Training Events

Congregational Development offers a number of training opportunities for churches and individuals. Here are some of what's on offer:

The first 12 people to join you starting a new ministry, new church, or new faith community will set the tone and shape for the future, set the pattern for replicating leadership, and begin a cascade of invitation. Finding those first twelve is key to growth. “First 12” is a two-day training designed to help you gather and grow the first 12 committed, core people.

The training is led by Rick McKinley, Conference Director of Congregational Development. 

In this training, combined with a year of practical coaching follow-up, you will learn the skills, habits, and lifestyle practices that will give your new vision the best chance of launching with a team of 12 committed leaders.

“First 12” is also valuable for leaders of existing faith communities who want to start new small groups, new fellowship, new mission outreach, new worship services or new gatherings.

Read more about First 12

The next training is March 29-30, 2019 at Pleasant Street UMC in Waterville, ME. Learn more and register


Shift Network 

Shift Network is a year-long process of training and coaching for local churches that focuses on five areas of faith development: Worship, Hospitality, Discipleship, Service, and Generosity.  
Face-to-face training and phone coaching sessions are led by Phil Maynard and his team of high caliber church leaders.

Growing with Hope

"Growing with Hope" is a year-long learning community for church teams offered by HopeGateWay, a United Methodist community in Portland, ME, in partnership with the New England Conference Office of Congregational Development. Church teams of four to six persons each, including the pastor, are invited to apply to participate in the program.