Muskingum Valley Presbytery, PO Box 946, New Philadelphia, OH 44663

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We help Churches EXPLORE God's IMPACT Locally & Abroad.

The What & The How

As a national church, we are embracing Matthew 25 as a ministry focus–to care for “the least of these.” This is our what:)

But how do we reach our goals?

Matthew 11, developed here in MVP, helps leaders gain the skills and outlook to help reach these goals. All of these lessons fit with in the leadership model that asks, “are we making the burdens of our people lighter so that they can take their next healthy and faithful step in faith?”

This video will help your leadership team wrestle with how we have failed as leaders and is designed to help your team start to draw a connection between Matthew 25 and Matthew 11. At the end of the video there are three discussion questions for your team to wrestle with and pray through together.

Discussion Questions

Matthew 11 Outlooks and Practices

Matthew 11 is rooted in 6 ministry outlooks and practices that can become part of the ethos of your church. Together, these outlooks and practices will help you build healthier congregations so that you can address the most difficult challenges you face–like the ones identified in the national Matthew 25 Initiative. If Matthew 25 is the what and the why, Matthew 11 is the how.

Over the course of the next year, links with more information and resources will be added to each of our six outlooks and practices. To give you a taste of what is to come, and to get you started, Matt invites you to wrestle with these questions with a small group of leaders at your church:

Throughout the life of Jesus, how was he vulnerable? What are the Bible stories that come to mind?

How did the vulnerablity of Jesus ease the burdens of the ancient faith community, and how does Jesus’ vulnerability continue to bless us today?

Can you name three ways for your church leaders to better model appropriate vulerability to your church, and to your city/town? How do you already do this? Do you need some more ideas? Just ask for help:)

Legitimate & Mutual Vulnerability

Our first ministry practice is about creating a safe and welcoming space for all; one that reminds the group and individuals that all people have something to contribute. In this environment, people learn to be free to experiment and make mistakes. People also learn to share struggles withone another and “bear with one another’s burdens.”

Mutual vulnerability lightens burdens.


Exceptional Simplicity

Have you ever listened to a sermon for 10 minutes and could not figure out what the focus of the sermon was?

Have you ever been to a meeting and wondered why the processes of your church are so complictated?

Have you ever attended a training at a church for hours, gathering great information, but not being more prepared to serve?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, than your church will benefit by making everything more simple.

Simplifing communication, goals, work flow, and ministries lightens burdens.

Gritty Team Work

As we learn that we need each other and that we can be mutually vulnerable, we come to a place where we can reflect, debrief and improve our ministries without people being hurt or offended.

One of the greatest examples of building a gritty team is Pixar’s Brain Trust.  Not only does Pixar’s gritty teamwork enable them to thrive, they taught Disney how to reinvent themselves as well. 

Creating gritty teams who challenge one another in order to make things better lightens burdens.

Energizing Trust

Trust is built over a period of time. More importantly trust grows when it is practiced. In order to build healthier congregations, we help others as we empower them step-by-step and day-by-day.

How do we methodically empower people to be active members of the team and to reach ministry goals?

Empowering people, listening to their ideas, and helping them make appropriate decisions for the team builds trust. Energizing trust lightens burdens for leaders and the people they serve.

Natural Prioreties

Over the generations, our churches have become plate spinners. We run from one plate to another and try to keep the plates in the air.

We do too much.

Instead, what are the essentials that need to be done so that we can more faithfully work towards the Great Ends of the Church? Let’s prioritize and move.

Focusing on the essentials and limiting our actions to natural priorities lightens burdens.

Direct Responsiblity

When something goes wrong, who takes respossibility? 

Most people blame others.

Healthy congregations who can tackle difficult issues are filled with people who raise their hand, clearly identify what has gone wrong, state what they can do better (even when it is primarily someone else’s mistake), and develop plans to move forward.

What would the church be if Jesus did not take responsibility for our sins? If we want to be like Jesus, we are to be groups of people who take responsiblity for everything.

When people take direct responsibility, burdens are lightened.

Add your resources to Matthew 11!

Let us know:)

Matthew 11

Designed by Rev. Matthew J. Skolnik

Matthew 11 is a ministry outlook and a set of time tested practices that help church leaders and congregations lighten burdens for those we love and serve. In addition, by creating healthy Christian communities, Matthew 11 also helps lighten the load of church leaders as well.

Journeying Ahead

The church
is moving forward! 

What has the church learned during COVID-19? Here is one of many lessons.

Ask for a partner! Your church is not alone:)

Available Trainings

Because no Christian community should lack vitality.

Empowering Elders Beyond Old Routines

This 1 hour workshop is designed for elders and pastors and is designed to help local leaders empower elders to lead the church in this new world.

You may have missed this training or want a refresher for your congregation or session. Just ask for more training and we will find a way to help you out.

Request this training!

Working with Difficult People

None of us is perfect, but now and again we run into situations when tension is high or when the personalities among challenge our patience and leadership. In this workshop, learn skills that will help you lead with strength and love.

You may have missed this training or want a refresher for your congregation or session. Just ask for more training and we will find a way to help you out.

Request this training!

Hiring, Overseeing, and Firing within the Church

Sometimes we make the wrong hire because we ask the wrong questions. Other times we do not manage people well. Still, there are those rare moments when we need to end an empolyment relationship. 

Request this training

Budgets in a Time of Uncertainty

Does the mission drive your budget or does your budget drive your mission?

How do we plan when we do not know what is coming?

In this workshop, you will go away with skills that will help you make a positive impact in your ministry.

Request this training

Finding Ways to Serve as a Senior Citizen

Muskingum Valley is filled with seniors who love their church and communities. They have a passion to share God’s love. Yet, sometimes we struggle to find new ways to serve as we age.

In this workshop, you will share your passions, but also help one another find new ways to serve.

Request this training

Church after COVID

What have we learned in the age of COVID? What does it mean to be a church with people who worship from around the world? How do we engage, interact, and build community in an age of technology?

Request this training!

Christ the Center

Rick Hastings, our 2021 Moderator shares his vision for the year.

Elder Round Table

Inspired by our “Empowering Elders Beyond Old Routines” Training and by request,
each 1 hour gathering will include a check-in, and a short training to help elders grow as spiritual leaders.

Helping People Find Their Place to Serve 

Request this training

Developing a Hybrid Community 

Request this training

Praying as a Session

Request this training

Inside-Out Faith

 Jesus goes to people and so did the early church.

Instead of asking where all of the people have gone, our churches will be more faithful to ask: where is Jesus going?

Living in community with those who are outside of our bounds is the setting of God’s good news and the context of discipleship.

Contact Us

Want to add to our shared ministry?  Have a question? Let us know!

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    PO Box 946, New Philadelphia, OH. 44663

    Call 855-603-0604
    Ext. 0 = Administrative Assistant, Bev Potts
    Ext. 1 = General Presbyter, Matt Skolnik
    Ext. 2 = Chair of Parish Elders, Mark Unrue
    Ext. 3 = Stated Clerk, Tim Pollock
    Ext. 4 = Chair of Administration, Sheila Ellenberger
    Ext. 5 = MVP Treasurer, Mike Mast

    The Presbytery office is located inside the First Presbyterian Church in Uhrichsville
    at 633 N. Main St., Uhrichsville, OH.  The conference room is across the hall from the sanctuary.    The business office is located upstairs.