With the rise of the pandemic, much of what we knew and practiced as church leaders became either altered or obsolete. Corporate worship assemblies, educational curricula, small group ministries, youth and children programs, patterns of ministerial care, and more were suspended, overhauled, or even abandoned. Add to that upheaval the increased social unrest and past-due attention to the injustices against persons of color.

All in all, most church leaders recognize that we are now in what Tod Bolsinger would call “uncharted territory.” We are no longer “on the map;” we are traversing a rapidly changing terrain that requires prayer, courage, hope, and ministerial imagination to navigate!

As the pandemic began to settle upon the land, my team in the Siburt Institute for Church Ministry adopted the posture of attending closely to the changing environment. We listened actively through a series of focus groups with ministers and elders throughout the country, and we are actively seeking to respond to the challenges and opportunities these leaders have voiced.

To that end, we will host a webinar titled“Faithful and Flexible: Flourishing Congregations in Times of Transition.” This offering is a modified continuation of our annual Summer Seminar, which has always focused on learning and growing church leaders – including small group leaders, deacons, elders, and ministers. Our commitment remains unchanged this year as we adapt the delivery method to his new context.

I invite you to join us on July 30. Although easy answers are not always forthcoming, I believe this webinar will provide you with wisdom and insight as you chart your journey.

We have invited various thought leaders to respond to critical questions we’re facing in this uncharted landscape. For example, what does it mean to be church? How do your form and mature disciples when the church is scattered? How do we navigate the increasing tensions in the relationship of faith and politics? What does it mean to be a minister in this time? How do we manage conflict in our congregations?

Throughout the webinar, you’ll get the chance to learn from practitioners, scholars, and ministers, including:

  • Dr. Andrew Root, author of The Pastor in a Secular Age and The End of Youth Ministry? (Theology for the Life of the World) and professor at Luther Seminary
  • Randy Harris, recognized speaker and spiritual director for the Siburt Institute
  • Dr. Suzie Macaluso, sociology professor at ACU
  • Dr. Vic McCracken, ethics and theology professor at ACU
  • Dave Clayton, lead church planter at Ethos Church in Nashville, Tennessee
  • Lawrence Rodgers, senior minister at Westside Church of Christ in Baltimore, Maryland
  • Lori Anne Shaw, executive director of Duncum Center Solutions at ACU
  • Renee Paul, events coordinator for the Siburt Institute
  • Dr. Royce Money, chancellor of ACU

You can find more details here. I hope you will join us July 30 for a morning of learning and conversation. I believe you’ll find indispensable resources as you practice prayer, courage, hope, and ministerial imagination in your journey through uncharted territory.