2021 Annual Gathering & Convention Breakout Sessions

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Breakout Session 1
Monday @ 3:30 P.M.

Constructive Conversation in a Time of Social and Racial Unrest
David Drum and Ebassa Berhanu

The last year has brought about some of the most significant social, racial, and political unrest in generations. How can we as Christ-followers be part of the solution? Join pastors Ebassa and Dave as they share stories from the trenches, offer practical suggestions, and create a safe place for questions and dialogue.

Pastors and Churches in Transition
Christian Huntley

Whether you’re a pastor looking for a new call or a church looking for a pastor, this session will provide a time to connect and learn about new opportunities. Come find transition resources too. Please bring resources about you or your congregation.

How EVERY Church Can Multiply in the Post-COVID-19 Era
Matt Anderson

The Great Commission is not just for mega-churches and missionaries, but for every church, everywhere.  Every church of any size can take simple steps to enhance discipleship in a way that will multiply ministry and impact the community.  Not every church can provide the people and budget needed for a traditional church-plant, but all churches can develop “gospel hubs” of communal discipleship that can multiply their mission and reach more people.

LCMC 3.0: Connecting, Equipping, and Caring
Mike Bradley

Mike will share what he envisions as we look toward LCMC 3.0, the next season of our life and ministry together. He will discuss the purpose and importance of a strategic-operational plan being developed for the association and various strategic initiatives that will be launched in the coming years.

Securing Your Future
Tom Luing

Tom is the Financial Advisor on the LCMC 403(b) Retirement Plan. We will look at four stages of your financial life: Surviving, Driving, Arriving, and Thriving. Workbook provided. We will focus on retirement preparation and planning; setting goals and strategies to reach your retirement and financial goals. We will also touch on the benefits of the LCMC 403(b) Retirement Plan. The LCMC Retirement Plan can help you reach your retirement goals.

Supporting Spouses
Deb Sinclair and Dave Gunderson

Deb and Dave will speak to us about the importance of caring for and supporting the spouses of pastors and other staff leaders. Deb and Dave will help participants reflect on ways we can more intentionally develop support systems for spouses in our congregations.

Building Healthy Teams 
Jeremey King and Michael Faust

We’ve all seen the churches and organizations that run like a ruthless mafia or an unmovable institution. How do we avoid these extremes and live in the tension that is a church that loves like Christ and runs with operational excellence? It starts by building healthy teams that understand this distinction. Join Jeremey and Michael as they share how they are working to create an atmosphere for healthy team dynamics and tools they’ve used along the way.

Keynote Q & A
Nathan Hoff

This session offers participants a chance to further explore the topic that our keynote speaker has offered.

Equipping Volunteers in Youth Ministry
Melinda Kern and Brian Montague

Melinda and Brian are both youth ministry veterans with extensive experience in equipping volunteers to serve in youth ministry. They will share insights from their years of experience to help you develop an effective training and support program for volunteers in your church’s youth ministry.

Servant Evangelism in the Community
Andrew Potratz

Andrew will help us consider the role and benefits of servant evangelism opportunities in our communities; opportunities that can help us speak it, live it, and share it. He will share stories from his own experience in his community and engage participants in reflecting on some of the ways they and their congregations can carry out the mission of the gospel in practical ways through servant evangelism activities, blessing their neighbors, and building relationships with those outside the church in the coming year.

Breakout Session 2
Tuesday @ 2:30 P.M.

Creative Staffing for Small Churches
Dave Wollan and Randy Freund

Dave and Randy have experience in visioning and developing creative staffing options for small churches. In this breakout, they will help us consider a variety of creative and strategic staffing options that can help smaller congregations carry out the mission of the gospel in their communities.

The Management of Ministry
Linda Krei and Tom Brashears

Linda and Tom will address the critical importance managing ministry in a congregation; something that is often overlooked or ignored, only for leaders to discover that the lack of effective management becomes the source of tension and conflict between staff members and in staff-congregation relationships. Tom and Linda will address two issues in particular: developing a high performing healthy work environment and conducting annual performance reviews.

Praying with Jesus
Jon Anderson

We will rely on the gospel accounts of Jesus’ prayer life as we engage in His simple and significant practices of going deeper with the Father while increasing our fervency for and frequency of prayer.  Prayer is the wide-open door, the never-ending access, to the throne of God’s grace where we may remain with confidence and fulfilled expectations. Prayer is a gift that just keeps on giving the ongoing revelation of our loving God who is determined to transform us and send us into the world for His purpose and pleasure.

Children's Minsitry
Andrea Taphorn

Where are the next generation of leaders coming from? They are present already in the children in our congregations, waiting to be loved and equipped for God’s calling on their lives. In this breakout, Andrea will cast a vision for the essential nature of coming alongside parents and assisting them through our ministries for children. Andrea has years of experience in developing effective children’s ministries in a congregational setting and in training volunteers to serve in those ministries. In this breakout, she will share insights from her own experience and assist participants in identifying strategies to assist them in the development of their ministry with children and in their training and support for their volunteers.

Board Q & A
Sue Gunderson, Jim Cords and Brodie Taphorn

If you are a visitor to the Annual Gathering, new to LCMC, or if you’ve been a part of the association for some time but still have questions about our fellowship, join us.  We will answer the questions that people most frequently ask about LCMC and any other questions you may have about LCMC.

God's Law and Gospel at Work in Our Lives 
Julie Smith

God has chosen to speak to us and work on us through his words of law and gospel. In this breakout, Julie will help us remember that the “Law-Gospel Dialectic” is more than a doctrine and not some old-fashioned dogma. It is how God is at work on us, killing and making alive, condemning and forgiving, driving us to the life and healing that is only possible through the real forgiveness of real sins. We will examine how these words shape our relationships with one another, teaching us how to listen well to what is already accusing our neighbors, and giving us the Word to put those accusations to an end. Through this Word we see God’s life-giving presence at work in the very issues and circumstances we are struggling with, the circumstances that are causing us so much unrest and pain, dividing us from one another and from God. As we imagine what it means to live out our callings in our own vocations, and as the priesthood of all believers, this word of law and gospel is the Word that brings hope out of despair, light out of darkness, life out of death.

Keynote Q & A
Jenn Alexander

This session offers participants a chance to further explore the topic that our keynote speaker has offered.

Trusting Christians in an Era of Distrust
Mike Bradley

We are living in an era of distrust. The predominant stereotype of Christians in this age is that we are arrogant and angry, judgmental and condemning, hypocritical and not to be trusted. In this breakout, Mike will help us reflect on how followers of Christ can begin to intentionally rebuild people’s trust in Christians by tearing down this negative stereotype one heart, one life at a time.

LCMC Lutheran Men
Chuck Hunsaker

Getting men involved in the church is JOB ONE for Lutheran Men. This session will offer an overview of our finances and our ministry.  You will hear about becoming a key man, changes to our financial support program through the Mission Assistance Fund and planning, organizing, and developing a men’s ministry in your congregation.  Iron sharpens iron; men help men.  We want to help your church grow men.

Breakout Session 3
Tuesday @ 4:00 P.M.

What We Are Learning From the Pandemic
Aaron Thompson and Sam Dittrich

Aaron and Sam will help us reflect on lessons being learned during the pandemic which can help us continue the mission of the gospel, including the use of technology and social media as tools for reaching out to those who are not yet Christians and to disenfranchised Christians.

Luther: A Missional Lifestyle
Brandon Foster

Looking at evangelism and discipleship through the lens of Luther’s life and the teaching of Scripture, Brandon will help encourage and equip us as congregations and leaders in developing ministries and relationships for evangelism and making disciples that will help God’s people speak it, live it, and share it.

Effective Call Committees
Perry Fruhling

Understanding transitions in your congregation is a vital part of a healthy call committee process!  Come to hear more about congregational assessment, intentional interim ministry, facing conflicts, as well as call committee tasks including finding candidates, posting your position on our website, interviewing candidates and more!

Why Districts and Fellowship Groups are a Good Thing
Mike Bradley and Julie Smith

Mike and Julie will share how being part of a district or fellowship group can be a blessing to congregations and leaders. We will examine how we can encourage and equip congregations and their members in a variety of ministry skills, and how we can provide encouragement and equipping for those who lead a district and fellowship group.

Discipleship: The Engine That Drives the Church
Jonathan Haseley

What is discipleship and why does it even matter?  What happens when we define it according to our terms and preconceived notions rather than according to Jesus’ terms and design?  How can we participate in the mission of God as everyday disciples in the mission context where God has placed us?  Jonathan will help us reflect on such questions and will encourage us to take a fresh look at disciple-making in the church as the key to fueling ministry and mission in and through our congregations.

Developing an Intern Ministry
Nathan Hoff

Where are the next generation of leaders coming from? Where are they being developed and equipped? One place where this essential ministry can happen is by establishing an intern ministry in the context of a vibrant congregation with seasoned mentors. In this breakout, Nathan and Dave will share the vision and some of the practical issues involved in building an intern ministry that can develop healthy and theologically sound interns.

Care Teams: Presence and Prayer
Becki Bork

Too many times the thought or belief is that caring for the congregation is the role of the pastor, when in reality, caring for the congregation is the role of the pastor AND the congregation. In this breakout, Becki will cast a vision for the purpose and roles of a congregational care team. She will share some ways of establishing a care team in your congregation and some of the elements involved in training and supporting the volunteers who serve on a congregational care team and how all involved pastors, team members, and congregation members benefit and are blessed by this model.

Map Making for Congregations in or Near Pastoral Transition
Steve Abend and Dawn Spies

Intentional Interim Pastors Steve Abend and Dawn Spies will help guide you through the intentional interim ministry process.  The breakout is designed to assist a congregation in or about to be in a pastoral transition.  Intentional Interim Ministry (IIM) assists a congregation in navigating their transition without the anxiety or burden of being without a pastor and prepares congregations for their next pastor.

Youth Ministry and Leadership Development in the Small Church
Andrea Paulson

Our churches communities include young people (tweens, teens and college agers) with unbelievable gifts, talents and passions. These young people have a perspective of our world and ideas about living faith that uniquely poise them to be leaders. All they need is someone to love, encourage, equip and mentor them as they discover and step into God’s calling on their lives. Andrea will cast a vision and share practical tips for engaging teens and and college agers, as well as coming alongside parents in their ministry to their kids.  This breakout is specifically geared to pastors and volunteer leaders of small churches.

Certification Interview Team Leader Training
Sandy Miller and Jim Cords

This session is for Certification Interview Team leaders who have not yet had this training or viewed the training video available online.  In this session, we will discuss our certification requirements, interview process and its purpose, and key elements of the interview itself. We will also train participants on the appropriate use of our forms and procedures to help ensure consistency in the interview process throughout our growing association.