Intensives

Each Intensive Includes:

  • A Daily Meditation in your inbox
  • Course curriculum set to advance at your own pace
  • Sessions that invite personal reflection and interaction among learners
  • Monthly school-wide coaching session with Brian McLaren (via Zoom)
  • Engagement via the Convergence App community – our online organizing and action network.
  • Invitations to gatherings throughout the year
intensive1

Church Impact: From Organized Religion to Organizing Religion

Our churches could play a revolutionary role in addressing our world’s most pressing problems. We can lead the way in caring for the planet. We can address the needs of the poor. We can become agents of peace. And we can stand for the dignity of all people, beginning with the most vulnerable. In this intensive, we will help your congregation develop a vision and a plan for organizing your congregation to be a community of spiritual activists (aka disciples), engaging in good work for the common good, inspired by faith, hope, and love.

We recommend all students begin with this course.

Available on-demand.

 

intensive2

Your Message Matters: Becoming a Public Theologian for the 21st Century

Many of us were raised to think of the gospel as an evacuation plan for heaven, the church as a warehouse to store souls until they’re shipped to their final destination, and the pastor as the warehouse operator. But we are discovering a revolutionary new vision: first, of the gospel as a transformation plan; second, of the church as a training center for contemplative spiritual activists, and third, of the pastor as a leader in God’s mission in the world. How can your preaching, leadership in worship, pastoral care, organizational planning and leadership, and personal example be transformed by this vision? That’s the focus of this intensive – for current and potential pastors, church planters, and lay leaders.

Available on-demand.

 

intensive3

Clarifying Your Church’s Identity: Convening Around a Strong Center

Many congregations have no clear sense of who they are or why they’re here. They continue by inertia and habit. How could your congregation create a strong identity that would attract new people and activate your current members? How can you begin to define your identity by a dynamic way of life rather than a static system of beliefs, list of rituals, or piece of real estate? In this intensive, you’ll rethink your identity and develop a plan for helping your conversation discover a new way of being, seeing, living, and loving.

Available on-demand.

 

intensive4

Curating Change In Your Church

“My church needs change – but fights it at every turn!” pastors say. (Sometimes, congregants say the same about their pastors!) It’s odd that an organization ostensibly founded on “good news” tends to prefer “the familiar old.” And it’s sad when an organization desperately in need of change fears change above all else, even irrelevance and extinction. Whether they’re Orthodox, Catholic, or Protestant, tongues-speaking Pentecostals or incense-burning liturgicals, large majorities of our churches seem to share this one common characteristic: a cautious if not suspicious if not terrorized response to change. There are a thousand fascinating sociological and historical roots to the change aversion so common in our congregations, but in this intensive, we’ll be focusing on how to guide our congregations through constructive and needed change … how to prepare for it, introduce it, guide it, restart it, troubleshoot it, celebrate it, and learn through and from it. The change your congregation needs most – or next – may be large or small, but you’ll find guidance and help in Curating Change in Your Church.

Available on-demand.

 

intensive5

Your Congregation as a School of Love

“Without love, we have nothing,” Paul said. “The greatest commandment is … love,” Jesus said. But why are so many of our churches full of angry, bitter, ungenerous, self-centered, judgmental, or complacent people? In this intensive, we’ll help you make “the main thing the main thing,” and we’ll help you make revolutionary love your highest aim in each area of church life, from preaching to budgeting to formation to mission to singing to baptisms to funerals to praying to  … everything. And we’ll start with you!

Available on-demand.

 

intensive6

Piloting Church

Many congregations are grounded – shrinking in membership and resources, unsure of how to make the changes needed to be vital. In this intensive, we’ll give you some practical tools to attract new people, raise more money, and increase your congregational impact. By the end, your church will be ready to take flight!

Available on-demand.

 

intensive7

Worship Matters

Many of our churches treat our liturgies (or orders of worship) as checklists … as if God would get a headache or break out in the hives if we didn’t “treat” God with a prelude, invocation, sermon, offertory, and benediction at least once every seven days. What if, instead, we could see liturgy as a revolutionary act, not because God needs it, but because we do? What if we maximized liturgy for spiritual formation in the way of Christ, infusing people with a transformative identity, equipping people for a robust way of life, deepening people’s sense of belonging, and preparing them for mission? What if your public worship gathering became like a spiritual gym or yoga class – “the workout of the people” – where people exercised their souls in love for God, neighbor, self, other, and the earth? In this intensive, you’ll assess your current liturgy and imagine how it could be adapted and energized, so that your people started counting the days until next Sunday (or whatever day you meet).

Available on-demand.

 

Still have questions?