Workshops listed below may be scheduled by contacting your nearest Midwest office. Other workshops can be designed to meet the needs of your judicatory, church or staff.
This half day workshop is a spinoff from the two-day Health and Excellence in Ministry workshop. (Previous participation in the Health & Excellence workshop, while helpful, is not required.)
Coaching is critically important to the sustaining of excellence in ministry. This workshop is designed to guide each participant in becoming his or her own coach. The around-the-clock availability and the affordability of being one’s own coach are beyond compare. Most important, however, if done well, the quality of coaching is the best that can be found. If done well, your inner coach represents and magnifies the part of you that believes in yourself (“Yes, you can!”).
It also becomes the repository of wisdom that can be accessed as you stop and think before acting. Part of the process in this workshop is re-training your inner voice—re-training those leftover messages to yourself usually from childhood. Often heard from people are comments such as: “I am my own worst enemy.” Most of the time, these comments from your inner voice turn out to be true. This workshop is about losing an enemy and gaining a powerful friend.
Continuing education credits are available. For more information, contact Midwest Ministry Development Service.
Do you really love your neighbor as yourself? Or do you love your neighbor more than you love yourself? This workshop focuses on learning to love and care for yourself, in all aspects of life, so that you have restored vitality in both your personal life and in ministry.
As clergy, we need to balance our concern for others with a concern for our own well-being. If we tend to others’ needs and neglect our own, with what are we left to take care of our families and perform ministry? This workshop will provide an opportunity for assessing your level of self-care and identifying areas which need improvement. Guidance and support will be provided to make behavioral changes to improve self-care so that you, too, can have the abundant life to which God has called you.
Ideally, this two-day intensive workshop is designed to transform the quality and impact of the ministries and lives of its participants. For almost four decades, Midwest has been learning much from a remarkable group of individuals in ministry who strikingly seem to demonstrate the qualities of health and excellence in their everyday behavior. In observing these patterns of behavior in successful ministry, we have found some surprisingly consistent (and little talked about) patterns that form the basis of this workshop. Throughout the workshop a very specific model or approach to excellence, both in the practice of ministry and in self-care, is developed. Excellence is treated not as a far-off destination, but as a continuous, consistent way of being that anyone can choose to enter at any time. The workshop begins by considering some compelling reasons why pursuing excellence is critically important to ministry right at this time of our “season of disrespect.” In relation to excellence the aim of the workshop for its participants is to generate understanding, foster a deep and effective commitment, and provide tools for skill building.
The workshop includes a process of looking in-depth at self-care, with each participant making a detailed self-assessment and working with the help and support of staff and peers on changes and new beginnings. Many links are drawn between effectively loving oneself and excellence in the work of ministry. The core of the model of the workshop is found in two basic “starting points” for every action, every moment of ministry—maybe even every moment of life. In the words of one person, “These starting points change everything.” Once the starting points have been comprehended, the workshop becomes very practical. For example, very specific directions follow on such matters as how to deal with gossip, how to respond to criticism, and how to build a solid trust relationship with lay leaders in the congregation. Participants are given the opportunity to bring the model into their own contexts, designing their own applications in the process of transforming their ways of viewing and working with their particular challenges.
The issue of sustaining excellence is also addressed in the workshop. The importance of ongoing coaching and accountability are discussed. One component describes the process of becoming your own coach, and outlines a process of accountability that goes far beyond the usual discussion of that term.
Continuing education credits are available. Workshops for more participants or for other venues are available. For more information, contact Midwest Ministry Development Service.
Midwest offers this workshop to denominations who wish to assist lay leadership in their congregations to: 1) identify gifts and strengths, 2) identify growing edges, 3) identify leadership styles, and 4) plan how to address growing edges to improve their effectiveness in the church.
This workshop usually consists of a maximum of six lay leaders from the same denomination who meet together over the period of three days. Testing inventories and individual time with a psychologist and counselor can be made a part of the program, or a specific issue or topic can be addressed in a shorter period of time. Group exercises, case studies and team building exercises will be used as part of this workshop.
This half day workshop expands on some concepts introduced in the two-day Health and Excellence in Ministry workshop. (Previous participation in that workshop, while helpful, is not required.)
It is our contention that no one should embark on the leadership of ministry without being prepared (comfortable and skilled) in managing both conflict and change. The basic starting points taught in the Health and Excellence in Ministry workshop lead to a thorough and highly effective approach to these management challenges.
Good management of conflict can begin long before any conflict becomes an issue. This can occur through clear statements by the leader/pastor concerning the inevitability of disagreements, how the pastor will view conflict and work with them, and what is expected of those who are involved in conflict. Conflict, like cholesterol, can be positive, and much of the management strategy involves transforming negative, contaminated conflict into a positive experience for all.
Strength, as a positive state of being and as a resource in all of the parties involved in conflict is a key element to effective resolution of conflict, and to effective change management. Not surprisingly, the dynamics involved in conflict and change are similar. The biggest challenge to managing change is dealing with the conflict that the prospect of change engenders. This workshop includes an approach to assessing exactly which of the highly varied types of conflict is being faced—an extremely important step in effective management—and using practical skills to manage conflict and change effectively.
Continuing education credits are available. For more information, contact Midwest Ministry Development Service.
This half-day workshop expands a portion of the two-day Health and Excellence in Ministry workshop that focuses on excellence in staff ministries. (Previous participation in that workshop, while helpful, is not required.)
Different situations in ministry often involve subtle shifts in meanings and underlying assumptions as church staff communicate with each other. As a head of staff is communicating with an associate, for instance, he or she may be in the role of coordinator, consultant, or collaborator. All three roles are valuable and optimally, the underlying assumptions about power and responsibility shift from one role to another. Being clear, however, about these normative shifts in order to prevent the assumptions or giving away of too much power is not always easy. An open discussion among staff which helps everyone to be on the same page not only prevents misunderstanding and frustration, but actually builds skills and strengths that elevate the total team experience.
Continuing education credits are available. For more information, contact Midwest Ministry Development Service.
The discussion and understanding of boundaries in relation to ministry is not, by any means, a completed, wrapped-up event in the life of the church. Basic boundary workshops, including ours, have been conducted with clergy groups for a number of years. The results have included a heightened awareness of boundaries as critically important in the conduct of ministry and prevention of some disasters or crises that otherwise might have occurred. These workshops have had to cover a wide field. In the context of our culture of panic over dramatic revelations of clergy sexual abuse, these basic workshops have often focused on the immediate necessity of “external solutions” without delving into the internal work at the heart of healthy boundaries that are integrated into the being of trustworthy persons. Rules and agreed practices have their place in the profession, but only scratch the surface of something that is far too important to treat lightly. This workshop goes deeper into the development of internal boundaries that strengthen the character and competence of individuals. It also provides an opportunity to explore many “gray” areas of boundary issues that challenge universal agreement but nevertheless force each person to make choices and back them up with clear understanding of their own intentions and motivations.
This workshop is designed for persons who are concerned about ministry as a profession—those who are interested in continually learning about practices that uphold integrity, excellence, and trustworthiness in ministry, in actively encouraging their colleagues in those practices, and in modeling those practices themselves. It is also designed for those who feel vulnerable to being controlled by attractions and who are concerned about temptations or practices that could jeopardize their ministries.
Continuing education credit is available. Please call Midwest Ministry Development Service to schedule this workshop and/or discuss the need for a workshop related to a specific boundary issue for your denomination, ministers’ council, or church. Workshops can be scheduled to meet the location and timing needs of the judicatory by contacting one of the Midwest Offices.
How do you view your leadership style? Do you notice if people react differently depending on how you approach them? Is there an optimum style for influencing others? How can you maintain a healthy leadership style in the face of conflict? This workshop focuses on assisting lay leaders and pastors to identify their leadership styles, recognize the five functions of a healthy team and their role on the team, and plan for implementing healthy behaviors into their leadership style. Time will be spent discussing how to implement this healthy leadership style within their church context.