Creating Vital Congregations: 2016-17 Webinar Series Begins

From bridging the generation gap to making churches a safe place for all, the Lexington Theological Seminary 2016-17 Creating Vital Congregations Webinar Series will help equip pastors, church leaders and members alike to address a wide variety of issues facing congregations today.

The webinars are offered on-site at the campus (230 Lexington Green Circle, Suite 300) or online, 1:30-3:30 p.m. on the dates listed below. The cost to register is $10 per log-in, with an unlimited number of participants for those who join online. Register at or contact Dr. Bill Turner at (859) 280-1253 or for more information.

Upcoming webinars:
Sept. 24
Sexual and Gender-Based Violence: Breaking the Silence and Creating a Safe Space in Our Churches
Rev. Amy Gopp
Description: We can no longer allow the sin of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) to occur—at any time, in any place, to anyone. We want our congregations to be safe spaces for all. Moreover, faith leaders are often the first persons a victim of SGBV will confide in. This first contact can have a huge impact on victims. It is critical that faith leaders and communities are prepared ahead of time. This webinar focuses on understanding your role in immediate response, educating your faith community, utilizing prevention tools, and breaking the silence around SGBV.

Oct. 29
Bridging the Gap in the Intergenerational Church
Dr. Bill Tenny-Brittian
Leading a church would be so much easier if everyone liked and resonated with the same worship style and presentation of the Gospel. But each generation has its own tastes and preferred learning styles. It’s not just the music that’s changed over the years. Nothing has been left untouched. In this webinar, Dr. Tenny-Brittian will explore what it takes to effectively bridge the generations, particularly in worship.

Nov. 19
Creative Worship for Smaller Churches
Rev. David Ray
Worship in smaller churches is both a challenge and an opportunity. In a congregation where most of the members know everyone else worship can be crafted particularly for those people present. Worship tailored to the small congregation will call forth and use the gifts of the people present and speak compellingly to the needs and possibilities of their lives. In this webinar, Dr. Ray will help participants become more creative – in ways only they can – with the worship they design and facilitate.

Jan. 10, 2017
How to Flourish in Ministry
Dr. Matt Bloom
Discover how to have a healthy, meaningful, and rewarding ministry. The Flourishing in Ministry Project, directed by Dr. Bloom, has studied over a thousand clergy and hundreds of clergy spouses in eight denominations to identify the characteristics and practices that promote clergy well-being. In this webinar Dr. Bloom will offer research-based insight into what clergy and pastoral well-being looks and feels like, how this may change over the life-span, and especially how to nurture your own healthy well-being in ministry.

Feb. 18, 2017
How to Survive and Thrive as an Elder
Rev. Bill McDonald
A refresher course for old hands and a how-to class for fresh recruits to the Eldership, this practical workshop will give helpful ideas on fulfilling one’s role as an Elder. From preparation to prayer, from the Lord’s Table to the hospital room, from shepherding to servanthood, from the how to the why, through stories and scripture this webinar will offer a broad scope and detailed information for elders in churches large or small.

March 18, 2017
Organizing for Social Impact
Dr. William Barber II
Explore some of the historical and modern-day models for building transformative moral movements and how we might re-engage and re-shape them in order to support freedom movements today. In this webinar, Dr. Barber will advocate for the reclamation of deeply-held ethical values and will offer suggestions about reaching a critical mass of people in order to build an effective social movement. Individuals and congregations alike will benefit from the insights shared here.

April 22, 2017
Youth Ministry in Small Churches
Rev. Bill Spangler-Dunning
Explore the how, the why, and the mission-focused purpose of starting and developing a youth ministry in a smaller church. This webinar will focus on healthy ways to start a new youth ministry program, as well as some common pot holes that can derail startups in small churches. You will also learn about structures and schedules that work better in small churches with fewer volunteers. Rev. Spangler-Dunning will share his first-hand knowledge of what it takes to develop, structure, and lead a youth ministry program and make it last.

May 20, 2017
Congregational and Pastoral Care by Laity
Dr. Jeney Park-Hearn
Laity are key care-givers in every congregation. Gain more pastoral care skills and assessment tools that you can call upon in those moments when someone needs care from you. In this webinar, Dr. Park-Hearn will introduce a range of situations for which congregational members might seek care, and identify the skills and tools that will help you respond. In addition, she will address theological commitments that ground pastoral care and the importance of self-care.


Lexington Theological Seminary is an accredited graduate theological institution of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). Consistent with the Disciples’ historic commitment to Christian unity, the Seminary is intentionally ecumenical with students, faculty, staff and trustees of various denominations. The Seminary has been preparing leaders for the church since 1865. For more information, visit