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THRIVE Leadership Day

THRIVE! Leadership Day 2022

Saturday, April 2, 2022

Like never before, ministry of the local church is hard. Honest questions around the future are abundant. But even amid our real challenges, God is moving and wants us to not just survive, but Thrive! And we want to help charge that path forward! 

The Atlantic Central District is excited to offer "Thrive! Rebuilding the Local Church." Matthew Hartsfield, Lead Pastor of Bay Hope United Methodist Church in Tampa, Florida, will lead us in two keynote sessions. There will be breakout sessions that will meet the real needs of the local church that will give your ministry a boost to take next steps to rebuilding the church right now and for the future.

This event is open to everyone - pastors, leaders, and laity. Everyone is welcome and there is no charge. We invite you to come and be inspired to Thrive!

Saturday, April 2, 2022 (NEW DATE)
9:00 AM - 12:30 PM (Doors will open at 8:15 AM)
Suntree UMC - Melbourne
7400 N. Wickham Road  l  Melbourne, FL


Rev. Matthew Hartsfield is the Lead Pastor of Bay Hope Church, a multi-site church in Tampa, Florida, where he has served since 1993. Matthew received his undergraduate education at Nova Southeastern University in 1984 and earned his Masters of Divinity from Emory University in 1987. Matthew has also pastored churches in Jacksonville and Lake Alfred, Florida. He is the author of "Shouting at Jesus: Unleash an Impolite Faith," and co-author of "Grounded in Creed," and "Grounded in Prayer." His ministry at Bay Hope focuses on connecting the church to the community in meaningful ways that result in making disciples for Jesus Christ, particularly in the lives of children and youth. Matthew is married to Maisie and they have two grown daughters and two granddaughters. 

Listen to this invitation from Pastor Matthew and plan to join us!

Register Now for Thrive!

Registration will close at 5:00 PM on Thursday, March 31, 2022.

Following that time, if you would like to register, please call the District Office at 772-299-0255

Breakout Sessions

Below are the Breakout Sessions being offered at Thrive! When registering, please make two selections, first choice and second choice. Space is limited at most sessions so register early!

  • Digital Ministry And Your Church  l  Andy Mage, Bay Hope Church
    • We live in a digital-first world, and your church is no different. How can you and your team fulfill the Great Commission in reaching the ends of the earth through online ministry, streaming, groups, and more? Join us for this discussion, as well as a Q&A time.
  • Fresh Expressions of Church  l Rev. Lou Weber, First - Melbourne, and Rev. Amy Armistead, First - Ormond Beach
    • Fresh Expressions are a new way of doing/being the church in response to a rapidly changing culture. In this breakout session, you will hear about the FX movement as a whole and learn from some Fresh Expressions in our district. i.e. Dinner Church, Narcotics Anonymous, Kayaks & Communion, and Healing Hikes.
  • Loving, Learning, Leading: Healthy Spiritual Leadership for Healthy Churches  l  Rev. Dionne C. Hammond, Atlantic Central District Superintendent and Buck James, Halifax Urban Ministries
    • The local church demands strong spiritual leadership built on the foundation of trust. When we begin with Loving God and Learning Together, we are able to lead God's church forward for kingdom building. Find out how to transform local church leadership that creates unity and alignment of purpose. 
  • Be the Bridge - Pursuing God's Heart for Racial Reconciliation  l  Rev. Terri Jones, Extension Ministry  l  Rev. Rick Jones, First - Melbourne
    • With racial tensions as high within the church as outside the church, it is time for Christians to become the leaders in the conversation on racial reconciliation. This power-packed guide helps readers deepen their understanding of historical factors and present realities, equipping them to participate in the ongoing dialogue and to serve as catalysts for righteousness, justice, healing, transformation, and reconciliation. 
  • ALPHA  -  Rev. Craig Hammond, First - Melbourne  l  Rev. Stuart Bodin, Indian River City 
    • Alpha can equip your church, small group, or your friendship circle to create a space for honest conversations and listening without judgment. That is a place of belonging. Alpha is a series of sessions exploring the Christian faith. Each talk looks at a different question around faith and is designed to create conversation.
  • Discipleship Pathway  l  Bruce Kitson, Atlantic Central District Church Health Advocate
    • During this breakout session, approaches for developing or strengthening a Discipleship Pathway will be shared, along with the 12-week Discipleship Pathway process that has been developed for UMC of PB. 
      • Know Yourself and Inspire Others 
      • How United Methodist Read the Bible
      • How United Methodists Listen for Jesus' Voice
      • Pathway to Spiritual Growth and Maturity
      • Next Steps
  • Stewardship  l  Rev. Annette Stiles-Pendergrass, Senior Pastor at Suntree
    • This workshop is designed to help your leadership get 'unstuck' as it comes to giving. If giving has slowed down or even turned negative, doing nothing won't change it. It's time to change directions and accelerate your giving. 
  • Well Done, Faithful Servant  l  Rev. Lisa Degrenia, Coronado Community - New Smyrna Beach
    • Take the step from doing a good thing to doing a God thing. This interactive workshop will explore faithful, healthy practices for serving others. Topics include seeing the need, helping that hurts, and making an action plan.
  • Creating an Effective Communication Strategy  l  Rev. Mike Mayes, Suntree Pastor of Worship Arts; and Tanner Smith, Suntree Director of Communications
    • We all spend a lot of time focused on what happens on Sunday morning. But, what if we told you that data suggests the content that you post Monday through Saturday is just as important? In this session, we will talk about what it looks like to create an effective communication strategy that will not just get people in the door on Sunday mornings, but keep people connected throughout the week. 
  • God's Vision for Justice Ministries  l  Rev. Beth Burton, Grace - Merritt Island and other Justice Ministry participants
    • Micah 6:8 offers a vision for both churches and individuals as we seek to follow and honor God: Do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with God. Often, churches and individuals get the last two correct: loving mercy by feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, or walking humbly with God through Bible studies and active worship participation. However, many churches lack a robust justice ministry that seeks to address the root causes of their neighbors' suffering. In this breakout session, you will hear about Suntree's commitment to local, nonpartisan, grassroots justice ministry through the work of DART's Brevard Justice Ministry, and how you, too, can get involved. We will share scriptural backing for Justice Ministry. Additionally, we will share how this opportunity has offered a new way to connect the work of Jesus with those who might not otherwise get involved in the work of your church. Justice Ministry offers a new way to connect with God's Kingdom vision for our neighborhoods and can be an energizing project for any congregation looking to love their neighbors well.

Child Care Provided

Child care will be provided for this event. Please let us know that you will need child care when you register and provide the names and ages of children needing care. 

Suntree UMC will need the form, found by clicking here, to be given to the child care team upon arrival at the event. If you have any questions about the form, please contact Mary at Suntree UMC at 321-242-2585 x 1123.