Online Teaching Series Based on Chuck Knows Church Begins Oct. 1

NASHVILLE, Tenn. Sept. 23, 2019 /Discipleship Ministries/ – A free online teaching series based on Chuck Knows Church and designed to help congregations discuss critical issues that potentially are preventing them from being vital churches, is now available from Discipleship Ministries.

The 16-session video teaching series uses a study guide to help congregations talk and learn about topics such as discipleship systems, evangelism, stewardship, church committees that work, innovation, and more. Highly collaborative, individuals and groups will have the opportunity to engage and interact with other participants online.

“The real-world topics used in this outstanding teaching series will help congregations examine the struggles facing them as they work to develop the discipleship systems that will grow vital churches,” said the Rev. Junius B. Dotson, General Secretary (CEO) of Discipleship Ministries.

Classes open on Oct. 1 for the teaching series, but participants can begin at any time. For more information and to register, go to https://chuck.umcdiscipleship.org.

The sessions use the highly successful video series Chuck Knows Church: The Committee, which follows Park Grove Community Church, a fictional urban U.S. congregation. Park Grove is a struggling congregation faced with the difficult decision about whether or not to close, and the last remaining members must decide what to do.

Instructors for the teaching series are:

  • Rev. Steve Horswill-Johnston, who leads the Office of Communications at Discipleship Ministries, is the creator and producer of Chuck Knows Church and is a four-time Emmy Award winning director and producer.
  • Rev. Dr. Craig Kennet Miller, associate pastor at Alhambra First United Methodist Church in California, founder of Change Your Ministry and former director of Congregational Development at Discipleship Ministries.

“Not all congregations may be facing closure, like the fictional Park Grove Church,” Horswill-Johnston said. “They may have a wonderful pastor and be a vital and growing church. But at some point, all congregations face the issues addressed in The Committee.”

Committee teaching rotator

The 16 sessions of the teaching series are:

Introduction & The Committee: Pilot – Park Grove Community Church has lost its way, lost its pastor, and is closing its doors . . . unless it reinvents itself, despite itself, with the help of Chuck. Will it become a vital congregation again?

Hospitality – The Committee members struggle with understanding the true meaning of hospitality. Does your church have a heart for hospitality?

Reflecting the Community – Does your church membership look like the surrounding community? If not, why not?

Our Purpose – Does your church understand its purpose in the community? Does it understand why it exists? Chuck helps the members of Park Grove Community Church to understand their “why.”

Evangelism – What is your church’s relationship with the “e-word?” Do people run when they hear it? Chuck helps the members of Park Grove Community Church learn how not to be scared of evangelism.

Understanding the Who – Who lives in the community surrounding your church? Do you know them? What does your church offer them? Chuck uses Dr. Seuss to help Park Grove Community Church understand the “who” around them.

Discipleship System – How does your congregation intentionally make disciples? Do you have a system in place? Chuck acts as the referee with the committee as they struggle to understand what a discipleship system is at Park Grove.

Innovation – Churches that innovate tend to thrive. But how does this work? See Chuck and The Committee deal with the lights going out in the church while understanding the meaning of innovation. Is your congregation innovative?

Small Groups – Small groups in any size congregation tend to create deeper relationships and a stronger commitment to the Christian faith. In this episode, Chuck decides to help Park Grove Community Church become healthier by inviting The Committee to discuss the importance of small groups.

Children in Church – Is your congregation offering children an experience that will surround them with a community of love? Chuck and The Committee ask these important questions as they laugh and learn along the way.

Stewardship – Does your congregation think stewardship is merely an annual campaign? Chuck and The Committee struggle with Mr. Riley to understand the full meaning of stewardship.

Committees that Work – Does your congregation have committees that have forgotten their purpose? Are they stuck and rarely accomplish anything? Chuck may be feeling what you have felt at one time or another.

Embracing a Legacy – It's Christmas time at The Committee! Older adults in power know the gospel is about, in part, denying yourself and giving yourself to Christ. And those in power must be willing to share power based on that gospel message. Watch this episode of The Committee for some hints how older and younger adults can work together to build up the body of Christ.

Younger Leaders – As The Committee members play the Jenga game, they discuss that older leaders have to make mental and physical space for younger leaders. And Chuck calls them to action! Watch this episode of The Committee for some hints how your church can thrive rather than just survive. Hint: it has something to do with Christ.

The Vote – Where is your church in its lifecycle? Where do you see signs of rebirth? What is your big idea?

Resurrection – The final episode of The Committee series.

The mission of Discipleship Ministries is to support annual conference and local church leaders for their task of equipping world-changing disciples. An agency of The United Methodist Church, Discipleship Ministries is located at 1908 Grand Ave. in Nashville, Tenn. For more information, visit www.UMCdiscipleship.org, the Press Center at www.UMCdiscipleship.org/about/... or call the Communications Office at (877) 899-2780, Ext. 1726.