Workshops

Pre-registration is not needed. It is advised to get to the room as soon as possible—some rooms fill quickly.

The Ancient Art of Teamwork

2020 Workshops Will Be Posted in September

Examples of 2019 Workshops

Leading Me: Five Ways to Maintain Your Spiritual Health and Enjoy Longevity in Ministry

A church is only as healthy as its leaders. It is critical that you build routines, habits and guardrails into your life that protect you from burnout, lead to growth, and create longevity in ministry.  Join Todd Clark as he helps you discover ways you can remain a healthy, effective and motivated leader. Learning to “lead you” is what allows you to continue to lead others.

Todd Clark has 28 years of ministry experience in churches sized between 200 and 25,000. Todd is a passionate, creative, team-focused, leader with a unique blend of ministry experience. He served as a youth pastor at Southeast Christian Church in Louisville, Kentucky and a founding and lead pastor at Discovery Church in Simi Valley, California. Todd has recently been a teaching pastor at Christ’s Church of the Valley in Arizona. He is the Vice President of Senior Search at Slingshot Group and an adjunct Teaching Pastor at Parkview Christian Church in Chicago where he teaches 15-18 weekends each year.

Todd is the founder of “Eat Art,” a nonprofit photography organization committed to artfully ending hunger. You can connect with Todd on Twitter (@toddclark) or on his blog, www.livecurious.ly.

Strategic Shifts Every Leader Needs to Make

Why do some leaders scale and grow with their organizations while others flounder or flame out? How can some leaders grow from managing a small team to overseeing hundreds of employees and volunteers? What do these leaders do differently at critical moments? In an era of urgency and expediency there is little room for leaders to develop the wisdom that is only gleaned through time and experience. Today’s leaders are plagued by urgency and unrealistic expectations for immediate impact. This session will equip you with the critical perspective shifts you must embrace to think differently and continually be lifting the lid on your leadership capacity.

Jenni Catron is a leadership coach and founder of The 4Sight Group, an organization that consults on leadership, team culture and organizational health. Her passion is to lead well and to inspire, equip and encourage others to do the same. Jenni is the author of several books including Clout: Discover and Unleash Your God-Given Influence and The 4 Dimensions of Extraordinary Leadership. She loves a fabulous cup of tea, great books, learning the game of tennis and hiking with her husband.

Know Before You Go: Is My Church Ready for a Big Project?

Is it time for you to take the first step? Your gut churns with anticipation—you’ve envisioned this trek a thousand times. But now you’re here, and it’s a bit more intimidating than you imagined. Determining whether your church is ready for a big project, such as buying property, expanding or renovating your existing facilities, or building your very first permanent location, can be one of the best, or worst, experiences in your ministry career.

You’ve heard horror stories from your fellow pastors who rushed in unprepared and now have lost credibility with their congregation because they paid hundreds of thousands of dollars for a set of plans that are rolled up on a shelf collecting dust because they couldn’t afford to build it. This workshop will reveal some key indicators that will help you determine if you’re ready to take the plunge, and will provide insight into the process of determining how much you can afford (budget), what you should build (scope), and when you should build it (schedule).

Jody Forehand, MBA, LEED AP, DBIA, is President of Visioneering Studios Real Estate. Jody has been working with churches nationwide since 2003 helping them with development advisory services, real estate consulting, and coordinating the design and construction of everything from multi-site tenant improvement projects in repurposed retail locations to new ground-up campuses on greenfield sites. Jody also holds general contractor’s licenses in several states and a real estate brokers license in North Carolina.

Unleashing Your Church Board’s Potential: How Your Board Compares to Others

What are ten of the best practices of a healthy church board? How do they compare with boards at other Christ-centered ministries? The Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA) conducted several major surveys on this issue, including one now in process. From that survey, the “first findings” will be revealed in this workshop. For example: “Roughly what percent of a typical board meeting is spent on the future, as opposed to reviewing the present or past?” The workshop will show how church boards and other nonprofits replied and propose a good benchmark for your board to shoot toward.

Dan Busby, President of ECFA, is co-author of the just-released Lessons from the Church Boardroom. He has written or co-authored 10 titles in over 60 editions including Zondervan 2018 Church and Nonprofit Tax and Financial Guide, and also Zondervan 2018 Minister’s Tax and Financial Guide. He has over 40 years of experience serving the Christ-centered church and nonprofit community and frequently speaks nationally on related issues.

Warren Bird, Ph.D., ECFA Vice President of Research and Equipping, is a bestselling author and nationally recognized authority on church trends. He has authored or co-authored 31 books including Hero Maker and How to Break Church Growth Barriers.

Leveraging Your Facility for a Remarkable Guest Experience

Learn how to maximize your facility to create the most remarkable guest experience. Pastoring the newcomer begins when they first come on your property. There is no reason why your guests can’t have a terrific first impression of your church. This workshop will reveal seven practical tips to leverage the facility that God has already given you. You church can become a warm and welcoming place for guests.

Dave Milam is a visioneer, strategist and visual storyteller whose right brained style of delivery helps his listener connect in a uniquely immersive way. As a member of the Visioneering Studios team, Dave equips leaders by leveraging art and science to launch inspired vision into reality. Dave is the founding Pastor of One Life Church in Concord, North Carolina and in 2016 released a book entitled “Ten Count: True Stories of Defeat and Triumph Among Today’s Christian Leaders.”

Christianity Today Forum

This invitation-only forum will discuss key topics of church ministry. Rob is a Publisher at Christianity Today, overseeing its Church Law & Tax, Small Groups and Christian Bible Studies brands. He has 15 years of experience in brand strategy and content development and 8 years of pastoral roles at Park Community Church and MissioDei in Chicago.

Maximizing Member Data

Ministry and data go hand-in-hand. Every ministry generates data and data can benefit every ministry. Data is readily available to leaders in every church and is useful for evaluating and improving your church’s ministries. In this interactive session we will discuss casting vision for the value of gathering and using data, gathering data in sustainable ways, and using data to inform decision-making.

Dr. PJ Dunn is Director of Serve Ministry & IT at First Euless (soon to be Cross City Church) in Euless, Texas. He also leads Table for One Ministries, which exists to build community for single adults through discipleship. Jeff Otero leads the Product Team at Church Community Builder, a church management software company in Colorado Springs. Jeff’s team is responsible for product management, product design, and product marketing.

Hidden Money—Financing Strategies in Uncertain Economic Times

Join this conversation to learn tricks of financial professionals. Share your successful practices about current economic conditions and expectations. Understand how these factors impact your ministry’s plans for the future. How are the Fed’s actions impacting your budget and planning? What actions can you take now that will increase your cash flow even without increasing income? How do you plan to fund future initiatives and what can you do now to maximize the value of each dollar?

Kari Boyce is Business Development Director of Thrivent. She began her career in fixed income capital markets working as an institutional sales and trading assistant, working her way to Managing Director for FI Institutional Sales Administration. Bringing this experience and passion to the church world, she has been working with churches and faith-based nonprofits in lending and leadership consulting since 2006.

Chris Lewis is Senior Relationship Manager of Thrivent. Born in Brazil, where his parents served as missionaries, he learned 3 languages: Spanish, Portuguese and English. In 2006, after assisting the church he was attending with a capital campaign, Chris discovered that there was a need for lenders to work with growing ministries. Over the years, Chris has worked with growing ministries by providing sustainable financing solutions for construction, acquisition and refinancing. Chris obtained his undergraduate degree in Business Management from Harding University in 1996.

The New XP

What is needed in the first 90 days, the first six months and the first year of being an XP? There are special challenges when entering the role.

Are you preparing to make the transition or already in the midst of it? Many new XPs have been in their church for years before entering the role. Others move to the city and become the XP in a new environment. Still others transition from business to ministry life.

This breakout session will help you identify and overcome potential challenges and leverage your “rookie smarts” and “fresh eyes” as you begin your new season of ministry leadership.

Jon Wright has worked as an entrepreneur, founding and leading a product development company for 15 years and served for 7 years as Executive Pastor of Grace Church in Eden Prairie, Minnesota. He and his wife, Julie, also led a Missionary Training Center in Germany for several years. He has 30 years experience in innovation, execution and entrepreneurial creativity in multiple settings; corporate, non-profit, church and global missions.

Jon has been part of the XPastor conferences since 2009 and has led breakout sessions and XPastor Online Course webinars. Jon joined XPastor+Generis as a consultant in 2018. Talk to Jon about “The Collective.”

Church Analytics

This workshop will focus on what your giving data says about you and your church. Let’s examine what that data means and what to do about it. Like a properly designed medical test, understanding what to look for in your church giving patterns can reveal hidden insights into how your giving flows and does not flow. Using real data from churches, we will examine data points rarely looked at by church leaders. Good news: whatever that data might be, you can take steps to elevate the giving direction by year’s end.

Brad Leeper is the President and Principal of Generis Partners. Based on experience and affinity, he is drawn to innovative, growing churches and the challenges of helping them expand practically and spiritually.

Mentoring Your Staff

Mentor your staff and help them move their lives and leadership forward—helping them strengthen their gifts, talents and abilities while keeping balance in their lives.

Dr. Nathan Baxter, founder of Lead-Self Lead-Others, has been leading teams and helping people move their stories forward for over twenty years. Before starting his Executive Coaching career, he served for 28 years in full time ministry, filling the roles of Youth Pastor, Senior Pastor, and Executive Pastor.

What Does Your Kid’s Ministry Space Say to Your Visitors?

This workshop will examine check-in centers, hallways, classrooms and multi-functional rooms. What do these areas of your kid’s ministry say to your visitors? Does it welcome them, provide comfort and ease of navigation? Check-in centers should be safe, simple and fun. Check-in centers provide wonderful opportunities for a great first impression, as they are one of the first things your visitors will see. In the hallways, it’s great to have wayfinding signs so that visitors can easily navigate your facility. Classrooms and group rooms can become adventurous destinations where kids come ready to learn and explore.

We know you want to reach families in your community with your unique message and vision. One of the most effective ways to draw families to your church is by providing a welcoming environment for parents and their children. In this workshop we’ll cover ways to make your environment just as friendly and welcoming as your church family! Open your doors for visitors with love, comfort and excitement!

Todd Parks has over 21 years of ministry experience. He is a visionary servant leader who sees not only what is but what can be. Prior to joining Worlds of Wow, Todd served as an Executive Ministry Consultant where he helped over one hundred churches build incredible teams through church staffing, consulting, compensation analysis, and succession planning. Todd is a Business Development Manager with Worlds of Wow, a company that creates cool and fun environments for kids and families.

Hidden Money—Tactical Action that Can Uncover Unknown Funding Sources

What does a lender think when they look at your giving statistics? What can you do to improve those stats without asking for more money? Let’s discuss how you can increase the generosity of your congregation through process and intentionality in your regular work flow. Thrivent’s mission is to help Christians be wise with money and live more generously. We’ll look at practical tools, trends and resources for ministries and hear your success stories.

Kari Boyce is Business Development Director of Thrivent. She began her career in fixed income capital markets working as an institutional sales and trading assistant, working her way to Managing Director for FI Institutional Sales Administration. Bringing this experience and passion to the church world, she has been working with churches and faith-based nonprofits in lending and leadership consulting since 2006.

Chris Lewis is Senior Relationship Manager of Thrivent. Born in Brazil, where his parents served as missionaries, he learned 3 languages: Spanish, Portuguese and English. In 2006, after assisting the church he was attending with a capital campaign, Chris discovered that there was a need for lenders to work with growing ministries. Over the years, Chris has worked with growing ministries by providing sustainable financing solutions for construction, acquisition and refinancing. Chris obtained his undergraduate degree in Business Management from Harding University in 1996.

The XP-SP Relationship … and all those other people on staff

Are you spinning lots of plates? Juggling lots of balls? Never a boring day? If you could master one thing that would make the biggest ministry impact in your church, what would that be? There are budgets, and policies, and security, and strategy, and vision, and programs, and buildings, discipleship and all of the other things that fill the days of the Executive Pastor. What about the relationship between the Senior Pastor and Executive Pastor? Join us as we talk through the breakthroughs, set-backs and keys to a vibrant and healthy XP-SP relationship. In addition, we’ll dig into the keys to good staff relations between the Executive Pastor and student ministry, facilities, creative/worship arts, kids ministry and more.

Eric Rojas is the XP of Rolling Hills Community Church in Nashville. He is a coach, developer and overseer of the staff and ministries with 14 years of experience as an XP. During his 25+ years of ministry, Eric has served in churches in various pastoral roles.

Eric Ferris is the Executive Teaching Pastor of the 5,000+ member Vineyard Cincinnati Church. Eric earned a Biblical Studies Degree at Wheaton Graduate School. Eric is known for bringing clarity in complexity, love for the local church, and a straightforward approach to life and ministry.

How Churches Can Leverage the Coming Big Data Revolution

Big Data tools are being used in retail, healthcare, education and other fields. They are just entering the realm of affordability and usefulness for churches. How should we understand the tools available now? How are forward thinking churches using the tools NOW? Which tools are coming this year and how do you need to prepare your team and church to leverage them for kingdom use?

Dave Travis is the Director of Strategic Counsel for Pastors and Church Boards at Generis. He also serves as a Senior Consultant at Leadership Network where he has worked with large churches for almost 25 years. For the past four years he has tracked with Leadership Network’s involvement with Big Data tools and their real-life applications for churches. A former engineer, pastor and denominational official, he now works primarily to help churches and pastors make plans for “What’s Next?”

The Seven Deadly Sins of Interviewing

How do you determine if a candidate is the right fit for the job and your team’s culture during an interview? After 10 years of helping churches find their key staff and over 10,000 face-to-face interviews, William Vanderbloemen, founder and CEO of Vanderbloemen, will teach you how to avoid the common mistakes pastors make when interviewing as well as set up a successful interview process for hiring the right team members for your church.

William is an entrepreneur, pastor, speaker, author, and CEO/Founder of Vanderbloemen Search Group. He is a regular contributor to both Forbes and Fortune. William has combined over 15 years of ministry experience as a Senior Pastor with the best practices of executive search to provide churches with a unique offering: a deep understanding of local church work with the very best knowledge and practices of professional executive search. Vanderbloemen has completed over 1,000 staffing assignments since its founding nine years ago, has grown to nearly forty full-time employees, and has won several company culture awards from Forbes, Entrepreneur, Houston Business Journal, and Houstonia Magazine.

William has written: Next: Pastoral Succession That Works (2014), Search : The Pastor Search Committee Handbook (2016) and Culture Wins: The Roadmap to an Irresistible Workplace (2018).

Nine Key Lessons for Leading Millennials

There’s a growing generation gap in churches, and church leadership best practices are evolving in the midst of the changing workforce. Church leaders who understand and cultivate the value millennials bring to church staffs have a higher likelihood of experiencing long-term growth.

In this session led by Sarah Robins, Vice President of Sales & Client Relations at Vanderbloemen, you’ll learn practical steps to leading and motivating millennials so you can take your church staff to the next level.

Church Budgeting When Resources are Scarce

Many churches are experiencing financial pressures that are causing them to reduce their budgets. The challenge becomes ensuring leadership and the board understand what expenses can be cut while still maximizing ministry. This workshop will show the participants how to: 1) Prepare a clear and compelling analysis of fixed, semi-fixed, and variable budgeted expenses; 2) Clearly explain to church leadership and the board which areas of the budget can be easily reduced, and which cannot; 3) Execute a strategy to effectively reduce budgeted expenses while maximizing ministry effectiveness. Rob Faulk, a CPA, former Executive Pastor and church CFO will show that, while challenging, these objectives can both be achieved.

Rob Faulk serves as Partner and Church and Denomination Services Director at CapinCrouse. He has more than 35 years of financial leadership experience in serving both for-profit and nonprofit entities, as well as more than eight years of direct ministry experience as Executive Pastor and CFO of large churches. He previously served with a Big Six accounting firm, where he was the lead manager on the project that developed the COSO Internal Control framework. Rob holds a MA in Ministry Management from Azusa Pacific University Graduate School of Theology.

Preparing for a Faith-Based Loan

Is your church growing? Looking to expand facilities? Looking to go multi-site? If you potentially need a loan to accomplish these objectives, this workshop will provide a great summary on areas you can focus on as an XP to prepare for a faith-based loan. We will discuss interest rates, evaluate the current lending environment, explain certain bank ratios that apply to ministry and suggest ways to make your lending request stand out to a bank. Our discussion will be centered around a hypothetical church case study that may just look a little bit like your church!

This workshop is brought to you by Steve Hron, Vice President of Lending at Cass Bank. Steve has been serving churches and other nonprofits for over 27 years with their financing needs. Cass Bank began in 1906 and is a long time provider of banking services to religious organizations and non-profits, including financing for churches. Cass Bank loans help build, acquire, and renovate ministry facilities or refinance current debt.

Handling Challenging Counseling Situations

Counseling isn’t an area that many senior leaders signed up for. The challenge of bearing the burdens for others is a task at times. Nicholas Smith brings best practices and discussion about how to deal with difficult people and situations, whether it’s a church member, another leader or someone off the street. We all need the safety of a counselor on this life journey. Nicholas gives ideas on some of the harder situations in counseling. It might be someone who drops by the church and you are the only pastor there. It might be a friend or relative. It might be with a fellow pastor in the community or even a fellow staff member.

Pastor Nicholas Smith is the Executive Assistant Pastor of Bethany Baptist Church, working hand-in-hand and assisting pastor-teacher Bishop David G. Evans. He is a long-time friend of XPastor, with some outstanding articles on the site.

Dream Bigger—
From Maintenance to Multiplication

Throughout history, every move of God has required men and women to grow dramatically and step out in great faith. We need to continually elevate the standards of our faith, evaluate the expectations of ourselves and deepen our belief in the goodness of God. It’s time to reimagine the capacity of the local church, not only in your specific content but around the world! Yes, we have accomplished much in ministry but what are we dreaming about next? Leaders, we won’t lead well or last long without great faith! Join me for a discussion around ten leadership questions that we must all resolve in order to take our churches to the next level.

Daniel Rolfe is the Senior Pastor at Mountain Springs Church. Born in Suffolk, England, Daniel has the coolest accent at the XP-Seminar.

Designing a Strong Retirement Plan–Preparing Employees Today for Retirement Tomorrow

The retirement landscape is changing as it relates to helping your employees prepare well for retirement. In this session, we’ll discuss how effective retirement plan design can optimize retirement outcomes. Additionally, we’ll tackle the many challenges and disruptive trends facing the retirement and investment services industries.

This workshop will be led by Greg Love. He serve as Senior Manager for Retirement Solutions for GuideStone Financial Resources and specializes in retirement plan design and employee education. He graduated from the University of West Alabama and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and is currently pursuing the Master of Business Administration degree from Dallas Baptist University. Greg holds the Chartered Retirement Plan Counselor professional designation, as well as, Series 6 and 63 security licenses. Greg has vast experience within the local church and maintains a passion to see local churches thrive, make disciples and impact the globe for Christ.

5 Keys to Church Growth They Didn’t Teach You in Seminary

Are you ready to see your church impact more people than you have ever before? Are you tired of workshops that are long on theory but short on practical help? Have you wanted to reach more people in your community but you weren’t sure where to start?

In this workshop, Rich breaks down some practical help for Executive Pastors wanting to see their church grow not only from his own experience leading within fast-growing churches but also from over 300 interviews with leaders from within prevailing churches.

Rich has served on the senior leadership teams of three innovative and fast-growing churches. He brings his signature “uber practical” style to this workshop. Also, he has interviewed over 200 church leaders through his podcast, unSeminary, which gives him a unique vantage point when offering help to new Executive Pastors.

Architecture that Works

Ministry is about creating connections … connections between people and connections with the Lord. How does architecture influence how those connections are formed? We will discover how to shape the user experience through the design of space and open pathways to those connections. Learn how to focus your ministry with architecture that works.

Bruce Woody is the President and CEO of HH Architects. Bruce will share from HH Architects’s credo, “We Believe, We Serve, We Create.” Based in Dallas, this architecture and planning firm has done work around the country. This award winning firm has a commitment to quality and thorough understanding of planning for growth. It has attracted a wide range of clients with needs on both a small and large scale. For 48 years, they have provided Architectural, Interior Design, Strategic Positioning and Master Planning services to clients ranging from churches to municipal entities to schools to corporate buildings. They approach projects from the client’s perspective. Building upon your image and identity, they strive for creative solutions that meet the project’s scope, schedule, and budget. They have developed an expertise in designing to a highly complex set of requirements and constraints, and through this process, they provide the facility that meets and exceeds all of the owner’s expectations.

Mark R Ashcraft, is a senior associate of HH Architects. He serves as the Creative Director for the firm and has been blessed to work with many ministries during his 18 year tenure.

Engaging Millennials and Gen Z in the Church

For years now, Millennials have been joked about and dismissed as being noncommittal, lazy and entitled. But God has raised up a generation with high expectations and a longing to experience authentic community and cultural impact. Shaping the future of the church, through the future of the church, must be a strategic priority for every church leadership team in 2019. In this session we will practically explore the engagement of Millennials and Gen Z in discipleship, leadership development, community, serving, generosity and mission.

Darren Young is the Director of Executive Pastor Leader Groups with Leadership Network. He will facilitate a panel discussion with Grant Skeldon and Monica Zuniga. Grant is the Director of the Initiative Network. He is a sought after speaker and the author of #1 hit book, The Passion Generation. Under Grant’s leadership, the Initiative Network seeks to unite and train millennials to be Christ-loving, city-changing, church-investing, disciple-making local missionaries. Monica is the founder of We Are Unveiled—an organization that exists to transform women’s ministry in the body of Christ. Through her organization, as well as the several non-profits that she consults with, her prayer is to awaken a generation of individuals to the full life found only in Jesus Christ.

Perspectives From The Pew: Consumer Expectations In Church Tech

This workshop will take a look at the church-tech industry from the end-users perspective. Along the way, we’ll look at some of the major changes in consumer tech over the past two decades and will assess how those changes have impacted – for good and ill – the perception of technology in the church space.

Troy Pollock is the Vice President of Community at Pushpay. As the first U.S. employee, Troy helped shape Pushpay to be one of the fastest growing SaaS companies today. Troy pioneered the Customer Success Department from humble beginnings to an Award Winning team that partners with churches and non-profits internationally. After studying Communication & Sociology at SDSU and Theology at ORU, Troy helped pioneer a healthy church in Southern California, where he served as an Executive for 6 years. These experiences allowed Troy’s transition to Pushpay to facilitate his calling and desire to help faith organizations ignite generosity and drive engagement within their communities.

The Disruption of Church Technology

Giving, either monetarily or simply your name, is important. It’s also vulnerable. The most important thing to your church and ministry is trust and that your technology works as advertised. Data breaches and downtime of your solutions can be costly for your church, both in terms of your reputation, as well as the high fees associated with data breaches. Learn how to evaluate your tech stack to make sure you’re making the right decisions before you sign that next contract.

Clare Hegg is the Director of Product Marketing for Pushpay. She has worked in the high tech world for the better part a decade. She spent that time building expertise in mobile apps, donor development, big data and analytics, artificial intelligence and digital transformation at companies like Oracle, Microsoft, T-Mobile, and Socrata. Clare now leads product marketing at Pushpay, enabling churches to bring people together by strengthening community, connection, and belonging.

Use Ministry Information to Care for Your Church and Lead Effectively

Spiritual development is a process. In this workshop, we’ll discuss how to bring clarity, map out your unique approach to creating disciples and gauge your progress. You’re surrounded by data, but what story is your data telling you? Are you using that story to make informed strategic ministry decisions? Does it help your team care for and meet the needs of your church family? Does it help you coach and develop your staff and ministry leaders? You can! Begin creating a culture that empowers you to view the information you need, when you need it. Define what’s important. Build the systems. Act on the information.

This workshop will be led by Mark DeMoss. Mark has 20 years of church staff experience leading in various roles of guest experience, volunteer development, business administration, campus development, and executive pastor in dynamic churches. Mark is the author of the XPastor article entitled, Strategic Alignment Unleashes the Church. He is passionate about the church and seeing lives changed by Jesus. Mark has seven years of experience in church consulting with the team at FellowshipOne.com. He and his wife, Debra, reside near Dallas, Texas.

Thanks again for the conference. Thanks for the privilege (and I mean that, privilege) of sharing a slice of life experiences with the conference participants. You continue to provide a necessary, stimulating, and exciting energy to many of us in ministry—Paul Utnage, XP