Equipping Lay Leaders

The THRIVE Campaign: Equipping a vibrant church to be sent into the world.

The Synod will be seen as leading and providing networks through which lay leaders will be more highly equipped for leadership within their congregations, be more effective in their communities, and thrive in their ministries.


Often lay leaders in some congregations are thrust into leadership and left alone to lead. Some do this well and others need help along the way. The Synod can provide the resources to make us stronger and better together. How? The resources may come from other congregations, or with the assistance of an “expert” in a certain field (evangelism, stewardship, governance, worship) where the Synod can provide a resource to a number of congregations at once to help reduce the overall expense to a single congregation.

1. Equipping Lay Leaders

  • At least half of Council Presidents (100) will participate in a workshop on “Effective Council Leadership”
  • 40 of these presidents will join in mentoring groups

2. Provide resources and training to 40 “Companions” who will lead Congregational visioning in at least half of all Southern Ohio Synod Congregations

  • Companions will be lay and rostered leaders who will be better equipped to lead visioning in their own contexts as well as around the synod
  • Each participating congregation will end with clear identity, and at least one short-term and one long-term tangible goal
  • Companions will walk with congregations to assure follow through

3. Engage 10 Congregations per year with in-depth stewardship development with each congregation growing revenue by 10% or more

  • Utilize GSB’s Stewardship for All Seasons Program
  • Relationship will be a congregation/synod partnership with the congregation tithing 10% of their increase to Mission Support to help grow the work of the synod.

4. End the decline in overall worship attendance across the synod

  • Quarterly workshops to re-train leaders in how to tell their story, moving from what we are doing to sharing the outcome of the ministry we do.

5. Train congregation youth and family staff and leaders to strategically plan their ministry, fundraise, reach new people, and recruit and equip leaders

  • Utilize Youth Ministry Network Resources

6. Assist in the identification of and raising up of 60 new leaders for professional service in the church

  • Intentional identification exercises and prayer
  • Discernment retreats

“Training from the Synod for lay leaders would be a huge blessing for me. To be successful at any new job/position training is critical. Training offered from the Synod would be a welcome guide for me, to hopefully be able to do my best when asked to serve the congregation.”


As the base goal is exceeded, money will be invested in additional congregations for Stewardship for All Seasons, more direct training for congregational presidents, and for more storytelling work amongst congregations. If funding allows, a $100,000 lay leader training endowment will be launched.

Technology share
To enable virtual meetings
Council Presidents Training $25,000
Companion Process $15,000
Stewardship for All Seasons
per congregation to underwrite cost
Storytelling training $10,000
Youth Ministry $20,000
Raising up new leaders $23,800

For more information contact Campaign Manager, Pastor Larry Donner, by completing the form below.