e3 = Elevate ▪ Employee ▪ Engagement

We are on a quest to make the greatest impact for God’s Kingdom. People are following us, counting on our leadership. It will take a fully engaged team to accomplish audacious goals. Elevate employee/volunteer engagement is the key strategy to a high performing team.

  • e3 offers the tools to elevate your team’s overall performance.
  • e3 will allow your team members to realize their God-given strengths.
  • e3 champions loving and serving our neighbor.

Presenter: Mike Hinckfoot
Mike is passionate about leadership development, equipping managers, and helping others discover their full God given potential. He served as the VP of Strategy for 12 years at Compassion International. Today, Mike is joyfully serving as the Executive Director of Ministries at St. Peter’s, Columbus, IN. Mike’s Strengths: Achiever – Positivity – Arranger – Maximizer – WOO

Employee v. Independent Contractor

We will clarify the classification of workers as either employees or independent contractors. Recently, the IRS has focused more resources on payroll tax audits for worker misclassification. This discussion will familiarize employers with the factors which determine whether a new hire is an employee or independent contractor.

Presenter: Lisa Bailo
Lisa K. Bailo, PHR, SHRM-CP with Paychex, Inc. – A Certified Professional with The Society of Human Resource Management with 29 years of experience in payroll, management, benefits, and human resources, a Professional in Human Resources certification, and a Bachelor of Arts in Fashion Merchandising with minors in Marketing and Spanish from Ball State University.

Enough with the Millennials. Here Come the Plurals.

Take a look at the “first generation of the 21st century, the oldest of which are in confirmation classes.  What is their generational type?  What are the characteristics of this new generation?  What do we need to know to minister to them, to help them grow in faith and to equip them to be people of God for life?  What about learning styles that reach them?  Knowing these things now will help keep them connected through high school and beyond.

Presenter: Terry Ditmer, LCMS Youth Ministry

Every One His Witness

When Jesus said “You will be My witnesses” (Acts 1:8) He was making a statement, not a request. Each and every believer in Jesus Christ is His witness. How can we be better and more effective witnesses? This overview of LASSIE, a relational and contextual witnessing framework that can be used in everyday life, provides a great starting place for being a more faithful and joy-filled witness of Jesus.

Presenter: Rev. Mark A. Wood
Rev. Mark A. Wood is the Director of Witness & Outreach and Revitalization for the LCMS. He is a second career pastor who served as a parish pastor and church planter in the Tampa, FL area for 15 years before joining the LCMS Office of National Mission in June 2014. He and his wife, Mary Ellen, are the parents of five, grandparents of five, and the great-grandparents of one even though they aren’t old enough to cash in their 401Ks without penalties.

Family Mission Adventures

When you take the whole family on a mission trip it's more than just a mission trip, it becomes an adventure.  It also become a life shaping event for the entire family - but wait there is more - it also become a life shaping event for your congregation.  Come hear how you can plan a family mission adventure for your congregation.

Presenter: Craig McCourt
Craig served as a full time Youth and Adult ministry educator for more then 25 years. Since 2013 Craig has been speaking full time through his ministry called GodPonders. Craig is an author and a requested professional speaker. He is known for his humor and captivating presentations which are both inspiring and entertaining. Craig holds the attention of audiences of all ages. More about Craig and his ministry can be found at GodPonders.org 

Halftime: Managing the Ministry Mid-life Crisis

20 or so years into ministry and a LOT has changed.  Pastor Scott Seidler consoles and provides conversation for participants as together we chart the next season in serving God's people.

Presenter: Pastor Scott Seidler
Pastor Scott Seidler serves as the Senior Pastor at Concordia Lutheran Church in Kirkwood, Missouri.

Health Care and Stewardship Come Full Circle

“Be Well . . . Serve Well” is not just an expression, it’s at the core of healthy ministries.  Being good stewards of our health and the dollars spent on health care while at the same time cultivating an environment attentive to the well-being of church workers is challenging.  This session will examine the current health status of LCMS church workers;  the costs associated with providing health care; and what best practices are in place – or soon will be – to assist church workers in their efforts to be well. Most importantly, you will leave this conference armed and ready to make a difference within your organization.

Presenter: Steve Gruenwald
Steve is a Certified Health and Wellness Manager serving as the Health and Wellness Educator for Concordia Plan Services of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod.  He is also the editor of Better Health: a quarterly wellness newsletter published by Concordia Plan Services.

HELP! I Think I Want To Be A Missionary. Now What?

Have you engaged in the risky business of short-term mission activity and become infected with a serious case of long-term missionary calling? If so, now what? Learn about several effective treatment options and come away with your own customized prescription. All plans accepted. No co-pay!

Presenter: Jake Gillard
Rev. Jake Gillard really enjoys engaging people in God's global mission. He is able to do this as Director of Communication & Mobilization for the World Mission Prayer League (WMPL USA). Jake is married to Michelle and they have two daughters. Jake has served as a Pastor and Missionary in Illinois, Maryland, Minnesota, and East Africa. WMPL is a Lutheran missionary community of over 6,000 praying members with headquarters in Minneapolis, MN, USA. WMPL's 100+ full-time laborers are transforming lives through prayer in 20 countries around the world. Get involved at wmpl.org.

How Congregations Can Engage in Their Health

This workshop will focus on how congregatons can:

  1. Find and engage local health professionals, and
  2. Locate resources on their own for the purpose of strengthening their stewardship of their bodies and giving God their best.

How do you actually DO the exercise and better diet for the long haul? In addition, Karen Sue will give a taste of some of the workshops led around the country including, "An Exercise Lifestyle that FITs into Your Lifestyle," "P.L.A.N. to Prevent Yo-Yo Dieting," and more!

Presenter: Karen Sue Murdy
Karen Sue Hinz Murdy, Wheat Ridge Ambassador and clinical certified exercise physiologist, attended Concordia University in Ann Arbor and Central Michigan University. For many years she has assisted weight loss patients through education and exercise assessments. As a speaker and a bible study leader, she loves to encourage and equip people in their faith walk with God. Find out more at KarenSueMurdy.blogspot.com.

How Contextual Bible Study Can Foster Transformation In Your Church and Community

Contextual Bible Study and its processes are leading to transformation for me and my colleagues and our communities in Ghana, Africa. Come learn a process that involves studying the Bible with poor and marginalized groups that has the potential to transform “missionary” facilitators and marginalized communities alike.

Presenter: Rev. Nathan Esala
As a missionary with Lutheran Bible Translators, Rev. Nathan Esala has served the Likɔɔnl (or Komba) Bible project in Ghana, West Africa since 2003. Nathan is a PhD student researching Contextual Bible Study and translation as a means to community transformation.

How to Help Those with Invisible Illness

133 million people live with chronic illness in the U. S., most with an illness that is invisible. You may know someone in your church who has Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Lyme Disease or a host of other conditions that you may not understand. Come learn more to better understand what these people are going through and how you can shine the light of Jesus’ love into their often disappointing days.

Presenter: Tawn Bueltmann
Tawn is an invisible illness survivor! Graduating from Concordia Seward with a teaching degree, she has worked as a teacher, substitute teacher, church musician, and Director of Music.  As wife to Kevin and mother of four, Tawn has supplemented her family endeavors with many volunteer opportunities as well as reaching out to others through the internet.  Tawn loves to share her Christ-centered hope with others.

How to Make Missional Discipleship the Core of What Your Church Does

You've been preaching and teaching it. You've been taking your people on mission trips and organizing community service days to foster more of it. You and your leaders are ready to consider how to move missional discipleship from the edge of what your church does to the core. Here's how.

Presenter: Rev. Greg Finke
Rev. Greg Finke is the founder and Executive Director of Dwelling 1:14 and author of the book, “Joining Jesus on His Mission.”  Dwelling 1:14 is a non-profit ministry which seeks to help congregational leaders disciple their people to join Jesus on His mission in the places they already live, work and go to school (www.dwelling114.org).

How to Practically Lead an Orphan Care Ministry Under Your Church’s Vision

Need to know how to unite church leaders and orphan advocates in the church to best care for orphans & vulnerable children? This workshop will give your church the tools to carry out a long-term, effective orphan care ministry under your own church's vision.

Presenter: Steve Gillis
Steve Gillis is the Founder and Executive Director of Patch Our Plantet (www.patchourplanet.org).

How to ‘Raise Up’ Missionary Leaders

This workshop will dive into practical ways to ‘raise up’ leaders to be on mission with a primary focus on replicating the process over and over again.

Presenter: Gail Ficken
Gail Ficken leads PLI with her husband Jock. She’s a speaker and trainer on topics of leadership, mission and discipleship.  She is a certified leadership and life coach. Her passion has been initiating missional community with her husband, Jock, where they are covenanting to represent the love of Christ in incarnational ways in their relationships with those who are far from God. 

The Importance of Play

In this workshop, we dig deeper into why play/rest/sleep are so important for sharp brains in children and adults; another look at stewardship of our bodies. This is especially of interest to churches with Early Childhood Centers but the information is important for us all. Play is for adults as well, by design!

Presenter: Mark Schoepp
Mark Schoepp served the church as a Director of Christian Education for more than 30 years in four congregations and also toured for 20 years as Fitz Family Ministries, a unique family ministry and entertainment/juggling troupe. Mark joined Wheat Ridge Ministries as full time Director Of Congregation Engagement in July 2010. Mark works to inspire and encourage Lutherans and Lutheran Congregations to connect to their communities through intentional programs that promote health and wellness. Since 1994, Mark has been following the developments in the field of brain research and education, with a special interest in brain health and its application to the church, the church school and the home.

International Mission Opportunities: A Way Your Congregation and/or School Can Make an Impact for Christ Internationally!

How can a congregation or school connect with a mission agency to help make a tremendous impact in an area of the world that is very receptive to the gospel?  The Garuna Foundation has been in existence for over 15 years and ministers in Southeast Asia.  God is opening doors there now for involvement in biblical leadership training ministries and in the planting of additional Christian/Lutheran schools.  Join in this workshop as we look at practical and exciting ways to partner in this mission outreach.

Presenter: Jeff Ehlers
Jeff founded and has been working with Garuna since 2001.  Prior to that Jeff served as an LCMS missionary in Thailand for nearly eight (8) years.  Prior to that, he served as a parish pastor in East Point, Georgia.  Jeff currently is an Assistant Pastor at Christ Church Lutheran in Phoenix, Arizona.

Intro to WeRaise Crowdfunding | Funding Ministry Online

Join us for an introducton to “crowdfunding”, the process of raising support for a cause online using a platform like WeRaise. We will explain what crowdfunding is, share strategies and best practces, and walk through how to build a successful project. You’ll also learn how a WeRaise project could make your organizaton eligible for additonal funding directly from Wheat Ridge Ministries.

Presenter: Mark Schoepp
Mark Schoepp served the church as a Director of Christian Education for more than 30 years in four congregations and also toured for 20 years as Fitz Family Ministries, a unique family ministry and entertainment/juggling troupe. Mark joined Wheat Ridge Ministries as full time Director Of Congregation Engagement in July 2010. Mark works to inspire and encourage Lutherans and Lutheran Congregations to connect to their communities through intentional programs that promote health and wellness. Since 1994, Mark has been following the developments in the field of brain research and education, with a special interest in brain health and its application to the church, the church school and the home.

Introduction to Media

In this session, we will discuss the "Why's" and "How's" of using media in worship. We will look at a case study of Room211 in Lincoln, NE. as an example of one possible path to integrating media.  This will be a general overview of video, lighting and sound, and will not be overly technical.  Led by Phil Grimpo of Inspirmedia Productions.

Presenter: Phil Grimpo
Phil Grimpo is a graduate of Concordia University, River Forest, and has been serving the church through media for over 15 years.  He started working with Christ Lutheran Church, Lincoln, NE. in 1998 and began Inspirmedia Productions in 2000.  Inspirmedia has been integral to the use of Media at Room211, a ministry of Christ Lutheran Church.  Since that time Inspirmedia has produced several National and District Youth Gatherings and Conventions, as well as served as a technology and AV consultant / installer for many churches across the country.

The Jewish Roots of Our Faith

What began 2,000 years ago as a very Jewish movement with Gentiles being grafted gradually shifted away from those roots. Now in the 21st century, Jews and Gentiles are seeking reconnection to their roots. This session will help inform our faith and strengthen the Biblical foundations upon which it is built.

Presenter: Steve Cohen
Steve Cohen has been a missionary among the Jewish people for the last 40 years. His front line experience has been applied within the LCMS since 1996 when he founded the RSO, The Apple of His Eye Mission Society. He has authored five books, spoken in over 1,800 congregations around North America, and has written over 150 Gospel tracts. His passion is to BOLDLY declare Y'shuaas the Messiah to Jews and Gentiles, and URGENTLY equip the church to do the same. 

The Job Search Flight Plan: Flying the Right Course for Employment Success

The three greatest stressors in life are death of a spouse or family member, divorce, and job loss. Job seekers now have to undertake the toughest job of their lives, finding new employment, with little or no experience or training to help them face this new and potentially overwhelming challenge. The Employment Support Ministry at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church in Columbus, Indiana, has assisted 182 people to obtain new jobs since the Ministry’s inception, averaging one new position obtained every two weeks. This presentation will enable your congregation to easily replicate this internal and outreach Ministry, and help you bring hope to those who may be rapidly becoming hopeless.

Presenter: Steve Fushelberger
Steve Fushelberger is Vice President of Marketing and Communications for Holstein Aviation, Inc., one of the top ten business jet brokerage and acquisition firms worldwide, where he brings more than 30 years of aerospace experience to bear. His career spans the spectrum of public and media relations, corporate / marketing / crisis communications, advertising, branding, web site development, and sales. Previous highly matrixed and global employers include Rolls-Royce, General Mills, Cessna Aircraft Company and United Air Lines. Clients have included McDonalds, TRW, FMC, Mennen, Knauf GmbH and Indiana University.