OCTOBER 2017 EVENT
This event, led by Pastors Fred Nelson and Carol Breimeier from Redeemer Lutheran Church in Park Ridge, Illinois was attended by over 70 people from 17 Metro New York Synod congregations. It helped people who wanted to see their churches grow again by making the transition from helplessness to hope.Groups of pastors, lay leaders, adults, and teens spent the day learning practical tools from others who have been on the same journey.
Sponsored by a Leadership Development Grant from the Metropolitan New York Synod, this event was the first in a series of innovative efforts to equip our leaders for evangelical mission.
Canon Robin Greenwood Gathering
at Grace Lutheran Church and School in Malverne April 28, 2018
A Teaching Event was held on April 28, 2018 by the Center for Evangelical Mission for congregational leaders from our synod. Canon Robin Greenwood, a well-known practical theologian from the Church of England, author of the book: Sharing God's Blessing-How to Renew the Local Church, was the leader of the event. Over 40 pastors and lay leaders attended the day-long event.
The event introduced a powerful method for enabling congregational leaders to have "conversations that matter" about important issues that relate to the future of each local congregation. On the previous Wednesday, Canon Greenwood trained a group of conversation companions who assisted groups of participants on Saturday in the use of "Appreciative Inquiry," a way of having positive, productive conversations rather than divisive debates and discussions.
A folder of helpful training notes was prepared for the companions and it is available for churches to use if they wish to have such local conversations. Topics might include such questions as "What is the future of the ministry we share in our congregation?" and "How can we more effectively use the limited resources we have to focus our ministry here?" One of the purposes of this event was to equip people who could assist neighboring congregations in having such conversations.
At the event leaders began a process of transforming their churches using this method of leading conversations. The CEM hopes that in the future there will be many such conversations and that the "conversation companions" that were trained will be able to help others. Continuing training in the use of this method of interacting will be offered in the future.
Although the challenges faced by each congregation are different, learning a better way to carry on conversations can lead so some very creative and imaginative outcomes. Leaders who want more information should contact the CEM Coordinator, Dr. Richard Hill.
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