The Yeshua Institute has released an 8-part series of free webinars with the theme Better Leaders, Better Parishes.

The Yeshua Institute has offered several single webinars in the past six months, but the release of this collection of webinars marks the first time that the institute has offered a complete series of programs on a single topic.

Presented by Dr. Dan Ebener, the series’ content is based on Dan’s new book, Pastoral Leadership: Best Practices for Church Leaders.

“We’re really excited to make this series so accessible for people in parish ministry all over the world,” says Dr. Owen Phelps, Director of the Yeshua Institute. “Dan’s book on parish leadership is a priceless tool for every person involved in parish ministry, and this webinar series is a marvelous introduction to the contents of his book.”

It’s the fourth book on leadership that Dr. Ebener has written.

Dan’s webinars are designed to help pastors and members of parish leadership teams develop their parishes into active, evangelizing places that truly lead people to Christ.

In the webinars, which each last about 45 minutes, Dan shares his extensive experience and insight as a scholar, author, teacher and speaker who has developed leaders for churches, businesses and community organizations since 1976. He teaches in the Master of Organizational Leadership Program at St. Ambrose University in Davenport, IA, and is Director of Stewardship and Parish Planning for the Diocese of Davenport, IA.

His teaching provides a rich mix of helpful background research and practical, hands-on strategies to maximize the performance and service of every member of a pastoral team.

The webinars are available now to watch at your convenience. Below are descriptions of and links to each of them.

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Webinar 1: Introduction – A Call to Leadership in Your Parish

Not everyone who holds a position of leadership is a leader. But everyone can be a leader – with or without a position. Dan says “most organizations are overmanaged and underled” at a time when “the Church needs more emphasis on leadership – coming from clergy and laity” alike. Pope Francis says all of us are called to be “missionary disciples.” With solid leadership from the pulpits and from the pews, parishes can thrive as they draw their members and others closer to Christ. Click here.

Webinar 2: Engaging Hearts and Minds in Your Parish

Leadership begins on the inside – in our own hearts and minds. We’ll explore mindful and heartful ways that we can prepare ourselves for leadership, whether we are clergy or lay. If we are going to exercise leadership in our parishes, we need to prepare our hearts and minds for service to Christ. Only then can we call others to be missionary disciples and apostles. Click here.

Webinar 3: How to Engage Parishioners in Your Parish

Dan explores what it means to be a parish of engaged members – and how pastoral leaders can foster a culture of engagement in their parishes. The key is to foster voluntary ways that enhance the engagement of parishioners – and that can actually be more difficult when leading from a position of authority. How to avoid the pitfalls of authority to lead and inspire as Jesus did. Click here.

Webinar 4: Fostering Interactive Skills in Your Parish

Your parish is a manifestation of the Body of Christ – which is to say it is a living, breathing, organic and interdependent reality that requires the development of interactive communications skills throughout the body. These include facilitation, listening and dialogue. Fostering vital interactive skills starts with those in ministry and administrative posts, who model the behaviors that build up the parish body so it is a source of inspiration, guidance and engagement for parish members. Click here.

Webinar 5: Leading Adaptive Change in Your Parish

There are two kinds of change: technical and adaptive. As a rule, the former is easy and the latter is complex and difficult. But adaptive change is the kind of change we need in our parishes today. It’s the kind of change Pope Francis is constantly calling us to. In this webinar Dan will discuss addressing the complex realities of leading adaptive change in our parishes – and how to foster the virtues that permit us to guide our parishes in stormy seas. Click here.

Webinar 6: Leading Through Conflict

Whenever people interact, some conflict is inevitable. We can’t avoid it. In fact, trying to avoid all conflict can be a trap that impedes the development of healthy parish organizations. Leaders need to see each conflict as an opporunity for improvement. It helps to realize that there are two kinds of conflict: task conflict and relationship conflict. Often relationship conflict, which can be damaging, arises because we don’t adequately address task conflict. In this webinar we’ll explore how to distinguish the two types of conflict and five approaches to conflict that play a role in whether our inevitable conflicts contribute to parish health or detract from it. Click here.

Webinar 7: Preparing for Success -- Strategic Pastoral Planning in Your Parish

Here we look at the primary role of the parish council, which is pastoral planning. Dan introduces you to his 8-Step Strategic Planning Process and discusses essential concepts like mission, vision and core values. Click here.

Webinar 8 : Nurturing Disciples and Apostles in Your Parish

Pope Francis has called on leaders at all levels of the church to help develop “missionary disciples.” A disciple is one who is literally called forth to follow in the ways of Jesus. An apostle is one who is sent forth to lead as Jesus led. In this webinar, Dan focuses on Jesus’ Great Invitation, which calls us to be disciples (followers of Christ), and his Great Commission, which calls us to be apostles (leaders for Christ). Every parish and pastoral team can be an instrument of Jesus’ Great Invitation and Great Commission – and indeed, that is the purpose of every parish. Click here.