Breakout Sessions

Listed below are the focus groups and breakout sessions for the Annual Gathering & Convention.  If you are interested in taking part in a focus group or breakout session, please let us know by indicating which one(s) you are interested in by checking them off on your registration form. 

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

HEALTHY CONGREGATIONS START WITH HEALTHY LEADERS – CHRISTIAN HUNTLEY – Christian Huntley will share how the health of leaders – lay and ordained – as persons, or the lack thereof, can impact their effectiveness as leaders and the health of their congregations. He will share insights being gleaned from our LCMC LeaderCare ministries that can help us become healthier persons and more effective leaders for the ministry or church we serve.

EQUIPPING AND MENTORING THE LAY PREACHER – JULIE SMITH – A shortage of available clergy for churches in our association has created a cultural moment before us that can be embraced by helping to identify, equip, and mentor lay members for preaching and pastoral care in our churches. Julie will address many of the dynamics involved that can help your church identify that person(s) and how we can support, encourage, and equip them for this ministry in our midst.

GRANDPARENTING IN THE PRESENT AGE – STEPHANIE AND RANDY FREUND – Stephanie and Randy Freund will help us engage the moment that is before many of us: being grandparents in this present age. They will help us examine the challenges and opportunities to help our grandchildren experience how deeply they are loved by God, pray for and with them, and to help prepare them to embrace the good works which God has prepared beforehand for them to walk in.

ENGAGING THROUGH GLOBAL MISSIONS – MICHAEL WIND – As believers, we have come to faith through missionary activities, human beings carrying out The Church’s “mission”. In this breakout, you will hear from several mission partners of LCMC that are living this reality in their ministries, communities, and countries every day. You will also have the opportunity to examine your own ministries and Christian walk in light of our call to mission.

LOVING THOSE IN NEED THROUGH CARE PORTALS – JEN CRUSE – Jen Cruse leads the Care Portal ministry of Joy Community Church, a ministry whose purpose is to tangibly love and serve those in need in their community. In this breakout, Jen will share the vision for Care Portals and how this ministry can be established in our congregations throughout the country.

KEYNOTE PANEL DISCUSSION – PAUL OWENS, LEXY CARSON, DAVID CHRISTENSEN, AND ERICA VARCOE – Our keynote panel leaders will continue the discussion on how we can work in our own congregations and partner with other Christian congregations and para-church ministries to engage the cultural moment in our congregations and communities in order to impact people with God’s love and God’s power.

BUILDING A CULTURE OF EVANGELISM IN THE LOCAL CHURCH – JERRY WATTS – In this breakout, Jerry Watts will help us embrace the moment before us in regard to building a culture of evangelism in the local church. We will identify both the opportunities and challenges of building a culture of every-member evangelism to help us impact our communities with Gods’ love and God’s power.

SAVING THROUGH THE LCMC RETIREMENT PLAN – TOM LUING – Seven years of plenty, seven years of famine. Genesis 41 describes how Joseph recommended a plan for a future time when resources would be scarce. You need to plan for the future as well. Where will your resources come from over the years that you will not be working? Join us for a discussion on the benefits of participating in the LCMC Retirement Plan including money management, investing, tax-free housing allowance distribution during retirement, as well as how to enroll.  It’s never too early to start saving for retirement.


Breakout Session 2
Tuesday @ 4:00 P.M.

FOUNDATIONS FOR HEALTHY AND EFFECTIVE CHURCH COUNCILS – MICHAEL FAUST – In this breakout, Michael Faust will help us examine how we can be intentional in helping church council members become healthier as persons and more effective in the role they’ve been called to serve on the church council. This combination of health as persons and effectiveness in our roles is a key aspect of enabling church council members, along with their pastors, to see and embrace the cultural moments before them in their churches and in our communities.

MISSIONAL CHURCH PLANTING – ERICA VARCOE AND MATT ANDERSON – This experienced team of church planters will cast a vision for planting churches in LCMC to reach people who don’t yet know Jesus as Savior and Lord, and equip them to live as followers of Jesus. They will share some of their own stories of planting a church, share essential insights in church planting, share resources that have been helpful for them, and respond to questions from breakout participants.

RE-ENGAGING THE DISENFRANCHISED CHRISTIAN – PAUL HENNINGS – Have you wondered where everyone has gone in your church and community on Sunday mornings? They’ve become “dechurched.” In this session, we address the growing issue of dechurching, what’s causing it, and how we can personally and corporately engage our neighbors outside the walls of the church building with the life-giving gospel.

REACHING YOUNG ADULTS IN AND OUTSIDE THE CHURCH – STEVEN WAGNER – Steven Wagner and a team of young leaders from The Awaken Project will help us embrace the moment before us by reaching out to and embracing young adults in our churches and in our communities. They will share insights regarding the nature of relationships with young adults that can equip us to welcome, love, and serve this generation. They will also highlight ways that young adults can be a blessing to our churches and communities, and what we can learn from them.

GOSPEL DEPOLARIZATION – STEVE TURNBULL – Our society is stuck in a toxic cul-de-sac of political polarization and can’t seem to find its way out. But the Gospel of Jesus can get us unstuck and reform us for healthier engagement for the good of our neighbors – and the good of our Christian witness. In this breakout, we’ll learn how the Gospel can move us from political arrogance to humility, from partisanship to partnership, and from fear to hope.

EFFECTIVE CALL PROCESS AND COMMITTEES – CHRISTIAN HUNTLEY – In this breakout for congregational leaders, members, and pastors, Christian will address some of the issues that can make for an effective call process. He will also share about the training that LCMC brings to congregations, districts, and regions about the call process and serving as a call committee.

ENGAGING UNCHURCHED AND DECHURCHED PEOPLE TODAY – SAM DITTRICH – The need to engage with our friends, family, co-workers, and neighbors in faith-related conversations will become more and more valuable with the increase of the “nones” and a decrease in people attending church in America. As the cultural landscape has changed, our methods must adjust to continue to share the good news of Jesus and invite them into the life of the church. We will explore methods that help us engage culture both on a personal and congregational level.

WELCOME HOME – MICHELE JONES – Affordable housing is not just a big city problem. It is experienced in all sizes of communities. In this workshop, you will be introduced to what happens when the Church steps into the space of affordable housing. FaithLife Homes, LLC is the result of a suburban church seeking partnership with local nonprofit organizations and the neighborhood church in an underserved neighborhood. Their mission is to provide affordable housing with a relational ministry component that has a pathway to home ownership, creating change for a family for generations to come.


Breakout Session 3
Wednesday @ 9:30 A.M.

HEALTHY BOUNDARIES FOR MARRIAGE IN MINISTRY – KELLY AND CHRIS DAHL – Kelly and Chris Dahl will help us all examine the importance of setting healthy boundaries that can help our marriages thrive in ministry rather than being ship-wrecked by it. Kelly and Chris have a unique ability to share from a place of vulnerability and transparency in their own relationship and from Scripture as a means to encourage and equip us in identifying and setting boundaries that can help us develop a healthy marriage in the context of ministry.

ADDRESSING CONFLICT IN HEALTHY AND EFFECTIVE WAYS – DAWN SPIES AND DAVID STIER – There can be times that the cultural moment before us in our churches is one that involves some sort of conflict that needs to be addressed. In this breakout, Dawn and David will help provide members of congregations with insights and tools that can help equip them to manage conflict in healthy and effective ways in their congregational context.

UNLOCKING THE HIDDEN POTENTIAL: CULTIVATING LEADERS WITHIN YOUR CONGREGATION – STEVE PERKINS AND JEFF GUSTAFSON – Gone are the days of simply posting a “now hiring” sign to fill staff and pastoral roles in our churches. With an ever-shrinking candidate pool, it’s time to tap into the abundant potential within our own congregations. Join Steve Perkins and Jeff Gustafson in this dynamic breakout session as they guide us through the art of recognizing and nurturing the leadership talent already sitting in our pews. Discover actionable strategies to foster the growth of passionate leaders within the fabric of your existing church community. Don’t miss out on this crucial discussion as we consider new possibilities for the sustainable future of our congregations, association, and collective mission.

ENGAGING IMMIGRANTS WITH GOD’S LOVE AND THE GOSPEL – DAVE AND PAM MANN – Dave and Pam have lived in other countries for more than 20 years, have administrated a successful ESL program, and have taught English both in Haiti and in the U.S. for 17 years. We all live in a time of unprecedented global migration. How is God on the move as internationals are moving into our neighborhoods?  There are multiple ways we can meet the practical needs of these newest Americans and build relationships for the sake of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

ENGAGING THROUGH SHARING OUR GOD STORIES – DAVE CHRISTENSEN – Dave will cast the vision of how God can use the stories of His activity in our lives to bless and encourage someone else. Greg will help us think through what is or is not helpful in sharing our stories. And he will help us learn how we can be alert for the opportunities God places before us to share them with others.

BOARD TALK – RANDY FREUND AND JIM CORDS – LCMC Board of Trustees Chair Randy Freund and LCMC Ministry Board Chair Jim Cords will share an update on the work their boards are doing and respond to questions from breakout participants.

COUNTERFEIT GOSPELS, BANKRUPT HOPE – STEVE TURNBULL – The Gospel of Jesus meets the deepest needs of human life. But when we underestimate the Gospel, in faith or ministry, those real needs will drive us to look in vain for satisfaction everywhere it can’t be found. In this breakout, we’ll explore the multiple benefits of the Gospel and consider the ever-present temptations to look elsewhere for what only Jesus provides.

LCMC LUTHERAN MEN – CHUCK HUNSAKER – The LCMC Lutheran Men will hold a quick business meeting. We will explore opportunities for men to grow in service in their church and community, then explore how we move men to support newly planted and needy congregations in LCMC. An officer in Lutheran Men will elaborate on new opportunities for funding gift grants and loans.