Leading Well

Leading Well
Equipping for Leadership in God’s World

(formerly known as the ELCA Head of Staff Event)

People are shaped for their ministries—in God’s church and in God’s world—within communities of faith. This learning event is designed for those who serve in leadership roles in which they are called to be intentional about shaping others for ministry.

Outcomes: Participants will:

  • Learn to equip and empower other leaders
  • Explore and grow in their leadership roles• Practice well-being• Practice self-discovery• Have opportunity for worship, rest, and fellowship
  • Explore their gifts for equipping others
  • Assess and understand their contexts and discern appropriate leadership opportunities and strategies
  • Work from and develop an asset-based approach to ministry leadership


  • Pastors who lead a ministry staff team
  • Pastors and other congregational staff members whose responsibilities include working with paid staff and volunteers
  • Congregational health ministers, youth ministers, education directors, music and worship directors and others who work with paid staff and volunteers
  • Those who are newly called to lead a ministry team and those who are interested in sharpening their team leadership skills



Pastor Dick Bruesehoff currently serves as Outreach Coordinator for Portico Benefit Services.  He works with various wellness initiatives of Portico Benefit Services and additional partners who share a commitment to supporting healthier leaders for the sake of ministry in God’s world.

He is a founding member and part of the leadership team of the Grace Institute for Spiritual Formation, a two-year faith formation program. He has participated in the Academy for Spiritual Formation and completed the Shalem Institute Spiritual Guidance Program, and currently does regular retreat leadership and spiritual direction.

He is co-author of two books, Clergy Renewal: The Alban Sabbatical Planning Guide (Alban Institute) and Pastor and People: Making Mutual Ministry Work (Augsburg Fortress).


Tammy Devine, diaconal minister, is Wellness Manager for Portico Benefit Services, a ministry of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Tammy joined the Board of Pensions (now Portico Benefit Services) in 2004 to provide whole-person health promotion, education and inspiration to ELCA rostered leaders and lay employees. She advocates and promotes whole person well-being by speaking, facilitating retreats, and consulting with synod and congregational leaders. Devine also promotes wellness in the lives of members and their site of ministry. She collaborates with thought leaders to facilitate and motivate whole person lifestyle choices and serves as an external wellness consultant to leaders on behalf of the ELCA and Portico Benefits Services.


Tom Morgan is the Executive Director of the Augsburg Center for Faith & Learning and Professor of Business and Leadership Studies at Augsburg College. He holds a Ph.D. in Educational Policy from the University of Minnesota, a M.S. in Economics from the University of Oregon and a MBA in Finance & Operations Research from the University of Denver. He has served as a member of the Steering Committee for the Faith in the City Collaborative since its inception and serves on the Boards of Seeing Things Whole and Select Learning Resources.

Tom has over thirty years of teaching experience and has extensive experience in institutional planning and the design and implementation of new programs.

Jim LaDoux

Jim serves as the Director of Coaching & Training at Vibrant Faith Ministries in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He has been instrumental in developing consulting services that serve as a catalyst for helping Christian congregations, communities and households integrate principles and practices that lead to vibrant faith for all ages.

Jim received his Masters of Management Arts degree from Metropolitan State University and has received extensive training in organizational development, team building, gifts-based ministry and strategic planning.

Jim has served Lutheran, Presbyterian and Methodist congregations in the areas of leadership development, strategic planning, gifts-based and small group ministry, and youth and family ministry. In partnership with Wartburg Theological Seminary, he oversees Youth & Family Certification Schools that are held throughout the United States. He also leads Youth & Family Certification Schools for the United Church of Christ.

He is the author of Surface To Soul: Coaching Spiritual Vitality in Congregations that walks pastors and lay leaders through a six-step CHANGE process to bring about congregational renewal.

Worship Team


Scott Weidler has served the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America as Program Director for Worship and Music since 1995. He is ELCA liaison to the national board of the Leadership Program for Musicians (LPM), an ecumenical, as well as having served on the advisory council of the Institute of Liturgical Studies at Valparaiso University and the board of directors for Lutheran Music Program. He is also the Cantor at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Chicago. Prior to his current positions, Scott served congregations in Pennsylvania, New York, and Florida in various music and teaching positions, as well as twelve summers with the Lutheran Music Program, and six years of teaching in the Lebanon Valley College (Annville, PA) Church Music Institute.  Scott has earned degrees in education, music, and liturgy from Concordia College, Seward, Nebraska, Wittenberg University, Springfield, Ohio, and the University of Notre Dame.  He resides in East Rogers Park on Chicago’s north side.


James Kasperson

Revs. James Kasperson and Marina Lachecki serve as your pastors and worship leaders during this event. They are a clergy couple but have served two traditions. Jim is a retired ELCA pastor, having served congregations in northern Minnesota and Wisconsin for 32 years. In his retirement, Jim managed a craft cooperative as a ministry of the church his wife serves. Marina is a UCC minister and former campus minister as a Lutheran AIM. She has served St. John’s United Church of Christ on Madeline Island, an island in Lake Superior, for the past 19 years. They have led servant events for youth at nearby Ojibwa reservations, co-directed YMCA family camps, and are published authors (both in the fields of environmental education and church life.)


When and Where:
November 19-22, 2013
Spirit in the Desert Retreat Center, Carefree, AZ

January 28-31, 2014
Duncan Conference Center, Delray Beach, FL

Registration costs:
Participant: $755 (program, three nights, nine meals)
Non-participating spouse: $375 (three nights, nine meals)
Commuter: $540 (program, nine meals)

Arizona, 2013; Florida, 2014

Day 1

Who are we?  Forming a learning community

Who am I? What is my vision?

  • Why am I here?
  • What am I wrestling with / what are my questions?
  • What is stirring in my community?
  • What might God be up to in me, in my community, in my world?
  • What is my prayer, my yearning, my hope?

Wellness Moments


Hospitality and Rest


Day 2

Who am I? Dependable Strengths

Leading Ministry Teams 

Wellness Moments

Sabbath Time

Managing Polarities 


Social Time / Hospitality

Day 3
Who am I?  I-Opt Advanced Leader Report 


Leader as Coach

Wellness Moments

Sabbath Time


Day 4

Open Space

Leading Well: May Leadership Formation Plan


Click here for the: 3 year Curriculum Cycle and the Leading Well Brochure

Register NOW for the Spirit in the Desert Event

Register for the Duncan Center Event in Florida