LEAD Cohorts

LEAD Cohorts are online meeting places for small groups of MB pastors and leaders – or anyone interested in learning more about a specific topic or gathering with like-minded people.

LEAD Cohorts are FREE to all participants. The only cost is for books or materials, if recommended by the cohort leader. LEAD Cohorts typically last three months and meet online every two weeks for about an hour.

The next session of LEAD Cohorts will begin soon; watch your email inbox for registration information. If you have additional questions please email Lori Taylor.

The cohort descriptions are listed below. To register, just click on the red links in the right column. You may register for more than one cohort. Sign up today!

All times are listed in Central Standard Time (CST). Some cohorts have undetermined dates and/or times. Once you register you will hear from the cohort leader with more details.

9 Paradigm Shifts for Activating the Church – Stephen Humber
Cohort will meet twice monthly on Thursday at 3:00pm (CST) beginning Jan. 2
Jan. 2 & 16, Feb. 6 & 20, Mar. 5 & 19, Apr. 2 & 23
Back by popular response. This Cohort is relevant to anyone in church leadership (paid or unpaid). Our purpose is to consider ways in which we can best be the Church in our time. Based on the free e-book by Brad Briscoe, we'll read and discuss these ideas with a goal of each participant selecting one shift to further pursue.
Recommended e-book: Re-Think: 9 Paradigm Shifts for Activating the Church (E-book provided by cohort leader upon registration)

This cohort is led by Stephen Humber who serves on the mobilization team of Multiply.

About Nothing for Those Who Want to Talk About Something - Tim Thiessen & Phil Wiebe
Cohort will meet twice monthly on Wednesday at 3:00pm (CST) beginning Jan. 15
Jan. 15 & 29, Feb. 12 & 26, Mar. 11 & 25, Apr. 8
In community we can dream of fun possibilities, have a context to handle difficult stuff and celebrate each other’s victories. Out of relationships ministry partnerships happen. This cohort is about building and strengthening relationships through organic conversations – what’s on your mind this week? This cohort is for people looking for friends, real friends who love the Lord and want to build His Kingdom together. No other agendas, please.

This cohort is led by Tim Thiessen, lead pastor of Birch Bay Bible Church in Blaine, Washington, and Phil Wiebe, lead pastor of Lakeview Church, a new church plant in Stansbury Park, Utah.

(Spanish) Ayudando a que la Gente se Quede en tu Iglesia – Daniel Rodriguez
Cohort will meet weekly on Thursday at 8:00pm (CST) beginning Jan. 23
Jan. 23 & 30, Feb. 6, 13, 20 & 27, Mar. 5 & 12
Sticky Churches por Larry Osborne. Un resumed del libro y de las ideas que puede ayudar a cada iglesia. Las ideas de este libro son un buen ejemplo para pastores y lideres que pueden mirar algunos de los problemas que todas las iglesias enfrentan pero que en ocasiones son ignoradas o simplemente no sabemos como enfrentar. Seamos honestos, hablemos y oremos juntos para aprender como podemos ser mejores iglesias.

La cohorte está dirigida por Daniel Rodriguez, pastor de la Iglesia Agua Viva en Omaha, Nebraska.

(This cohort will be in Spanish. Daniel Rodriguez, pastor of Iglesia Agua Viva in Omaha, Nebraska, will discuss key ideas that may be helpful for every church. Daniel will refer to the book, Sticky Church by Larry Osborne. The ideas of the book are a great insight for pastors and leaders to see some of the issues that every church faces but sometimes are ignored or unable to deal with.)

Becoming a House of Prayer for All Nations – Esther Leonard
Cohort date and time not determined
In this cohort, we will learn how to move your church into becoming a house of prayer. We will discuss practical ways to establish a prayer ministry that is used to usher people into the presence of Jesus, develop a prayer team that surrounds pastors, lead an interactive corporate prayer meeting and practically equip the Church in prayer so that she is effective in ministry and missions.

This cohort is led by Esther Leonard, Pastor of Prayer Ministry at Mountain View Church in Fresno, CA.

Church Planters Chat – Fred Leonard
Cohort will meet twice monthly on Tuesday at 9:00 am (CST) beginning Jan. 14
Jan. 14 & 28, Feb. 11 & 25, Mar. 17 & 31, Apr. 14 & 28
Are you currently planting a church or interested in becoming a church planter soon? This cohort will focus on current church planting issues, delve into vision and church planting strategies and provide opportunities for conversations and prayer with other planters.

Fred Leonard is the lead pastor of Mountain View Church in Fresno, California. Fred has a passion for developing church vision and equipping and releasing men and women into ministry.

Contemplative Conversations - Ongoing Spiritual Transformation – Chandelle Claassen
Cohort will meet twice monthly on Tuesday at 2:00pm (CST) beginning Jan. 7
Jan. 7 & 21, Feb. 4 & 18, Mar. 3 & 24, Apr. 7 & 21
In this experiential cohort, we will explore the importance of soul care practices. This Spring cohort will be focused around Psalm 23 as we seek to practice living in His presence; living with contentment, peace, and security. The cohort focus will be contemplative in nature. Group sharing will be an enriching component of our time together.
Recommended reading: Life Without Lack: Living in the Fullness of Psalm 23 by Dallas Willard

This cohort is led by Chandelle Claassen, a trained spiritual director and certified life coach and member of the USMB LEAD Coaching team. Chandelle lives in North Newton, Kansas.

The Digital and Social Church – Matt Ehresman
Cohort will meet twice monthly on Thursday at 2:00pm (CST) beginning Jan. 23
Jan. 23, Feb. 6 & 20, Mar. 5 & 19, Apr. 2, 16 & 30
The world is increasingly connected online and your church should be, too. Our churches can provide opportunities for our communities to move forward in their relationships with Jesus beyond what we offer inside our four walls on a Sunday morning. No matter the size of your church or the makeup of your staff, there are (relatively) easy things you can do every week to engage with your community in ways that are relevant and meaningful to them. This course will cover the basics of social media, podcasts (including LEAD Pods coming soon), blogs, video, graphic design, email marketing and other digital tools available for free or very little cost to your church.

This cohort is led by Matt Ehresman, media director at First MB Church in Wichita, Kansas.

Discerning the Voice of God – Kelly Pankratz
Cohort will meet twice monthly on Thursday at 12:00pm (CST) beginning Jan. 23
Jan. 23, Feb. 6 & 20, Mar. 5 & 19, Apr. 2, 16 & 30
Do you feel that the ability to hear God's voice is for other people and not for you? The God who loved you enough to die for you loves you enough to talk to you. Wherever you are in your spiritual walk, God will find a way to speak to you in a way you will understand. Become acquainted with the Voice that has spoken from a fire and a cloud, with visible signs and an invisible Spirit, through a burning bush and burning hearts. In this cohort you will discover for yourself how you can discern the voice of God.
Recommended reading: Discerning the Voice of God by Priscilla Shirer

This cohort is led by Kelly Pankratz who serves on the mobilization team of Multiply.

The Gospel Driven Church – J.L. Martin
Cohort will meet twice monthly on Wednesday at 12:00pm (CST) beginning Jan. 15
Jan. 15 & 22, Feb. 5 & 19, Mar. 4 & 18, Apr. 1 & 15
Gospel centered has become a popular term within the church.  But what does it mean?  And what does it look like in practice?  In The Gospel Driven Church by Jared C. Wilson, these questions are discussed and addressed. The inside cover states, "you will learn to assess your church in light of Christ's finished work and lead your church to embrace the gospel of God's grace.  Some interesting chapter titles, The Five Metrics That Matter Most, Putting the Gospel in the Driver's Seat and Building Your Service around Beholding.
Recommended reading: The Gospel Driven Church: Uniting Church-Growth Dreams with the Metrics of Grace by Jared C. Wilson

This cohort is led by J.L. Martin, Pastor of Children and Family at Hesston MB Church in Hesston, KS where he has served for 10 years. He has also served for 8 years as a youth pastor and associate pastor at previous churches.

Youth Ministry Realities – Russ Claassen
Cohort will meet twice monthly on Thursday at 10:00am (CST) beginning Jan. 23
Jan. 23, Feb. 6 & 20, Mar. 5 & 26, Apr. 9 & 23
Get to know other youth workers as we engage in passionate discussion focused on the realities we face as youth workers. We will explore topics relevant to the group. Sessions may include anything related to youth ministry--from personal leadership development and spiritual growth, to recruiting and training volunteers, parent ministries and talking about Jesus with teens. The possibilities are endless. This cohort is for anyone who works with youth in your local church--volunteers, small group leaders, youth pastors, youth pastors, etc.

This cohort is led by Russ Claassen, SDC district youth minister. Russ lives in North Newton, Kansas.



for the cohort(s) you are interested in. You may cancel your registration at any time. If you are interested in a cohort but the dates don't work, please register anyway and send lori@usmb.org an email with your preferences. Will will do our best to accommodate the needs of cohort participants.

Note: Times and dates on registration forms may not be accurate. The correct information is listed in the descriptions to the left. Once registered, you will be contacted by the cohort leader with more details and information. Thank you. 


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