Contact: Trice Gibbons

March 19, 2019 (Nashville, TN)—Abingdon Press announced today the release of Blank Slate: Write Your Own Rules for a 22nd Century Church Movement by three innovative leaders in The United Methodist Church: Lia McIntosh, Jasmine Rose Smothers, and Rodney Thomas Smothers.

The church must get “unstuck” from its current context in order to address the context of younger generations. Blank Slate guides leaders to envision, and actually design, the future church.

Jacob Armstrong, pastor of Providence Church, Mt. Juliet, TN says, “In a time when so many of us want a blueprint for how to do ministry in a rapidly changing world, McIntosh, Smothers, and Smothers hand us a pencil and tell us to draw it ourselves. God has entrusted us to be the designers and visionaries for a new way. Blank Slate is the guide that you and your team need to design a new future together.”

The authors start by describing each generational group currently living in the US, helping readers understand the varied context of people in every age group. Next, they explore five innovative secular organizations, drawing sharp lessons for the church. The last section includes a seven-step process for ministry leaders to engage current and upcoming generations. This book, with questions for individual and group reflection in each chapter, is a powerful planning tool for ministry teams.

Abingdon Press is the primary publishing imprint for The United Methodist Publishing House and has a tradition of crossing denominational boundaries with thought-provoking and inspirational books. Abingdon Press titles include a wide array of quality Bibles, Bible studies, small group studies, Christian living, devotional, academic, professional, and reference books published each year to enrich faith communities across the globe. Learn more at



Blank Slate

by Lia McIntosh, Jasmine Rose Smothers, and Rodney Thomas Smothers

$15.99  |  9781501876264

March 19, 2019

Lia McIntosh

Lia McIntosh serves as the Associate Director of Congregational Excellence for the Missouri Annual Conference. In this role, McIntosh collaborates with and coaches pastors and laity to launch new  congregations and revitalize existing ones. She specializes in urban ministry and leading congregations to deeply connect with their communities. Previously, McIntosh served as a community organizer and pastor of four United Methodist congregations. She has contributed to The Upper Room Devotional, The Abingdon Preaching Annual, and Circuit Rider magazine. She is the author of She Who Rises: Unleashing The Warrior Chick Within (Purpose Publishing, 2017). She is a graduate of the University of Missouri and Saint Paul School of Theology with Bachelors and Masters Degrees in Business and a Masters of Divinity.

Jasmine Smothers

Jasmine Smothers currently serves as the Lead Pastor of the historic Atlanta First United Methodist Church. Previously, she served as Associate Director for Congregational Vitality through the Office of Connectional Ministries in the North Georgia Conference of the United Methodist Church.

Rodney Thomas Smothers

Rev. Dr. Rodney Thomas Smothers serves as The Director of Leadership and Congregational Development for the Baltimore-Washington Conference.  During the past thirty-seven years he has founded new congregations, served as the lead pastor of multicultural, urban and suburban congregations and served as an adjunct seminary professor in the areas of church administration, evangelism, worship and United Methodist History.  He formally served as the Director of Evangelism at the General Board of Discipleship, and as a Path 1 New Church Development Coach. As a congregational consultant, workshop leader and coach; he resources laity and pastors, local churches and denominational leaders in the areas of congregational vitality, leadership effectiveness, strategic ministries and the development of skilled servant workers.