Leadership Course

The Power of Relational Ministry Leadership

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Course Overview

There’s plenty of evidence that shows how we’re providing leadership in churches isn’t working well. It’s time for a reset with fresh thinking, fresh strategies, and a new way of getting things done. This course presents a church leadership model that’s working—and it will transform how you think about what you do and how you go about getting things done. You’ll connect the dots between God’s desire for relationship and the people you lead. You’ll discover four catalysts for effective ministry that fuel a practical, profound, magnetic way to lead with a Jesus-style love.

Course Outline

Getting Started

Discover how to navigate your online course, get connected to our ministry network, and download a copy of the Course Notes.


Thom and Joani Schultz welcome you as you begin your journey toward relational leadership. Pioneers in refreshing the church, they’ll show you a leadership model that’s working and will transform your style to a Jesus-centered approach.

Module 1. Relational Ministry Is God’s Idea

Through Jesus, we are friends of God. For those in leadership, understanding a living, growing, passionate friendship with God changes everything! Discover the foundations of relational ministry leadership and how it will impact your ministry.

Module 2. Relational Leadership Is Fueled by Your Relationship With Jesus

You can’t help others be transformed by Jesus unless you have a strong connection to him. Becoming a friend of God begins with attachment to Jesus. Understand how attachment leads to transformation, and transformation produces fruit. Discover how Jesus defined the qualities of a relational leader by modeling four acts of love: radical hospitality; fearless conversation; genuine humility, and divine anticipation.

Module 3. Radical Hospitality

Jesus’ leadership style demonstrated: “You’re welcome just as you are.” Understand how to demonstrate a radical approach to compassion and forgiveness. You’ll learn the difference between acceptance and endorsement, and develop a church culture that authentically welcomes others.

Module 4. Fearless Conversation

Jesus’ leadership style demonstrated: “Your thoughts are welcome; your doubts are welcome.” When practicing this act of love, leaders strive to grasp why someone thinks, feels, or responds a certain way. This skill is not easy, but we’ll show you how to make it happen.

Module 5. Genuine Humility

Jesus’ leadership style demonstrated: “We’re all in this together.” Genuine humility as Jesus lived it was wrapped in love and service to others. Understand how to be intentional about relationships, model vulnerability, and learn from those who are different from you. You’ll conduct a “rules audit” at your church, learn direct communication, and understand the importance of putting people first.

Module 6. Divine Anticipation

Jesus’ leadership style demonstrated: “God is here, ready to connect with you in a fresh way.” Discover how to grasp our “God-power” and realize that God is actively involved—all the time. You’ll learn how to leave time for God to act, trust that God is in control, and teach the people you lead how to spot “God sightings”.

Module 7. Moving Forward

You have been called by God to lead. This module will offer practical steps to help you incorporate the Jesus-centered acts of love into your leadership role. Discover the importance of accepting change as part of leadership, the value of working with teams, and how to focus on the gains rather than losses. Discover how to learn from failure and “flip your flops” to move forward.

Module 8. Wrap Up

Summarize your action steps and recap your discoveries. Understand how to make course completion a new beginning in your journey toward relational ministry leadership.

Course Outcomes

U Discover

How people today view God and how that view impacts their faith.

Four Jesus-Centered responses that provide the framework for relational ministry leadership.

The defining qualities of relational leaders that increase ministry effectiveness.

U Will

Understand a relational approach to leadership that empowers others and increases ministry impact and effectiveness.

About the Instructor

Thom Schultz

Thom Schultz is the president and founder of Group Publishing and Lifetree Café. He’s the author of many books, including Why Nobody Wants to Go to Church Anymore and Why Nobody Wants to Be Around Christians Anymore, and he’s the director of the documentary film When God Left the Building. Thom’s blog, HolySoup.com, challenges the status quo.

Joani Schultz

Joani Schultz is Group Publishing’s Chief Creative Officer. She oversees the creation of Group’s resources, training, and services for children’s ministry, youth ministry, adult ministry, and church leadership. She’s the author of numerous books, including Why Nobody Wants to Go to Church Anymore and Why Nobody Wants to Be Around Christians Anymore. She leads the teams that create Group’s Bible curriculum, vacation Bible school programs, books, magazines, conferences, music, and trainings.

8 Modules
Thom and Joani Schultz
Coming December 2018