You may attend three two-hour electives:

Tuesday @ 3 p.m. , Wednesday @ 10:30 a.m., and Wednesday @ 1:30 p.m.

Intensive #1

Igniting Passionate Worship

(Wednesday 1:30 p.m. only)

Leader: Jose Aenlle

This intensive is for music directors, musicians, and other leaders interested in getting hands on training to help reach new generations and cultures through the music used during worship.

To ignite the church’s worship, we need to find ways to include everyone in our song. Since every generation and culture has a unique “heart song” we must find better ways to expand our musical repertoire and include a wider variety of musical styles. We will explore ways to do this by building bridges that will help participants connect their existing worshipping community with those they seek to reach…without alienating anyone!

This intensive will:

  • Present ways to adapt existing songs by learning techniques to quickly and effectively create new arrangements of well-loved hymns

  • Introduce a variety of new songs that have solid theology and Biblical integrity to help address the lingering negative stereotypes about "Contemporary Christian Music".

  • Identify ways to recruit and build a strong worship team and find musicians with the gifts to lead well.

  • Share organizational tools to help your group practice.       

  • Explore a music director’s role as leader and getting ensembles to follow them well and sound great with minimal rehearsal time.

  • Discuss basic techniques to optimize your sound equipment.

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Intensive #2

Religion-Less Christianity and Renewing the Church

(Wednesday 10:30 a.m. only)

Leader: Rev. Dr. Johan Bergh

The way forward in renewing a faith that has honesty, integrity, authenticity and relevance is not to take a church style and change it but rather to take a way of thinking about God, a theology, and re-make it. In this course we engage 20th century pastor, teacher, author and martyr Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s thinking and work on a “religion-less Christianity” and apply it to today’s church to offer a framework for renewing the 21st century church.  Johan Bergh dedicates this course and his continued work on a religion-less Christianity to all those whose worldview embraces 21st century science and culture and whose faith-view embraces Jesus of the 1st century as real and life-changing for how we can live and thrive in these days, and to all who work toward the church of Jesus being and doing the way of Jesus for the world.

Intensive #3

Building Bridges in Public Spaces

(Tuesday 3 p.m. only)

Leader: Rev. Khader El-Yateem

How we live our call in the public space and bring God’s hope, comfort, justice and peace is critical to our ministry in the 21st century. We can no longer be confined to the walls of our churches. God is calling us to be disruptive’s  of systems and to bring change that changes people’s lives. The bridges we build we must be willing to cross. As a pastor, building bridges is very hard work but it is essential work. It will shape you and your faith in ways you can never imagine. When asked by The NY Times reporter why do you do this? They are not even Lutherans. My answer was I don’t do this because they are Lutherans but because I am Lutheran. During our time together we will hear the stories and explore this kind of leadership.

Intensive #4

Congregational Purpose and Renewal

(Tuesday 3 p.m. and Wednesday 1:30 p.m.)

Leader: Rev. Nancy Nyland

God has a mission in the world....God's mission has a church.....God's church has a purpose in God's mission. What is your congregation's purpose in God's mission? We will explore how a congregation's history, assets, and context inform discernment of a congregation's purpose/mission statement and guiding principles. Once these are developed what is next? And what does all this have to do with congregational renewal, transformation and vitality? Come and see. 

Intensive #5

How Wide, Long, High and Deep God’s Love Really Is!

(Tuesday 3 p.m. and Wednesday 10:30 a.m.)

Leader: Rev. Rob James

There is a joy in following Jesus Christ that has changed my life. I am guessing yours too!  I don’t know why anyone would be coming to church in 2020 if they haven’t experienced that joy, but let’s be honest – we are awful at talking about it!  We have to reclaim testimony in fun and powerful ways to empower people to talk about the Joy of Jesus in the safety of their church community so that they will talk about Jesus in the larger community.

Intensive #6

Grow, Hold, Fold: 

Transforming Your Ministry for the 21st Century

(Tuesday 3 p.m.and Wednesday 1:30 p.m.)

Leader: Beth Lewis

In the face of rapid changes in the importance of religion in society, lifestyles and technology, how do faith-based organizations make the radical shifts necessary to continue to proclaim a grace-filled Gospel while renewing and revitalizing our ministries for the 21st century? 1517 Media, the ELCA’s ministry of publishing wrestled with this challenge and dramatically changed their priorities and processes in recent years.  By focusing on a “grow, hold, fold” strategic framework combined with effective use of technology, not only for delivering content, but also streamlining internal processes, they moved from a money-losing traditional denominational publishing house to a successful media organization creating dynamic print, digital and video content for congregations, higher education, individuals and families.  In this workshop, led by Beth Lewis, President & CEO Emeritus of 1517 Media, you’ll learn some practical techniques to apply to your ministry.

Intensive #7

The Disruptive Church

(Wednesday 10:30 a.m.and 1:30 p.m.)

Leader: Rev. Joe Liles and Jess Liles

With the advent of peer-to-peer businesses such as Airbnb, UBER, Fiverr, Etsy, Kickstarter, GoFundMe we have seen a modern day revolution of “Give back it to the people.” It is an individual, glorious and fast-paced people-centric model of doing business...what does that mean for church?


What if Christianity was disrupted? Disrupted on the local level in every church, where people took their faith outside of church and transformed the kingdom on Earth, peer-to-peer. What would it look like? What would it take? What would happen to “the church?” Disruptive Christianity is the need we didn’t know we had as a church.

Intensive #8

Capturing People’s Imagination and Igniting Kingdom Impact

(Wednesday 1:30 p.m. only)

Leader: Rev. Jeff Linman

By the power at work within us, God is able to accomplish abundantly far more than all we can ask or imagine. (Ephesians 3:20) Trusting Paul’s witness is a key step in congregational renewal. In seasons of decline deflated spirits stand in the way of renewal. Leaders need to focus on transforming the collective spirit of their people, so ministry dreams are more likely to ignite. Instead of retrenching and getting conservative, congregations today need to imagine what Kingdom impact might look like in their communities and then look beyond their limitations to God's Spirit empowered abundance. This intensive will introduce a process to encourage, inspire, and challenge your congregation to capture people’s imagination again by aligning with the Kingdom impacting dreams God wants to bless in your life together. Three key ministry priorities will be explored, and a simple assessment tool shared to help you discern the next steps for renewal in your ministry context.

Intensive #9

Igniting the Church by Growing Young

(Tuesday 3 p.m. and Wednesday 10:30 a.m.)

Leader: Rev. Josh Linman

"After that generation died, another generation grew up who did not acknowledge the LORD or remember the mighty things he had done for Israel." Judges 2:10


By most statistics, the church is about 20 years older than the median age of the population. Just like in Old Testament times, a new generation in our day is growing up without knowing the story of God’s love in their lives. The future of the church depends on this generation's ability to pass on God’s story and mission to younger generations. 


In this elective, participants will:

  1. Rediscover the “why” of discipleship 

  2. Break down the essential elements of a quality discipleship model

  3. Celebrate stories of discipleship successes (and learn from a few discipleship failures) from Josh’s time serving at the largest Lutheran church in the U.S.


Whatever your role in your church community, Jesus called all of us to disciple others, so this intensive is for you!

Intensive #10

Coffee or Beer? How One Simple Question

Turned a Traditional Congregation Inside Out

(Tuesday 3 p.m. and Wednesday 10:30 a.m.)

Leader: Rev. John Longworth

This elective will explore how Good Shepherd’s practice of personal engagement with ecumenical colleagues and robust listening to their neighborhoods and to one another helped them reimagine their whole ministry. Participants will be invited to do some groundwork brainstorming about building these relationships in their respective communities.

Intensive #11

Cultivating Transformative and Visionary Leadership

(Wednesday 10:30 a.m.and 1:30 p.m.)

Leader: Rev. Rick Rouse

This seminar that looks at several transformational keys that can bring about and sustain health and vitality for the church’s ministry in the 21st Century.  Rev. Dr. Rick Rouse draws from his work with Peter Steinke (Healthy Leaders, Healthy Congregations), teaching missional leadership in the doctoral program at Luther Seminary, and serving on synod staff and as a parish consultant.  He seeks to help pastors and congregational leaders reclaim what many believe was, and still is, the primary role and responsibility of the church: partnering in God’s mission for the care and healing of the world. 


This two-hour course is divided into two sessions:  Part One will focus on what makes for congregational vitality including nurturing healthy leadership among staff and lay leaders.  Part Two will explore leadership styles; each participant will be encouraged to take an online survey ahead of time that will be unpacked in this seminar. 

Intensive #12

Connecting Faith Practices with Mission and Renewal

(Tuesday 3 p.m. and Wednesday 10:30 a.m.)

Leader: Rev. Brenda Smith

This workshop will offer strategies to enhance discipleship in your ministry context.  These strategies will provide insights for participants that will help them to see faith practices as a necessary foundation, as they strive to ignite mission in their ministry settings.

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