Pastors & Leaders 2021

Pastors and Leaders 2021:

Thriving Together

Monday, March 1 — Thursday, March 4

Meeting online this year!

Registration is only $200 this year (one computer screen)! Register by the February 22, 2021 final registration date.

Conference description

It’s been a hard year. If the current climate makes you feel more like curling up in a ball and hiding under the covers than stepping out to lead boldly, you’re in good company. 

Sometimes it seems like all the energy you planned to use for ministry and mission is being expended just surviving week to week. It’s exhausting.

So how can congregations and their leaders thrive in this time of unprecedented disruption? Who do we turn to for help? After all, who actually knows how to lead well in a time of pandemic, racial reckoning, climate crisis and political upheaval?

We’ve invited creative, seasoned leaders to offer their best insights into what congregations need to thrive in today’s world.

And we’re working to create a conference space that, while online, still offers a space for you to take a break and recharge. We’re setting aside time for immersive experiences of shared worship, for small group conversations and even for taking creative breaks away from the computer.

Preachers and teachers

Cynthia L. HaleCynthia L. Hale, D.Min., is the founder and Senior Pastor of Ray of Hope Christian Church in Decatur, Georgia. Hale will open the event with a plenary address during worship on Monday evening. On Tuesday, she will speak during another plenary session in the morning and also give input during a question-and-answer time in the afternoon.

James Nelson GingerichJames Nelson Gingerich, M.D., is a doctor and leader at Maple City Health Care Center in Goshen, Indiana. Gingerich will present the plenary address on Wednesday morning. He will also give input during a question-and-answer time on Wednesday afternoon.

Marvin LorenzanaMarvin Lorenzana, D.Min., who is based in Harrisonburg, Virginia, is the Incoming President of Eastern Mennonite Missions. Lorenzana will provide plenary input on Thursday morning and be available for a question-and-answer time.

Drew StraitDrew Strait, Ph.D., is Assistant Professor of New Testament and Christian Origins at AMBS. Strait will preach during the sending worship on Thursday afternoon.



Take time and make space to "get away" for Pastors and Leaders 2021!

To help make it possible for you to spend three-and-a-half days with us online and away from your normal responsibilities, we are offering mini-grants for non-registration expenses that will help to remove barriers to your full participation.

For example, consider relocating to a retreat center or hotel with reliable high-speed internet (if pandemic guidelines/restrictions allow), purchasing a new router for your home office, purchasing a headset, paying for additional childcare coverage or accessing a quieter office space. Please tell us your obstacles and let us help!

We are able to offer mini-grants of $50-$300, thanks to the generosity of the Lilly Endowment. Please send an email to [email protected] detailing how you will "get away," what you need to make it happen, and an estimated budget. We will award mini-grants to qualifying mini-proposals on a first-come, first-served basis. Final deadline for mini-grant proposals is February 22. 


Is it possible to not only survive, but thrive, in the midst of the unprecedented disruptions we are experiencing in our lives, congregations, communities, and world? Perhaps in some area of your life or ministry you have found yourself doing really well, despite the upheaval. We are eager to hear about it! 

We invite you to propose a workshop in which you share for twenty minutes about experiences or practices that have helped you thrive in one of the following areas:

  • Personal/as a leader
  • As a congregation
  • As a community/neighborhood


Listen to past Pastors and Leaders conferences

Recorded sessions from Pastors and Leaders 2020:

Click here to view the conference plenary sessions from 2020.

Recorded sessions from earlier events:

If you missed past conferences, you might have missed out on the community, but you can still listen to what the speakers had to say. Click the orange arrow below to listen to the keynote messages.

Continuing Education Units

Attending all Pastors Week plenary and workshop sessions earns 1.2 Continuing Education Units (CEUs). Indicate if you would like to receive CEUs when you register.

Audio recordings

Listen to recordings of plenary sessions from Pastors and Leaders 2018 and 2019.