Terry Dorsett Leading Workshops at Church Equipping Conference

We excited to announce that Terry Dorsett has been confirmed as a workshop leader at the 2014 Michigan Church Equipping Conference.  Terry will be leading workshops on “Resources for Bi-vocational Pastors” and “Pastor, You Can’t Do it Alone: Involving Others in Ministry.

Dorsett, TerryTerry is a happy husband and the father of three grown children. He has served on staff at a mega-church and also led small churches in New England. He has helped start numerous churches in New England which have focused primarily on reaching the next generation. He is the author of several books including Developing Leadership Teams in the Bivocational Church.  He currently serves through the North American Mission Board as the Director of the Connecticut Church Planting Network.

The Michigan Church Equipping Conference (CEC) is the Baptist State Convention of Michigan’s premier training event.  Over fifty unique workshops provide training for every leader in your church.  The CEC is Saturday, September 13, 2014 at Cornerstone Baptist Church in Roseville, Michigan.  Early registration for the CEC opens on May 11.

FREE Movie Preview–“Irreplaceable”

“I’m looking forward to the release of Focus on the Family’s new documentary film, Irreplaceable, and the companion small group experience, The Family Project. clip_image002These important resources explain why the institution of the family is a signpost pointing us directly to God Himself, and why this truth has profound implications for both the Church and society.”

Dr. Russell D. Moore
President, Southern Baptist Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission

Dear friends of Dr. Moore and Focus on the Family,

On May 6th, Focus On The Family is presenting the new documentary “Irreplaceable” in 700+ theaters across the US for a one night event!

“Irreplaceable” follows Tim Sisarich, former executive director of Focus on the Family New Zealand, as he explores the answers to two critical questions: “What is family?” and “Does family still matter in today’s society?”

We believe “family” is in crisis.

  • In America, there is one divorce every 13 seconds
  • Half of all American children will witness the breakup of a parent’s marriage
  • Approximately one third of US children live without their fathers
  • 85% of all youths in prison come from fatherless homes
  • 80% of youth gang members come out of fatherless homes

As our culture’s views on family are changing, is there still hope that our country can find its way back to God’s design for the family? Focus on the Family believes there is hope for families and has never undertaken a project of such size and scope—one with the potential to transform not only individual hearts, but society as a whole. And we want you to be a part of it!

This special one-night event also includes a panel discussion moderated by Jim Daly, President, Focus on the Family; featuring Carey Casey, CEO, National Center for Fathering; Rebekah Lyons, Author; Rev. Sam Rodriguez, President, National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference; Tim Sisarich, Host of Irreplaceable, former Executive Director, Focus on the Family, New Zealand.


PASTORS ONLY: We are also offering advance access to screen the film online for yourself and any other pastors you may know of for the purposes of empowering leaders to endorse the content of the film. Pastors may request access by emailing Bob Guillemette at bob@differentdrummer.com.

Tickets are available at participating theater box offices and online at www.FathomEvents.com. For a complete list of theater locations and prices, visit the Fathom Events website (theaters and participants are subject to change).


Vacation Bible School Institutes

Michigan VBS Institutes will be April 12, 2014 at Merriman Road Baptist Church, Garden City and May 17, 2014 at Bambi Lake Retreat and Conference Center. VBS Institutes are on Saturday, 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. A LifeWay VBS bookstore will be available at both locations.

VBS Institutes start with a worship rally and core leadership workshops for all VBS leaders in the 2014 VBS Logomorning. Lunch is provided. Elective enrichment workshops are offered after lunch. Core leadership workshops feature LifeWay’s VBS theme. However, the Pastor’s workshop will be curriculum-neutral; applicable to preparing for the best possible VBS no matter what curriculum you use. Most of the electives are also curriculum-neutral. More information can be found at http://michiganbaptists.org/strengthening/kids-ministry. Register online at http://register.bscm.org.

Vacation Bible School continues to be one of the most effective outreach and evangelism tools your church can use. VBS Training enhances your evangelistic effectiveness. Research has shown that on average we baptize one person from VBS for every worker we train for VBS. Receive inspiration and training for your VBS leaders at one of the Michigan VBS Institutes sponsored by the Baptist State Convention of Michigan.

The Michigan VBS leadership team members come from churches across Michigan. The team includes Jeff Buchholz, Debi Buchholz, Derek Cromwell, Helen Henley, Elaine Hill, Lindsey Moore, Eliel Lyn Sagansay, Carla Saunders, Karen Villalpando, Betty Ward, Lauren Ward, Sharon Wood, Bob Wood, and Landon Woods. Mary Allen manages the VBS bookstore. Please contact any of the team members for VBS information or assistance.

BOOK REVIEW: Conversational Intelligence

Conversational IntelligenceConversational Intelligence: How Great Leaders Build Trust & Get Extraordinary Results [Hardcover] Judith E. Glaser (Author)  $18.99,  211 pages

Conversations are not what we think they are. We’ve grown up thinking they are about talking, sharing, information, telling people what or telling others what’s on our minds. We are now learning, through neurological and cognitive research, that a “conversation” goes deeper and is more robust than simple information.

The premise of Conversational Intelligence is: To get to the next level of greatness depends on the quality of our culture, which depends on the quality of our relationships, which depends on the quality of our conversations. Everything happens through conversations.

What Can We Learn from Our Worst Conversations. Conversations are multidimensional, not linear. What we think, what we say, what we mean, what others hear, and how we feel about it afterward are the key dimensions behind Conversational Intelligence. Though conversations are not simply “ask and tell” levels of discourse, we often treat them as though they are.

Conversations are the golden threads, albeit sometimes-fragile ones that keep us connected to others. Human beings have hardwired systems exquisitely designed to let us know where we stand with others; based on a quick read of a situation, our brains know whether we should operate in a protective mode or be open to sharing, discovery, and influence.

Protecting ourselves is hardwired in our brains. Fear and conflict not only change the chemistry of the brain, they also change how we feel, how we behave, and how others perceive us. In a nanosecond we can move from being seen as a trusted friend and advisor to being seen as a frightening threat, a person deeply distrusted, because fear has tipped the scales that way.

Being in sync with others is vital to healthy relationships. And it’s not just a metaphor. Research indicates that when we are comfortable with someone, our heartbeat becomes more coherent, sending signals to the brain to relax, open up, and share with that person. When gaps arise between what we expect and what we get, we become uncertain of our relationship and our fear networks begin to take control of our brains.

Part Two: Raising Your Conversational Intelligence Conversations are rituals we embed into our culture and our relationships, and which give us a way to successfully structure our engagements with others. Part II focuses on what you can do to shape conversations for success. Breakdowns happen when you and I think we are talking to each other but we are really talking past each other. We are so engrossed in what we have to say that we don’t realize we are carrying on our own monologues, not dialogues. When we are conversationally blind, our conversations often go off track because we see the world from our own perspective and not from other person’s.

Conversations can be categorized as “Tell and Ask” interactions dynamics. People are exchanging information, updates, and facts that help us align our realities or confirm we are on the same page. There is not a lot of trust, and people are focusing more on what they need to get from each other to validate and confirm their view of reality.

Level II: Positional:These conversations are characterized by “Advocate and Inquire” interaction dynamics. In a Level II conversation I am advocating for what I want and I am inquiring about your beliefs so I can influence you to my point of view. However, if I feel that you are not going to be fair or are lobbying at my expense, I will retreat into protective behaviors.

Level III: Transformational: Transformation conversations are marked by “Share and Discover” interaction dynamics. When I share first, my brain receives a cue that I will be vulnerable with you and that I will open up my inner thoughts, ideas, and feelings. Others in the conversation receive the signal that you are willing to be influenced, that you are about them, and that they can trust you to experiment and innovate with them. To raise your Conversational Intelligence, you need to become master and co-creator of conversational rituals that enable the greatest expression of ideas, feelings, hunches, thoughts, and aspirations possible.

The keys to successful change lie in understanding change from a Conversational Intelligence perspective. Change is more a process that “we” do together than “I” do alone. When leaders honor and respect how our WE-centric brains respond to change, they will become champions of a new level of leadership fueled by applying all three levels of Conversational Intelligence at the right time and in the right way.

Here are a few exercises for you to do at work to help your (and others’) addiction to being right:

Set rules of engagement. If you’re heading into a meeting that could get testy, start by outlining rules of engagement.  These practices will counteract the tendency to fall into harmful conversational patterns. Afterwards, consider see how you and the group did and seek to do even better next time.

Listen with empathy. In one-on-one conversations, make a conscious effort to speak less and listen more. The more you learn about other peoples’ perspectives, the more likely you are to feel empathy for them. And when you do that for others, they’ll want to do it for you, creating a virtuous circle.

Plan who speaks. In situations when you know one person is likely to dominate a group, create an opportunity for everyone to speak. Ask all parties to identify who in the room has important information, perspectives, or ideas to share. List them and the areas they should speak about on a flip chart and use that as your agenda, opening the floor to different speakers, asking open-ended questions and taking notes.

Connecting and bonding with others trumps conflict.  I’ve found that even the best fighters — the proverbial smartest guys in the room — can break their addiction to being right by getting hooked on oxytocin-inducing behavior instead.

Dr. Marc Bewley, Church Starter Strategist
Baptist State Convention of Michigan
Chesterfield, MI