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Extravaganza 2023 Learning Tracks

These learning tracks will shape our learning around specialized topics, each of which are led by an expert in that area of ministry. All learning tracks will include workshop topics that supplement the track. Check back for more information about track leaders. 

There is no need to indicate your track prior to the event, participants will select their desired learning track during the event.

How to Build a New Kind of Church Without Getting Fired

Pandemic life has made ministry hard for over two years, and most of us have had enough. Our people want us to return to normal, but what is “normal”?! How do we encourage change in our ministries, looking forward and not getting stuck reminiscing over “what was” - even if that was only three years ago, not 30 years ago? This track includes envisioning new ways of doing ministry, while also finding the courage and partnerships, alongside the skills and energy to pursue doing ministry in a new way…without getting fired for thinking and dreaming outside of the box. If you are looking to stretch your ministry muscles in new ways, and to collaborate using fresh ideas while keeping the gospel central in all we do, this track is for you!

Making Your Church a Safe Place for Children and Youth

The statistics can seem overwhelming when we talk about how young people are treated within society, from bullying to abuse to isolation; both from their peers and from adults. So how do we as ministry leaders build and provide a safe place for our children and youth? We’ve had enough of the inequity, racism, and fear in the world - but does it have to be the same in the church? No! This track is designed to provide resources to ministry leaders who desire the skills to understand issues of diversity, identity, purpose, and belonging, and to put that understanding into practice, as a grace-filled leader. If you are feeling overwhelmed, lack resources, and are tired of feeling inadequate in your training to speak and lead in these areas, this track is for you!

Your Story Is Enough: You Can't Fill From an Empty Cup

Everyone has a story to share, yet too often we don’t feel like it’s important enough to tell. Henri Nouwen speaks about the Wounded Healer, and how we can walk best with others because of our shared journeys and painful experiences. But how can we, if we never share the stories of our journeys? This track will help ministry leaders claim their stories of triumph and tragedy, learn how to invite others to do the same, and provide resources for self-care and building your ministry. We are not on this journey alone, and we sometimes need to learn how to hold space for hearing another’s story, and also telling our own, so that the body of Christ can more fully walk the journey arm in arm together.

Reclaiming the "E" Word: A New Form of Outreach

Too often we cringe at the word “evangelical” with its deep ties to colonization, conversion, and condescension. How do we reconcile those connotations with our identity as Evangelical Lutherans and our call to go and make disciples, spreading the Gospel to the ends of the earth? How do we teach our children and youth to share their joy and faith in Jesus if they see our fear of how we might be received? This track shares refreshing ways of sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ with those who have been hurt by the church or who just haven’t seen us live out the gospel in ways that remind us that the Word is enough, and that rooted in the Word, they are already enough, and we are ENOUGH! Evangelism isn’t about butts in the pews but building genuine relationships filled with the love of Christ. For ministry leaders who are “on fire'' and want to share, but are afraid and/or don’t know how to, this track will give direction and examples of how to evangelize in an approachable, relational and practical way with grace enough for all.

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