USMB announces fall LEAD Cohorts

Forming relationships is a key benefit of LEAD Cohorts

Photo: Getty Images

Registration for the fall 2020 list of 13 LEAD Cohorts began Aug. 17 and continues into early September. LEAD Cohorts, first introduced three years ago, offer USMB pastors and leaders the opportunity to learn about a topic of shared interest and to meet with like-minded individuals.

When asked about their experience, past participants often cite the relationships they form as an important outcome.

“I enjoy the camaraderie of relationships in the cohorts I lead,” says Chandelle Claassen, who is a regular cohort leader.

Stephen Humber, Multiply staff member, says there are two reasons he values LEAD Cohorts. “First, I’m able to find a topic of interest that allows me to learn something alongside others. But secondly, and even more important to me, is the opportunity to connect more deeply and develop relationships with people that I won’t normally cross paths with.”

Church plant pastor Christian Kohs says, “LEAD Cohorts have helped me connect and gain friendships with other MB guys that I would have never had the opportunity to meet. Some of them have become dear friends that I look forward to growing with for years to come.”

LEAD Cohorts are free; the only cost is for books or materials, if recommended by the cohort leader. LEAD Cohorts typically last three months and meet online every two weeks for about an hour.

For more information on cohorts and to register, visit the USMB website:

Fall 2020 LEAD Cohorts

(Listed in alphabetical order)

About Nothing for Those Who Want to Talk About Something: This cohort is about building and strengthening relationships through organic conversations. It is led by Phil Wiebe, lead pastor of Lakeview Church, a new church plant in Stansbury Park, Utah. It will meet every other Wednesday at 3 p.m. (CDT) beginning Sept. 9

Church Planters Chat : This cohort, led by Fred Leonard, lead pastor of Mountain View Community Church in Fresno, California, will focus on current church planting issues, delve into vision and church planting strategies and provide opportunities for conversations and prayer with other planters. The cohort will meet every other Tuesday at 9 a.m. (CDT) beginning Sept. 8

Congolese Pastors/Leaders: Henri Ngolo, director and founder of Diaspora Global Resources Ministries, and Garry Prieb, retired Multiply staff member, originally from DR Congo, will lead this cohort. This cohort will discuss Mennonite history; Confession of Faith; mission and culture; leadership (networking and trust); stewardship; community involvement; partnerships in God’s business; and looking ahead to the future. It will meet every other Saturday beginning Sept. 12.

Contemplative Conversations: Enjoy a sacred pause in your life during this wonky season and enter into a reflective curiosity and wonderment of God and his creation led by Chandelle Claassen, a trained spiritual director and certified life coach and member of the USMB LEAD Coaching team. This cohort will meet the first and third Tuesday of each month at 2 p.m. (CST) beginning Sept. 1

Continuing the Fight Against Racism: What Can We Do Together? This cohort is co-led by Terry Hunt, lead pastor of The Life Center in Lenoir, North Carolina, and Eastern District Conference Minister; and Greg Snider, associate pastor of The Life Center. Together, participants will discover three ways that individuals and congregations can fully engage in the fight against racism through awareness, relationships and commitment. The cohort will meet twice monthly on Mondays beginning Sept. 14. 

Developing Personal and Prayer Ministry Skills: This cohort, led by Esther Leonard, Prayer Ministry Pastor at Mountain View Community Church in Fresno, California, will be a practical cohort where participants will practice listening skills, prayers of healing, the empowerment of the Holy Spirit, salvation praying and much more. The cohort will meet twice monthly on Wednesdays at 9 a.m. (CDT) beginning Sept. 9.

The Disciple-Making Power of Expository Preaching: This cohort is intended to inform and enhance the practice of expository preaching, aiming to demonstrate how expository preaching fits with the preacher’s calling to lead their congregation and disciple them from the Word of God. This cohort will be led by Jared Pulliam, lead pastor of Christ Church Sellwood in Portland, Oregon. Cohort date/time are not yet determined.

Ethiopian Pastors/Leaders: This cohort is geared for Ethiopian pastors and church leaders and is led by Endashaw Kelkele, lead pastor of Ethiopian Evangelical Church in Aurora, Colorado. The cohort will meet on the first Tuesday of each month at 3 p.m. (CDT), beginning Sept. 1.

Leading a Growing Church that Changes the World. This cohort will be lead by Fred Leonard, lead pastor of Mountain View Community Church in Fresno, California. Participants will discuss questions such as: How can you help your church develop a passion for growing the kingdom, investing in church planting here and abroad? How can you lead better and change your own leadership practices in order to lead a growing church that changes the world? This cohort will meet every other Tuesday at 9 a.m. (CDT) beginning Sept. 15.

Leading When There’s No Map: Traditional training does not prepare leaders for COVID-19 (and coming) church realities, but adaptive leadership does. The recommended reading for this cohort led by Stephen Humber who serves on the mobilization team of Multiply, is Canoeing the Mountains by Tod Bolsinger. The cohort will meet twice monthly on Thursdays at 3 p.m. beginning Sept. 3

Pásame otro ladrillo: Through discussions based on the book, Hand me Another Brick by Charles Swindoll, participants will discuss the challenges in ministry and leadership. This cohort will be in Spanish and led by Daniel Rodriguez, lead pastor of Iglesia Agua Viva in Omaha, Nebraska. It will meet weekly on Mondays at 8 p.m. CDT beginning Sept. 21.

Shepherding in a Rural and Small-Town Context: This cohort is led by Doug Habegger, director of partnership ministries with Rural Home Missionary Association in Morton, Ill. No one ever said shepherding would be easy! It can be especially challenging in a rural and small-town context. In each session, Habegger will provide an opportunity for some good, honest shepherd talk. The cohort will meet twice monthly on Tuesday at 10 a.m. beginning Sept. 8.

Youth Ministry Realities: This cohort, led by Russ Claassen, Southern District Conference youth minister, is for anyone who works with youth in the local church–volunteers, small group leaders, youth pastors, etc. The cohort will meet twice monthly on Thursday at 10 a.m. (CST) beginning Sept. 10.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here