Leading change is one of the most important and dangerous tasks a leader is called to do.

Leading change is important because all growth requires change. It is dangerous because most people resist change, so they will seek to demonize the leader and sabotage the idea. Many ministries fail to grow because leaders fear change, or seek change through passive or coercive strategies that only increase the likelihood of resistance and failure.

Announcing Flourish, a new training series designed exclusively to equip your board and leadership team in unity, trust, and the essential attributes for leading dynamic change. This 12-month journey incorporates learning from Metanoia Ministries' 24 years serving more than 90 churches and leadership teams.

The great need in the church today is for spiritual leaders who are equipped for leading dynamic change.

Flourish is a comprehensive new process designed to equip ministry leaders, board members, and leadership teams to lead change by learning the essential skills of:

  • Presence: Being a non-anxious presence
  • Adaptability: Focusing on and adapting toward strengths instead of weaknesses
  • Courage: Correcting, while staying connected to, community
  • Patience: Employing patient, growth-producing response to difficult situations
  • Decisiveness: Welcoming input for discernment, yet being decisive
  • Accountability: Encouraging responsibility over empathy
  • Integrity: Working toward the preservation of organizational integrity

Flourish will equip your leadership team with the presence and being for implementing fruitful change in your ministry.

To flourish is to grow in a healthy and vigorous way, especially as the result of a favorable environment.

The status of any organization is a reflection of its leadership.  Leaders create the environment for growth or decay, for creativity or sabotage. Culture, history, and structure contribute, but are not the dominant factor in growth.  Likewise, neither organizational methods nor psychological techniques are capable of producing sustained, Kingdom growth.  Rather, the emotional-spiritual capacity of leader(s) determines the vitality of a church.  

This is why we have created Flourish . . .

Flourish gathers the insight and accumulated experience of more than 24 years working with leaders in churches and ministries across North America. For more than two decades we have witnessed how conflict has increased, ministry has declined, and leaders have become discouraged.  

During this time, in an effort to help these ministries, we have employed the latest strategies of organizational development and the wisdom of social science, each with only moderate and limited affect.  Slowly and decisively we have come to believe that these factors, while interesting and instructive, are neither sufficient nor predictive. Rather, we have found, the single greatest factor for predicting vitality and growth in a church is the emotional presence and spiritual being of its leader(s).  It is leadership character, not competency; and presence, not technique that has greatest impact on the vitality and growth of a church.  

Your leaders will grow in...

  1. Unity: building community on your team and in your ministry by learning how to anticipate, prevent, and reconcile conflict in your own life first, than when leading change.
  2. Capacity: growing trust with your people to take faith-filled risk--by taking a stand and making decisions through spiritual discernment and collaboration.
  3. Clarity: developing a specific strategy to lead significant change in your ministry guided by a biblical, fruit-based pathway for growth.

Plus, your team will grow spiritually, by discovering what it means to "abide in Christ" and following Jesus' example of:

  • Engaging Conflict Redemptively
  • Making Decisions Collaboratively, and
  • Leading Change Organically

Three dynamic seminars

Learning each skill begins with a full-day, Saturday seminar. Your leadership team will gather for a full day of worship, learning, dialogue, and fellowship. All Flourish seminars will by taught by Jim and Sharon Van Yperen.

Each seminar will have five, 75-minute sessions including:

  • a short, dynamic teaching establishing biblical principles for growth
  • story, example and application
  • personal reflection
  • small group interaction
  • takeaway action steps for your team

Practical application

Along with each seminar, your team will be assigned practical exercises, Scripture study, and a digital curriculum to discuss together in order to prepare for and/or apply the principles you are learning. Plus, you will have exclusive access to audio and video content, webinars, and other resources created specifically for this training process.

Personal service

In addition... Jim and Sharon will personally walk with your team throughout the year-long process. 

  • Leadership Team Assessments – Individual and team assessment surveys on spiritual gifts, personal strengths, and conflict response styles – administered and summarized in a report to you and your team with key insights, recommendations and actions to maximize understanding, unity, and trust on your leadership team.
  • Media – Exclusive access to audio and video content, designed for leadership growth.
  • Resources – Books, articles, and other print resources about the call and challenge of church leadership.

Now, your team can learn together the principles for how your church can Flourish!

I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit.”
— John 15:1-2

Church Leadership is Spiritual Farming

The work is difficult, sometimes painful. Growth requires pruning – cutting back and removing the unproductive, so that new growth may appear. Bearing fruit takes patience and diligence. Joy comes from bearing fruit that glorifies God.

God produces the growth. Not leaders. Not seminars. Not methods.

The secret is in abiding – staying connected to Jesus through prayer, obedience, and faithfulness. Flourish will explore with you what it means to "abide" in Jesus as Jesus abides in the Father.

Here is what your team will discover together:

STAGE one: engaging conflict redemptively

  • Examining and taking responsibility for your emotional and spiritual being
  • Reconciliation as a way of life
  • The church as visible witness and physical presence
  • Why conflict is inevitable and good
  • Widely-held myths that hinder growth
  • Common conflict responses and how they make things worse
  • Why growth requires speaking the truth in love
  • How to say "I'm sorry" and really mean it
  • How to confront gently, but directly

stage two: making decisions collaboratively

  • Leadership is abiding
  • The essential virtues of godly leadership
  • Assessing your fruitfulness and capacity for growth
  • Frequent mistakes in leadership decision-making
  • Inviting and testing congregational discernment
  • When consensus decision-making is good, and bad
  • Identifying and cultivating vital leadership gifts, strengths and skills for growth

Stage Three: Leading Change Organically

Seminar on Saturday, October 22, 2016

  • Fruitfulness, leadership and abiding in Christ
  • The complex nature of organic change
  • Barriers to leading change and how to overcome them
  • Key insights for "following the fruit"
  • Developing and implementing a dynamic strategy for fruitfulness

Participating Church Commitment

Each participating church will commit to:

  • Completing a church profile with benchmark assessments.
  • Full leadership team attending each of the 3, all-day learning seminars
  • Completing reading and studying curriculum.
  • Completing a follow-up survey to measure learning in 2017.


Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Why pilot this new effort in New England?

A. The practical answer is because we live here! We've served more than 15 churches in New England. We know the unique challenges of ministry in New England – how programs and methods that "work" elsewhere seldom flourish here. God wants to redeem New England in His way. We believe that the church is God's primary agent for redeeming our world.

Q. Why do at least seven people from our church have to participate?

A. Most leadership training is limited to pastors who go away to a conference, learn some principles – perhaps even get excited – but become frustrated trying to communicate or implement the principles with their board. Board members don't catch the vision because they weren't included in the learning process. Learning together is vital for building the trust and unity that is necessary to lead change.

Q. Can I get a "taste" of the training so I know just how valuable Flourish will be for our team?

A. YES! In fact, we are offering a FREE 3-Part Leadership Webinar Series on Leading Dynamic Growth in Your Church. These free webinars will explore:

  • Dynamic Principles of Organic Growth (and how they apply to the church)
  • Why Churches Get Stuck and Resist Change
  • God's Design for Cultivating Fruitfulness

Each webinar is completely free, but you need to watch each webinar in the order presented. Click here for more details.