The Congregational Vitality and Development Team of the Living Water Association is focused on the well-being, development and revitalization of existing church congregations and communities, as well as the planting of new churches. The team has voluntary membership and is focused on providing guidance, resources, and training for congregational leadership, both ministers and laity.

From time to time we will share resources, which we deem to be helpful or informative on this site. We hope these resources will help you in your own planning, development and revitalization efforts. We may also share articles which may be if interest to you. Please know the information is shared for informational purposes only, and may not apply to your situation. The information provided is subjective and the opinion of the authors.

We hope you will share with us your needs and concerns, your joys and challenges.


MissionInsite is a tool that can provide you with local demographic data, information about religious views and concerns and so much more. This is a vital tool for planning how to expand your contact with and support for your local community.

Coaches Available!

Trained Association Coaches are available for pastors and congregations. Coaches are generally free for congregations.

A $50 per hour fee is charged for Transitions Coaches, who perform many of the interim and transitional tasks, in preparation for pastoral transitions

Vision Statements

Has your church vision statement become a picture framed on a wall? Do you wish your vision to be a living, breathing document that everyone in your congregation is familiar with and committed to?

Trained members of the Congregational Vitality and Development Team will happily work with congregations interested in reviewing, re-writing, or developing a Vision Statement. Exploring core values, long term dreams and new possibilities can reinvigorate the congregation.

Constitutions & Bylaws

Trained members of the Congregational Vitality and Development Team will happily work with congregations interested in re-visioning their Constitutions and Bylaws utilizing the model created by Dan Hotchkiss.

Beginning with a three-hour workshop and continuing until the documents have been approved by your congregation, a Vitality Team member will train and coach your team.

Church Legacy

Are you uncertain about your church’s future? Are you struggling to pay the bills, make payroll, or keep up with building maintenance?

It may be time to explore your church’s legacy. Utilizing a UCC resource, a trained Association coach can help your congregation explore whether or not creating a legacy, church closure or other option might be best for you.

This resource is to be used BEFORE a decision is made to help you envision your congregation’s capacity for redevelopment and re-invigoration.

New Church Start

Are you thinking about beginning a new worshiping community? Do you think you have the capacity to birth a new church? Does your congregation desire to “nest” a newly forming congregation? If so, please review the New Church Start Manual.

Vitality Grants

Congregations sometimes need to revitalize or learn how to move forward in a variety of ways. The Congregational Vitality and Development Team offers a range of programs and resources to assist congregations.

To apply for a Vitality grant to assist in offsetting the cost of your resources, please click here.

For more information about any of the above offerings, please email Rev. Nayiri Karjian or call 330-940-2220 x102.

Resources for Self Learning

The Congregational Vitality and Development Team recommends the following resources for congregational and pastor self-study.

Governance and Ministry: Rethinking Board Leadership

By Dan Hotchkiss

This is an excellent resource for streamlining and simplifying the Governance and Ministry functions of a congregation.

Radical Welcome

By Stephanie Speller

An excellent resource for learning how to be extravagantly welcoming. This book is a good congregational study and may be useful if a congregation is thinking about ways to become more inclusive.

Finishing with Grace: A Guide to Selling, Merging or Closing Your Church

By Linda M. Hilliard & Rev. Gretchen J. Switzer

Church Renewal and Revitalization Resources