Anti-racism webinar

Will you use your voice for anti-racism?

People are suffering. How can the church show that it is listening? How do we exercise Biblical justice as Disciples of Christ? There are some practices that leaders, congregations, and organizations can adopt to eradicate systemic racism. The Bible is clear that all people are made in God’s image. Racism and oppression are against the heart of God, who does not tolerate injustice.

You can courageously and radically transform your church and community into an active force for justice and solace when the world seems to tell certain people that they do not matter. Racism is a sin that needs to be called out. In our latest New Church Hacks episode, participants were empowered to:

  • Dismantle racism from the pulpit and beyond
  • Engage anti-racism training at all levels of formation in your church
  • Support organizations and community activists that are at the frontlines
  • Discuss different ways in which others are fighting against racism
  • Celebrate humanity’s rich cultures and diverse ethnic backgrounds and traditions.

Featured guests

April Johnson anti-racism

April Johnson is the Minister of Reconciliation for the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada). As Minister of Reconciliation, Rev. Johnson facilitates the church-wide process of awareness, analysis and action toward healing the fractures in the body of Christ that are caused by systemic racism. She collaborates with organizer trainers, regional and congregational staff leadership, anti-racism teams and ecumenical partners in her efforts to guide this work. To read her hacks and resources, click here.

Mark Anderson anti-racism

Mark Anderson is the CEO and President of the National Benevolent Association (NBA). In this role, Mark leads the NBA in living out its mission of “creating communities of compassion and care” – a mission that NBA fulfills by utilizing a network of ministry partners and by equipping congregations and other direct-care providers to deliver services to those in need. He strongly believes that health and social service ministries can respond to both the immediate need in marginalized communities, as well as fighting to change the systems that prevent people from overcoming their challenges in life. For his hacks, click here and for his resources, click here.

Yvonne Gilmore is the Associate Dean of the Disciples Divinity House at the University of Chicago. As Associate Dean, she fosters educational opportunities, vocational development, and transformative conversation among current students, alumni/ae, and friends as well as in wider venues. She is in demand as a speaker and preacher and as an anti-racism trainer with Reconciliation Ministry. She has team-taught in the Divinity School’s Arts of Ministry sequence, and she is a member of the Board of Directors of Higher Education and Leadership Ministries (HELM) and former member of the General Board of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). Her hacks and resources are accessible here.

Joining us in her first Facebook Live was guest, Nadine Compton (Creative Writer/Digital Media Specialist for Disciples Church Extension Fund). Here are her hacks and resources.

30 Hacks for Managing Change

Successfully managing a period of change takes art, intuition, skill, strong listening, effective communication, and spiritual discernment. When done correctly, change management can help a leader gain respect and loyalty. Done poorly, it can have adverse effects on the organization and its people.

Managing change is often daunting to oversee, especially during challenging circumstances. The hacks we will share will help you adjust to change by working with your team to create and execute imaginative plans. Learn to:

  • Launch major transformation efforts to keep your members’ heads above water,
  • Make plans to overcome those who oppose the transformation,
  • Enable others within the ministry to drive change themselves,
  • Build the necessary skills to foster flexibility,
  • Contribute to an organizational culture of adaptability, and
  • Get your mind, emotions, and behavior in the same direction of the shift.

Featured guests

Joining us for our webinar were Carla Leon (Innovation & Special Projects lead for EDGE – A Network for Ministry Development of the United Church of Canada), Jennifer DeCoste (Community Host of Life.School.House), and Terry Crump (Mental Health Initiative Team of the National Benevolent Association, owner of Crump Wellness Services, and clinical psychologist).

And just like we did for our previous episode, we gathered with our guests, plus Associate Minister for New Church Strategies, Jose Martinez, for an after session, where we continued the conversation on Zoom. To watch this video, visit our Facebook Live link.


Hosted by Pastor Terrell L McTyer, Minister of New Church Strategies, New Church Hacks provides practical (and sometimes peculiar) prompts for churches from start to restart. Why only do something new or better when you can be both?! Our ministry’s free webinar series is jam-packed with clever solutions to tricky problems and empowers courageous leaders with the tools, tips and how-tos to start, sustain and strengthen congregations.

Celebrating 1,000 New Churches… and Counting!

In 2001 the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada embraced a bold vision: to start 1,000 new churches in 1,000 different ways by the year 2020. And we did it! We started 1,000 new churches… and counting!

Today, we have welcomed more than 1,034 new faith communities into the Church. The Table around which we gather has grown in language, diversity, and life experience. Our church has been transformed by the movement of the Holy Spirit and an audacious vision to start new churches.

Courageous leaders have answered the call to grow the Disciples family through the new church movement. They have given their hearts to reaching the underserved, welcoming new neighbors, and creating communities of love. And we, as a church, have committed to supporting those who have stepped out in faith to start new churches.

We celebrate these brave leaders and recommit to continuing to support their call. Because, together, we started 1,000 new churches… and counting!

Participate in the 2020 Pentecost Offering. Express your gratitude for what God has done and contribute to the continued work of starting more churches. Each year, half of what you give stays in your Region or Area to support and sustain new churches near you. The second half helps train, equip, assist, and nurture leaders across the U.S. and Canada through New Church Ministry programs. Your gift to this Special Day Offering will help the movement continue.

Celebrating 1,000 new churches… and counting!

DCEF offers assistance in applying for CARES Act – Paycheck Protection Program loans

The U.S. federal government has allocated more than USD $350 billion to assist small businesses, including non-profits such as congregations and other denominational organizations, in keeping employees on the payroll and covering critical expenses through this trying financial time. The CARES Act created the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), providing loans through the Small Business Administration with provisions for loan forgiveness of up to 100%, depending upon how the loan funds are spent.

Disciples Church Extension Fund (DCEF) is collaborating with an organization we use for some of our employee benefits, Cost Stewardship, Inc., to provide assistance to Disciples congregations and organizations wanting to apply for these loans. Each Disciples congregation or organization is required to apply directly with a bank, preferably one that has their deposit accounts. The assistance will be very helpful in gathering all of the correct information and fully completing the application form. This service is provided at no cost to Disciples congregations, Regions, General Ministries and recognized ministries. DCEF does not benefit financially in any way from this service. 

If your congregation or Disciples organization needs assistance in applying for the PPP loan, here are the steps you need to take:

  1. Download the Data Collection Spreadsheet seen below and begin to compile your payroll data including benefits on the spreadsheet.
  2. Email the file to CaresAct@DisciplesCEF.org and include your name and phone number, your church’s name, city and state.
  3. You will be contacted by a member of the Cost Stewardship, Inc. team to walk you through the process and get your application completed. They will assist you with determining if your current bank is receiving these applications or if you need to take it somewhere else.

The application process is now open; however, many banks have delayed accepting applications pending time to prepare their systems. Because there is a limited supply of funds, if a congregation or ministry determines they want to apply, we encourage them to begin the application process on a timely basis. If you have any questions, please email DCEF at CaresAct@DisciplesCEF.org.  DCEF is here to assist you.

Information provided by DCEF regarding PPP is of a general nature and is not intended to be tax or legal advice or opinions related to specific matters, facts, situations, or issues. Additional facts or information or future developments may affect the subjects addressed in this communication, especially regarding PPP. Consult with your tax advisor or your legal advisor about your particular circumstances.

Links for Application Process

SBA Faith-Based FAQ

Data Collection Spreadsheet

Financial Data Required for PPP Loans

Informational Links

Information about PPP Loans from the US Chamber of Commerce Foundation

An excellent guide and checklist for PPP Loans from the US Chamber of Commerce Foundation

SBA Federal Relief Loan Comparison

Application (For information only; Application not needed if ministries are using our assistance)


Along with Hope Partnership Services, DCEF is a ministry partner of New Church Ministry.

What does it mean to “love your neighbor” in the midst of a pandemic?

Faith leaders have their hands full trying to figure out new ways of being church together in this season of social distancing. Congregations may also be looking for safe, innovative ways to respond to unprecedented needs in the community.

Create and Continue Community Connection from your Couch

This episode of New Church Hacks offers suggestions for how places of worship can foster a feeling of community and care for their neighbors when they literally can’t be close to them. Many of these ideas for reaching out beyond the congregation may help the church care for its own members more effectively as well. The discussion will help participants:

  • Learn to build a response team, identify assets in their congregation, assess community resources and needs
  • Explore options for community ministry
  • Inform and organize their congregations for their community care ministry
  • Conduct worship online but also connect the dots in between worship services

Featured guests

Heidi Unruh (Coauthor of Churches That Make a DifferenceHope for Children in Poverty; and The Salt & Light Guidebook), Joy Skjegstad (Author of Seven Creative Models for Community Ministry, Starting a Nonprofit at Your Church, and Winning Grants to Strengthen Your Ministry) and Katy E. Valentine (Coach at katyvalentine.com and founder of Creative Christian Spirituality, LLC).

In a New Church Hacks first, our guests, host, AND Associate Minister Jose got together and continued the conversation in an after-show.


Hosted by Terrell L. McTyer, Minister of New Church Strategies, New Church Hacks provides practical (and sometimes peculiar) prompts for churches from start to restart. This webinar series is jam-packed with clever solutions to tricky problems and empowers courageous leaders with the tools, tips and how-tos to start, sustain and strengthen congregations. Stay social with us using #NewChurchHacks!

Every episode is archived and available for viewing on the Webinar page.

Disciples Church Extension Fund Update

Greetings from Indianapolis! I am writing to provide you with an update on Disciples Church Extension Fund (DCEF) and its response to the COVID-19 emergency.

Two weeks ago all of our staff began working remotely from their homes. At that time, with the growing COVID-19 crisis and the safety and health of our staff in mind, our Executive Staff Team decided to continue working remotely through at least March 27, 2020. Since that time, we have taken a couple of actions to provide financial relief for congregations with loans and to extend our time working remotely.

To respond with immediate financial relief to congregations, DCEF is providing to Disciples congregations a two-month deferral of loan payments beginning with payments due April 1, 2020 through May 31, 2020. This plan is automatic and congregations that choose to continue making payments are asked to notify DCEF at 1-800-274-1883 or send an email to loans@disciplescef.org.

As the crisis continues to unfold and with the State of Indiana under a “Stay at Home” Executive Order, our staff will continue to work from their homes until May 4, 2020. This decision may be reevaluated and the date may change based on the status of the emergency and conditions in Indiana. I am extremely confident that DCEF, through our very competent and dedicated staff, will serve you and work with you to meet your needs.

The market volatility can be stressful for many, particularly for investors. DCEF continues to manage our investments with the full integrity of the policies that have carried us through the ebbs and flows of our country’s financial markets for many years.

What we want our DCEF community to know is that we are still here and fully operational, except for onsite consultations, as our staff is not traveling until further notice. If you have a question about your Loan (current, pending, or anticipated), Investments (current and new), Building related services (ongoing or anticipated), New Church Ministry programs, or financial contributions, please reach out to us without hesitation. Our staff is fully equipped and available to answer your questions or address your concerns.

This crisis has highlighted the valuable partnerships we have built over the years with our fellow Disciples, congregations, and ministries. We pray for and look forward to brighter days ahead springing up new ways we can support you in doing God’s work.

Erick D. Reisinger
President

Two participants at the 2016 Leadership Academy give each other high fives.

If you were to imagine the Church in ten years, what would you describe?

The religious landscape of North America is changing rapidly, with church membership and attendance on an accelerated decline. According to the Pew Research Center, the number of adults in the United States who self-identify as Christian has fallen by more than 10% during the last decade, and in Canada, that trend has followed the same downward trajectory. With statistics like those, it’s easy to feel discouraged. 

But is it hopeless? Let’s look at the numbers.

During the same ten-year time period, hundreds of Disciples have launched churches become affiliated with our denomination. 519 new church leaders attended Leadership Academy, where they received cutting-edge training on how to start and sustain young faith communities. More than 300 church planters were nurtured by 56 skilled coaches, as they walked together through the early years of their new church. These bold church leaders refused to let national trends stand in the way of sharing the Good News in their communities, and are inspiring hope across the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).

You can join these new church planters in their faith (and action!) by making a gift to the New Church Ministry Annual Fund today. Your contribution will ensure that more leaders will receive the innovative training and expert coaching they need to start and sustain the next decade of new Disciples congregations. New Church Ministry is developing new programs and resources every day, like New Church Hacks, a webinar series that helps pastors solve their new church problems with tools, tips and how-tos.

To help start the next generation of new churches and bring even more believers into the Disciples family, make a secure donation online by clicking here.

Thank you for your faithful support of our courageous new church leaders.

P.S. Did you know that we surpassed our goal to start 1,000 Disciples churches in the first two decades of the 21stCentury? We did! And there’s still more to do…

COVID-19 Disciples Church Extension Fund Update

Disciples Church Extension Fund (DCEF) tested our Business Continuity Plan last Thursday and Friday, March 12 and 13. During this time, our physical offices have been closed and all staff have worked remotely during our normal business hours. 

Last Friday afternoon, our executive leadership team decided to continue DCEF’s operations remotely through Friday, March 27, as to lower the likelihood of large scale service disruption should our office become exposed to COVID-19. We have made this decision hoping to reduce opportunities for Coronavirus exposure to our staff and partners.

We also make this decision in complete confidence that the proper procedures are in place so that all DCEF departments will remain operational and at your service. Loan advancements and investment transfers are being administered without disruption. Our treasury department continues to promptly process accounts receivables and donations as they come in. Our main switchboard and direct lines are open to receive calls remotely, and all staff is available via email. Please don’t hesitate to be in touch.

We will change one aspect of our day-to-day operations: travel. While we so greatly value our close relationships with our many partners, we have decided to issue a travel suspension for all DCEF staff and contractors until further notice. It is important that we mitigate any health risks to our staff and partners as we are able. If you have an upcoming DCEF consultation, seminar, or meeting already planned, we will be reaching out to you to reschedule (or go virtual!).

DCEF remains committed to providing you with superior customer service and genuine partnership. We are grateful for you and the ministry we make possible together, especially during these challenging times. 

In partnership,

Erick D. Reisinger
President, Disciples Church Extension Fund

New Church Hacks second season

New Church Hacks is back!

After taking a break for the fall, New Church Hacks returns for its second season. Hosted by Pastor Terrell L. McTyer, Minister of New Church Strategies, New Church Ministry’s webinar series provides practical (and sometimes peculiar) prompts for churches from start to restart. Why only do something new or better when you can do both?!

New Church Hacks is jam-packed with clever solutions to tricky problems and empowers courageous leaders with the tools, tips and how-tos to start, sustain, and strengthen congregations.

Step up your leadership game as the New Year kicks off

Our very first episode of Season 2, “Upgrade Your Leadership for the New Year,” will take place on Wednesday, January 22, 2020, from 3:00 PM to 4:00 PM Eastern.

What are the marks of a good leader? Anyone can delegate tasks, but is there more to effective leadership than that? Are the people around you growing, becoming better leaders themselves, and staying motivated? Though various leadership styles can be used at different times to build and manage an active ministry, these hacks should be universal in each and every leader:

  • Learn how to positively impact the success of your team, your organization, and yourself
  • Better understand your own motivations, strengths, and weaknesses
  • Develop skills for facilitating open communication and encouragement with others around you

The featured guests are Bob Whitesel (Writer, Consultant, Coach and Speaker at Leadership.church) and Jason Tucker (Lead Pastor of Tower Hill Church and host of ReclaimedLeader.com podcast). Stay tuned for any future featured guests that may be added!

The episode will be recorded and emailed to all registrants, so even if you can’t attend, make sure you register. And if you can’t make it, you can always stay up to date on social media with #NewChurchHacks! (Follow us on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.) The episode will also be made available on our website.

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