The #BeUMC campaign reminds us of who we are at our best — the spirit-filled, resilient, connected, missional, faithful, diverse, deeply rooted, committed, disciple-making, Jesus-seeking, generous, justice-seeking, world-changing people of God called The United Methodist Church.
United Methodists are connected to one another, to God, and to nature. We celebrate our shared ministry and witness, shared mission, and core beliefs. Use these recommended resources to highlight the United Methodist connection in your church.
Connected to One Another
Use these resources to help your congregation connect to one another and also to others outside of your church.
The Connected Life: Small Groups That Create Community by Jacob Armstrong with Rachel Armstrong. This handy and helpful guide describes how churches can set up, maintain, and nurture small groups to create a congregation that is welcoming and outward-looking.
Reckless Love: Jesus’ Call to Love Our Neighbor (DVD Study) by Tom Berlin. In his exploration of Jesus’ teaching and travels with his disciples, Berlin suggests that Jesus teaches us how to love God with heart, soul, mind, and strength by showing us how to love our neighbor.
The Jesus Challenge: 21 Days of Loving God and Neighbor (DVD Study) by Justin LaRosa. This study invites us to move from forgetfulness to remembering, from being distracted to becoming intentional, and from self-sufficiency to reliance on God, so we can live lives that center on loving God and loving others as ourselves.
I’d Like You More If You Were More Like Me: Getting Real About Getting Close (DVD Study) by John Ortberg. Sometimes true connection with others can seem an unreachable ideal-but it doesn’t have to be. Ortberg challenges readers to find connections in even the most ordinary interactions.
Connect! Creating a Culture of Relationships That Matter by Phil Maynard. Maynard provides the scriptures, the questions, the tools for an individual, a church team, or a whole congregation to self-discover their own pathway to “connect” with those who do not yet know Christ. A version for individuals and small groups is also available.
Becoming All Things: How Small Changes Lead to Lasting Connections Across Cultures by Michelle Ami Reyes. Reyes focuses on the concept of cultural accommodation in 1 Corinthians 9:19-23, and looks at the ways in which we need to adapt who we are in order to become all things to all people.
Connected to God
Use these resources to help your congregation strengthen and find new ways to connect with God.
Five Means of Grace: Experience God’s Love the Wesleyan Way (DVD Study) by Elaine A. Heath. Participants will consider how each of the five means of grace helps us as communities of faith to pray more deeply and live more missionally as followers of Jesus Christ. These means are the ordinary channels that God uses to draw us into a fruitful relationship.
Mountaintop Moments: Meeting God in the High Places (DVD Study) by Ed Robb. Robb associates personal spiritual mountaintop moments with the mountains in the Old and New Testaments and the events related to these sacred places, showing us how their lessons can be woven into our everyday lives.
Made to Move: Knowing and Loving God Through Our Bodies by Wendy LeBolt. This 6-week study is designed to help people of all ages experience God through heart, soul, mind, strength, and stretch, using activities that engage the body and its senses, as well as the mind, including its imagination.
Simply Grace: Everyday Glimpses of God by Bruce L. Blumer. God desires a relationship with us, nudging and sometimes shoving us into becoming more as God intends us to be. It’s simply grace. Rich with examples, this book will inspire you to become more aware of God in your everyday life.
Sacred Pathways: Nine Ways to Connect with God (DVD Study) by Gary Thomas. Thomas uncovers nine spiritual “pathways” that people have used over the centuries to grow closer to God. He provides tools for participants to assess their key pathway and encourages them to investigate the ways they most naturally express themselves in their relationship with God.
Connecting with God: A Spiritual Formation Guide by Julia L. Roller. This book gives practical advice for connecting on a deeply personal level with God. It uncovers new places to look for God while providing reflection questions and activities to reinvigorate communication with God in such traditional areas as prayer and Bible study.
Connecting to God: Nurturing Spirituality through Small Groups by Corinne Ware. Although spiritual growth occurs within an individual, Ware explains that it is the calling of the congregation to be a community of support and encouragement. Ware provides a very practical and accessible model of spiritual formation for self-directing groups that can be led by clergy or laity.
Spiritual Practices in Community: Drawing Groups Into the Heart of God by Diana Shiflett. In this personal, hands-on guide, Shiflett walks us through a wide array of spiritual practices, from communal silence and Scripture meditation to active prayer and corporate discernment.
Connected to Nature
Use these resources to help your congregation connect to God’s creation. Find additional resources in our Creation Care pathfinder.
Reforesting Faith: What Trees Teach Us About the Nature of God and His Love for Us by Matthew Sleeth. In this groundbreaking walk through Scripture, former physician and carpenter Dr. Matthew Sleeth makes the convincing case why trees are essential to every Christian’s understanding of God.
A Hopeful Earth: Faith, Science, and the Message of Jesus by Sally Dyck and Sarah Ehrman. This study book with a separate leader guide bridges the gap between Jesus and the environment and guides readers in understanding that living as good stewards of God’s creation is a significant component of what it means to follow Jesus.
Organic Wesley: A Christian Perspective on Food, Farming, and Faith (DVD Study) by William C. Guerrant, Jr. John Wesley’s teachings can provide us with guidance as we seek to make food choices that are consistent with our Christian values – the choices that are best for our bodies, our fellow creatures, our communities, the environment, and all of creation.
Serving God, Saving the Planet: A Call to Care for Creation and Your Soul (DVD Study) by Matthew Sleeth. This 12-session video-based study provides simple, everyday ways to focus on stewardship and sustainability according to Scripture.
Landscape Liturgies: Resources to Celebrate and Bless the Earth by Nick Mayhew-Smith with Sarah Brush. This book contains prayers, rituals, blessings, and liturgies compiled from Anglican, Roman Catholic, Methodist, and Orthodox sources, as well as early church material, the desert tradition, and monastic spirituality.
Nature: Our First Way Of Knowing God (Video Download Study) by Beth Norcross. This seven-week study is meant to awaken the visceral knowing of the Creator through the creation, reconnect us with the sacred landscapes we call home, encourage us to provide space and time for spiritual reflection in nature, and to live in greater harmony with God’s Earth. This study is not available through the Media Center. It must be purchased and downloaded from The Lewis Center for Church Leadership.
Our UMC Witness
Use these resources to share the witness of United Methodists and teach your congregation about what is unique about The United Methodist Church.
The Wesleyan Way: A Faith That Matters (DVD Study) by Scott J. Jones. Presenting Christianity from a Wesleyan perspective, Jones invites participants into a deeper, more thoughtful, more active commitment to Christ. Each week a different presenter shares their personal faith experience.
Five Marks of a Methodist: The Fruit of a Living Faith (DVD Study) by Steve Harper & Magrey R. deVega. Six sessions provide extended reflection for adults on the five identifiers that John Wesley sets forth in “The Character of a Methodist,” which he published in 1742.
One Faithful Promise: The Wesleyan Covenant for Renewal (DVD Study) by Magrey R. deVega and Harriet Bryan. A covenant with God is a faithful promise of renewal, and none is more central to the Methodist identity than The Wesley Covenant Prayer, which John Wesley first shared in a renewal service in 1755.
Living as United Methodist Christians: Our Story, Our Beliefs, Our Lives by Andy and Sally Langford. Pastors Andy and Sally Langford take a unique approach in this six-session study by looking at how United Methodists claim and live their faith as individuals and as a denomination.
Being a Christian in the Wesleyan Tradition: Belonging, Believing, Living, Growing by John O. Gooch. Unlike many books on church membership, Gooch does not spend a lot of time on bylaws or matters of organization; rather, he speaks to the heart of our participation: how we belong, what we believe, how we live, and the possibilities for our growth in faith.
Women Bishops of The United Methodist Church: Extraordinary Gifts of the Spirit by Sharon Zimmerman Rader and Margaret Ann Crain. This book shares inspirational stories and pivotal moments that illustrate how these women managed the complexities of family, faith, and authority.
Our UMC Mission
Use these resources to focus your church on our mission as United Methodists.
Missio Dei and the United States: Toward a Faithful United Methodist Witness. This guide, suitable for a six- to eight-week study, is a resource to help readers take stock of Wesleyan heritage and ask how to best participate in God’s mission for the church.
Being the Church in a Post-Pandemic World: Game Changers for the Post-Pandemic Church by Kay Kotan. This resource was created out of a heart full of love for the local church and the hope it will be helpful in finding our next faithful steps to being the vital church in the post-pandemic world.
Make a Difference: Following Your Passion and Finding Your Place to Serve (DVD Study) by James A. Harnish. This study draws upon biblical wisdom to provide practical guidance to help disciples connect their passion with the world’s great need. Real stories of how real people found their place to serve will inspire and encourage you to do the same.
Change the World: Recovering the Message and Mission of Jesus (DVD Study) by Mike Slaughter. Each week, participants will read and discuss a gospel story, watch a video profiling an inspiring, world-changing mission effort, and envision together how they can change the world locally and globally.
Taking Church to Community: Reach New Disciples (DVD & CD-ROM) by The Lewis Center for Church Leadership. Explore strategies your congregation can use to reach beyond its walls with worship, community events, ministries, and service — meeting community members where they are and moving them toward discipleship.
Go! How to Become a Great Commission Church by Mark R. Teasdale. This book gives tactics to get your church moving forward in mission by looking at biblical passages where God commands us to “Go.”
Methodist Mission at 200: Serving Faithfully Amid the Tensions edited by Thomas Kemper & David Scott. This book tells the story of the global efforts of Methodist people and what Methodists have learned about God’s mission along the way. It also describes how United Methodist Global Ministries is living out these lessons of cooperation, humility, relationship, and practicing holistic mission.
A Missionary Mindset: What Church Leaders Need to Know to Reach Their Community–Lessons from E. Stanley Jones by Douglas Ruffle. Ruffle uses the timeless principles of E. Stanley Jones to teach us to approach the mission field as if we were from a different country and learning a new culture, a new way of communicating, and a new way to connect people to the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Our UMC Core Beliefs
Use these resources to remind your congregation how United Methodists are connected with our core beliefs. View additional resources on our Methodism pathfinder.
Top 10 United Methodist Beliefs (DVD Study) by Don Adams & Rebecca Rutherford. Using John Wesley’s teachings as a guide, this six-session study focuses on topics including grace, repentance, sanctification, and Holy Love.
Three Simple Rules for Christian Living (DVD Study) by Rueben P. Job. Six sessions provide extended reflection on three principles of Christian life: do no harm, do good, and stay in love with God.
Methodist Identity: Our Beliefs (DVD Study) hosted by Gregory Ingram. This course builds on Part 1: Our Story by examining Methodist beliefs, focusing especially on those doctrines that make Methodists distinctive. Eight half-hour long presentations by leading Methodist theologians offer valuable information and insight concerning core Wesleyan ideas.
Justice in Everyday Life: A Look at the Social Principles of The United Methodist Church by Neal Christie. This book covers topics such as: the natural world, social community, economic community, political community, Biblical foundations of the Social Principles, and teaching the Social Principles, and it is divided into a 5-session course.
This We Believe: The Core of Wesleyan Faith and Practice by William H. Willimon. Beginning with the Core Terms found in The Wesley Study Bible, Bishop Willimon systematically lays out key Wesleyan tenets of faith so that you will have a fresh way to hear God’s voice, share in God’s grace, and become more like Jesus Christ.
Living Our Beliefs: The United Methodist Way by Kenneth L. Carder. This book offers a basic explanation of the beliefs and practices of The United Methodist Church as defined in Part II of The Book of Discipline.
Request These Resources
These resources can be borrowed for free by anyone involved with a United Methodist Church in the North Carolina Conference. We will mail them to your home! All you need to do is fill out the Resource Request Form.