Start New Year Right, With Workshop From Institute for Discipleship

December 16, 2009

Even as 2009 winds to a close, everyone is busy preparing for the new year to come. As you carry out those preparations, you're encouraged to take note of the 11 new workshops the Institute for Discipleship is launching in January through

Upcoming Workshops from - January and February
Preparing Conference Journals
This is an online seminar for Conference Secretaries and Journal Editors, covering everything from gathering Journal information to production styles/ideas. It will be led by Cherrie Graham of UMR Communications in Dallas. Included will be software concerns; pros and cons of print vs. electronic journals; organizing your work flow; maintaining a schedule; working with other members of your team; and creating your final production in both print and electronic formats. This three-week course will include three live Eluminate sessions (one hour each week) and a variety of resources. Other than the three live sessions to be scheduled during the course, the participant may work according to his or her own schedule (recommended 1 hour per day).
New Partnership With the Wesley Ministry Network (Wesley Seminary in Washington, DC) and the Wesley Ministry Network have joined forces to take the wonderful WMN courses into an online setting. The first four courses to be offered, beginning January 11, are: Journey Through the Psalms, Serious Answers to Hard Questions, Simply Christian, and Women Speak of God. Bishop Richard Wilke says "I highly recommend Wesley Ministry Network courses as the perfect follow-up to DISCIPLE Bible study. The content is superb and the combination of print, video, and Internet communication is dynamic."
Writing Your Safe Sanctuary Policy
This six-week online workshop for United Methodist congregations, instructed by Beth Perry, will help congregational teams of three participants write, approve, and implement a Safe Sanctuary policy. 
Participants will learn why congregations should have a Safe Sanctuary policy; how to develop a Safe Sanctuary committee; what the Safe Sanctuary Policy and Response Plan are; how to get these approved in a local congregation; how to implement the policy once it's written; and answers to possible other issues that may arise. Participants will have access to the website throughout the entire six weeks and be able to work at a time most convenient for their daily schedules. They will receive information, read, and discuss with other participants in a discussion board format, then take what is learned back to their own congregations with an assignment. This pattern will repeat until the policy is finalized.
What is the benefit? Compliance with denominational and Annual Conference regulations, as well as protection for your children and youth, your teachers and leaders, and your congregation's reputation and resources! What better benefit to you than to know you are helping in such a great mission?
Online Advanced Course in Lay Speaking Ministry
(This course has been approved by the General Board of Discipleship as an advanced course in Lay Speaking Ministries.)
Working with Sandy Jackson, is pleased to offer the first online advanced certification course in Lay Speaking Ministries, offered by instructor, Daniel Benedict. Leading Worship 101 for Lay People will focus on basic worship leadership skills for lay persons ("liturgists" or "lay readers") who assist the pastor in Christian worship. If you currently help lead worship in your congregation or would like to prepare for such leadership, this course is for you. Particular emphasis will be given basic skills: understanding your role in relation to other leaders and the congregation, reading Scripture, leading prayer, distribution of the elements at the Lord's Supper, taking other roles in worship, and some basic do's and don'ts of effective worship leadership. Deacons, elders/presbyters, and lay worship leader coordinators are also welcome, particularly with an eye to doing local training and providing support to lay readers/assisting ministers in their local church settings.
Other Online Workshops in January
Living into the Answers: A Workshop on Personal Spiritual Discernment (This workshop is supported by the Upper Room. It is close to full, but another session has been scheduled.)
Multi-media Technology in Worship for the Church Volunteer 101 (This is a repeat of a very popular fall course.)
Biblical Storytelling II (This workshop is a more advanced session to one which was offered in the fall.)
Disciple Making 101 (This is a repeat of a very popular workshop from one of the IFD's biggest supporters. Focus is on a system for making disciples.)
For more information visit