Congregational Vitality

“Who are we called to be at this time and place?” This is the question congregations wrestle with as they engage with the congregational vitality process of the Saint Paul Area Synod. Knowing that every congregation is unique in who they are and where they serve, this process is designed to be flexible and contextual. The process helps congregations reclaim their own identity while listening deeply to the community around them. The knowledge gained from intentional listening helps shape a plan for the future. It also provides a foundation for continued discernment about where God is leading them.


Congregational Vitality Tools for Congregations

To assist with the journey of vitality, the synod's Vitality Team has developed several opportunities for congregations:

Congregation Vitality Survey

The Congregation Vitality Survey is an assessment tool for your congregation. It provides valuable feedback about how your congregation is doing in key areas that are proven indicators of overall health. After administration, the surveys are scored by an independent firm and then interpreted with your congregation by the Director for Evangelical Mission (DEM) or a member of the Vitality Team. From this, you decide how best to move forward. The DEM and members of the Vitality Team will walk with you through this process. This process can be as simple as a one-day retreat or a more strategic plan that gets at who you are and where God is calling you to go.




Tools for the Church

Tools for the Church includes three gatherings for pastors and church leaders to engage the work of vitality and to make a plan to live it out in their setting. These robust gatherings feature inspiring speakers and hands-on activities to think creatively about how we live into the future where and how God is calling us.


October 7, 2023 - Building Houses & Planting Gardens: Mission, Vision & Values

  • Claim Your WHY
  • Practice Holy Listening techniques
  • Find grounding in the foundations of vitality


February 2, 2024 - Funerals & Midwives: Embracing Death & Resurrection

  • Ponder the questions: What needs a funeral...and what needs a midwife?
  • Learn from your congregation's timeline and life cycle
  • Be encouraged to try new things in ministry and come away with tools for experimentation


April 13, 2024 - Seeking the Good of the City: Engaging & Inviting

  • Consider the invitation to seek the good of the neighborhood around you
  • Dig into the demographics of the area around your congregation
  • How does your faith story fit in to the story of your neighborhood?




Vision, Mission, Goal Setting Retreat

This is a full day or two-day retreat that provides structure and opportunity to listen to God, to one another and to the community around you. Listening activities provide a clearer sense of what God is already up to in your part of the world and how God is calling you forward. This can lead to conversation and the drafting of a vision and mission statement or it can produce a Ministry Plan for Action focusing on attainable goals that line up with your stated vision and mission. God has gifted us with everything we need — this retreat will help your congregation connect the dots and move forward with boldness and confidence.




Spiritual Gifts Events

November 4, 2023 & Spring 2024

Have you ever heard that 80% of church work is done by 20% of the people? Why is that? Folks don't engage in the work of the congregation for a variety of reasons: busy lives, not fully bought in, etc. One main reason, however, is because we haven't invited people to fully utilize the spiritual gifts God has given them! To help turn the 80/20 divide on its head and to help people live out a life of faith, we need a plan. Gift-oriented ministry - using spiritual gifts as a way for mission - is one way to do this. If you are interested in hosting a spiritual gifts retreat at your congregation, contact the Rev. Justin Grimm at We ask that you invite two other congregations to join you for these events!




Season of Renewal

August 2023 through September 2024

Season of Renewal includes six content-rich gatherings with the kickoff happening in August and wrapping up in September of 2024. In addition to the gatherings, there will be 18 coaching sessions for each congregation/leader from Mary Frances of Frances Consulting. This is a process designed for relatively healthy congregations that are ready to address vitality in this new era of being the church. Cost for the entire process will be $3,000 per congregation that can be paid over two fiscal years. We will subsidize the remaining expenses as part of our continued work on vitality as a synod. If financial reality makes this impossible, please don’t hesitate to ask for some assistance - we want to help your congregation move forward with a new sense of purpose as well as a deeper spiritual life. Sign up by emailing or




Stewardship Opportunities for Your Ministry

At the heart of a vital congregation is a healthy understanding of stewardship. The Saint Paul Area Synod partners with GSB Consulting to offer two stewardship processes which bring stewardship experts who will walk with your team:

  • Stewardship For All Seasons - a year-long cohort model that will take you through a general stewardship campaign as well as a special appeal looking at the key principles of being faithful in our call to be generous.
  • Building a Culture of Generosity - a four-week session in the fall that will help your congregation prepare to run a general stewardship appeal.

For more information about the synod's partnership with GSB Consulting, contact the Rev. Justin Grimm at



Purpose Statement of the Saint Paul Area Synod's Vitality Team:

Rooted in the holy we stand together with congregations to reshape the church for the future.

This work is grounded by the following values:

Listening  |  Collaboration  |  Innovation  |  Equipping  |  Endless Possibility