Extravaganza 2020 Tracks

The learning at this year’s Extravaganza addresses five complex challenges in children, youth, and family ministry:

By focusing on one of these tracks, participants will be able to go deeper and learn more. Everyone will select one of the five themes when registering.

Learning communities will form at the event through the tracks. This will be a unique opportunity to journey with a cohort of peers and will conclude with a focused coaching session to turn learning into action.

The “choose your own adventure” goes like this:

Saturday morning - All participants in a track meet together. An expert will frame the challenge, and participants will identify their own specific ministry challenge. This will create a clear learning goal for the event, grounded in the best thinking around these challenging topics.

Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning - Participants choose four workshops from a menu of options within each track to fit their learning goals. The expectation is to select workshops from within the participant’s track, but all workshops are open to anyone.

Monday morning - Participants gather by track and are coached through a process to turn learning into an action plan. Everyone will walk out of this event with not only the knowledge to shape and change their ministry, but with a plan to faithfully do so.

Due to the new format, workshop proposals will not be solicited this year. Instead, topics are already identified and people from within the Network (including many past workshop leaders) will be invited to address those topics. At the same time, we value input from the Network! Watch this space for a form to nominate leaders who might be good candidates for facilitating a workshop.


Practicing Faith: Rethinking Teaching and Learning

The models most congregations rely on for forming faith are not adequately equipping children, youth, and their families to incorporate faith into their everyday lives. As culture shifts, so must our approaches to teaching and learning faith. This track will address the assumptions embedded in current faith formation models, explore its goal, and offer practical ideas on different approaches.

Track Leader: Irene Cho

Choose this track if you need on-the-ground ideas for faith formation ministries.

Workshop topics to include:

The History and Reality of Sunday School • Our Assumptions About Youth and Young Adults Impact Ministry
Learnings from the Effective Camp Research • Gamification in Faith Formation • ELCA Faith Formation Recommended Practices
Home-based Faith Formation • Collaborative Models of Faith Formation • Not Youth Leaders, but Youth As Leaders
Learnings from the Generosity Project • Outcome-based Youth Ministry

Practicing Leadership: Caring for Self and Community

The demands of leading ministry in today’s changing times are diverse and expansive, stretching most leaders beyond their training and expertise. Leading well requires discerning how to care for one’s self while also attending to the ministry needs of the community. This track will assist leaders in cultivating a long-term view of ministry leadership that integrates personal wellness, leadership development, and ministry commitments.

Track Leader: Bishop Kristen Kuempel

Choose this track if you need spiritual renewal and leadership development.

Workshop topics to include:

How to Say "No" and Not Feel Guilty: Boundaries  • Spiritual Direction  • Being Balanced with Creation  • Abundance and Wellness
Job Expectations, Personal Mission Statements and Gifts  • Enneagram as a tool for Leading Ourselves  • Recognizing Burnout
Sabbath & Sabbatical for Ministry Leaders

Practicing Change: Transforming Hearts and Minds

Congregations have a history of limiting faith formation to ministry with children and youth, when in fact forming faith is central for all people of faith. Seeing faith formation as more than children and youth programs requires transforming the hearts and minds of the whole congregation, but how does one go about accompanying or facilitating change in communities? Congregations are in need of adaptive leaders who are aware, equipped, and adept at cultural change within and outside the life of the congregation. This track will offer a congregational vision for forming faith, share practices for engaging people of all ages, and address how to lead adaptive change.

Track Leader: Rev. Dr. Jason Brian Santos

Choose this track if you are eager to create large-scale change.

Workshop topics to include:

Forming a congregational vision for faith formation • Changing Approaches to faith formation: Stories from around the church
Faithful Innovation is more than Invention • Strategies for Faith Formation in Small Churches • Creating Cultural Change
Bringing Volunteers into the Change Process • Walking through the Process of Change • Learnings from the Innovation Hub research
The Place of Faith Formation in the ELCA


Practicing Inclusivity: Engaging Difference

The world so often separates and divides people based on their differences, rather than see diversity as a strength to be nurtured and celebrated. Loving our neighbor means finding ways to welcome, strengthen, and explore difference, while at the same time fighting against injustice, privilege, and racism. This track will name obstacles and opportunities for moving the church and your ministry toward being more inclusive, offer theological and practical resources for practicing inclusivity and share stories of creative ways God’s people are making a difference.

Track Leaders: David Scherer (AGAPE*) and Joe Davis

Choose this track if you are pulled toward leading ministries of justice and reconciliation.

Workshop topics to include:

Addressing Power in Cross-Cultural Encounters • Cultivating Safe Communities • From Servant to Guest to Friend to Family
Crossing Cultures 101 • Inclusive Youth Ministry • The Complexity of Relationships

Practicing Creativity: Cultivating Imagination

In the midst of change, clinging to the past or attempting to control the present limits our ability to see the Spirit’s movement and envision the future of God’s church. As co-creators with God, wonder and awe are critical capacities leaders need for discerning God’s presence in the world. This interactive track will offer a theological framework while cultivating imagination through play and creative practices.

Track Leader: Rev. Brenda Bos

Choose this track if you want to be more creative in ministry.

Workshop topics to include:

Improv and Faith Connections • Creativity and Outdoor Ministry • Godly Play • Creative Faith Expressions in Community
Music and ministry, Expressing Faith through Watercolors, and Storytelling through Animation

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