Business Leaders and Pastors: Partners in Leadership and Ministry

In conjunction with Mennonite Economic Development Associates Convention

Thursday, November 6, 1:00-5:00 p.m. 
The Fairmont Winnipeg 

2 Lombard Place
Winnipeg, Manitoba

Business leaders and pastors provide leadership in their community and congregation.  As followers of Christ, both wish to discern God's call on their lives, to work for God's purposes in the world, and to extend God's reign of justice and peace in their communities.  Yet despite these common goals, business leaders and pastors sometimes encounter barriers to pursuing a shared vision.

Business leaders sometimes experience the church as:

  • Irrelevant in their community
  • Unsupportive of their leadership in the church
  • Unaware and unhelpful when businesses in their community are struggling
  • Having high expectations for a major financial contribution without involvement in the process

Pastors may experience business leaders in their congregation as:

  • Intimidating with their local prestige, wealth, or power
  • Difficult to provide pastoral care to since they work in an unfamiliar world
  • Bringing a different decision-making style that doesn't always fit in a congregation
  • Unable to relate to the biblical themes of simplicity, integrity and suffering preached

This workshop will explore how business leaders and pastors can connect meaningfully with each other and jointly contribute to "God activity" both inside and outside the congregation.  It will explore how pastors and business leaders can empower each other for ministry and shape a shared mission for their churches and communities.

Keynote speaker

David B. Miller joined the AMBS faculty in the fall of 2009 following twenty years of pastoral experience in Pennsylvania and Indiana. Prior to coming to AMBS he had also taught in the Pastoral Ministries Program at Hesston College and directed the Mennonite Board of Missions Voluntary Service Program.

The questions surrounding how pastors and business leaders communicate and together wrestle with the shape of faithful discipleship became more than a theoretical question when he married Mary Kathryn Schmid. Mary’s father was then president of Smith Dairy in Orrville, Ohio, a business founded by her grandfather in 1909. David notes, “My worldview had been shaped by the experience of blue collar workers. I was the son and grandson of tool and die makers. Needless to say, Mary and I had much to learn from each other—and how to communicate when formed by such differing perspectives. Ours has been an ongoing conversation in which stereotypes have been challenged and categories re-arranged.”


Time Description
12:30 p.m.  Registration and Gathering (lunch not included)
1:00-5:00 p.m.

Sessions (below)
Facilitator: Herta Janzen

Session 1

A Theology of Leadership for Business Leaders and Pastors

  • David B. Miller, associate professor of Missional Development, AMBS
  • Table group discussions

Session 2

Caucus Groups: Exploring what causes and contributes to the divide between business leaders and pastors.  What do we want each other to know?

  • Facilitator for business leaders:  Ron Penner, president, Primrose Farm
  • Facilitator for pastors:  Don Rempel Boschman, lead pastor, Douglas Mennonite Church

Session 3

Exploring how pastors and business leaders can connect in meaningful ways, emplwer each other for ministry, and shape a shared mission for their churches and communities

  • David B. Miller
  • Table group discussions

Session 4

Affirming and Blessing the Work and Calling of Business Leaders and Pastors

  • Herta Janzen
  • David B. Miller


$42 CAD
$39 USD

Previous workshops

A summary of the first three of these workshops, prepared by Jeremy Shue, reflects themes that have emerged as important for both pastors and business leaders.


  • Email: [email protected]
  • Phone:  1-800-665-7026