Moving Forward: Creating a Nimble Church

Online Leadership Training Event

Saturday, February 13, 2021 - 8:30 am to 12:00 pm

The West Ohio Conference is pleased to offer this online training to our pastors and church leadership across the conference this year, featuring three nationally-known, dynamic speakers. We hope that they will inspire you with ideas about how to navigate beyond our current environment and work together to reach others and make Disciples for Jesus Christ. Because we know that different-sized churches face different challenges, this event will feature workshop tracks focused on both small churches and on medium-sized/larger churches.

The Rev. Dr. F. Douglas Powe, Jr.

Keynote Speaker

Dr. Powe is the Director of the Lewis Center for Church Leadership. An ordained elder in the Baltimore/Washington Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church, he is committed to helping urban congregations and congregations in transitional areas to flourish through community partnering. His research interests are church revitalization, urban theology and Methodist theology.  Dr. Powe is the author of The Adept Church: Navigating Between a Rock and a Hard Place;  Transforming Evangelism: The Wesleyan Way of Sharing Faith;  New Wine, New Wineskins: How African American Congregations Can Reach New Generations; and Just Us or Justice?: Moving Toward a Pan-Methodist Theology. Additional information.  Publications.

Rev. Karl Vaters

Small Church Track

Rev. Karl Vaters is pastor of Cornerstone Christian Fellowship in Fountain Valley, California, and is the founder of, a blog that encourages, connects, and equips innovative small church pastors. The New Small Church, "exists to encourage, connect and equip innovative Small Church leaders. That’s not just a slogan – it’s what we actually plan to do. We want to see better, stronger, healthier Small Churches, led by passionate, prayerful, capable, innovative and loving pastors.  We believe being small is not a problem to fix, but a strategy God wants to use.  Most Small Church leaders have not been told that – or at least they haven’t been told it enough. If we can help turn up the volume on that message, we will have done what we set out to do."  Karl is the author of Small Church Essentials and The Grasshopper Myth.  Additional informationPublications.

Rev. Rebekah Simon-Peter

Medium-Sized & Large Church Track

Rev. Rebekah Simon-Peter is passionate about reconnecting spiritual leaders with their God-given powers to co-create miracles with the divine. Her award-winning group coaching program, Creating a Culture of Renewal® has energized church leaders across the country to reclaim their calling and to grow their ministries. Known for teaching leaders how to bring out the best in the people who frustrate them the most, her work transforms church leaders and the congregations they serve. Rebekah is the author of Dream Like Jesus: Deepen Your Faith and Bring the Impossible to Life, The Jew Named Jesus, Green Church, Green Church Leader Guide, and 7 Simple Steps to Green Your Church. Additional information. Publications.

Schedule of Events 

8:30 am  - 9:30 am     Opening remarks by Bishop Gregory V. Palmer, and Keynote Address by the Rev. Dr F. Douglas Powe, Jr. on "The Adept Church"
9:45 am - 12:00 pm    Workshops

Small Church Track

9:45 am - 10:45 am     "The Post-Pandemic Church: What's Working in Congregations That are Thriving," with Rev. Karl Vaters

11:00 am -12:00 pm    "Three Ways a Small Church can be an Effective Church,"  with Rev. Karl Vaters

Medium-Sized and Large Church Track

9:45 am - 10:45 am     "7 Surprise Blessings of the Pandemic," with Rev. Rebekah Simon Peter.  The global pandemic brought death, devastation and disorientation.  At the same time, it also delivered up unexpected gifts that strengthened the church, deepened spiritual life, and revealed God’s unshakable presence.  In this interesting and interactive workshop, discover these 7 surprise blessings, and how they impacted you.  Take your first steps into the new reality these blessings have revealed. 

11:00 am - 12:00 pm     "DARE to Dream Like Jesus in 2021", with Rev. Rebekah Simon Peter.   Now that the pandemic has revealed new ways of being human, and of being in community, learn how to build on that reality. In this exciting and compelling workshop, take the dare to dream like Jesus in 2021. Following Jesus’ example, go beyond what you thought was possible, to bring renewal to your congregation and community. Plan your next practical steps to bring Jesus’ dream to life in your setting.  


There is a fee of $10 to participate in this training, which includes a copy of  Rev Dr. Powe's book The Adept Church. The book will be mailed to you upon registering.  

Registration Deadline

You must register by Wednesday, February 3rd at 5:00 pmClick here to Register.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Can I register multiple people?  Yes, but you must provide a distinct name and email for each participant, and you must confirm their address.
  • Will I need a Zoom account to participate? No, you will not need to download any applications, you will just click the event link provided via email in early February.
  • Can I ask questions of the speakers?  You will be able to utilize the chat feature to ask questions of the speakers at the end of each workshop.
  • Can I participate in workshops on both tracks?  You will need to choose one workshop track in which to participate.
  • When will I receive the link to the training? Upon registering you will receive a confirmation email.  You will be sent a link to the event via email in early February.