Grants and Tools
A key goal of the conference is to help churches reach their maximum potential. In addition to the revitalization processes available through the conference, churches can also receive specialized consulting in a wide variety of areas, including ministry plan development, discerning the future, children and youth programming, and crisis/conflict resolution. Churches interested in consulting must begin by having a conversation with their district superintendent. A variety of other tools available are:
The conference host trainings at various locations and online or remotely including:
Breakthrough Prayer—This six-hour training provides participants examples, ideas and ways to incorporate prayer in their personal and congregational life including: what prayer is not, what prayer is, types of prayer, personal prayer style, prayer walking, prayer chains, and prayer at church during weekdays.
Finance and stewardship workshops—This workshop is for pastors, treasurers, finance committee members and anyone interested in giving and stewardship. Topics include: raising up generous givers, cultivating major donors and church finances in a digital age.
Youth ministry cohort training– Come and learn about ways that you can enhance your youth ministry. Attend a training with consultant Stephanie Caro, Youth Ministry Architects, four different training sessions are conducted annually.
The Dakotas Conference has a group subscription to the online demographic research and report service MissionInsite. This tool provides unlimited access to a wealth of information about the mission field surrounding individual churches within our conference (including data and projections related to age, education, socioeconomic status, lifestyle, and marketing preferences of people within a specific geographic area). Standardized and customizable reports are available to all United Methodist churches in Minnesota. Interpretive tools are also provided for applying data to mission field identification and ministry plan development. The conference maintains this subscription so that there is no fee to churches for this service.
For help using this tool or to request a customized report, contact Director of Ministries office, by e-mail or phone 605-990-7791. Click here for information on how to get started. If you would like to learn more watch a video about Mission InSite here.
Mystery guest audit
In order to create a more welcoming atmosphere for first-time visitors, it's helpful to understand what they experience when they attend worship at your church. The Conference sends vetted “mystery guests” to worship services at a particular church over a period of several weeks, and those guests record their observations and impressions. After all the visits, the church receives an extensive report. To make arrangements, contact Bea Stucke, director of ministries office, 605-990-7791.
Data and trend reports
Churches submit a wide variety of data each year—including numbers related to small groups, worship attendance, mission giving, volunteer service, and new professions of faith. Using the data that every church submits each year via Tables I, II, and III, and via Vital Signs Dashboard reporting. Reports can be generated showing activity for previous years and projecting possible outcomes based on trends. If you have questions about your statistical reports contact the conference statistician by e-mail or phone 605-990-7004. If you need information about your Vital Signs contact your district superintendent here.
The conference offers several grants to help churches launch or expand new ministries. Grants available to churches include:
Breakthrough ministry grants learn more
Hunger grants learn more
Young adult ministry grants learn more