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Programs: Reach New Disciples

“Increasing Active Engagement” Conference
Saturday, November 14 • 9:30 a.m.-1 p.m. • Wesley Theological Seminary
4500 Massachusetts Ave., NW • Washington, DC 20016 • (202) 885-8560
About the Conference
People raising their hands to volunteer
Strong and growing congregations typically have a very high percentage of people who are actively involved in learning, serving, and leading. Yet most churches have a large contingent of less-active members. Research suggests these people long for spiritual growth, but many church activities fail to connect with their needs, interests, and life patterns. At the Increasing Active Engagement Conference, our 2015 Reach New Disciples event, you will explore best practices for getting and keeping people involved and engaged.

Increasing Active Engagement is ecumenical and designed for both laity and clergy.

Download a flier to share with your church. Download a flier to share with your church.

Dr. Ann Michel Barbara Miner Jasmine Smothers Dr. Lovett H. Weems, Jr.

Dr. Ann Michel — associate director of the Lewis Center
Rev. Barbara Miner — associate pastor and director of worship at Floris United Methodist Church in Herndon, Virginia
Rev. Jasmine Smothers — associate director of the office of connectional ministries for the North Georgia Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church
Dr. Lovett H. Weems, Jr. — professor of church leadership and director of the Lewis Center

Changing Patterns of Congregational Engagement
By Lovett H. Weems, Jr.
This opening presentation explores some of the latest findings on why some people become more active while others drift into inactivity, plus actions churches can take to foster greater engagement.

Connecting People to their Purpose
By Jasmine Smothers
Most people engage with church not because they are motivated to serve the church, but because the church helps them connect with something meaningful and life-changing. This closing presentation tells how to inspire active engagement by connecting people with a higher purpose.

Each participant may attend two workshops. Encourage others from your church to attend different workshops so that you may share information with each other afterward.

The Art of Asking
Most people get involved because they were asked to do so. Leaders must, therefore, master the “art of asking.” This workshop presents tips and strategies for recruiting and inviting others to serve and lead.

Connecting People through Affinity or Support Groups
Research suggests that a big difference between active and less active church participants is the number and strength of their relationships within the church. This workshop considers how affinity and support groups can draw less active and new people into relationship with others and greater engagement.

Developing a Year-round Plan for Increasing Engagement
The new realities of engagement require new practices to get and keep people involved. This workshop offers specific ideas for developing a year-round plan to build engagement.

Keeping People Involved
Why do some volunteers end up feeling burnt-out or in over their heads? Learn how to keep program participants motivated and happy through recognition, support, and reinforcement.

Missional Outreach as a Way to Build Engagement
People within and beyond the church often find common purpose in serving their neighbors. Learn how mission outreach can motivate people to become active and build relational bridges leading to deeper connection with the church.

Ways to Increase Frequency of Worship Attendance
Most churches report that members are attending less frequently than in the past. This workshop offers specific ways churches can get people more involved through increased worship attendance.

Bring the best of the conference home to your congregation with videos, narrated presentations, PowerPoint presentations, and more. $75 $60 through November 14, 2015. Available in DVD/CD and downloadable formats. The resource will be delivered in December. Learn more.
9-9:30 a.m.  Registration 
9:30-9:40 a.m.   Opening/Welcome 
9:40-10:10 a.m.   Opening Presentation: Changing Patterns of Congregational Engagement
10:15-11:10 a.m.  Workshop 1 
11:10-11:30 a.m.  Bagel Break — Resource Table open  
11:30-12:25 a.m.  Workshop 2 
12:30-1 p.m.  Closing Presentation: Connecting People to their Purpose
Through October 13
  • Early-bird registration — $40
  • Early-bird registration plus .5 Clergy CEU — $50
  • Wesley Theological Seminary student — $20
To take advantage of early-bird rates, registration fees must be paid by October 13.

October 14-November 12:
  • Registration — $55
  • Registration plus .5 Clergy CEU — $65
  • Wesley Theological Seminary student — $20
While we urge you to register by November 12, at-the-door registration is available.

How to register
Register online through November 12.

Download PDF to register and pay by mail.
Registration and payment must be received by November 12.

Questions? Please contact Joe Arnold at or (202) 885-8560.