Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Planning for Educational and Formational Events

Hosting an educational or formational event benefits many church audiences, such as:

  • Christian education committees
  • conference meetings
  • congregation councils
  • fellowship and special interest groups of pastors and other leaders
  • synod committees
  • worship and music committees

Suitable times include:

  • continuing education events
  • meetings
  • mid-week Bible studies
  • presentations and workshops, specially scheduled
  • quiet days and retreats
  • Sunday forums during the education hour

Invite Jonathan Linman, Assistant to the Bishop for Faith and Leadership Formation, to serve as your theological educator and spiritual guide. He is available to lead or help with planning for events that are not only informational and formational, but also conversational and experiential! Here is a list of themes and topics you can choose from or fine-tune to strengthen mission in your context.

Children, Youth and Family

  • Family as the Matrix for Spiritual Life
  • Passing the Faith on to our Children
  • Spirituality and Young Adulthood
  • Spirituality in Youth
  • Spirituality of Childhood
  • Spirituality of Marriage and Committed Relationships
  • Spirituality of Parenting

Congregational Life

  • Beyond the Information Age: Spiritual Pedagogy — Teaching to Nurture Whole Person Formation
  • Building Up the Body of Christ: Making the Most of Networking, Collaboration, and Synergies
  • Committees as Communities for Discernment and Spiritual Enrichment
  • Congregational Life Rooted in Acts 2 and the Baptismal Covenant
  • De-Programming and De-Compartmentalizing Life in the Church
  • Developing Small Group Ministry
  • In Mission Together: Our Interdependent Ecclesiology in the ELCA - Relational and Incarnational Leadership and Service
  • Spirituality and Conflict
  • Spirituality and Evangelism
  • Spirituality and Social Ministry
  • Spirituality and Stewardship: Budgets as Moral and Spiritual Documents
  • Spirituality for Mission in the 21st Century
  • Spirituality of Educational Ministries

Contemporary Issues in Mission

  • Absurdity and the Life of Faith
  • Being Evangelical: Reclaiming Our Identity
  • Christian Unity in Diversity and Living in Differentiated Consensus
  • Confronting the Powers and Principalities
  • Embarrassed by the Church? Coming to Creative Terms
  • Enculturation of Lutheran Christian Themes in Missional Context
  • "Hermeneutically Sealed" and Thinking Outside the Box
  • Our Counter-Cultural Witness to the Religious Right
  • Our New Millennium: The Age of the Holy Spirit?
  • Prophetic Spirituality
  • Technology, Media and the Life of Faith
  • Theological Basis for Christian Hope in the 21st Century
  • Toxic Spirituality: When Religion Turns Sour
  • What Does Athens Have to Do with Jerusalem? Christian Witness on Campus Today
  • What Does Lutheranism Offer to a 21st century world?

For Those in Public Ministries

  • Antidotes to Compassion Fatigue
  • Attending to the Whole Person in Ministry
  • Beyond Cynicism: Returning to Our First Love in Ministry
  • Giving Thanks at All Times and in All Places: Living, Leading, Serving Eucharistically
  • Good Administration is Good Pastoral Care: Administration as a Spiritual Discipline
  • How to Help People Discern the Call to Public Ministry
  • Leading and Serving with a Spirit of Abundance in an Age of Anxiety and Scarcity
  • Missional Leadership for the 21st Century
  • Preaching as Spiritual Discipline and Spiritual Guidance
  • Responses to Clergy Burn-out and Low Morale
  • Spirituality for the Practice of Ministry and the Contemplative Basis for Ministry

Spirituality and Faith Formation

  • Ascetical Theology as Christian Body Building
  • Comforting the Afflicted and Afflicting the Comfortable: Acceptance and Change in Christian Life
  • Discerning Spiritual Gifts
  • Discernment as a Focus for Spiritual and Vocational Life (what would God have me/us do? How do I know that God is calling me to public ministry?)
  • Discernment for Individuals
  • Ecstatic Spirituality
  • Ecumenical Spirituality and Spiritual Ecumenism
  • Exploring How God works in Our Lives: the Power of Language and Story
  • Formation in All Stages: Multi-generational, Inter-generational, Life-long
  • Getting Beyond Either/Or Thinking and Living: the Sacred Kisses the Profane
  • Global and Cross-cultural Dimensions of Spirituality
  • Just What Is Spirituality?
  • Lessons from Church History for Spiritual Life and Mission and Ministry Today
  • Music and the Spiritual Life
  • Nurturing Christian Dispositions and the Fruits of the Spirit
  • Operational and Lived Theology (practicing what we preach or "preach the Gospel at all times; if necessary use words")
  • Prayer: What Is It and How Does It Work?
  • Promoting Wellness in Christ
  • Readings and Discussions in the Classics of Christian Spiritual Traditions
  • Rule of Life (how to find a balance when vocational claims compete)
  • Spirituality and Justice
  • Spirituality and the Arts - Visio and Audio Divina - Sacred Viewing and Sacred Listening
  • Spirituality and the Body
  • Spirituality in a Lutheran Key
  • The Gifts of Benedictine Spirituality for Everyday Life and Ministry
  • What Do We Mean By formation?
  • What Is Spiritual Direction?

Word and Sacrament

  • Book of Faith (engaging the Bible for deeper spirituality and faith formation)
  • Lectio Divina - Spiritual Reading, a Primary Christian Spiritual Discipline
  • Liturgical Spirituality and Renewing Worship (worshiping for deeper spirituality and faith formation)
  • Spirituality of the Eucharist
  • Spirituality Rooted in the Baptismal Covenant
  • Spirituality of Worship Leadership: Worship Leader Training and Formation
  • Spirituality of Worship Planning

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