Purchase District of the United Methodist Church

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Generative Leadership Academy

In 2012, Bishop William McAlilly was appointed to the Memphis Conference and reminded us that God isn't finished with the United Methodist Church!

There are significant challenges ahead for the UMC. Our membership numbers have been in decline for more than 50 years. We have less people professing Jesus as Lord each year, and as a our population grows older, our local churches grow smaller. Fewer people are carrying the burden for building and ministry costs, and the visions for reaching those in our communities who are not in church is not the priority it once was. That all seems like bad news!

But there is good news! The Memphis Conference is doing the hard work of redefining our purpose and call, and each district is at work developing a mission strategy to help develop leadership that will radically transform local congregations to reclaim our vision and our mission to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.

Part of that strategy is the development of the Generative Leadership Academy (GLA). The purpose of GLA is to train generative lay and clergy leaders who will partner in reviatlizing our local church to make disciples of Jesus Christ so that communities are transformed.

How It Works

GLA is a year-long commitment with quarterly meetings. Each quarter, participants spend 24 hours at the event site learning about four different elements of being a disciple of Jesus Christ. These are:

  • Meeting God - the foundation for disciples
  • Piety - the practice of being with God
  • Mercy - God's love in action
  • Spiritual Gifts - living into God's call

Beginning with registration at 5:00 p.m. on Fridays, we will explore these elements in a variety of ways:

  • Worship
  • Presentations
  • Small Groups
  • Fellowship

GLA graduates will have a better understanding of Wesleyan discipleship. There will be a stronger connection between churches in the Purchase District, and participants will identify their spiritual gifts and explore God's call.

GLA is designed to develop leaders who will work to help the local church become vital and fruitful in reaching the world for Jesus Christ. As each church lives into being a missional outpost for the Gospel, generative leaders will be the key to making this change possible. Change is a challenge to everyone, being confident in sharing our call as followers of Jesus Christ will help the local church make the change possible.

Common Questions

Who should come to the Generative Leadership Academy?
Pastors and laity who want to help lead their local church into the future with a mission and a vision. A desire to grow and serve are the only requirements.

Where will the Academy meet?
In 2017, the Generative Leadership Academy (GLA) is being offered in two locations:

What are the 2017 dates?
Dates for GLA in West Tennessee are January 20-21, May 19-20, August 4-5, and October 20-21

Who are the leaders?
Each of the four Academy weekends includes three teaching sessions with leadership from the General Board of the UMC, the Memphis Conference, and clergy and laity from our local churches.

How will this benefit the local church?
After each session, leaders will have tools to take back to the local church to share. Each leader will have a small group to help discuss ways to implement what they are learning for their congregation.

For More Information

Contact Elyse Bell | 731-660-1376 | ebell@memphis-umc.org