Working as a church leader strongly resembles the life of an entrepreneur — you might not have much money, you're often relying on your wits and creativity to get by, and you need the expertise of others to keep growing.

Working as a church leader strongly resembles the life of an entrepreneur — you might not have much money, you're often relying on your wits and creativity to get by, and you need the expertise of others to keep growing.
As a college centered on the entrepreneurial mindset and based in the Church of the Brethren, MC has found a unique opportunity to help those church leaders learn and succeed.
Starting today, McPherson College will introduce "Ventures in Christian Discipleship," a series of classes focused on everything from practical questions of church finances to handling grief to prayer to managing a deacon's program.
Dr. Steve Crain, campus pastor, said the program grew out of a conversation in the Plains to the Pacific Roundtable — a "think tank" group within the Church of the Brethren. The Roundtable asked three people to launch Ventures: Crain and Ken '61 and Elsie Holderread '58 — alumni of MC who have a long record of leadership within the Church of the Brethren.
After long months of work, they are excited to have MC giving back to the church that helped originate it.
"For some years there has been a conversation to provide education for lay leaders," he said. "McPherson College is in the center of the country. We thought we were particularly located to meet this need."
The college is excited to take on a leadership role for the Church of the Brethren and Christian church leadership in general, Crain said.
"We're devoted to building the college as a place affiliated with a denomination and that takes that affiliation seriously," he said. "I have a gut feeling that this is going to be a success."
Crain said they have worked hard to keep courses affordable — most are $15 and no class is more than $50.
Most classes are webinars accessed through a web browser.
To learn more about Ventures in Christian Discipleship, to view course details, and to register for courses, visit www.mcpherson.edu/ventures.
The available classes are as follows:

Making Sense of Church Finances
Date: 9 a.m.-noon today
Cost: $15
Leader: Deb Oskin
 
Clergy and Non-Clergy Employees in the Small Congregation
Date: 1:30-4:30 p.m. today
Cost: $15
Leader: Deb Oskin
 
Building Healthy Relationships: Tools for Harmony Within Diversity
Date: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Jan. 25, 214 (at McPherson College campus)
Cost: $50 (including materials)
Leader: Barbara Date'
 
Deep Compassionate Listening
Date: 1:30 to 4:30 p.m., Jan. 26, 2014 (at McPherson College campus)
Cost: $25 (including materials)
Leader: Barbara Date'
 
Deaconing in Small Congregations
Date: 9-11 a.m., April 12, 2014
Cost: $15
Leader: Donna Kline
 
The Gift of Grief
Date: 1-3 p.m., April 12, 2014
Cost: $15
Leader: Donna Kline
 
Spiritual Direction and a Life of Prayer
Date: 9-11 a.m., March 8, 2014
Cost: $15
Leader: Joshua Brockway
 
Are You a Person of Prayer?
Date: 1-3 p.m., March 8, 2014
Cost: $15
Leader: Joshua Brockway