Building Stronger Communities of Faith


In the midst of mountain tranquility, we seek to help others connect with faith and find greater strength in their spiritual life. Through Hinton Center programs and events, we provide opportunities for churches, small groups, and individuals to learn and grow in faith. It is our greatest desire that, through this learning and growth, people will more deeply connect faith and life. Specifically, we hope that the faithful, spiritual life will be more fully intertwined with ordinary, daily life. Through the ministry of the Hinton Center, we offer on-site programs and events that cover a broad range of interests, topics, and matters of ministry and mission.


The Hinton Ambassadors program is an opportunity for individual clergy to represent, promote, and be a source of information for Hinton Center in their annual conference. Applications are now being accepted. Use the links below to download more information and to apply.


Hinton Ambassadors General Information


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. Dawn Livingston at Hinton Center (828) 389-8336 or email dawn@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

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.

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?
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