this material for the benefit of local churches under the sponsorship of the Office of Congregational Development and one or more District Ministry Teams.
 The quote is a selection from David O. Kueker’s Fuller Seminary Doctor of Ministry project submitted in September, 2007, entitled Diagnosis, Dialogue, and Decision: A Threefold Process of Revitalization For the Illinois Great Rivers Conference.
It is shared here in recognition of its 12th Anniversary along with comments to update and provide perspective on the material. The original project was a Training Manual/Study Guide of three Seminars supported by three chapters of research and an Introduction. The material is available for download at www.disciplewalk.com/Resources.html. In 2009 it was provided for purchase as a softcover book entitled Designing Discipleship Systems: Christian Disciple Making For Any Size Church, Any Theology through CreateSpace.com.
   
All Scripture quotations are from the Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, and 1971 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Please review the page How and Why We Use Quotes.
Illinois Great Rivers Annual Conference, Vision, Mission, and Strategies, http://www.igrc.org/ conference/vision.html (accessed June 18, 2007).