Missed the live workshops? No worries, you can catch up on all the great content with the recordings in the Workshop Bundle Package!

Start 2024 off with a burst! We’ve curated timely and important topics for church leaders to engage as the new year begins. Each workshop is 90 minutes and will include rich content provided by experts and practitioners  alongside facilitated coaching led by NEXT Church staff. Sessions will be recorded and available for individual use up to 90 days following the workshop.

Workshops will take place on Wednesdays and Thursdays @ 1:00pm EST/10:00am PST. Register for one workshop ($29 each) or all five (only $99)!

Power Mapping: Building Skills for Community Organizing

Thursday, January 11

Power is the capacity to act.  We all know who we need to ask before changing the sanctuary carpet.  What if the analysis of who has that kind of power could lead to systemic change?  Rev. Chris Dela Cruz and Rev. Brett Pinder will lead a workshop on the community organizing practice of Power Analysis.  With real world examples, this workshop will unveil where there is power to make change by mapping who has formal and informal power, who makes decisions about money, and who has strong relationships in a system.  Learn to use these practices toward everything from removing the portrait of blonde Jesus from the fellowship hall, to allocating millions of dollars in the state budget for affordable housing.

Chris Dela Cruz

Rev. Chris Dela Cruz is the Director of Youth Initiatives of Together Lab, which activates, organizes, and accompanies teams of everyday people in Oregon to build resilient communities of justice, healing, friendship, and joy. His background includes newspaper journalism, youth and college ministry, and community organizing. He organizes with multiple local coalitions including Leaven Community Land and Housing Coalition, the BIPOC Faith Leaders Council for Black Lives in PNW, IMIrJ (Interfaith Movement for Immigrant Justice), and Portland Jobs with Justice. He is the former associate pastor with Westminster Presbyterian Church in Portland, OR and an adjunct professor with Warner Pacific University.

Brett Pinder

Rev. Brett Pinder is ordained in The United Methodist Church. Brett is a climber, kayaker and hiker. Currently he serves as “Missional Strategist” for the Greater Northwest Episcopal Area of the UMC and as “Organizer for Community Engagement” at Fremont UMC in Portland, OR. Previously, he served as a pastor, an organizer, and a university chaplain. Brett has been involved with NEXT Church for years through community organizing training, becoming an antiracism facilitator, coaching, and attending the annual National Gathering.

Enneagram 101: How Personality Types Impact Leadership

Wednesday, January 17

Have you ever been sitting in a meeting and heard another church leader describe themselves or someone else with a number? You are likely hearing a reference to the Enneagram of Personality, a type system with both personal and structural applications. This workshop will introduce the Enneagram to leaders who wonder both what the system is and how it can be helpful in working with others in church and other organizations. We will begin with a presentation on the nine types, their strong characteristics, and how they show up when working with others. Then we will break into facilitated groups for conversations guided by coaching questions that invite participants to consider what their type might be, and how the way they see the world can impact their experiences as volunteer or professional church leaders.

Martha Spong

Martha Spong is an ICF Professional Certified Coach (PCC), and an iEQ9 Accredited Enneagram Practitioner. She coaches individual clergy and small clergy groups and provides Enneagram training for church and judicatory staff and leaders. With NEXT Church, Martha is an antiracism facilitator as well as coach of past leadership cohorts. An ordained United Church of Christ pastor, she is the co-author of Denial is My Spiritual Practice (and Other Failures of Faith) and editor of The Words of Her Mouth: Psalms for the Struggle. Martha lives with her wife, Kathryn Johnston, a PCUSA pastor, in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania.

Preaching as Disruption

Thursday, January 25

Scripture provides the opportunity for preacher and hearer to engage in God’s work already unfolding in the world. In proclamation, we are called to move past well chosen words toward individual and collective actions as the body of Christ. Informed by the Bible’s call to justice and transformation, preachers are witnesses who call the Church to show up in the midst of the deepest needs around them. Disruption in this context is as much about dismantling the powers and principalities, as it is about disrupting the complicity and complacency within our denominational status quo that keeps us comfortable.

Eric Thomas

Eric Thomas is the Assistant Professor of Bible at the General Theological Seminary and Pastor of Siloam Presbyterian Church in Bedford Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. His research, ministry, and activism connect critical race theory with queer of color critique in the service of Black & brown LGBTQIA flourishing, in and outside of the church’s notions of acceptance and belonging. His service to the church includes being co-chair of the General Assembly Committee on Representation (GACOR), member of the Synod of the Northeast Discernment Committee, co-chair of the RGJ07 Task Force and chair of Personnel of the Presbytery of NYC. Eric enjoys naps, spending time with his spouse Carlos Barnett, and being the uncle of Jayden, Nia, and Devin when not conspiring toward the freedom and flourishing of all God’s children who are marginalized, disenfranchised, and harmed.

Transformation Within and Beyond

Wednesday, January 31

Embodying what we believe as people of faith is central to our engagement in the world. An individual and communal posture of curiosity, non-judgement, vulnerability, and wonder allows us to faithfully address the injustice in our midst. While we can approach antiracism as a program through committee/team work or a book study, transformational change will only be possible if we oppose the systems existing within us and the contexts we serve. The workshop will consider ways to dwell in the realities of racism, seeking to disrupt well worn patterns and move toward liberation for all.

Larissa Kwong Abazia

Rev. Larissa Kwong Abazia is the Executive Director of NEXT Church and the founder of Courageous Spaces, inviting others to co-create spaces for disruption, transformation, and change. She has served at all levels of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.): Vice Moderator of the 221st General Assembly, the General Assembly Committee on Representation, and in congregations located in Chicago (IL), Queens (NY), Greenwich (CT), and throughout New Jersey.

How to Tell a Story

Thursday, February 8

Learn how to develop a story, capture and keep a reader’s attention with Teri McDowell Ott. This workshop is not only to help storytellers learn literary techniques, but also to consider how to tell the church’s story in an increasingly secular, increasingly digital age of information overload and short attention spans. Rev. Dr. Ott will highlight issues of equity and representation by asking questions like: Who tells our church’s story? How can we use our platform (or our privileges) to creatively and courageously share Christ’s message and ministry?

Teri McDowell Ott

The Rev. Dr. Teri McDowell Ott has been an ordained Presbyterian minister for twenty-five years. After receiving her Master of Divinity degree from Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary she served the church in a variety of pastoral positions. In 2008 she completed her Doctor of Ministry degree from McCormick Theological Seminary. She began serving Monmouth College as Chaplain in January of 2011 and was promoted to Dean of the Chapel in 2019. Teri is married to the Rev. Dr. Daniel J. Ott who serves Eastern Mennonite University as Dean of Theology, Humanities and Performing Arts. On June 1st, 2021 Teri accepted a new call as Editor / Publisher of The Presbyterian Outlook, the only independent news resource of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Teri’s first book, Necessary Risks: Challenges Privileged People Need to Face, was inspired by her work with college students and her experience volunteer teaching in a men’s prison.


Questions? Contact us for more information.