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Thrive! E-Blast for 11.19.19: 110+ Congregation Leaders Trained to Conduct THRIVE Campaigns


Over 110 Congregation Leaders from congregations across the Synod have now been trained to conduct successful and uplifting Thrive! campaigns. The knowledge and training manual they received will also aid them in conducting special appeals and/or annual stewardship campaigns for their own congregations, thus further benefiting their own mission and ministries.

Furthermore, we are very pleased to announce that, as of November 15th, over $338,000 has been committed to the Thrive campaign from enthusiastic, supportive individuals and congregations all around the Synod territory. Their support is allowing us to already launch initiatives of the Thrive! campaign, such as another Effective Congregation Council training described in the article below, a second Coaching Cohort for pastors, and 10 more congregations taking part in Stewardship for All Seasons.

Many thanks to all who are stepping up to help our congregations and our Synod thrive!


What Others are Saying about Thrive!

The Thrive training my wife and I attended on November 2nd was great. I am so excited about this program and the benefits the churches in the Southern Ohio Synod will receive. This is a wonderful program with a number of facets; one of the greatest programs the Synod has ever done!

Mike Henson, President
Messiah, Urbana


Back Again by Popular Demand: “Effective Congregation Council” Training

Because of generous advance gifts to the Thrive! campaign and a strong commitment to fulfilling the Synod’s vision, we are moving forward now in implementing Thrive! campaign goals!

Thrive! Goal #1 is “Equipping Lay Leaders.” Through this goal: “The Synod will be seen as leading and providing networks through which lay leaders will be more highly equipped for leadership within their congregations, be more effective in their communities, and thrive in their ministries.”

To help fulfill this goal, the synod is offering a return engagement of Effective Church Council training on February 18th at Epiphany Lutheran Church, Centerville, 7-9 p.m. This is a longer version of the “standing room only” workshop provided at Synod Assembly this year, and which was also offered in September at All Saints Lutheran, Worthington.

Council members, pastors and other church leaders should attend Effective Congregation Council training to increase skills in:

  • Developing and working from a strategic plan
  • Focusing on fiduciary, governance, and generative issues
  • Making the best use of time with consent agenda, a purpose for every meeting, and other tactics
  • Having the meeting itself be spiritually fulfilling
  • Leadership development

The goal is that Council members reflect on their time of service on the Council as the highlight of their service to the church. This workshop can help lead to an effective council that positions the church to thrive in today’s world.

Here’s what one participant at the Worthington workshop said:

I attended the September 17th Effective Congregation Council training program sponsored by the Thrive! campaign and led by Pastor Mike Ward. The short program on Christian leadership was interesting and useful. Pastor Mike is an excellent presenter and completely engaged with the audience. I especially found useful his emphasis on councils' need to focus strategically on addressing vision and mission issues and letting staff and committees attend to the operation of the church. He also presented information that has practical value like why people invest in congregations and other non-profits. The evening was well spent.

David Kriska, President, Christ Lutheran, Bexley

Location & Time: Epiphany Lutheran Church, 6430 Far Hills Ave, Dayton, 7:00-9:00 p.m.

PLEASE REGISTER IN ADVANCE: Send an email with the name, phone number, email address and leadership role (e.g. President; Council member) of each attendee to:

Workshop leader:

Mike Ward, CFRE—Partner with GSB Fundraising.  Mike is a 1997 graduate of Trinity Lutheran Seminary and has served on the board of the ELCA Youth Ministry Network and on the ELCA Church Council.  Mike studies best practices of non-profit boards and applies those practices to congregation councils. His passion for this topic is related to his desire for organizations to thrive in their fundraising, and that without effective boards leading the organization, the funding of those organizations will naturally struggle.

Can’t make it to this training event? Don’t worry! Repeat training events will be scheduled in other locations around the synod in the months to come. Please watch for news!




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