Workshops for Church Life and Leadership
Designed for small groups, or leadership training at the congregational, associational, or regional level, these resources from American Baptist Home Mission Societies can be downloaded free of charge.
Individual lessons can be downloaded below or contact Raquel Perez at 610.768.2452 for hard copies.
General Discipleship & Christian Education
101 – THE IDENTIFICATION AND USE OF SPIRITUAL GIFTS IN THE DISCIPLE-MAKING CHURCH
The purpose of this workshop is to engage participants in a process of discernment and use of spiritual gifts in the church. This process includes understanding that all Christians are uniquely gifted by God for service in the church and in the world; that gifts and call go together; and that when individuals are encouraged to serve in the area of their giftedness, it can contribute significantly to the growth of healthy churches and healthy, growing disciples of Christ.
104 – GROWING PERSONS
To communicate the gospel more effectively, leaders need to be aware of the ways they and other people grow and develop throughout all of life. Participants in this workshop will be helped to reflect on their own faith experiences at various ages, understand the role of struggles in the development of faith, consider different styles of faith drawn from the work of John H. Westerhoff III, and identify implications for churches that wish to nurture healthy faith development.
107 – AMERICAN BAPTIST HERITAGE
This workshop introduces participants to dimensions of American Baptist heritage: history, key figures, and emphases; and invites groups to consider ways in which this heritage can shape contemporary church life and ministry.
201 – PLANNING DISCIPLESHIP FORMATION / CHRISTIAN EDUCATION
This workshop is designed to help participants plan for a more effective and comprehensive discipleship-formation/Christian Education program in their churches.
301 – CHILD ABUSE PREVENTION IN CHURCHES
There was a time when we assumed that schools, preschools, daycare centers, and churches were safe places for our children. That is no longer a safe assumption. While most adults have experienced the local church as a safe place, reports of physical, emotional, and sexual abuse of children have opened our eyes to real risks that children and churches face. The purpose of this workshop is to get church folk on board with the need to develop policies by focusing on:
- the types and scope of child abuse
- the epidemic of abuse in our society
- the impact of abuse in individuals, families, and congregations
- the importance of having a Child Protection Policy
- the elements of a Child Protection Policy
- generating the energy, enthusiasm, and commitment to develop a child protection policy
- how to see that policy through with training, implementation, evaluation, and revision
302 – BASICS OF TEACHING AND RELATING WITH CHILDREN
This workshop is designed to help participants explore general characteristics of children and qualities of good teaching, and to do hands-on work developing age-appropriate learning activities. It will work best with a minimum of six participants and can be used as part of teacher-training, an extended meeting of the board of Christian education, or a part of an all-church or regional leader training event or retreat. Not for teachers only, this workshop will be valuable for anyone who works with children from preschoolers through grade 5.
303 – TEACHING THE BIBLE TO CHILDREN
This workshop is designed to help people understand and apply two crucial factors in Bible education for children: 1. Children develop from young listeners, to budding readers, to new owners, and finally to investigators; and 2. Children learn biblical truths primarily through relationships.
304 - YOUNG CHILDREN AND FAITH FORMATION
Written by Certified Christian Educator Martha Bettis Gee, this two-hour single-session workshop guides participants in exploration of the ways in which faith is formed in young children with a focus on church and family as partners in early faith formation.
401 – EVANGELISM AND DISCIPLESHIP IN YOUTH MINISTRY
The purpose of this workshop is to help participants develop an understanding of the centrality of evangelism and discipleship in youth ministry; and identify ways of developing a youth program based on evangelism and discipleship. During the workshop, participants will explore statements about youth ministry, consider key elements of evangelism and discipleship for youth, and determine specific activities that will help them build a program for youth in their churches.
403 – BASICS FOR TEACHING YOUTH
This workshop introduces participants to the characteristics of adolescent learners, a variety of teaching methods, and the role of adults as facilitators.
404C – ENCOUNTER: COME AS YOU ARE
This five-session resource is designed to help youth, ages 15–18, experience Jesus’ acceptance and thereby grow in self-acceptance through God’s grace. The 60 minute sessions can be used in the course of a week, for example for a week of Vacation Bible School, as a regularly weekly study course, or for a weekend retreat.
C405 – MTW: EQUIPPED FOR LIFE!
This five-session resource is designed to help youth, ages 15–18, explore what it means to follow Jesus in every day life. The 60 minute sessions can be used in the course of a week, for example for a week of Vacation Bible School, as a regularly weekly study course, or for a weekend retreat.
501 – THE JOURNEY TOWARD WISDOM
This workshop provides an example of using Bible stories and personal experiences to gain insight into personal faith journeys with participants relating their journeys to Moses’ journey towards wisdom.
502 – BIBLE STUDY METHODS FOR GROWING DISCIPLES
In this interactive workshop, participants will practice three methods of study designed to deepen individual understanding of Scripture as well as enhance their ability to apply biblical principles to everyday life.
503 – MAXIMIZING DISCUSSION IN ADULT SMALL GROUPS
This workshop introduces the dialogical learning approach to group study as presented in How to Be the Best Christian Study Group Leader (Judson Press, 2006). Leaders will need a copy of the book and may want to purchase some additional copies for sale to participants who are interested. Call (800)4JUDSON, ISBN 978-0-8170-1500-8, ($16.00), or order online for a 20% discount ($12.80) at www.judsonpress.com. Participants will learn the basic concepts of dialogical learning in small groups through presentation of material and by participating in a group dialogical learning experience.
602 – MINISTRIES WITH FAMILIES OF CHILDREN WITH DISABILITIES
Families that live with disability have a deep need to be welcomed and accepted, as well as a need for practical assistance from their church families. This workshop, designed to be used in conjunction with the handbook A Place Called Acceptance: Ministry with Families of Children with Disabilities, will raise participants’ awareness of the impact of disability on the family system and will provide practical suggestions for welcoming children with disabilities—and their families—into the life of the church. Workshop leaders will need to have a copy of A Place Called Acceptance, by Kathleen Bolduc — for $7.95 plus s&h through the author’s Web site, www.kathleenbolduc.com, or by calling (513) 484-1756.
603 — GRACIOUS PARENTING
The goal of the workshop is for primary caregivers to explore the best ways to embody grace. Participants will explore their own experiences growing up. They will consider the goals of Christian parenting and biblical foundations, and, drawing from experts in fields related to child development and Christian formation, identify best practices for creating households that enhance the possibility that children will mature into independent adults who experience the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. (Ephesians 4:12)
702 – TEACHING WITH RESPECT FOR DIVERSE LEARNING STYLES
This workshop has four primary aims: to address common misconceptions and misuse of the concept of “multiple intelligences,” to introduce participants to several methods of categorizing learning styles, to help participants identify and mitigate two risk factors in their teaching ministries, and to help participants apply learning styles to their teaching ministries.
703 – TEACHING APPROACHES AND DISCIPLESHIP FORMATION
In this two-hour workshop, participants will explore a variety of teaching approaches, their roles in discipleship formation, and strategies for using each approach. Each approach is modeled within the workshop presentation. Note: An optional PowerPoint presentation is provided; however, all the material that is in the PowerPoint is also in the workshop.
Church Leadership Studies
802 – THE NOMINATING COMMITTEE
This workshop is designed to walk Nominating Committees through their work by engendering ownership of the role of Nominating Committee member, introducing participants to the functions of a nominating committee, providing guidelines for recruiting leaders, and outlining factors that motivate persons for leadership roles.
804 – THE DEACON AS SERVANT-LEADER
This workshop will encourage deacons to replace managerial models with a servant-leadership understanding of the diaconate. The workshop begins with an exploration of the biblical background, giving particular attention to the service-oriented occurrences of “deacon” and cognate words terms. The workshop also offers opportunities for contextualization, inviting participants to explore avenues through which they can exercise their servant-leadership ministries.
807 – THE SPIRITUAL LIFE OF BOARDS AND COMMITTEES
This workshop is designed to help church leaders transform boards and committees from primarily administrative units into spiritual communities on mission; to serve as a catalyst in the transformation process of moving from life-draining meetings to life-giving ones.
808 – STRATEGIES TO MOVE THE SMALL CHURCH FORWARD
This workshop explores characteristics of the small church, uses mini case studies to identify levers for change in the small church and guides participants in the development of strategies for ministry in their churches.
809 – HOSPITALITY – EXPRESSING AND EXPERIENCING GRACE
This workshop is designed to engage participants in the issues around the biblical practice of hospitality. While the workshop will focus primarily on the expression of hospitality in a local congregation, it also has implications for and direct application to participants’ personal lives as they give expression to faith at home, work, or wherever they might be with unchurched people.
811 – DEALING WITH CONFLICT IN GROUP MEETINGS
Too often conflict takes away the positive feelings and even threatens results. This workshop is designed to help church leaders accept that conflict is inevitable in church groups and to discover ways of managing conflicts for positive results.
812 – LEADERSHIP AS ENABLING
This workshop is designed to move church leaders toward an understanding of the leadership role as one of using one’s gifts and position to enable others to discover their places of ministry.
813 – CHURCH LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT
This workshop is designed to help people understand the three primary functions of leadership in the church: (1) to continually communicate a clear and compelling vision; (2) to define the mission and invite people to get involved, and (3) to repeat functions 1 and 2 over and over again.
Series Topical Studies
901C – READING THE BIBLE WITH INTEGRITY
This three-session workshop is designed to introduce participants to the history and background of the Bible, and to present basic principles of historical- critical and transformational methods of biblical interpretation.
C902 – SPIRITUAL DISCIPLINES MADE EASY
This 4-session workshop is interactive in style, with hands-on exercises that, practiced consistently, bring about personal transformation. Each session can be facilitated in a 2-hour time frame so it works well for weekly meetings or retreat in which all sessions facilitated over the course of a couple of days. The sessions explore four classic spiritual disciplines:
- Centering Prayer (Christian Meditation)
- Lectio Divina
903C – BECOMING A DISCIPLE-MAKING COMMUNITY
Based on the premise that true Christian identity is formed through all aspects of life within authentic Christian communities, this five-session workshop explores marks and practices of authentic Christian community and leads participants to assess their churches and develop practical plans for moving more fully toward being communities that nurture true followers of Jesus. Designed for multi-week studies, weekend retreats, or week-long events (E.g. VBS). Workshop leaders will need to purchase a copy of the book Learning the Way: Reclaiming Wisdom from the Earliest Christian Communities by Cassandra Williams. (Alban, 2009). Purchasing information, including information on discounts, is included in the workshop.
904C — NATURALLY CREATING COMMUNITY
This five-session workshop provides guidance on discipleship formation inclusive of evangelism and personality style. (Optional additional sessions are suggested at the end of the workshop.) This workshop is based on Got Style? Personality-Based Evangelism by Jeff Johnson. Leaders of this workshop will need a copy of the book. It is not essential, but would be helpful if participants also had copies of the book. It can be ordered from www.JudsonPress.com (ISBN: 9780817015558). Online orders receive a 20% discount and workshop leaders can get frees shipping with the code GOTSTYLE.
C905 — GOD, ANIMALS AND US
This workshop is designed to help Christians think critically about the relationship of humans with other animals. In the course of the study participants will:
- Consider their understandings of and relationships with animals.
- Examine the historic place of animals in Christian theology.
- Explore biblical and theological foundations for concern for animals.
- Consider ways to align values and practices in everyday life.
910 – INTRODUCTION TO THE MISSIONAL CHURCH
This is a one session study for groups that could be divided into 2 one-hour sessions. It’s purpose is to introduce participants to the concept of “missional church” and to the steps necessary for moving toward becoming missional.
920C – A MATTER OF STEWARDSHIP: ECO-JUSTICE IN BIBLICAL PERSPECTIVE
This six-session study, which is designed for either personal or group use, explores the call to stewardship as it was first given to us. Recognizing that we do not need to adopt a secular view of the environment in order to justify care for the planet, participants are invited to set aside preconceptions and ask the question “What does it mean that God created the world and invited human beings to ‘have dominion’ (Gen. 1:26) and to ‘till and keep the garden’ (Gen. 2:15)?”. Therefore, this study is for all Christians who seek to understand and be faithful in our role as the “crowned ones” (Ps. 8) within creation. The hope is that participants with varying viewpoints would walk together through a process that moves them beyond inflammatory language to reclaim fellowship with one another and bear witness together to a distinctly biblical view of creation and our role within it.
“A Matter of Stewardship” PowerPoint group study aid
The following PowerPoint presentations can serve as a teaching aid for groups participating in the six-session study of “A Matter of Stewardship: Eco-justice in Biblical Perspective.”