Project Bountiful

Project Bountiful…a rural church initiative

PB 2015 September

September 2014-May 2017

The renewal and revitalization of 48 rural churches and communities  across the NCC with partial funding from the Duke Endowment.

Rural churches are places deeply connected to Christ, to their communities,  and to the land  whereby their witness and service are viewed as bountiful!

Church Teams from each of the 48 congregations – Pastor plus two laity as retreat participants with a support team of at least 2-3 persons from the congregation who make up a larger team for integrating and sharing the learning across the congregation and community.


Teams share in five retreats:
Friday – Saturday Retreats held in September, November, January, March, and May in three year cycles.

Team Participants will…

  • Deepen the connection with the rural community and their spiritual abundance;
  • Discover how to listen to (exegete) their communities both within and beyond the church;
  • Design ministry that is vision-driven, deeply intentional, highly relational, strategically relevant, and always contextual;
  • Build teams around mission, passion, gifts instead of simply filling committee openings;
  • Examine ways to bridge with other community agencies to serve best by serving together;
  • Be guided in managing conflict while keeping in balance change and continuity;
  • Explore what is working (best practices) in “BIG ROCKS” such as Hospitality, Reaching New People, Disciple-growing, Missional Initiatives, Generosity, Sabbath, etc.

Bountiful will be coordinated by the staff of The Academy for Leadership Excellence  drawing upon current faculty, (clergy and laity) with attention given to persons who have both passion for and exhibited faithfulness and fruitfulness in the rural community.

Each church team will be assigned a ministry coach who will have a coach call (by phone) with the team on alternate months from the retreat schedule (October, December, February, April and between Labor Day and Oct. 15).

What to look for in the recruitment of Churches:
Duke Endowment eligible;  churches growing from strength to strength both within and beyond their walls;  believe the future is bright for the congregation;  poised to move from maintenance to ministry/mission centered;  see the church as God’s instrument for bringing the world to Christ; value their rural heritage and witness;  continuity in pastoral leadership ideally for next 2-3 years;  strong, healthy partnership between clergy and laity leaders.

: $1000 per Church Team; $1000 from District per Church Team; (Each can be paid over installments.)

: Orientation with Year 3 Church Teams  – May, June 2016

Retreat 1 – September 9-10, 2016

Retreat 2 – November 18-19, 2016

Retreat 3 – January 13-14, 2017

Retreat 4 – March 10-11, 2017

Retreat 5 – May 19-20, 2017


An attempt is made to geographically group churches across neighboring districts to assure stewardship and economy in travel and housing as well as to support and perhaps intentionally collaborate/partner in ministry.


For more information:
For additional information or questions about Project Bountiful, please do not hesitate to contact Bill Gattis at 919-256-9729 or email