Following Jesus is a new, 40-lesson, small-group curriculum experience for the church—uniquely created by Rick Lawrence to meet the deeper […]
The one-day coaching intensive is designed to help leaders use coaching principles and practices to accelerate learning and transformation in people’s lives and ministries. The course will provide leaders with the skills and tools to frame conversations in ways that lead to new awareness, new actions, and new learnings.
Participants will learn what coaching is and isn’t, how to set appropriate norms and expectations for coaching, and how to facilitate coaching conversations that address what’s most important in people’s lives.
This training will also address the differences between coaching individuals, groups and organizations. Participants will have the opportunity to be coaches, clients and observers during one or more of the sessions.
So much of our ministry life is formed in a “doing” model—gathering for worship and fellowship, giving service and resources, counseling, equipping, and teaching fill our calendars and our time together. In these normal activities of church life, we most often follow a pre-determined curriculum for continued life and growth in Jesus. Spiritual direction is a practice that flips the perspective from doing to being, from spoken communication to active listening, and from creating agendas to creating space for silence and honest questions. At its core, spiritual direction is growing in our capacity to be with God and to bear witness to God’s movement in our lives. The gifts that come from spiritual direction might be the simplest and most needed for parishioners of every age and season of life, particularly as we emerge from the collective suffering of global pandemic and upheaval. In this class, I’ll offer practical and pastoral guidance needed to not only embed spiritual direction in our church ministries but to also experience, firsthand, simple but meaningful practices of silence and listening to Jesus, each other, and our own hearts.
More About Tamara Murphy
Tamara Murphy delights in helping those who are weary or burdened by the unexamined practices of their faith listen for the fresh invitations of Jesus to watch, walk, and work with him in unforced rhythms of grace. In addition to practicing Spiritual Direction in one-on-one and group settings, Tamara is a freelance writer, mother, and grandmother. She lives with her husband Brian, an Anglican priest, in Bridgeport, CT. Tamara is a Selah fellow with Leadership Transformations, Inc. and a lay leader within the Anglican Church of North America. She’s been a guest on several podcasts, including The Intersection Podcast and Englewood Review of Books. Tamara’s writing has appeared in Plough, Think Christian, and The Englewood Review of Books. Her book The Spacious Path: Practicing Rhythms of Rest in a Fragmented World will be published by Herald Press in Spring 2023. You can find Tamara at her website (tamarahillmurphy.com) and on Instagram (@a_sacramental_life).
Dates of Live Sessions
Thursday, November 10, 2022 12:00 – 1:30 PM EST
Thursday, November 17, 2022 12:00 – 1:30 PM EST
Vocational parenting is an approach to faith formation that is about moving beyond education to formation that leads to transformation. In order to accomplish this, we need to move beyond faith formation as a set of programs to create and nurture a whole culture — an “ecosystem” of faith formation that begins in children’s and youth’s primary and foundational relationships, their parents. We believe that heart and hands must accompany head in one’s faith journey, so in addition to the classroom learning, this model of ministry seeks to create opportunities for faith mentoring, faith socializing, and even faith surfing by tapping into the life experiences of multiple generations. We operate under the conviction that the content of faith has no traction outside of faith-based relationships. In this course you’ll learn some of the ways our church leaders have partnered with parents to jump into vocational ministry models, and some of the on-the-ground practices that are a part of it. Raising the bar rather than lowering it invites our families to dig deep, and integrate what they’re learning into their daily family rhythms.
More About Dannica Olsen
With more than 18 years of ministry experience, Dannica Olsen loves to meet ministry challenges with creativity and is always looking for new ways for families to authentically experience the presence and nearness of God in their daily lives. She graduated from Luther Seminary (’09) with a Masters in Children, Youth, and Family Ministry and has been in the same congregation, innovating and reimagining ministry with youth and their families for the past 13 years. Dannica is a member of the ELCA Youth Ministry Network’s Podcast team, Third Tuesday Conversation, and serves as a Director for Synod Gathering Champions for the ELCA Youth Gathering. She lives with her husband, Patrick and their two young children, in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Dates of Live Sessions
Thursday, December 1, 2022 12:00 – 1:30 PM EST
Thursday, December 8, 2022 12:00 – 1:30 PM EST
You’ll receive a registration link in your purchase confirmation email. Please click the link and follow the prompts to register in your course.
Ministry used to be straightforward—teaching, leading worship, and pastoral care. Now it is anything but… With so much change infiltrating our “normal,” a new set of entrepreneurial skills is required to be adaptive and responsive in this new environment. This MasterClass will explore four areas of practice: 1) See, 2) Build, 3) Be You, 4) Change. “Seeing” is about noticing a possibility, an idea, or a way things could be better or new of different. “Building” is making something happen out of what you see. And Building goes best when it’s fueled by the gift of who God has made you to be, all the while navigating Change. Expect a mix of stories, inspiration, and practical tools drawing on the experience of working with and enabling “Ministry Pioneers” in the UK over the last 20 years.
More About Jonny Baker
Jonny Baker has spent his life innovating, training, and enabling others to build entrepreneurial ministries out of what they see and imagine. He set up the Pioneer Training at Church Mission Society (CMS) in England, which has catalyzed all sorts of wonderful pioneering mission initiatives. He is Director of Mission at CMS in Britain. During the pandemic lockdown he wrote the full-color book Pioneer Practice and is looking forward to sharing some of the ideas and stories from that. The book is available from https://www.getsidetracked.co/
Dates of Live Sessions:
Wednesday, November 9, 2022, 12:00 – 1:30 PM EST
Wednesday, November 16, 2022, 12:00 – 1:30 PM EST
You’ll receive a registration link in your purchase confirmation email. Please click on the link and follow the prompts to register for the course.
Join Dr. Nancy Going to explore the results of Vibrant Faith’s most recent “action research.” We believe family faith formation is THE story of “church change” during the pandemic, and that it has both positive and negative implications for your church’s ministry with the next generations. Session 1 will walk you through what we discovered when we created listening “dinner parties” for parents all over the country during the spring of 2022—asking parents about what kinds of faith-forming activities they were doing during the pandemic, what they are doing now, and what support they need from their churches. Session 2 will help us look at our discoveries in the bigger context of Dr. Christian Smith’s recent book Passing Down the Faith—we’ll have participants work together to explore the implications and shared ministry possibilities gleaned from what we’re learning from our exclusive research. Join us!
More About Dr. Nancy Going
Nancy is Vibrant Faith’s Director of Research and Resource Development—she was the organization’s Executive Director for six years. She’s one of the directors of Vibrant Faith’s Thriving Congregations Initiative, funded and guided by the Lilly Foundation. She has spent her career in ministry leadership with youth, and she still loves working with kids as a volunteer any chance she gets. Nancy came on board the Vibrant Faith team in 2014 after teaching and providing leadership at Luther Seminary in the Children Youth and Family Ministry Masters Degree Distributed Learning Program. She has authored articles, curriculum, and contributed to books. Nancy lives in Nashville with her husband Art, an Anglican priest. They have launched two new families from their children. You can connect with Nancy at firstname.lastname@example.org
Dates of Live Sessions
Wednesday, November 3, 2022, 12:00 – 1:30 PM EST
Wednesday, November 10, 2022, 12:00 – 1:30 PM EST
You’ll receive your registration link inside your purchase confirmation email. Please click the link and follow the prompts to register for the class.
The history of the church is small. A small church is typically defined as fewer than 200 actively participating in the congregation, but often looks more like 30 to 65 members. Despite our increasingly networked world, research shows that we are more disconnected than previous generations, except within a small church. Everyone notices when you walk in AND when you are not there. This is connection. This is belonging. This is part of the beauty of a small church. Smaller churches face their own challenges, of course, but those challenges scale with church size. This MasterClass does NOT pit one size church against another. Rather, it affirms small church as an historic expression of Christian community and as particularly apt for the 21st century. In this course we’ll explore best practices for those who lead intentionally small churches. And we’ll explore how small church can be a powerful response to modern and post-modern society. It is nimble. It is creative. It is collaborative. It is powerful and a force for hope. Small church has survived for centuries and isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.
More About Dr. Amy Jacober
Dr. Amy Jacober is a fierce advocate of under-served populations. She earned a PhD in theology while always asking “so what”? This led to a lifetime of teaching and learning in practical theology. She has spent decades serving bi-vocationally as a professor and pastor, serving youth in churches big and small, and advocating for the belonging of those with disabilities. She has an MSW as well, which informs how she lives out her faith individually and collectively. She gets to serve alongside her husband in a small church while having their own small tribe of three children and an overactive dog at home. She recognizes the need for sustainability and long-term self-care by making time to hike, travel, play board games, and cook from scratch.
Dates of Live Sessions
Thursday, October 20, 2022 12:00 – 1:30 PM EST
Thursday, October 27, 2022 12:00 – 1:30 PM EST
You’ll receive a registration link in your purchase confirmation email. Please click the link and follow the prompts to register for the class.
Coaching strategies, practices, and tools can transform how pastors and church leaders empower their leaders and teams to discern God’s intentions, draw out people’s wisdom, clarify roles and goals, and create a culture of creativity and accountability. This class will help leaders reframe conversations in ways that celebrate strengths, rethink norms, and reimagine ministry in new ways. Specifically, this class will equip participants to…
This course is led by the Rev. Dr. Nathan Swenson-Reinhold, one of Vibrant Faith’s trainers and coaches, and Jim LaDoux, who oversees Vibrant Faith’s Coaching Services. The course will be seasoned with illustrations, live demonstrations, case studies, and practical tips that participants can learn from and replicate in their own ministry settings.
Dates of Live Sessions
Thursday, October 6, 2022 12:00 – 1:30 PM EST
Thursday, October 13, 2022 12:00 – 1:30 PM EST
You’ll receive a registration link in your purchase confirmation email. Please click the link and follow the prompts to register for the course.
This masterclass presents an uplifting, fresh, and flexible approach to connecting the domestic church with the wider parish community, one that will work in congregations of all shapes and sizes. The course provides concrete steps of how to start and how to keep building a faith formation process that engages, empowers, and energizes every family. Drawing from research and experience, Denise Utter shares real-life stories, practical examples, and multiple resources. Dig into the key lessons we learned from the disruption of the pandemic and discover principles and strategies that are creating the next iteration of faith formation: using digital tools and methods, connecting parents to each other and the community, equipping parents for faith conversations and faith practices, encouraging families to create faith plans and share stories. You will come away with renewed hope for faith formation and a packed toolbox for building the vision in your community.
More About Denise Utter
Denise Utter is a speaker, coach, writer, and the author of Engage Every Family! A Parish Guide to Integrated Faith Formation (from Twenty Third Publications available late summer 2022). She works with church leaders at the diocesan and parish level, exploring new approaches to faith formation that promise to encourage, empower and equip parents, and invigorate faith communities. Her other publications include articles for Catechetical Leader, Catechist Magazine, Take Out: Our Faith on the Go! (OSV) and Vibrant Faith’s online Catalyst. She has written online curriculum for Our Sunday Visitor, Center for Ministry Development, and the Archdiocese of Chicago. She has over 30 years of experience in field of education and ministry, having a B.S. in Education and a Master of Arts degree in Pastoral Studies from the Catholic Theological Union in Chicago. Denise lives in Chicago with her husband, Rob. They have three adult children and one grandson.
Dates of Live Sessions
Wednesday, November 30, 2022, 12:00 – 1:30 PM EST
Wednesday, December 7, 2022 12:00 – 1:30 PM EST
You’ll receive registration link in your purchase confirmation email. Please click the link and follow the prompts to register and access your course.
What could you accomplish as a church if you had a digital presence that “spoke hope” over your community instead of billboarding transactional events? Relative to church “marketing,” most conventional strategies are based on getting… Getting better attendance, getting more financial benefit from attendance, getting more attention, and so on. But these strategies require a lot of work, feel gimmicky, and are often inauthentic. The truth is that God builds and sustains churches from a place of giving… Giving his life, so we can fully live into ours as we walk in his way. Our digital strategies must find their source in the act of giving—hope, community, and personal transformation. But how do we even begin to do that? In this course, we’ll look at it takes to build a digital presence that comes from a place of giving, and not getting.
More About Charity Starchenko
With 10 years of experience in marketing, specializing in local businesses and church, Charity’s specialty lies in helping ministry leaders and churches develop and maintain sustainable, life-giving digital presences and communication strategies. She loves working with churches to think through vision and mission statements and using them create cultures of welcome and hope that invite newcomers to walk fully in the way of Jesus. Charity holds degrees from the University of California, Berkeley, and California State University. She is currently the Marketing Manager at Vibrant Faith and writes about marketing and theology on the web at charityanne.co. In her free time, Charity enjoys walking, hiking, reading, TV, great conversation, and lunch with friends. She splits her time between Cary, NC, and Winter Harbor, Maine, where she lives with her husband, two children, and a grumpy dog.
Follow: www.charityanne.co, IG: Charitystarchenko, Twitter (retweets only) @charityanneco
Dates of Live Sessions
Wednesday, September 21, 2022 12:00 – 1:30 PM EST
Wednesday, September 28, 2022 12:00 – 1:30 PM EST
This course is an interactive learning workshop that will help you understand WHY real change is hard to measure and explore the difference between financial and social change in a ministry context. I’ll help you name the type of change you’re seeking to make, describe that change, then use four simple and innovative measurement tools to help leverage that desired change in partnership with your community and with God. You’ll learn how to communicate impact to your congregation, and dive into the principles and practices you need to start your measurement journey. This is a quick-but-deep dive into a way of thinking that will launch you in the right direction.
More About Shannon Hopkins
Shannon Hopkins is the co-founder and the Lead Cultivator of RootedGood, a nonprofit based in the U.S. that empowers institutions, social enterprises and entrepreneurs to create systemic change. A Texas native, in 2004 Shannon moved to London and founded the nonprofit Matryoshka Haus. In 2020, Matryoshka Haus became three organizations, including the U.S.-based RootedGood. Hopkins has launched or influenced the formation of 15 campaigns, projects, and organizations and trained over 200 social entrepreneurs. In 2008, Shannon was awarded the Women of the UN and the UK’s Annual Woman of Peace Award for “The Truth isn’t Sexy,” a campaign that addressed the demand side of human trafficking.
Dates of Live Sessions:
Wednesday, September 7, 2022, 12:00 – 1:30 PM EST
Wednesday, September 14, 2022, 12:00 – 1:30 PM EST
You’ll receive a registration link in your purchase confirmation email with follow-up emails as we get closer to the class.
In this two-part MasterClass, trauma therapist Adam Young, host of the podcast The Place We Find Ourselves (in the top 20 of most-listened-to religious podcasts in America), will explain how trauma and attachment science can inform church ministry. We will begin by defining developmental trauma and explaining the “Big Six”—six things every child needs from his or her parents. From there Adam will provide an overview of attachment, including both avoidant and ambivalent attachment styles. In Part 2, we will look at how our attachment style profoundly influences our relationship with God and how the church can incorporate trauma and attachment science into approaches to ministry. (NOTE: This MasterClass will be made up of two 60-minute sessions instead of two 90-minute sessions.)
More About Adam Young
Adam Young is a therapist who focuses on trauma and abuse. He’s the host of The Place We Find Ourselves podcast. He lives in Fort Collins, Colorado, with his wife Caroline and two children, a daughter (14) and a son (11). Adam is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) with a Master’s degree in Social Work (Virginia Commonwealth University) and Divinity (Emory University). He is also certified in EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing). Adam is an Allender Center Fellow, and enjoys mountain biking, skiing, soccer, and windsurfing.
Dates of Live Sessions
Wednesday, October 5, 2022 12:00 – 1:00 PM EST
Wednesday, October 12, 2022 12:00 – 1:0 0 PM EST
NOTE: YOUR REGISTRATION LINK WILL BE LOCATED IN YOUR PURCHASE CONFIRMATION EMAIL!
The Vibrant Congregations Series covers church-wide ministry change and reinvention. Here, you’ll find classes that pertain to church operations, church-wide leadership, and more. Use these ministry leadership classes for your own development and to encourage others from your church ministry volunteers or team to enhance their skills and understanding in their areas of responsibility.
You will receive an email within a couple of days of your purchase that will include an exclusive link for you and your team to register and access all of the season’s courses.
Our Faith Formation Series is a set of Masterclasses that allows participants and up to 7 members of their team to explore the practice and theological context of faith formation for all ages. Use it for your own development and to encourage others from your church ministry volunteers or team to enhance their skills and understanding in their areas of responsibility.
You will receive an email in a couple of days of your purchase that will include an exclusive link for you and your team to access all of the Faith Formation Series courses as well.
Your exclusive link will also be available in your purchase confirmation.
A Master Class Season Pass offers you free access to all of the MasterClasses offered between September and December 2022. Use it for your own development and to encourage others from your church, ministry leadership, volunteers, or team to enhance their skills and understanding in their areas of responsibility.
Your registration link will be in your email purchase confirmation. Please click the link and follow the prompts to register for the course.
Our Vibrant Faith team has developed these story-based Calling Now devotional experiences to help both youth and adults deeply explore God’s answers to these questions in their lives. These experiences are flexible—easy to use either online or in person. And they are expertly designed to help people develop deeper connections with God.