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Foursquare Connection 2011, May 30–June 2, will offer a very different approach to leadership learning, and organizers say the approach will be a direct contrast to traditional convention workshops.

When Foursquare leaders gather in Columbus, Ohio, they will discover Collaborative Learning Tracks (CLT) that focus on the real world of ministry and help leaders make connections with other ministers who serve in similar environments.

The changing global landscape demands an adjustment in the way we learn, according to CLT planners. In an intentional shift away from the usual top-down monologue so often used in convention workshops, they hope an unconventional “sideways dialogue” focused more on participants than on a single presenter will help leaders engage real stories and ministry situations.

Although the approach may be new, organizers say three familiar themes will help CLT participants envision our common future. These themes coincide with the first three stages in Foursquare’s Four-Stage Development Model and include: “Intentionalizing Your Process for Evangelism and Discipleship” (Stage 1–Initiate); “Mobilizing People for Contextual Ministry and Mission” (Stage 2–Nurture); and “Financing and Resourcing Your Vision in Our New Economy” (Stage 3–Expand).

Within each 75-minute CLT, participants will be guided through an overview “presentation,” followed by a guided conversation among panelists called the “peer process.” The final component will be an open learning exchange dubbed the “practitioner dialogue” that will include very practical, life-based questions and answers. Tracks will be limited to no more than 100 participants each, another innovation geared toward more productive, peer-based learning.

Both Spanish- and English-speaking tracks will be offered with “leaders and practitioners with rich personal history guiding the learning through a wide indigenous lens,” say CLT planners. “We believe this offers an honest mix of thought, process and voice.”

Some of the “voices” who will help moderate this year’s CLT include Marion Ingegneri, Wayne Cordeiro, Frank Nuno, John Fehlen, Farrell Lemmings, Debbie Masters, Eddie Ruano, Dennis Easter, Daniel Prieto, Fernando Castillo, A.J. Swoboda, Mark Chester and many more.

Specific Collaborative Learning Tracks will be available for ForeRunners (retired ministers), NextGen leaders and international ministers. Tracks for credentialed ministers and church staff will also be offered. CLT descriptions are available online, and Connection delegates can sign up for learning tracks when they register for Connection.

More information about Foursquare Connection 2011, including registration, is available online.

was an ordained Foursquare minister, Life Pacific University instructor and freelance writer.