April 12, 2018

No matter the size of your congregation you see first-time guests each year. While some guests choose not to return because they simply aren’t ready to enter into congregational life, others don’t return because of their visitor experience. It’s easy to overlook how people new to your congregation are welcomed and provided with information. But when this process is forgotten, so are the very people you serve. Knowing the difference between what welcomes and what overwhelms is important if you want your visitors to come back again.

In this workshop, you will learn about guest perspectives, and what it means to truly open the doors of your congregation and welcome people. Case studies, best practices in hospitality, and intentionality about reaching new people and connecting with… more

April 19, 2018

Effective communications is less about sending the right message and more about releasing the right response. Do you know the difference? More often than we realize, people aren’t looking for more information—they’re looking for ways to make sense of the information they already have. Many times, instead of helping people with relief from overload, we just throw more on the pile and add to the confusion.

This workshop is for you as a pastor, creative professional, ministry leader or volunteer looking for ways to get your message out to where your audience connects, whether that is online or off.

Communications leader Kem Meyer facilitates this workshop. She doesn’t focus on symptomatic relief and short-term solutions alone, but rather on connections that can make… more

May 03, 2018

When your congregants face illness, death and grief, they experience not only physical and emotional pain, but questions, problems and doubt.

What is your role and how can you best lead your congregation through these most difficult times? How do these events effect the spiritual lives of those involved? How do you bring faith together with medicine, the hospital, HIPAA, and death and dying? What about DNR, ethical dilemmas and advanced directives?

Bedside pastoral care is vitally important, but so is broaching these subjects. Death is the one common event in the future for every parishioner, so how can you prepare to not only face death personally, but also to support others who are facing death?

In this daylong event, Rev. Patrick Riecke will explore these… more

May 09, 2018

You want to make a difference in the lives of your youth but, like many, may be struggling with the rapid pace of change in our world. Fortunately, there are great resources and research from places dedicated to youth ministry like Princeton Theological Seminary Youth Ministry Center and Fuller Youth Institute.

Join pastor and congregational consultant Terrance Bridges as he presents some of the latest information on youth development from Fuller and Princeton, along with themes that have developed through the Center for Congregations' work in Indiana. Terrance will lead the discussion about factors that lead to thriving youth initiatives in congregations, help you glean current best practices from one another and bring insights into new skills that will empower your youth… more

This on-demand course focuses on the 2015-2016 Center for Congregations investigation of Indiana congregations engaging young adults. Center staff member Wendy McCormick coordinated the project, which included interviews with leaders of young adult ministries around the state and a gathering of leaders from about 20 congregations effectively engaging young adults.

Course Elements

 6 topical videos from 3 - 6 minutes each  Group reflection worksheet  Center for Congregations article on young adult engagement


Take the Course

 Estimated total time required: 1 hour  Course is free  Create an account with your email only (no password required)  Take at your own pace; stop and return when it's convenient  Keep this… more