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Community members listening to a lecture at the Rethinking Confirmation event


Helping the Preached Word Last All Week Long

David Anderson, Milestones Ministry

This workshop will explore how the Four Key Faith Practices of caring conversations, devotions, service and rituals and traditions can help bring the proclaimed word home as daily faith practices.

Participants will learn how the use of these practices can expand the impact of the Sunday sermon beyond the church walls. It will bless individuals and households all week long. Taking Faith Home, a bulletin insert designed for the home, will be introduced and ways to use it for dialogue in the Sunday sermon and as a children’s sermons will be discussed.

Biblical Preaching for the Digital Age

Angela Denker, Lutheran pastor & freelance speaker and writer

Have you ever heard someone say; I'm going to a Bible-based church? How about this: I want to go somewhere where the preacher uses the Bible?  And of course you're thinking: I use the Bible every week! 

This workshop will help you keep your Biblical and theological preaching at the center, while enhancing your message with digital media and honing your speaking skills to move away from the pulpit. Practice outlining your message using images; learn techniques to incorporate Bible passages onto screens or other media to help listeners participate in the message. Study techniques of powerful speakers and preachers, incorporated with a Lutheran-focused lens. Develop sermon series ideas and get tips on creating powerful sermon slides.

Preaching Mark: An Unsettling Gospel for Our Unsettled Times 

Matthew Skinner, Professor of New Testament, Luther Seminary

With the Revised Common Lectionary’s Year B on the horizon, the Gospel according to Mark is making its way back to shake everything up once again. How might this Gospel speak to our present landscape riddled with distrust, fear, political polarization, divided communities, and anxious congregations? This workshop will explore how preachers can tend to various themes in Mark and Mark’s overall outlook, including the Gospel’s accents on an apocalyptic struggle, an elusive Christ, a vision of a liberated and new society (an emerging kingdom), and a call to discipleship that is inseparable from the invective and revulsion associated with crucifixion. The aim of the workshop will be to consider how to preach Mark’s unsettling good news with faith, discernment, and conviction within our current political and cultural climate—especially for preachers who are eager to help their congregations better appreciate the political dimensions of Christian faith.

Preaching the Reformation

Rolf Jacobson, Professor of Old Testament and The Alvin N. Rogness Chair of Scripture, Theology, and Ministry

To a significant degree, the Reformation was the result of the church dusting off the Word of God--and preaching the Word fearlessly.  The workshop will introduce an 8-session series on preaching (or teaching) the main biblical themes from the Reformation. The themes are as vital today as they were 500 years ago.

Armor in the Pulpit

Sarah Ciavarri, Daring Way™ facilitator-consultant, chaplain

As preachers, self-doubt and shame can readily follow us into the pulpit.  When we preach, we put ourselves out there and sometimes finding ways to hide looks enticing.  Dr. Brené Brown talks of these patterns of behavior as armor, "things we believe will keep us safe but instead keep us hidden."  What armor might God be calling you to set aside to more fully tell the story of God's love in Jesus?  What armor feels so natural you aren't aware it is on?  How does Brené use the armor metaphor differently than Ephesian 6?  We will unite the Brown's curriculum with biblical reflection and homiletical curiosity. 

Creating Space for God's Story

Heather Roth Johnson, Director of Children's Ministries and Pastoral Intern, Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd

No longer can we assume people in the pews know even the basics of God's story. The most interaction people have with the Bible is the 10-minute sermon. Trends tell us that faithful church goers attend worship 1-2 times a month. To respond to this, we may need to shift how we do things in worship. Come and explore how to use cross+generational storytelling-preaching to help God's people learn God's story and become storytellers of the faith.

Sketchy Preaching: Drawing, Doodles and Other Ways to Get From "Ahem" to "Amen"

Emmy Kegler, Pastor of Grace Lutheran Church in Northeast Minneapolis

Ever since the first "what does this mean?", preachers and teachers have been scrawling notes, numbering outlines and editing manuscripts.  But for some, visual preparation—using sketches, doodles, colors, sticky notes and other handwritten and tactile tools—can be a key component into reduced anxiety, opened imagination and deep exegesis. In this workshop you'll have a hands-on, expectation-free environment to try out different visual methods for preparing your sermon. The Rev. Emmy Kegler of Grace Lutheran Northeast shares her techniques for sketchy preparation and preaching.

Rainbow Proclamations:  Biblical Preaching that Welcomes and Affirms God’s LGBTQ People

DeWayne Davis, Pastor, All God’s Children Metropolitan Community 

As more churches explore making their congregations more welcoming and affirming of LGBTQ people, clergy and lay have engaged bible study and biblical interpretation more critically and imaginatively to dinclude the experiences and perspectives of LGBTQ people of faith.  How can preaching reflect this increasing willingness to engage the biblical texts?  How can preachers move from interpretation to biblical proclamation that both locates and affirms LGBTQ people within the body of Christ?  How do preachers move from unintentional silence (or denigration) to intentionally affirmative proclamation of radical inclusion and generous hospitality?  In this workshop, we will explore biblical texts, themes and doctrines, and interpretive approaches that can help preachers proclaim a welcoming and affirming word.  We will also help preachers identify unintentional demeaning and aggressive religious language that assaults the dignity of their LBGTQ listeners.

More than Pat Answers: Experiencing God, Jesus, and the Bible in Children’s Sermons for All Ages

Jen Rome, Pastor for Children, Youth, and Family, Mount Calvary Lutheran Church, Eagan, Minn.

Children are not the only ones listening to the children’s sermon—adults of all ages love to listen in.  But children need more than adult spectators—they need adults to engage in the story with them.  And maybe the adults need to engage the story with children as well.  How do we create children’s sermons that connect children with parents, grandparents, and caring adults?  How do we manage to cultivate meaning as we share God’s word with people at different ages and stages all at once?  Experience examples of children’s sermons that creatively and interactively engage the emotions, senses, bodies, and minds of people of all ages.

Race, Culture and Storytelling:  Preaching in a Diverse and Divided World

Joe Davis, Artist-In-Residence, Luther Seminary; and Steve Bonesho, Pastor of Living Joy, Prior Lake, Minn.

This workshop will examine Jesus, race and culture with an emphasis on how preachers can become more effective proclaiming Jesus’ gospel of diversity and inclusivity.  We’ll consider: how our racial and cultural perspectives inform and shape our preaching, the implication of variegated ears, minds, and hearts in the pews, and preaching and storytelling strategies for development and growth. 

The Craft of Preaching in a Diverse/Pluralistic context

Kelly Chatman, Pastor at Redeemer Lutheran Church in North Minneapolis.

Redeemer is a diverse congregation engaged in a diverse neighborhood.  The congregations membership includes neighborhood residents, young adults, Retired bishops and young families.     The focus for this workshop is the hermeneutical challenge of preaching without using "insider language."

How to Get the Most Out of Working Preacher

Ben McDonald Coltvet, Editor of Working Preacher and Web Content Manager, Luther Seminary

Join the editor of for a comprehensive tour of the site, a brief stroll through its 10-year history, and a sneak preview of the Working Preacher app! Find out:

  • how to get your money’s worth out of the site;
  • what makes it popular (including a take-home list of the Top 9 Craft of Preaching articles of all time); and
  • how you can adapt Working Preacher content for use by lay members.

This workshop is open to preachers of all experience levels. If you’ve never heard of Working Preacher before, be sure to come!

Open House: Sermon Brainwave Recording Studio (offered once)

Ben McDonald Coltvet, Editor of Working Preacher and Web Content Manager, Luther Seminary

Here’s your chance to get a behind-the-scenes look at Sermon Brainwave Galactic Headquarters – the recording studio where Sermon Brainwave and Narrative Lectionary podcasts have been recorded for the past 2 years. Bring your questions and suggestions about the podcast(s) and have your picture taken in the “room where it happens.”

Join the editor of (and maybe even a Sermon Brainwave podcaster) for this first-ever “open to the public” tour of the studio. You don’t want to miss it!

Focus Group: Preaching & Online Learning (offered once)

Ben McDonald Coltvet, Editor of Working Preacher and Web Content Manager, Luther Seminary

Wanted: Committed, enthusiastic preachers seeking reliable, low-cost continuing ed options. Prior experience with online courses not required, but helpful.

If you match the above description, please join us for this focus group!

Bring your curiosity and honesty to a facilitated discussion about the future of online learning around preaching. We (Center for Lifelong Learning) will share some ideas for future course offerings and listen closely to your feedback, ideas and dreams. Get in on the ground floor and help us shape the future of online lifelong learning for preachers. 

Preaching Social Ethics in Today’s Social and Political Climate

Bruce Kuenzel, Pastor of Light of Christ Lutheran Church in Delano, Minn.

Last March a racist crime was committed in the small town in which I live and serve. The crime raised, in a concrete way, the question of how I/we preach social ethics in a way that is genuinely transformative in the current social and political climate.  How do I/we craft sermons that can be instrumental in changing minds and hearts?  Drawing on the African-American preaching tradition we will take up these questions and also seek to identify “best practices” in preaching social ethics today.

Registration Fees

  • Full registration (Oct. 1-3)
    $245 per person
  • Single day registration
    $125 per day
  • Master Class option
    $125 additional
  • Lay Preacher track
    $125 total
    Lay preacher discount includes master class with local preacher; available to non-rostered leaders with preaching responsibilities.

Download a printable registration form.