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Thrive! E-Blast for 12.17.19: A whole lot of important and effective training going on! Don't miss out!

Thank You for Your Gracious Support of the
Thrive! Campaign.
May Your Celebration of Our Lord’s Birth Be Blessed
and Renew Your Spirit!


Next Thrive! Congregation Leader Training Opportunity Set for January 21st

A “Congregation Leader” is the person appointed to lead your Thrive! campaign. If you plan to participate in the Thrive! Campaign but your Congregation Leader has not yet been trained, here is the next opportunity to receive the training:

Tuesday, January 21st
All Saints Lutheran Church
6770 N High St, Worthington, OH 43085
7:00 – 9:00 p.m.

Campaign Manuals, brochures, bulletin inserts, and other printed Thrive! materials will be distributed during the training. Therefore, advance registration is requested in order that we may have enough materials available for your congregation.

To register, please email with the name and address of your congregation, and contact information for the Congregation Leader (address; email address; preferred phone #).

Note: Pastors and Stewardship Teams are also encouraged to attend so that they can receive the stewardship training provided for this effort and use the knowledge for future special needs and/or stewardship campaigns of the congregation.


Start the New Year Right with “Effective Congregation Council” Training!

Generous advance gifts to the Thrive! campaign and a strong commitment to fulfilling the Synod’s vision are allowing us to move forward now on various Thrive! campaign goals, such as Goal #1: “Equipping Lay Leaders.” To help fulfill this goal, the synod is offering a return engagement of:

Effective Congregation Council Training
February 18, 2020
Epiphany Lutheran Church, 6430 Far Hills Ave., Dayton
7-9 p.m.

This is the very popular training previously offered in September at All Saints Lutheran, Worthington – a longer version of the Synod Assembly workshop that drew “standing only” crowds.)

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 a 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 Worthington said about the training:

Thrive! “Effective Congregation Council” training is well worth the investment. I attended the training with Mike Ward in November as a pastor who was transitioning between congregations. The opportunity to gather with other pastors and congregational leaders in a guided forum and discuss how to make serving on council fulfilling for everyone was exciting.

I was intrigued by this training because my previous congregation had been working with Mike Ward and GSB through the “Stewardship for all Seasons” program where I heard about fundraising ideas grounded in the corporate non-profit world and how we, as the church, can learn from them. So, I was intrigued to hear what Mike had discovered about Church Councils.

The work of the congregational council is vital for the life of our congregations. Mike raised many poignant questions and walked with us as he facilitated wonderful discussions on how to strengthen our church council, council members, and pastors into missionally driven teams that prepare, equip, and empower their congregations for ministry. The ideas and discussions shared during this training have come in handy as I have transitioned into my new call, working with a new council.

Pastor Jen Rue
Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church Middletown, Ohio.


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 later in 2020. Please watch for news!



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