The Persistent Parish: Pursuing Missional Movement in Cozy Congregations

with Leanne Friesen

This course explores the missional movement in churches that may struggle to make space for mission in the midst of their longstanding practices. Some may refer to this as learning about how to “reboot” or “revitalize” a congregation. It can be hard to picture how many new expressions could fit within the long-standing churches where we lead or belong. Where would we fit these creative elements in the midst of our much-loved traditions? How would we create space for the new when we already need so much space for the old? And how could we ever expect our most faithful longterm members to manage the change required to become truly missional?

We will see that space for mission can be created in churches of any age, size, or history. Together, we’ll walk a path that uncovers best practices rooted in experience and creates space for questions, wonderings, and mutual learning. This will all be done in a non-judgemental, open-hearted environment, which will seek to celebrate, not condemn, your ministry context.

What You’ll Learn

This course will guide you in an exploration of the missional movement that invites you to:

  • Identify ways parishes struggle to make space for mission in the midst of longstanding practices,
  • Uncover best practices rooted in experience,
  • Build a culture of discipleship within your established parish,
  • Consider the relationship between mission and hospitality, and
  • Create space for questions, wonderings, and mutual learning.

How It Works

Join our instructor, Leanne Friesen, and an engaged learning community of fellow clergy and parishioners live online and in online forums.

  • Participate in six two-hour sessions with Leanne Friesen and the learning community. 
    The learning community will meet weekly on Tuesday afternoons, 3:00p – 5:00p, March 7 – April 18, 2023.
  • Practice in your context. 
    During the course you will be encouraged to apply your learning in your context to deepen your understanding. It is strongly encouraged that you participate in this course with at least one other member of your parish.
  • Reflect within the learning community. 
    Your new knowledge and experience will become even more meaningful when shared with other learning practitioners like yourself. You will use the online forums between sessions and break-out sessions with members of your parish taking the course to further integrate your learning.

Meet the Teacher-Practitioner

Leanne Friesen

The Reverend Leanne Friesen is the Lead Pastor of Mount Hamilton Baptist Church, where she has pastored for seventeen years. Leanne has been part of leading this 100-year-old congregation through missional renewal. Leanne also speaks at numerous conferences and retreats, and runs a ministry called “Grieving Room” online. Her first book, also about grief, will be published next year. She writes at