WORKSHOPS

Forums, Workshops & Retreats

Workshops, Retreats and Forums are a great way for us to share our collective wisdom, experience and gifts with one another in the Arkansas-Oklahoma Synod and to build up one another for ministry and mission.  Listed below are a variety of topics that Bishop Mike, Pastor Becca and others in the synod can lead for your council, a group or gathering in your congregation, or for your whole congregation. 

If you would like to schedule a workshop, retreat or forum for your congregation, please call, text or email Bishop Mike or call the synod office.  If you have a workshop, retreat or forum you would like to lead for congregations in the synod, send us a title and brief description so we can share that with the synod.  If you have an idea for a topic, let us know… we’ll see what we can do to address it. 

All workshops, retreats and forum are FREE for synod congregations and ministries (your mission support dollars at work!).

Bishop Mike and Pastor Becca also enjoy being invited to lead worship, preach or lead a bible study in your congregation or ministry.  Email, text or give us a call and we’ll set something up!

GETTING STARTED

Bishop Mike

 

Pastor Becca

Three formats for engaging a topic, conversation or issue:

FORUMS

45 -90 minutes
 

An introduction and taste --

Great for before or after worship on Sundays

WORKSHOPS

2-4 hours/half day

A chance to dig a little deeper

RETREATS

 

1-2 days

 

A relaxed time for more comprehensive engagement 

Possible Topics

Building up our congregation


  • Church Council Development. Set aside time for church leaders to focus on team building, goal setting, strategic planning and leadership. Healthy congregations have clear communication and decision-making structures. This interactive time together helps councils better understand their role as the spiritual leaders of the congregation, provides space for imagine ministry for today, and builds up the council as a team. (Best in a retreat or workshop format)
  • Embracing God’s Future without Forgetting the Past. A conversation about grief, loss, nostalgia and congregational life. Most congregations can remember a time in the past when there were families and children in full pews. We will learn how to work through our grief over the loss of the “glory days” and learn how we can draw strength, courage and vision for the future from our memories of days gone by. (Based on Bishop Mike’s recently published book!)
  • Creative Tension. Wherever two or three are gathered in Jesus’ name, there will be differences of opinion, disagreement and a diversity of perceptions and experiences. Guaranteed. The question is not whether or not there is conflict in congregational life, but how we work through the inevitable conflicts that arise and use them creatively to strengthen and grow our ministries.
  • Building on Strengths. Appreciative Inquiry was first developed in the business world to help companies grow and thrive. Rather than focus on fixing problems, appreciative inquiry builds on strengths. These principles for positive change have been applied to churches and ministries to good effect. This workshop will introduce you to the process of appreciative inquiry and teach you how to use these principles to build up your ministry.




Building up the faith of our members and community


  • Grief and Growth. Learn more about the grief process and how we can work through our experiences of loss in healthy ways that can lead to personal growth.
  • Listening For God Through Contemplative Prayer. Learn and experience forms of listening prayer. Contemplative prayer can teach us to quiet the mind, calm our spirits and listen for the still small voice of God in the midst of all the noise and hectic activity that fills our daily lives.
  • Being Lutheran in the Buckle of the Bible Belt. A conversation on what makes Lutherans distinctive and how to talk about your faith at work, with neighbors, and around town.




Building up our neighborhood, community, and world


  • Unpacking the Invisible Napsack. A workshop experience that helps us look at our lives in terms of race and privilege. This is an interactive conversation, not a lecture.
  • I Am Not Your Negro or Traces of the Trade. Viewing & Conversation. Choose one of these filming dealing with race in the United States. Together we will explore the themes, deepen our own understanding, and have candid conversation about race.