A Christian Retreat Community


This resource page is available for you to access freely. You may use these resources with your congregation, district, or annual conference. If you have questions, please call Rev. Amy Spivey at Hinton Center (828) 389-8336 or email amy@hintoncenter.org.

Hinton Rural Life Center is the recognized leader in resources for smaller membership churches. We offer assistance for congregations that make a vital and measurable difference in the ministries of those churches. Among the services offered by Hinton Center are:

- Training and resources that are size- and setting-appropriate for congregations, cooperative ministries, districts, and annual conferences

- Workshops at your location tailored to your specific needs and schedule

- Consultations with local congregations and cooperative ministries

- Models of Ministry resources (See below for links)

- Training and networking events for pastors and for laity

- Guided programs in spiritual formation

Practicing Vital Ministry in Small Congregations: When congregations are willing to become vulnerable to the prompting and leading of God, they can be guided and, ultimately, transformed by three questions. First, who are we? A congregation must know itself well. Second, who is our neighbor? A congregation must understand the surrounding community.  Third, what is our next step? A congregation must have a plan. These were originally used for a Vitality presentation in the Florida Conference.

  1. Who Are We?
  2. Who Is Our Neighbor?
  3. What Is Our Next Step?

For more information about Hinton's Vitality Ministry, click here.

Tools for Congregational Vitality is a ministry developed by Hinton Center to help churches strengthen their effectiveness. Click here for an overview of resources, then follow the links below for individual items. These were originally used for a Vitality presentation in the Mississippi Conference.

  1. Power Point Mississippi
  2. Workbook
  3. Rethink Church Readiness Assessment
  4. Notes for Rethink Church Readiness Assessment
  5. Preparation Notes
  6. Community Building
  7. Team Charter Form
  8. Action Planning Form

Hinton Rural Life Center publishes Effective Ministry in the Smaller Membership Church, a guide with models and resources for congregations. We now offer this guide online for your use at no charge. Please click through the following links to find out what countless congregations, districts, and conferences have found to be invaluable.

  1. Contents
  2. Overview of the Smaller Membership Church
  3. Planning for Effective Ministry
  4. Financial Stewardship in the Small Membership Church
  5. Using the NOW Model for Effective Ministry in Smaller Congregations
  6. Cooperative Ministry
  7. Dynamics of the Small Membership Church
  8. Christian Education in the Small Membership Church
  9. Music in the Small Membership Church
  10. Spiritual Formation in the Local Church
  11. Pastor and Parishoner Health: Indicators for Effective Ministry
  12. If I Were the Pastor of a Small Membership Church
  13. Evangelism Information

To order this guide in printed version, please email your request to info@hintoncenter.org. Notebook copies are $20.00 each plus $6.00 shipping.