Winter Leadership Training 2023
Winter Leadership Training is designed for and open to
all local church leaders including lay leaders,
council members, volunteers, and all who lead
(or are considering future leadership!).
Connect virtually with other leaders across the conference and learn about roles, best practices, and new ideas for ministry. When you register, choose the topics in each breakout session where you most relate and would like to participate in conversation. Sessions will be recorded and posted on this page after the conference. Attending the session will help you participate in dialogue, watching the session later will help you glean information. Most sessions will remain posted on this page throughout the year.
Zoom links will appear 30 minutes before session (you may need to refresh your page).
Recordings will be posted on this page as they are edited.
Session Schedule & Descriptions
Monday, January 23rd
6:00pm – Opening, Welcome, and Overview of the Week
6:30pm – Breakout rooms with District Superintendents
7:30pm – 101 Breakout Session Options
- P/SPRC 101– For anyone chairing or serving on a Pastor/Staff Parish Relations Committee - Rev. Dr. Nancy Rankin & Bonnie Burkett, in collaboration with the Northern Piedmont District, have developed a curriculum to help orient SPRC leaders to their roles in the local church. This session will include watching a video they have developed and having discussion surrounding it. A link to a Staff Parish Survival Kit will be made available to all participants.
- Admin Council Leadership 101 – For chairpersons of a congregations governing body – Maria King will facilitate a discussion on your role as chair of a local church leadership team (Administrative Council, Lead Team, etc.). She will help you learn to further navigate the United Methodist Book of Discipline, explore tips and hints for leading a meeting, and explore the essentials of conversations regarding growth, learning, and sustainable leadership.
- Congregational Finance 101 – For those starting in a newly elected role related to any position in the finance area of church life (or those who are seasoned and want a refresher). Mark King and David Snipes will lead the group in examining the roles and duties of treasurer, financial secretary, finance committee chair, and finance committee members. You will also have the opportunity to briefly look at the Book of Discipline requirements and regulations for the work of the Finance Committee in a local church.
- Lay Leader 101 - For those who serve as the Lay Leader for your congregation. We understand that this title can be confusing. Anyone who is not clergy and who serves as a leader could call themselves a lay leader. However, for this conversation we are focusing on those who have been asked to serve in the official role of Lay Leader (this is usually only one person per congregation). John Crane will facilitate a conversation surrounding the relationship dynamics between Pastor and Lay Leader, the role of the Lay Leader in the local church, and how to navigate the Book of Discipline in your role.
- Trustees 101 - For those who serve as a Trustee in church leadership. This session will be led by Patrick Hamrick, and will cover the basics of stewarding church property.
Tuesday, January 24th
11:30am-1pm Breakout Session #1
- Communication & Promotion in a Congregational Setting - Led by Aimee Yeager, WNCC Director of Communications. We will explore best practices for communicating events and information within your congregation.
- From Charles Wesley to Johnny Cash: United Methodist Core Beliefs Through the Lens of Music & Storytelling - Led by Mark Ralls, Blue Ridge District Superintendent. We will participate in a conversation centered around the theological understanding we can identify with as United Methodists in popular hymns and songs.
- Connecting with Today’s Children & Youth - Led by Rev. Nicole Jones, Smoky Mountain District Vitality Associate. We will facilitate contextual conversation around moving from an attractional model of ministry to discipleship opportunities with intergenerational relationship building. Ideas for creating relationships with young people and their families by showing up in third places and schools will also be explored.
6:00pm-7:00pm Breakout Session #2
- Myth Busting: The True Standards of Wesleyan Theology Embraced by the United Methodist Church (Part 1) - Led by Amy Coles, WNCC Assistant to Bishop Carter. As some congregations are disaffiliating from The United Methodist Church, many may be wondering about its future. Sadly, misinformation and misrepresentation have been shared by some who are encouraging churches to join the break-away denomination. This 2-part workshop will examine many of the myths that have been circulating about what continuing United Methodists will believe based upon our Doctrinal Standards, found in the Book of Discipline. Whether you’re a long-time Methodist or new to the denomination, these workshops will remind us of who we are at our core. (Please note that you are invited to participate in one or both of the workshops.)
- Community Engagement & The Neighbor Way - Led by Brian Mateer, WNCC Conference Director of Missional Engagement, and Rev. Erin Burleson, Missional Collective Coordinator. In this session we will explore what it means to be a good neighbor as we move out in mission within our local communities.
- Starting a Fresh Expression in the Outdoors - Led by Wayner Dickert, Pastor of Bryson City UMC and River of Life Ministries. Come explore options and tips for starting a Fresh Expression of ministry in the Outdoors.
7:30pm-8:30pm Breakout Session #3
- Creative Stewardship: Embracing Fresh Ideas for Funding Local Church Ministry - Led by Rev. Dr. Mark King, WNCC Treasurer and Director of Administrative Services and Joel Gilland, President and CEO of Wesley Community Development. We will explore what we have learned and experienced from leading the conference in finance and property stewardship throughout the pandemic, into our current reality. Together we will explore trends and possible strategies for thinking beyond the offering plate, and making use of church property outside of Sunday Morning.
- Communicating Change - Rev. Rob Hutchinson, WNCC Director of Church Development. In this session we will talk about ideas and best practices for leadership to communicate both desired as well as undesired change within your local congregation.
- A Shift in Thinking - Led by Rev. Rene Wilt, Facilitator & Coach at All Good Gifts LLC. In this session we will introduce and explore tools offered by the Arbinger Institute for helping you and your congregation engage in difficult conversations while keeping the needs of others in mind and approaching all relationships with a heart at peace. We will participate in conversation as well as think about how to bring these outward mindset tools back to your congregation in a practical way.
- Starting a Dinner Church after COVID-19 - Led by Rev. Charles Dirico, Pastor of Assurance UMC in Huntersville. Get a clear picture of best practices when participating in or leading Dinner Church in the wake of a pandemic.
Wednesday, January 25th
11:30am-1pm Breakout Session #4
- (FULL) Building & Strengthening Congregational Relationships - Led by Caroline Wood, Catawba Valley District Vitality Associate, and Rev. Shonnie Streder, Blue Ridge District Vitality Associate. In this session, we will all participate in discerning ways we can build and strengthen relationships within our congregations. Using the ToP (Technology of Participation) facilitation method for consensus building, we will put our minds together to come up with practices we can all put in place within each of our individual contexts.
- (Full) Single Board Governance - Led by Rev. Gloria Hughes, Appalachian District Vitality Associate. Come explore how your leadership team might be strengthened through transitioning to a single board model.
6:00pm-7:00pm Session #5
- Myth Busting: The True Standards of Wesleyan Theology Embraced by the United Methodist Church (Part 2) - Led by Amy Coles, WNCC Assistant to Bishop Carter. As some congregations are disaffiliating from The United Methodist Church, many may be wondering about its future. Sadly, misinformation and misrepresentation have been shared by some who are encouraging churches to join the break-away denomination. This 2-part workshop will examine many of the myths that have been circulating about what continuing United Methodists will believe based upon our Doctrinal Standards, found in the Book of Discipline. Whether you’re a long-time Methodist or new to the denomination, these workshops will remind us of who we are at our core. (Please note that you are invited to participate in one or both of the workshops.)
- Next Steps for Online Worshipers - Led by Jason Moore, Co-Founder of Midnight Oil Productions. While there were plenty of early adopters of hybrid ministry before the pandemic, the vast majority of churches went online when COVID arrived. Moving into our third year of this new hybrid reality, it is imperative that we create engagement with our online worship experience. It is entirely possible and completely necessary to move those not gathered physically from being spectators to participants. In this training, author/hybrid ministry specialist Jason Moore covers seven ways to increase engagement for online participants, moving them from watchers to worshipers.
7:30pm-8:30pm Breakout Session #6
- Evangelism as Hospitality: Welcoming Strangers - Led by Rev. Dr. Bill White Jr., WNCC Director of Equity and Justice Ministries. In this session, we will explore what it means to truly welcome strangers while we live out our mission of Making Disciples of Jesus Christ for the Transformation of the World.
- Creating Space for Critical (and sometimes tense) Conversations - Led by Rev. Beth Crissman, Pastor of West Market Street UMC in Greensboro and Co-Lead of Plowpoint. Life is all about the relationship, and in every relationship, there is conflict. Conflict is natural, inevitable, and actually essential to refine who we are, whose we are, and what we are to be about. In fact, conflict does not harm us, but how we respond to conflict can. In this session, Beth will give us tips on how to navigate through the inevitable “storms” in all of our relationships at home, at work, and even at church.
Thursday, January 26th
11:30am-1:00pm Breakout Session #7
- Everything is Fine: Making Room for Mental Health Conversations Within Congregations - Led by Renee Easter, Yadkin Valley District Vitality Associate. In this session, Renee will facilitate conversation addressing the stigma surrounding talking about mental health in church. We will address how the church can respond to mental health diagnoses in simple manners, and introduce curriculum associated with mental health that local churches can use to further the conversation.
- (FULL) Youth Ministry Idea Lab - Led by Rev. Shannon Lemaster-Smith, WNCC Youth Ministry Strategist. Take part in a conversation designed to brainstorm ideas alongside others engaged in youth ministry. Zoom Link:https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85857283497?pwd=SVd6cTJjYlR4YnVoZG1QUzBTbmpUQT09
6:00pm - Keynote Speaker - Bishop Ken Carter