A Congregational Prayer App

iPrayU is a free prayer app which your members can use to enter prayer requests for themselves, visitors or the community.  When a prayer is entered in your app, the Pastor and Prayer Coordinator automatically get an email with the information; your church’s prayer database is also automatically updated, so your members can pray with the most current information.  iPrayU is about more than information; it is about discipleship.  Your members can choose for themselves which prayers they want to care for and then they can enter care notes for the prayers they choose.  Technology is leveraged to better inform the church of what is being done to care for members, visitors and the community.  iPrayU is an excellent resource for Sun AM Bible class- share precisely what prayers you have and who is helping.  iPrayU is an outreach tool- invite non-members to download iPrayU and enter their prayer requests in your church’s prayer database.  iPrayU helps your members to be the church wherever they go; with iPrayU they can enter strangers prayer requests into a nearby church’s prayer database- helping that local church and that person in need connect with each other.  iPrayU is also accessible through the web- www.iPrayU.org for your members without smart phones.  By God’s grace Jim Buckman developed this app for you; come and learn.

Presenter: Jim Buckman  

Pr. Jim Buckman is a network supported missionary called through the NJ District.  Jim and his wife Cathy have five children- Jacob, Jim, Sarah, John and Grace.  By God’s grace, Jim has helped two LCMS churches plant and prosper prior to his present call.  Jim’s passion in ministry is prayer and planting.  Jim wrote “iPray” a book with 100+ practical ways that prayer can help your church’s ministry and last year, Jim developed iPrayU the prayer app for your congregation to enter prayer requests, turn prayer into care, gain insight into God’s development of your ministry, disciple your members in prayer and care, plant new ministry and bless people anywhere you go with prayer that connects them to local Christians committed to being a house of prayer for all the nations.  Jim is also an Air Force Chaplain and was selected as the 2015 Chaplain of the Year for the Air National Guard.  260+ LCMS churches are using iPrayU; to God be the glory.

A Christian Physician’s Prescription to Combat Ministry Stress and Restore Joy and Effectiveness

The stresses of ministry can rob the joy and effectiveness of Christian living and serving.  Perhaps, you're feeling depleted and at less than your "best practices" form right now.  The grace-gifts of Scripturally-based life practices can help us bring resilience and renewed energy to our living, family life, and service, centered around time in the Word, and empowered by the Holy Spirit. Dr. Eckrich uses a very accessible "Wellness Backpack" to understand and apply good health management and stewardship to our physical, emotional, financial, vocational, and spiritual wellbeing. These life-practices are the core of Grace Place Wellness Retreats for church workers.  Dr. Eckrich has just written a book, Vocation and Wellness: Renew Your Energy for Christian Living.

Presenter: John Eckrich
Dr. John Eckrich, a board certified Internist and Gastroenterologist, and life-long Lutheran,  provided medical care for hundreds of Lutheran church workers and their families for 42 years in St. Louis, including serving as campus physician for Concordia Seminary St. Louis. As he saw the effects of ministry stress on the lives and service of pastors and teachers, he began Grace Place Wellness Ministries (GPWM).
GPWM has taken nearly 9000 Lutheran church workers through preventative wellness education in the past 18 years, inspiring vibrant and joyful living and serving. 

A Human Trafficking Primer for Those in the Church

We hear about it. We read about it. But it can't be happening in our area can it? Yes it can! Human trafficking and sexual exploitation is a hot button issue that is not going away anytime soon. This session will provide you with the basic info on the who, what, when, where and why of human trafficking and sexual exploitation. More importantly, participants will leave with practical information to take home and transfer to their congregations. Sven and Brady will share research from their professional work on the subject and provide info on what the local church can do to make a strong difference on this ugly subject. Lutheran Child and Family Services has the only program in the state of Indiana that specifically address this topic among teenage girls.

Presenters: Brady Gurganious & Sven Schumacher
Brady Gurganious works as the Spiritual Life Leader of Lutheran Child and Family Services (LCFS) in Indianapolis, IN. LCFS provides residential mental health treatment for children ages 8-18 and a group home for boys ages 16-21. Brady is a commissioned minster (DCE) of the LCMS. He graduated from Concordia University - Nebraska in 2000. His service to the church has taken him from Healdsburg, CA to Baltimore, MD and back to the crossroads of America. He is the proud husband of Lark (Palmer) and father to Noah, Miriam, Ruth and Ezra.

Sven Schumacher was born in Germany. For twenty years he has provided leadership at Lutheran Child and Family Services. He holds degrees from Butler, Indiana and Catholic Universities. Sven is passionate about the plight of abused and neglected children. As an advocate for these children, he loves to be their voice in our Lutheran churches.

Accountability and Community – Is Your Church a Safe Place with A Safe Process?

We don’t need to look very far to see hurting people.  People deal with all types of personal struggles from compulsive sins to addictions and so much more.  It is not only the people in the pews but those on your staff as well.  They are asking the question, “Where is a safe place for me to share my struggle and what is a safe process for me to receive help and healing?”  We have that healing message of the gospel.  So why are people uncomfortable with being authentic with each other in our churches?  Why is the church often the last place people turn to?

Presenter: Tom Keithley
Tom Keithley is with Hope & Future Leadership Coaching (A John Maxwell Certified Speaker, trainer and coach)

Are You Looking for Strong Lay Leaders in your Church? Grow Them!

Come hear how creating an intentional spiritual maturity model in your church results in lay leaders serving in the power of the Holy Spirit.  Joel Eggerding from Life Spring Network will share how he has grown into a leadership role at Trinity Lutheran Church in Roselle, Il through discipleship and how you can do the same with your members.

Presenter: Joel Eggerding
After graduating from the University of Illinois with a Finance degree, Joel Eggerding spent 18 years working at a major bank.  In 2012 Joel had two major life changes. First, he started a money coaching business to help people feel better about their money.  Second, he started attending a covenant life group at his church, Trinity Lutheran Church in Roselle, IL.  As he matured in his faith Joel felt the call to join Life Spring Network where he helps to coach and train pastors and church leaders to equip their congregations to become holistic, disciple-making communities.

Assessing and Addressing Congregational Vitality

What is congregational vitality? What happens when we neglect the things that produce and strengthen it? We may see that the nearly 80% of LCMS congregations that have plateaued or are in decline need to do something about vitality, but do we understand that it’s something that affects 100% of our congregations? re:Vitality, the Synod’s revitalization program, addresses all of the stages of congregational vitality by providing practical resources for achieving, maintaining, or restoring vitality – all at little to no cost to LCMS congregations. 

Presenter: Mark Wood
Rev Mark A. Wood serves in the LCMS Office of National Mission as the director of the Witness & Outreach Ministry and the director of the LCMS Revitalization Initiative. In these roles he identifies, develops, and supports resources for assisting congregations with improving how they invite, welcome, and receive people from outside of the church and for equipping Lutherans to be effective witnesses of Jesus in their everyday lives. When they’re not on the road doing workshops for congregations, Mark and his wife Mary Ellen reside in Byrnes Mill, MO. They have five adult children, five grandchildren, and one great-granddaughter.

Avoiding Neocolonialism in Modern Missions

Missions engagement throughout the United States has been predicated on serving the less fortunate, as it should be. Somewhere along the line, we moved from serving others, to implementing programs steeped in U.S-centrism. In this breakout session, we will explore the question: How do we shake our neocolonialist stereotype and get back to eliciting true transformation through service and relationship?

Presenter: Nate Kaunley (Hope Chest)
Nate Kaunley is the husband to Becky and father to Zion, Avi, and Manni. At HopeChest, Nate is the Strategic Partner Director. In his role, Nate connects communities in the United States with communities overseas. His goal is to demonstrate the transformation that transpires within Children’s HopeChest’s community to community model. In his spare time, Nate enjoys outdoors activities and St. Louis Cardinals baseball. 

Believe. Be Real. Be Love. – Fast start to Life Groups

It has been proven time and time again, in church after church that discipleship is developed best in Covenant life groups.  Come hear how your church can get started right away building disciples by implementing Covenant Life Groups.

Presenter: Joel Eggerding
After graduating from the University of Illinois with a Finance degree, Joel Eggerding spent 18 years working at a major bank.  In 2012 Joel had two major life changes. First, he started a money coaching business to help people feel better about their money.  Second, he started attending a covenant life group at his church, Trinity Lutheran Church in Roselle, IL.  As he matured in his faith Joel felt the call to join Life Spring Network where he helps to coach and train pastors and church leaders to equip their congregations to become holistic, disciple-making communities.

Best Practices – Women’s Ministry

Join us as we share some best practices in Women’s Ministry and bravely explore the sustainability of each. What will women’s ministry look like in 10 years? In 20? What are the key and foundational pieces to put in place now, in order to equip and encourage women for the future?

This two part session will share some of the Best Practices in Women’s Ministry from a wonderful panel of women, Connie Denninger, Pat Maier, and Linda Arnold, while shifting our focus to the future.

Moderator: Jan Williams
Jan Williams serves the the Director of Women's Ministry at Cornerstone Lutheran Church.

Biblical Fellowship

It’s not coffee and donuts after the service.  God calls us to live in Fellowship with each other.  Come and discover/rediscover the power of real Biblical fellowship and how it can help your church grow disciples.

Presenter: Jason Pankau
Rev. Jason Pankau is the president of the Life Spring Network which connects, trains, mentors and equips communities of Christians to realize their full potential in Christ and live on mission with God.  He works with churches nationwide and is focused on the LUKE project which is helping to restart Lutheran churches in the city of Chicago using discipleship as the core of the church. 

Biblical Personal Financial Stewardship

Growing as a disciple through stewarding God’s gifts.  As a church that grows disciples, we need to help our members understand what the Bible says about money.  Come find out how teaching personal finance through the lens of discipleship can help your members grow in their faith and be better stewards of God’s gifts.

Presenter: Joel Eggerding
After graduating from the University of Illinois with a Finance degree, Joel Eggerding spent 18 years working at a major bank.  In 2012 Joel had two major life changes. First, he started a money coaching business to help people feel better about their money.  Second, he started attending a covenant life group at his church, Trinity Lutheran Church in Roselle, IL.  As he matured in his faith Joel felt the call to join Life Spring Network where he helps to coach and train pastors and church leaders to equip their congregations to become holistic, disciple-making communities.

Biblical Principles for Leading and Following Well

It’s time to set aside the hero-leader myth. Leadership is not a person and it is not a position. Leadership is a social process involving the interaction of leaders and followers directed toward achieving a shared goal. Learn how to teach followership. As a result of this workshop you will be able to identify four kinds of follower abuse in the marketplace, discern between the three distinct types of followership found in the Bible and use the five levels of followership to assess what people need from you.

Presenter: Jim Galvin (Galvin and Associates, IL)
Jim is an organizational consultant and facilitator specializing in strategy, change, and leadership development for faith-based nonprofits.

As an author, Jim has been published by Zondervan, Tyndale House, Thomas Nelson, Baker, Navpress, Moody Press, Intervarsity Press, Focus on the Family, and last but not least, Concordia Publishing House. He is best known as the co-creator and co-senior editor of the best-selling Life Application Study Bible.

Jim’s most recent book is titled I’ve Got Your Back. It is a leadership parable with a compelling story that delivers a concise theology of leadership and followership.

Building Missional Membership

Do you want to transform your membership from church attenders into a Biblically functioning community where members are living on Mission with God?  Come hear Rev. Mueller guide you through a way to build your church to allow Lutherans to do ministry in the power of the Holy Spirit. 

Presenter: Charles Mueller Jr.
Rev. Dr. Charles Mueller Jr. attended both his undergraduate and seminary here in the States and in Germany. He received his first call as a pastor in the inner city of Philadelphia and since 1985 at Trinity, Roselle. Chuck also served 14 yrs as an Army Reserve Chaplain, on a variety of boards and commissions in the Northern Illinois District of the LCMS and for the national church and for 12 yrs as a member of the Bd. of Dir. of Valparaiso Univ. In 2009, he received an honorary doctorate from Concordia College, Bronxville, NY. Chuck has a heart for family, the lost, missions and for justice.

Building Prayer-filled Relationships

God wants to unleash the power of the Holy Spirit through prayer in your congregation and in your community. Come hear from two lay leaders who have seen prayer change their own spiritual journey.

Presenters: Lin Wahlen, & Darlene Rosenquist
Lin Wahlen is part of the Life Spring Network team which exists to mentor, equip and train church leaders to lead the journey into becoming holistic disciple-making communities.  Lin uses her gifts as a communicator to challenge other believers to capture their vision of God’s abundant mission for our lives and help them live into it.  With prayer and mentoring being major seeds of faith in her life, she seeks to share practical ways for growth in these areas with others.

Darlene Rosenquist is the director of operations for Life Spring Network.  She is involved with the LUKE initiative that this helping to restart Lutheran churches in the city of Chicago.  Through mentoring and prayer, Darlene and grown as a disciple and is passionate to share with others to reach their potential as a follower of Jesus.

The Calling Journey: Mapping the Stages of a Leader’s Life Call

Just as life has what we often refer to as peaks and valleys, so does the Leader’s Life Call. Take Joseph for example; he is loved by his father and growing, next his brothers sell him into slavery. Next,  he on the rise in the house of Potiphar and then lands in jail….and the story continues.  In our time together, we will look at the various stages a leader goes through and you will have a chance to explore your own journey closer.

Presenter: Tom Keithley 
Tom Keithley is with Hope & Future Leadership Coaching (A John Maxwell Certified Speaker, trainer and coach)

Cancer and the Church: Impacting Lives Through the Hearts of Volunteers

Is it safe to say that every church has cancer on its prayer list?  What if your church could touch lives of those coping with cancer within and beyond your church walls?  Cancer needs are more complex to minister to because of typical short hospital stays yet long term treatment.  Karen Tripp MS LMFT will offer strategies for using volunteers to develop successful cancer ministries to impact your church and community through the Cancer Companions Program.

Presenter: Karen Tripp
Author and Christian counselor, Karen Tripp, MS LMFT, is the President of Cancer Companions, a ministry that trains volunteers to facilitate Christian cancer ministries.   As a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Karen has used her experience with those in need to teach others how to step into their struggle to build their faith while strengthening your own.

Community Development and Housing Ministry

Community Development 101

Presenter: Nicole Ridley
Nicole Ridley is the Chief Executive of LCMS National Housing Support Corporation and leads the organization in carrying out its mission to provide access to capital and customized consulting services for underserved neighborhoods in order to transform them into thriving communities. Ridley has been a community development practitioner for the past 23 years. 

Complete Guide to Planning Online Communications for Your Church

Websites, blogs, email, social media – who has the time to keep up with all these digital tools? With something new coming out seemingly every day, it’s can seem impossible to stay up-to-date. Thankfully, it’s not necessary for churches to use every online communication tool. This session will walk you through building a communication plan for your church using only the tools you need. 

Presenter: Peter Frank (Concordia Technology Solutions)
Peter Frank serves as manager of Concordia Technology Solutions (CTS), the church administration division of Concordia Publishing House. A graduate of Concordia University Wisconsin, his background in theology, business, and computers gives him a unique perspective on technology in the church. Married and the father of two children, he is frequently humbled when his 3-year-old shows him new things on the iPad.

Creating a Biblical Culture of Work and Rest

Wellness is a hot topic, but most programs make little difference in bankrupt lives. Why?  They target individuals rather than the groups that shape us. Since unhealthy, unsustainable group norms have gotten us into this mess, it will take new group norms to get us out.  When a staff or small group explores a biblical blueprint of work, rest and rhythm TOGETHER, it revolutionizes the way they lead, love and serve.

Presenter: Brenda Jank
Brenda Jank is a catalyst for personal and organizational change.  High energy and story driven, Brenda equips leaders to explore biblical rhythms of work and rest that alter the trajectory of hearts, homes, churches and nonprofits.  Founder of Run Hard. Rest Well., she speaks from coast to coast and has written for Leadership Journal, Focus on the Family, Discipleship Journal and multiple Christianity Today publications.  Brenda graduated from Concordia-Nebraska in the Director of Christian Education program in 1990.  Outnumbered and outwitted, Brenda and her husband, Tim, lay claim to five of the finest, feistiest children ever assembled under one roof.  They live in northeast Indiana where Tim has been the Executive Director of Camp Lutherhaven for 23 years.

Creating a Connection Culture

Based on his best-selling books Fired up or Burned out and Connection Culture, come learn about the five elements necessary to build an impassioned, innovative and thriving community of faith.

Presenter: Jason Pankau
Rev. Jason Pankau is the president of the Life Spring Network which connects, trains, mentors and equips communities of Christians to realize their full potential in Christ and live on mission with God.  He works with churches nationwide and is focused on the LUKE project which is helping to restart Lutheran churches in the city of Chicago using discipleship as the core of the church.