Pastors & Leaders 2021

Pastors and Leaders 2021:

Thriving Together

Monday, March 1 — Thursday, March 4

Photograph of a green leaf

Recording of Pastors and Leaders 2021 now available

Video recordings of the plenary sessions can be found below. Learn more about this and other past events.

Recorded components include:

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.

As a special treat at the end of the week, we offer all registrants and their guests a complimentary online concert by Girl Named Tom. Join us Friday, March 5, 7:30 p.m. EST for for an evening of fun, including music, door prizes, and other merriment!


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.



We will provide a range of engaging workshops to enrich your conference experience. Click the button below for workshop descriptions.


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. 

Weekend Concert

All registrants for Pastors and Leaders 2021 will receive the special gift of free access to a live online concert featuring the acoustic pop band Girl Named Tom, on Friday evening, March 5, 2021, at 7:30 p.m. EST. Girl Named Tom is a young adult sibling band from Archbold, Ohio, known for exquisite, three-part harmonies. Caleb, Josh, and Bekah Leichty use their unique voices together to make their originals and covers stand out. This concert is available exclusively to Pastors and Leaders participants and their guests. Mark your calendar!

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.