Ideas for Clergy Peer Learning Group Studycpl resources logo

 Church Renewal and Growth

  • ‘Systems’ – study Creating a Healthier Church and Becoming a Healthier Pastor by Ron Richardson. After digesting the (short!) two books, a case study routine based upon what is learned from those two books to help each clergy and church move toward better health could be developed. Prerequisite: Generation to Generation by Edwin Freidman.
  • Traditional Wesleyan model – study of Leadership in the Wesleyan Spirit by Lovett Weems, and development of projects and goals based upon the chapters of the book.
  • Thinking strategically– Study Simple Church by Thomas Ranier, Deep & Wide by Andy Stanley and work on relating those strategies directly into the local church.
  • Church growth — a study of Bearing Fruit, Overflow and High Yield (all by Weems/Berlin), and work on applying of those lessons into individual churches and leadership.
  • Applied demographics – Read and discuss the Bandy books: See, Know, Serve and Worship Ways.


Other Resources for consideration:

  • Walking with Nehemiah, Joseph W. Daniels, Jr.
  • Shift: Helping Congregations back into the Game of Effective Ministry, Phil Maynard
  • Pathway to Renewal: Practical Steps for Congregations , Donald P. Smith and Mary K Sellon
  • Leading Congregational Change: A Practical Guide for the Transformational Journey (book and workbook), Herrington, Bonem, Furr
  • A Second Resurrection: Leading Your Congregation to New Life, Bill Easum
  • Preaching for Church Transformation, Bill Easum
  • Circle Maker, Mark Batterson
  • A Disciples Path, James A. Harnish and Justin J. LaRosa
  • The Wesleyan Way, Scott J. Jones
  • Seven Levers, Robert Schnase
  • Winning on Purpose: How to Organize a Congregation, Bandy and Easum
  • Autopsy of a Dead Church, Thomas Rainer
  • Praxis of Paradox, Parker Palmer
  • Longing for Spring, Elaine Heath and Scott Kisker

Ideas for Theology Geeks

  • Calvin vs. Wesley: Bringing Belief In Line with Practice, Don Thrasher
  • Kingdom Conspiracy, Scott McKnight

Theology and Current issues of the Church

  • Finding Our Way: Love and Law in The United Methodist Church, Rueben P. Job (Author), Neil M. Alexander (Author), Gregory V. Palmer (Author), Hope Morgan Ward (Author), Melvin G. Talbert (Author), Kenneth H. Carter (Author), Michael Lowry (Author),  John K. Yambasu (Author), Rosemarie Wenner (Author)
  • Emergence Christianity: What is Emergence Christianity, sometimes known as “The Emerging Church?” Learn the thinking of Phyllis Tickle, Brian McLaren, Richard Rohr and others who see the Holy Spirit leading the Church into a transformative period in which we change how we understand scripture, how we live and how/where we worship.

Theology and the Intersection of Religion and Government

  • He Restores Our Soul: The Restoration to Wholeness of the People of God For the Witness to Social Justice by Stafford Miller (Author).
  • Visit the offices of the Board of Church and Society…study their current missions.
  • Invite or visit Shaun Casey, religions advisor to President Obama, professor of Christian Ethics at Wesley Theological Seminary.


Stewardship of Body and Gifts

  • Gain a deeper understanding of good nutrition, beneficial exercise, and maintenance of emotional and spiritual health.
  • Develop ways in which you can include these values in your personal lives and encourage/teach/nurture them in our congregations.



  • Study new ways to design worship services that powerfully integrate music, scripture, prayer and preaching. Read, attend workshops, research alternative forms and contexts for worship.
  • Read and discuss Bandy’s Worship Ways and micro-cultures.



  • Explore multiculturalism its blessings and challenges. Review To Be One in Christ by Fernando Ortiz and Gerald McGlone or read Their Rock Is Not Like Our Rock: A theology of Religion by Daniel Strong.
  • Another book your group might review is Wesleyan Essentials in a Multicultural Society by Ted A. Campbell and Michael T. Burns