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. 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 every other Thursday from 3:00-4:00pm (CDT) beginning Aug. 15
This Cohort is open to anyone in church leadership. Our purpose will be 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 of us selecting one shirt 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 every other Wednesday from 3:00pm (CDT) beginning Sept. 11
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.

Associate/Family Pastor Leadership – J.L. Martin
Cohort will meet every other Tuesday at 1:00pm (CDT) beginning Sept. 24
Check out most offerings at ministry conferences and you will find options for lead pastors or youth pastors, but often forgotten are the associate or family pastor.  This cohort is open to anyone who serves in ministry that doesn’t fit into other categories.  We will spend time supporting and praying for one another.  We will cover topics that apply specifically to the associate/family pastor such as available resources, leadership development, working under someone else’s vision, conflict among staff and other topics the group would like to cover.

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.

Church Planters Chat – Fred Leonard
Cohort will meet every other Tuesday at 9:00am (CDT) beginning Sept. 10

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 (CDT) beginning Sept. 3
Are you ready for an ongoing spiritual transformation accountability group? In this experiential cohort, we will explore the importance of soul care practices with the intent to embrace who we are uniquely created in Christ to be. Participants will be equipped with and experience application of various tools and spiritual exercises, take a deeper dive into the Enneagram, and spend time in Scripture together. The cohort focus will be contemplative in nature. Group sharing will be an enriching component of our time together.
Recommended readingThe Holy Bible by God; Spiritual Rhythms for the Enneagram: A Handbook for Harmony and Transformation by Adele and Doug Coulhoun and Clare and Scott Loughrige.

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.

Gospel Priorities for a Healthy Church – Jared Pulliam
Cohort meets weekly on Wednesdays at 12:00pm (CDT) beginning Sept. 11
Study the Scriptures and encourage one another, with regard to living as disciples of Christ in community together. Understand three significant topics that impact our ministry in the local church: Understanding our Identity by working through what it means to be part of Christ's church, both globally and locally; Defining our Purpose by giving careful thought to the kinds of things we are called to pursue as local churches; Implementing Healthy Leadership by examining what Scripture says about those who are called to shepherd the people of Christ.
Recommended readingThe Living Church by John Stott and The Shepherd Leader by Timothy Witmer

This cohort is led by Jared Pulliam, lead pastor of Christ Church Sellwood in Portland, Oregon.

Let’s Talk Worship! – Joe Weaver
Cohort will meet every other Thursday at 11:30am (CDT) beginning Aug. 29
Worship is so much more than singing for 30 minutes at church on Sundays–it’s the reason we exist and what we were created to do! Let’s talk about the concept of what it truly means to live out our calling as worshipers of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. As worship pastors and leaders we’ll talk about how we can grow practically and professionally so that Christ would be glorified in all we do. Finally, in “Song Discovery” we’ll share and discuss new and exciting worship songs that we can’t afford to miss out on. This cohort is for worship pastors, leaders, team members or anyone involved in preparing and leading worship.
Recommended Reading: Pure Praise: A Heart-Focused Bible Study on Worship by Dwayne Moore

This cohort is led by Joe Weaver, Worship Pastor at Cross Timbers Church in Edmond, Ok. Joe is currently pursuing a master’s degree in worship studies and leadership at Liberty University.

Prayer in Youth Ministry – Russ Claassen
Cohort will meet every other Tuesday at 11:00am (CDT) beginning Sept. 10
Prayer is such a vital part of our relationship with Jesus. In this cohort, we will be talking about ways to teach, lead and experience prayer with teens in group and individual settings. This cohort is for anyone who works with youth in your local church--volunteers, small group leaders, youth pastors, etc.

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

Entendiendo la cultura de tu congregación y tu comunidad – Daniel Rodriguez
El tiempo de esta cohorte no ha sido determinado
Vamos a explorar maneras para que puedas entender mejor tu congregación y entender que es lo que tu congregacion esta mirando en la Iglesia. En ocasiones como pastores y lideres no miramos la prespectiva de toda la congregacion porque estamos concentrados en otras cosas. Lo mismo pasa cuando tratamos de entender la comunidad que nos rodea. Es muy importante y de beneficio como líder entender el punto de vista de la gente en tu iglesia y tu comunidad para que puedas alcanzarlos de un manera mucho mas efectiva. Después de que entiendas mejor tu iglesia y tu comunidad puedes hacer un plan para seguir adelante y tener un ministerio mas efectivo.

Understanding the Culture of Your Church and Community – Daniel Rodriguez (Spanish)
Cohort will meet either Wednesday or Thursday evenings every two weeks (Time TBD)
This cohort will be held in Spanish. We will explore ways to better understand your congregation and how people see your church. Sometimes as pastors or leaders we do not see the perspective of the whole congregation because we are focused on so many other things. The same is true with your community. This cohort will help church leaders have the correct view of the people in your church and community to reach them more effectively.

This cohort is led by Daniel Rodriguez, lead pastor of Iglesia Agua Viva in Omaha, Nebraska.

Unveiled Prayer – Kelly Pankratz
Cohort will meet the 2nd and 4th Wednesday of each month beginning Sept. 11
There are two time options for this cohort: 12:15pm and 9:00pm (CDT)

The cohort leader will ask your preference after you register for the cohort
Authentic prayer is to turning toward the Lord with an unveiled mind, heart, and soul. Our Father sees beyond any veil (wall) we erect between him and ourselves. Do you hunger to spend time and space learning to hear the Father’s voice? Are you intrigued to experience what happens through living a rhythm of listening? This Cohort is designed to help you lean in and listen to the Father’s heart in your personal journey with him as well as in community with others. We will practice anchoring ourselves in worship and prayer, learning to abide in the Father and his invitation to deeper intimacy with him. Unveiled prayer is the path to live in His love, mercy, and grace.

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

Youth Ministry Realities – Russ Claassen
Cohort will meet every other Tuesday at 11:00am (CDT) beginning Sept. 3
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. Potential sessions may include anything youth ministry--from personal leadership development and spiritual growth, to recruiting and training volunteers, to talking about Jesus with teens in the iculture. The possibilities are endless. This cohort is for anyone who works with youth in your local church--volunteers, small group leaders, 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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