Executive Skills for Church Leaders

Executive Skills for Church Leaders

Executive Skills for Church Leaders

JANUARY 6-10, 2025

Executive Skills for Church Leaders

Program of Thriving Leadership Formation

Join us for a transformative week-long continuing education event designed specifically for pastors, deacons, and church leaders. This program provides a dedicated space to delve into leadership and various aspects of congregational life or whatever your ministry context may be.

Hosted by the Thriving Leadership Formation Program (out of Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary), Executive Skills for Church Leaders brings together expert faculty and church leaders. Throughout the week, the expertise of the faculty combined with the wisdom and experiences of the participants, will create space for valuable tools to emerge in navigating the complexities of congregational life and ministry.

In the complex environment of congregational management, we all can use new tools for ministry.  Each day, we explore a different theme.

Topics covered:

  • Conflict Management
  • Human Resources
  • Contemporary Leadership
  • Congregations in the Digital Age

Day 1: Conflict Management

Felecia Boone and Desta Goehner, facilitators

Session Overview: Conflict is inevitable in ministry. How do you manage it? Avoid it? Or hope it just goes away? Join us to explore real case studies from congregations and learn effective conflict management strategies.

Key Highlights:

  • Understand Your Triggers: Identify what sets off conflict and how to manage it.
  • Collaborative Learning: Engage with fellow leaders to tackle real-church scenarios and acquire practical resources for managing conflict effectively.
  • Cultural Competence: A critical difficulty we face in our organizations and schools is that communication misunderstandings, conflicts, and problems across cultures are often grounded in very different approaches people take for resolving difficulties with one another. The ability to recognize and effectively respond to cultural differences in communication and conflict styles is critically important. ICS Inventory, LLC provides the Intercultural Conflict Style Inventory® (ICS®), developed by Mitchell R. Hammer, Ph.D., for resolving conflicts and solving problems across cultural boundaries.

Day 2: Human Resources

Felecia Boone, facilitator

Session Overview: Let’s come together and discuss:

  • Policies, practices, and procedures in a church setting
    • Which policies are needed
    • How to write effective policy and procedures
    • Understand which practices need to be documented
    • How to ensure all employees know how to access policies
  • Creating a healthy team culture
    • Who is responsible for culture
    • How do we hold each other accountable
    • Recognize and understand conflict styles
  • Conducting Non-Bias Interviews
    • How to use the S.T.A.R. method
    • Construction of behavior-based interview questions

Day 3: Contemporary Leadership

Reflections on Exemplary Leadership at Individual, Group and Organizational Levels

Chris Njunge and Paul Witman, facilitators

Session Overview: We will examine the principles and practices of organizational leadership through a broad organizational, congregational and community context. Our discussions will include reviews of foundational leadership theories as well as contemporary theories (e.g. transformational, authentic and servant leadership). We will reflect on the interactions of personal and organizational factors in determining leadership effectiveness, particularly in light of topical issues such as: leading vs. managing, building community, coping with change and technology and innovation.

Day 4: Congregations in the Digital Age

Catherine Slabaugh, facilitator

Session Overview: In today’s digital age, implementing social media is essential for fostering community engagement, sharing the Gospel, and connecting with others. This dynamic workshop will provide tangible steps and create opportunities to collaborate as we develop a comprehensive and sustainable social media strategy for your ministry site. Individuals will walk away with a comprehensive understanding of the current social media platforms, who their target audience might be in their ministry context, a sustainable path for implementation (especially without communications professionals on staff) and a year-long plan for implementation.

Who should attend?

Join us for a week of continuing education as professionals from the world of management provide guidance and insight relevant to church leaders. This event is open to leaders from all denominations.

  • Pastors
  • Deacons
  • Bishops
  • Synod Staff
  • Professional Leaders
  • Faith Leaders

This executive skills for church leaders retreat is co-sponsored by California Lutheran University.


Monday – Friday, January 6-10, 2025


Price per person:

  • One person, private room : $1,250 per person
  • Two people, two in a room : $950 per person
  • Three people, three in a room : $850 per person
  • Four people, four in a room : $800 per person
  • Commuter, incl. program, lunches, dinners, snacks : $650 per person

Price includes: Five days of programming, five nights lodging (Sunday-Thursday) and 13 meals (5 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 4 dinners). Includes breakfast on Monday prior to the workshop ~ participants are on their own for dinner on Sunday evening.


Click red button above, call 480.488.5218 or email info@spiritinthedesert.org to register.

All are welcome to this executive skills retreat at Spirit in the Desert Retreat Center in Carefree, Arizona!

Executive Skills Retreat Leaders

Chris Njunge
Chris Njunge
Paul Witman
Paul Witman
Catherine Slabaugh
Catherine Slabaugh
Felecia Boone
Felecia Boone
Desta Goehner
Desta Goehner