There are some things every ministry leader should know, regardless of role. Paradigms so fundamental that they shape every ministry of the church, and how each leader leads.
Whether your church is in a time of transition or stability, Thriving Essentials is a new way to get all the ministry leaders in your church - elders and deacons, volunteers and staff, newbies and old-timers - aligned on core concepts of mission, discipleship, discernment, and leadership. These four one-hour sessions, currently offered on Zoom, provide refreshing insights and can serve as a springboard to deeper conversations about ministry in your local context.
In pilot testing, 94% of pastors and lay leaders recommend Thriving Essentials to others!
Join an Upcoming Group
New groups start every month, and are limited to 25 participants. Each group meets for one hour per week, four consecutive weeks. Thanks to a generous grant, there is no cost to participate. If these dates don't work, you can get notified when new groups are added.
Want to sign up as a church? We're recruiting course facilitators to offer church-specific events online and in-person in the future. After you complete the course, you'll have an opportunity to indicate your interest in scheduling an event for the leaders in your congregation.
Session 1 - Mission
Every church is called to participate in God’s mission, but each church needs to discern their niche within that larger mission. It begins by understanding the unique context where God has placed us, and recognizing the gifts and passions within the congregation. In this session, we’ll look at how churches thrive when context and congregation converge and we discover - or often rediscover - our church’s unique missional identity.
"I appreciated this course so much. This is exactly the kind of thing churches need."
Session 2 - Discipleship
Disciples are formed as they engage God’s mission beyond the walls of the church. In this session we’ll look at how churches thrive when they help members put their discipleship into practice throughout the week. Reframing church discipleship programs as a means, not an end, can infuse them with new energy and purpose as we ‘gear up’ to serve. We’ll also see examples of how church members inspire each other to discover the missional opportunities all around.
"I value everyone's participation. Every conversation in every breakout group I experienced was worthwhile."
Session 3 - Discernment
Practicing discernment is hard enough as individuals, much less doing it together as church leaders or an entire congregation. The idea of ‘waiting upon the Lord’ has almost become counter-cultural. In this session, we’ll look at how churches thrive when they resist the temptation to do and instead foster the impulse to discern. When discernment is done in community, it can strengthen our faith, weaken our divisions, and prevent fewer missteps as we pursue God’s mission.
"I deeply appreciate what I learned and I'm so thankful our congregation will have this resource to draw on in the future."
Session 4 - Leadership
Even in churches, our ideas about ‘leadership’ are largely driven by our workplaces, news, and entertainment. But Jesus flipped around our preconceptions about power and leadership. Churches thrive when they embrace the idea that everyone is a leader, because everyone has God-given influence. In this session we’ll explore how to recognize our influence, guard against misuse, and to steward that influence for Kingdom impact.
"Well done! Really nicely structured course. Gives a great introduction and overview to topics that need to be dug into more deeply."