Webinar recordings

2016–2017

Is God to Blame?  

PresenterGreg Boyd  | PURCHASE

Dr. Greg Boyd

Dr. Greg Boyd

Drawing on his acclaimed book, Is God to Blame? : Moving Beyond Pat Answers to the Problem of Suffering, author Greg Boyd confronts the questions we ask when we face real suffering in our lives. Addressing ordinary Christians, he wrestles with the unsatisfactory answers that theologians and pastors tend to offer and finds that a fully Christian approach must keep Jesus Christ at the center of what we say about human suffering and God’s place in it. What comes through is a hopeful picture of a sovereign God who is relentlessly opposed to evil, who knows our sufferings, and who can be trusted to bring us through them.

Greg Boyd is senior pastor of Woodland Hills Church in St. Paul, Minn., and president of ReKnew. He has authored or coauthored 21 books, including the best-selling Letters from a Skeptic (David C. Cook, 1994). His most recent books are Benefit of the Doubt: Breaking the Idol of Certainty (Baker Books, 2013) and Crucifixion of the Warrior God (Fortress Press, 2016). Greg received his PhD from Princeton Theological Seminary and his MDiv from Yale Divinity School.

Intercultural Leadership in Diversity-Oriented Churches

Presenter: A. Brian Leander, PhD  | PURCHASE

Dr. Leander will introduce the concept of "cultural intelligence" and the Cultural Intelligence Scale, including its four dimensions of drive, knowledge, strategy and action. He will explore the research that validates each dimension, discuss who has used the scale and how they’ve applied it toward leadership development, and share findings from cultural intelligence research relevant to leaders of congregations and organizations. Approximately one-third of the webinar will be interactive time for comments, questions and conversation with Dr. Leander. Leaders and leadership teams who want to learn more about how leadership can enhance and support diversity in congregational and organizational life are strongly encouraged to attend. 

Major Challenges Facing the Contemporary Church: Greg Boyd in Conversation with Select AMBS Faculty

Migration and Pentecost:

PresentersGreg Boyd in Conversation with Safwat Marzouk, AMBS Associate Professor of Old Testament and Jamie Pitts, AMBS Assistant Professor of Anabaptist Studies  | PURCHASE

 Creation in Travail and Creation Renewed:

Presenters: Greg Boyd in Conversation with Malinda Berry, AMBS Assistant Professor of Theology and Ethics  |  PURCHASE

Conflict, Oppression and Shalom:

PresentersGreg Boyd in Conversation with Janna Hunter Bowman, Assistant Professor of Peace Studies and Christian Social Ethics  |  PURCHASE

Dr. Greg Boyd

Dr. Greg Boyd

Safwat Marzouk

Dr. Safwat Marzouk

Jamie Pitts, PhD

Dr. Jamie Pitts

Dr. Malinda Berry

Dr. Malinda Berry

Dr. Janna Hunter-Bowman

Dr. Janna Hunter-Bowman

AMBS faculty recently identified three major global challenges facing the contemporary church: migration, creation in travail, and conflict and oppression.

Through special curricular emphases in each of these areas over the next few years, AMBS seeks to speak to both the stress created by these global realities and the capacity of God’s reconciling work in Jesus Christ to speak to these challenges.

In this webinar series, Dr. Greg Boyd, a scholar, author, pastor and leading Neo-Anabaptist thinker, will interact with select AMBS professors around each of the three emphases. Does Boyd agree that these issues are important ones for an Anabaptist seminary to address? Why or why not? How are matters of migration, creation in travail, and conflict and oppression being addressed in Boyd’s circles? Do these issues connect with the Neo-Anabaptist movement? Why or why not?

Join us for one or all of these conversations with Greg Boyd. Boyd is senior pastor of Woodland Hills Church in St. Paul, Minn., and president of ReKnew. He has authored or coauthored 18 books, including the best-selling Letters from a Skeptic (David C. Cook, 1994). His most recent books are Present Perfect: Finding God in the Now (Zondervan, 2010), and Benefit of the Doubt: Breaking the Idol of Certainty (Baker Books, 2013). Greg received his PhD from Princeton Theological Seminary and his MDiv from Yale Divinity School.

Learn more

 

Principles of Worship Leading

PresenterRachel Miller Jacobs, AMBS Assistant Professor of Congregational Formation  | PURCHASE

 Rachel Miller Jacobs, Assistant Professor of Congregational FormationOne of the gifts of the Anabaptist/Mennonite tradition is that we don’t delegate all of the congregation’s leadership to a designated and paid pastor; instead, we value and use the gifts of the whole congregation to carry out the congregation’s mission. This means that we often have lay worship and music planners and leaders. The gifts we receive are many: we hear God’s words proclaimed in the voices young and old, high and low; we are led in worship by people who see and experience life differently, and thus expand our vision for what God is up to; we are not spectators to a worship event but participants and collaborators in a worshiping community.

The shadow side of this shared leadership exists as well: leaders may have insufficient training and practice to lead a congregation well; our worship diet (of biblical texts, prayer forms, song choices) may be so varied that we struggle to find a focus; we never get enough practice to become not only competent but also excellent worship planners and leaders.

This overview webinar is designed to provide both lay and ordained worship planners and leaders with a shared language about worship planning and leading; some frameworks for thinking about a worship “diet;” a few tips for training and mentoring inexperienced worship planners and leaders; and some best practices for evaluating worship, especially over the long haul. Individual participants are welcome; it may also be that the webinar is even more useful if groups within the congregation (worship committee or commission, worship leaders, song leaders, etc.) sign up together so that the webinar can provide some common ground for ongoing work.

How We Got the Bible

Presenter: Loren Johns, AMBS Professor of New Testament  |  PURCHASE

Loren L. Johns, Professor of New Testament

This webinar will explore how we got the Bible: Where did it come from? How did it develop? How did it gain authority? We will look at the influence of various communities in the production, passing on, translation, preservation, and interpretation of Scripture. We will also touch briefly on modern English translations of the Bible.

Congregational Leadership and Ministry in the Face of Sexual Abuse

Presenters: David Miller, AMBS Associate Professor of Missional Development, Nancy Kauffmann and Regina Shands Stoltzfus | PURCHASE

In the summer of 2015, the delegates to the Mennonite Church USA Mennonite Church USA unanimously adopted a statement on Sexual Abuse. That statement committed the denomination to:

...tell the truth about sexual abuse; hold abusers accountable; acknowledge the seriousness of their sin; listen with care to those who have been wounded; protect vulnerable persons from injury; work restoratively for justice; and hold out hope that wounds will be healed, forgiveness offered, and relationships established or reestablished in healthy ways.

In December 2015, a Panel for Sexual Abuse Prevention was named to "continue the work of healing and prevention of sexual abuse within the denomination." In this webinar, Panel Member and AMBS Associate Professor David Miller will be joined by two other Panel Members to discuss the work of the Panel to date, explore the challenges that must be faced as the church tells "the truth about sexual abuse" and priorities for those who are in congregational leadership to prepare the church for both prevention of sexual abuse and obligation for intervention when abuse occurs.

Moderated by David B. Miller, DMin, with Nancy Kauffmann and Regina Shands Stoltzfus, members of the Mennonite Church USA Panel on Sexual Abuse Prevention

Exploring your Call to Ministry

Presenter:  David Miller, AMBS Associate Professor of Missional Development |  PURCHASE

How does one discern a "call to ministry?" Anabaptist churches have long maintained that there are two dimensions to such a call - the inner call - the conviction of the heart that one hears a very personal invitation to this work as the form of service that their baptismal vows are to take; and an outer call - the confirming voice of the community of faith that sees in the individual the gifts, faith, aptitude and example of one in whom the community believes that the Spirit of God is working and will work to provide leadership for the church.

David Miller, AMBS Associate Professor of Missional Leadership Development, will be joined by two guests for this webinar:

  • AMBS Assistant Professor of Christian Formation and Culture Andy Brubacher Kaethler. Andy has been a pastor, conference youth leader and now a seminary professor. Andy has developed and led AMBS's !eXplore Program that has provided an opportunity for youth to discern their calling to ministry - and invited their pastors and congregations to walk with them in that process of discernment.
  • AMBS alum, Amanda Beachy, pastor of Washington Mennonite Church in Washington, Iowa. Amanda had her sights set on a very different career when she began to hear the invitation of the church - and the invitation of the Spirit to explore preparing for pastoral ministry.

Each of the participants will discuss their own call to ministry, how it was discerned, and who was helpful to them in that process of discernment. They will also discuss what they have seen in others discerning such a call, the opportunities they experienced to test their gifts, that preparation that has been important for them, and what has sustained their call over time. This is an excellent opportunity for pastors and mentors to invite persons who are discerning their own call to join in the conversation together.

 

Introduction to Anabaptism

Presenter:  Lois Barrett, AMBS Professor of Theology and Anabaptist Studies |  PURCHASE

Lois Barrett, AMBS professor of theology and Anabaptist studies, has been teaching about Anabaptism for over 20 years.  In this webinar she will give an overview of Anabaptist beliefs.

Anabaptist theology is not some kind of generic theology with a few Anabaptist distinctives added, as if we were putting parsley on a casserole. To continue the cooking analogy, we will be considering a whole different style of cooking rather than adding just a few extra ingredients.  In other words, we will be looking at how to take an Anabaptist view of all of theology—and what difference that makes for believers, for the life of the church, and for its relation to the world.

The webinar will look at a few clusters of theological topics, with opportunity for questions after each cluster.

Planting Peace Churches

Presenters: Sara Wenger Shenk, AMBS President,  James Krabill, and Maurico Chenlo |  PURCHASE

(A conversation to follow Sent 2016: A gathering of Mennonites planting Jesus-centered communities)

In church planting processes, theological identity often takes a back seat to outreach strategies, alignment around a shared vision, questions of financial viability and the need to identify ministry support groups. However, theological identity affects factors such as decision-making processes, styles of leadership and communication, and the role of rituals in a community, among others. Sara Wenger Shenk will articulate the need for solid theological components in the vision for and implementation of new congregations.

The early Mennonites and Anabaptists took the New Testament seriously, daring to bear witness in following Jesus as they understood him from their fresh reading of the Bible, regardless of the consequences. Witnessing to God’s unconditional love and modeling kingdom communities is in the DNA of the Anabaptist movement, and believers all around the world have taken the Great Commission as a clear mandate for their own and future generations. James Krabill will remind us of these practices and how they can inform and shape our interactions today.

2015–2016

Where is the Good News for Rural Folk?

Presenter: S. Roy Kaufman |  PURCHASE

The context for churches/communities in rural America is dire.  Rural churches and communities continue to decline in numbers, services, and spirit.  Rural people continue to be disenfranchised by corporate interests, government policies, and technological innovations.  Traditional agrarian cultures are being usurped and dismantled by the mainstream culture.   Where is the Good News for rural folk?  How does the Gospel of Jesus Christ “take hold” in rural America?  This is a key issue for practitioners of ministry in rural communities.

This webinar will begin with a brief analysis of some of the forces of oppression—the “demons” that “possess” rural communities in North America (and the world).  The webinar will explore Jesus’ ministry in rural Galilee to see how Jesus engaged in community formation by casting out the demons of oppression under which the rural people of Galilee were living.  The webinar will explore how such a ministry of community formation might take place in the context of rural America in the lives of oppressed, declining rural congregations, enabling these congregations to become missional agents of change in their communities.  Current trends and cultural developments that provide opportunity and hope for rural communities will be discussed.

S. Roy Kaufman is an AMBS Sessional Faculty member

How We Got the Bible

Presenter:  Loren Johns, AMBS Professor of New Testament | PURCHASE

This webinar will explore the origin, canonical formation and canonical authority of Scripture. It will look at the influence of various communities in the production, transmission, translation, preservation and interpretation of Scripture. It will also focus on modern English translations with attention to the use of the Bible in the congregation.

Loren Johns is Professor of New Testament at AMBS.

Greg Boyd on Anabaptism • Conversation 1

Presenter: Greg Boyd, PhD.  Moderator: David B. MillerPURCHASE

In this first conversation of the year we will invite Dr. Greg Boyd to describe his journey toward Anabaptism and what neo-Anabaptism means to him. We will ask him to discuss the implications of his neo-Anabaptist commitments for how he reads the Bible, views the nature of the church, and understands Jesus. He will also speak to some of the benefits and liabilities of being part of a denominational tradition. David B. Miller, AMBS Professor of Missional Leadership Development, will host. Participants will have the opportunity to make comments or send chat messages.

Greg Boyd, PhD is senior pastor of Woodland Hills Church in St. Paul, Minn.

David B. Miller is Associate Professor of Missional Leadership Development at AMBS

Greg Boyd on Anabaptism: Engaging Drew Hart and “Anablacktivism” • Conversation 2

Presenters: Greg Boyd, PhD, and Drew G. I. Hart PhD |  PURCHASE

Drew G. I. Hart is a frequent speaker and blogger on issues of Christian discipleship, the church, and confronting racism, systemic oppression and violence. His research, focused on the intersection of Black theology and Anabaptism, invites us to consider the potential of “Anablacktivism” for inspiring Christ's followers to faithful action today. In this webinar we will invite Dr. Greg Boyd to discuss with Drew how the neo-Anabaptist movement in North America can engage Anablactivism and vice-versa. We will ask both Greg and Drew to consider how neo Anabaptism both challenges and sometimes acquiesces to systems of injustice, and what can be done to harness the energy and wisdom of both efforts for the sake of God’s reign.

Greg Boyd, PhD is senior pastor of Woodland Hills Church in St. Paul, Minn.

Drew G. I. Hart is a blogger and and PhD candidate at Lutheran Theological Seminary in Philadelphia.

David B. Miller is Associate Professor of Missional Leadership Development at AMBS.

Greg Boyd on Anabaptism: Engaging Pastor Meghan Good and the Matter of “Spiritual Warfare”  • Conversation 3

Presenters: Greg Boyd, PhD, and Meghan Good, MDiv |  PURCHASE

Do post-modern Anabaptists take notions of “spiritual warfare” seriously? What, if anything, does spiritual warfare have to do with a commitment to non-violence? What does a “call to war” mean for those who seek to follow Jesus in the way of peace? And what does spiritual warfare mean for those whose worldview largely reflects a modern cosmology rather than an ancient one filled with gods, goddesses, angels and demons?

Dr. Greg Boyd believes that a robust biblical understanding of evil must be at the center of loving one’s enemies in the way of Christ. “For our struggle is not against enemies of blood and flesh, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places,” says the writer of Ephesians. Boyd has written extensively about biblical perspectives on this struggle, including God at War: The Bible and Spiritual Conflict (Inter-Varsity Press, 1997), and Satan and the Problem of Evil: Constructing a Trinitarian Warfare Theodicy (Inter-Varsity Press, 2001).

Meghan Good, pastor of Albany (Oregon) Mennonite Church, sometimes preaches and teaches on spiritual warfare. She observes that many people don’t know what to make of her choice to focus on this topic. In this webinar she and Greg Boyd will discuss the challenges and opportunities of engaging the language of spiritual warfare for Anabaptist leaders today.

Greg Boyd, PhD, is senior pastor of Woodland Hills Church in St. Paul, Minnesota, and president of ReKnew. He has authored or coauthored 18 books, including The Myth of a Christian Nation (Zondervan, 2007) and the best-selling Letters from a Skeptic (David C. Cook, 1994). His most recent books are Present Perfect: Finding God in the Now (Zondervan, 2010), and Benefit of the Doubt: Breaking the Idol of Certainty (Baker Books, 2013). Greg received his PhD from Princeton Theological Seminary and his MDiv from Yale Divinity School.

Meghan Good, MDiv, is pastor of Albany (Oregon) Mennonite Church, where she has served since 2009. She is a graduate of Duke Divinity School and a member of the AMBS Board of Directors.  Along with pastoral ministry Meghan is a frequent preacher and lecturer at churches and universities across the country. Her blog, Mud Pie God, offers short devotional reflections and features articles exploring the nature of biblical interpretation. Meghan is currently a doctoral student in “Preaching as Story” at George Fox Evangelical Seminary.

David B. Miller is Associate Professor of Missional Leadership Development at AMBS.

Greg Boyd on Anabaptism: Engaging Mauricio Chenlo on Mennonite Church Planting  • Conversation 4

Presenters: Greg Boyd, PhD, and Mauricio Chenlo, MDiv  | PURCHASE

Dr. Greg Boyd’s Neo-Anabaptist teaching has inspired counter-cultural church plants across the globe. His call to follow Jesus in the way of peace has also been good news to a new generation of evangelicals in North America. Many of these Neo-Anabaptists find the call to love of enemy compelling and are disillusioned with mainstream evangelical agenda. Yet they continue to express evangelical zeal for spreading the gospel and, as a  result, are starting their own house churches, alternative assemblies and networks of worshiping communities in a “peace church” vein.

At the same time, in the last few years many new forms of “doing church” have emerged within the Mennonite Church, a historic peace church. Even as Mennonite leaders promote “planting peace churches,” they are embracing innovation inspired by post-modern and missional concerns. Today’s Mennonite church-planters are actively seeking ways to break open the limitations of cultural and ethnic homogeneity to better serve God’s reconciling mission both within and beyond Mennonite enclaves.

In this webinar Greg Boyd will speak with Mauricio Chenlo, Mennonite Church USA denominational minister of church planting, about Neo Anabaptist church planting efforts and innovative church planting in the Mennonite world. They will discuss the potential and challenges of these movements for mutual benefit and partnership.

Greg Boyd, is senior pastor of Woodland Hills Church in St. Paul, Minnesota, and president of ReKnew. He has authored or coauthored 18 books, including The Myth of a Christian Nation (Zondervan, 2007) and the best-selling Letters from a Skeptic (David C. Cook, 1994). His most recent books are Present Perfect: Finding God in the Now (Zondervan, 2010), and Benefit of the Doubt: Breaking the Idol of Certainty (Baker Books, 2013). Greg received his PhD from Princeton Theological Seminary and his MDiv from Yale Divinity School.

Mauricio Chenlo, is denominational minister of church planting for Mennonite Church USA. He is part of the Holistic Witness team, a joint ministry between Mennonite Mission Network and Mennonite Church Executive Board. He has been in the ministry of leadership development for almost 30 years. He is passionate about empowering entrepreneurial/imaginative/risk taking leaders to pursue their calls in planting the Seeds of the Gospel and implementing mechanisms to launch Missional Peace Communities all over the nation. He holds an MA in Peace Studies from AMBS and is bilingual in Spanish and English.

David B. Miller is Associate Professor of Missional Leadership Development at AMBS.

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