Seminars, Workshops, & Retreats

Living Stones staff are available to conduct single-topic workshops at conventions, conduct leadership training events for local churches, and lead retreats for congregations and leadership teams, so long as the training falls within the scope of our work.  Some of our team members also do public speaking in large group settings.

Leadership or All-Church Retreat

Empowering Every Member of Your Church to Discover and Fulfill God’s Call

Recommended time frame: Friday evening and all day Saturday. (View Sample Schedule.)
Optimum size group: 25 to 85
Purpose: To help your leaders/people begin the paradigm shift from program-driven to call-driven ministry.

Description: Have you ever agreed to serve in a ministry, not because you were passionate about it, but because "somebody had to do it”? How did it go? Occasionally those assignments work out fine, but more often they end up being a joy-draining chore. The root of this problem is the way we match people to ministry.

What if, instead of starting with program needs and recruiting people to fill slots, we started by helping every Christian discover God’s call? And then what if the church said to each person, "How can we help you fulfill your call?" We would find that many times filling a slot in a program is not the best way for someone to live out God’s call. This simple change–from program-driven to call-driven ministry–profoundly transforms the way a church empowers its members.

Far more than just a “teaching” retreat, this weekend actually guides your people through the process of discovering God’s call (it’s a lot more than knowing your spiritual gifts) as the first step in transitioning your entire congregation to call-driven ministry. By the time 40% or so of the adults in your congregation complete this discovery process, the ministry culture of your church will be transformed.

One-hour workshop topics

When Not to Build

Observing three principles can help your church avoid the costly mistakes of building too big too soon or building too little too late.

(1) The Principle of Focus: You should build only when you can do so without shifting your church's focus from ministry to buildings.

2) The Principle of Utilization: You don't need more space until you are fully utilizing the space you already have.

(3) The Principle of Provision: You should build only when God provides the finances that allow you to build without taking funds from present or future ministries to people.

This workshop is based on the book When Not to Build

When You Have More Slots Than Workers

This workshop isn't on how to find more workers (recruiting) but on how to reduce the number of slots by bringing overprogramming under control.  Almost every church we work with has too many slots.

Starting Grassroots Ministry Teams

In most churches, new ministries start from the top down.  How can a church empower the grassroots members to recognize their God-given vision for ministry, then give birth to the structures to make those call-inspired ministries reality?

Finding Room to Grow Without Building

Nine out of ten churches that are considering building have a better, less costly alternative.  This workshop uses actual examples from other churches to demonstrate many of the alternatives.

The More We Teach Together

One of the easiest and most powerful ministry transitions a church can make is to go from small-class solo teaching in its children's ministries to large-class team-teaching.  It makes teaching more fun and higher quality, it makes finding workers far easier, it strengthens relationships between teachers and children, it makes discipline easier, and it saves money on facilities.  Once you've tried it, you'll never want to go back to the old way.

We are regularly developing new workshops, and will be happy to develop workshops on request.

Leadership training for local churches

In preparing training events for the leadership teams of local churches, we customize the content to the needs of the congregation.  Any of the workshop topics and any aspect of the Call-Guided Ministry retreat can be incorporated into leadership training as appropriate.  Additional areas often covered include:

While these may appear to be widely diverse topics, actually they are all interwoven.  In preparing a leadership training event, we listen closely to your stated needs, try to capture the heartbeat and culture of the church, then introduce new ideas in those ways that your people will find it easiest to receive them.  Without apology, we stretch your leaders, but all except the most fearful will feel affirmed and excited in the process.