Leading Congregations Monthly

Monthly LIVE and ON-DEMAND training with Unitarian Universalist congregational consultant, trainer, and coach Peter Bowden.

Countdown to our next live session:









Friends,  we're wrapping up a year of monthly trainings! 

Every month this year I've shared a new training for congregational leaders through my Leading Congregations Monthly program.

After the New Year, this program will be replaced by the following: 

  • stand alone on-demand courses
  • single session webinars (not subscription)
  • ongoing free public LIVE VIDEO sessions
  • a new podcast!   

Thanks to everyone who participated in this series.  It has served as the foundation for all that's to come! 

In cooperation,
Peter Bowden


December 2019

For our December session I'm presenting my 2020 Future Cast! 

I'll cover 5 critical trends grounded in communication, media, and technology that are shaping our world.   After speaking to how these technologies are driving changes in our world and culture right now, I'll share some projections, and what I think we can be doing as congregations and leaders to position ourselves for success.


One of the greatest challenges facing congregations today is the lag time between our changing world and the congregation's internal rate of learning, experimentation, and change.

I've launched Leading Congregations Monthly to help  leaders like you:

  • Access new ideas, strategies, and insights to help you lead and grow your congregation.
  • Learn from training sessions delivered with clarity and a focus on implementation. 
  • Save time from my ongoing study of trends, interviews with leaders, research, case studies, and decades of ministry leadership, consulting, and innovation.   
  • Benefit from our growing learning community.
  • Get immediate answers to questions asked during our live Q & A sessions.

If you are a fellow Unitarian Universalist, humanist, progressive Christian, or other religious leader excited to learn with our Leading Congregations Monthly community, I'd love to have you join us!

Included with your membership is permission to gather other leaders from your congregation around your computer (projector is fine) to participate as a group.  You may also watch recordings in team meetings.  


All previous trainings are available on-demand in our member area.

Harnessing the Power of Your Podcast 
Many leaders fear audio podcasts keep people from visiting. The opposite is true! Audio podcasts are frequently used to evaluate congregations, including deciding to visit and ultimately join.  Podcasts also help existing members and volunteers stay engaged. With podcast and smart speakers growing in popularity, your audio ministry is more valuable than ever! We'll discuss using podcasts for outreach, education, membership development, and stewardship.

Mastering Plan A Visit Strategy
Digital culture has changed how many people connect with congregations. When people end up on your website, that's the time to lock in a visit. Instead of a vague "come any time" approach, we can help people RSVP to visit on a specific date. We discuss "plan a visit" pages, autoresponders, and the corresponding strategy in detail. Presented October 2019. Now on-demand.

Personal Invitation Made Easy
Personal invitation is the #1 outreach and growth strategy of all time! What do you need to do to get your existing members and friends to invite others to attend your congregation? We'll cover practical strategies to build a positive culture of invitation. I should mention that it is VERY common for members to resist when told to invite people to church. There are reasons for this which we will address. September is a great time to get rid of the barriers and empower your members and friends to invite away. Presented September 2019. Now on-demand.

Training Greeters (Worship Greeters)
Digital culture is making fantastic greeters more important than ever. Presented August 2019, now on-demand. Today most people do extensive research online before visiting a congregation. They read, review photos, watch videos, listen to podcasts and use all of this material to determine if the congregation is a match for them. There is so much riding on their first visit. We need to make sure greeters understand these changing dynamics and how to welcome and support visitors appropriately. Presented August 2019.Now on-demand.

The Ministry of Communication
To meet the challenges and opportunities of parish ministry in our digitally oriented world, many leaders need to upgrade their MINISTRY and MEDIA mindset. This session is focused on developing that mindset, from appreciating our growing digital context to the need for deep collaboration between clergy, staff, and volunteer communicators. Presented July 2019. Now on-demand.

Congregational Communication Self-Audits
Communication audits is an area of growing importance given the number of communication channels we have today. I share strategies for doing focused internal communication audits, including a new audit tool (spreadsheet) I created just for this session. Presented June 2019. Now on-demand.

Small Group Growth Strategies
In 2001 I launched the UU Small Group Ministry Network and have spent the last - gulp! - almost 20 years training congregations on small group strategy. The most frequent question I get is how to grow them. In this session I share my top strategies for turning small groups into engines for congregational growth! Presented March 2019, now on-demand.

How the Fastest Growing Churches in the USA Use Facebook
What do the fastest growing churches do with their Facebook pages? They tell the story of your first visit with passion, enthusiasm, and tons of emojis!!!!!! We review examples and discuss how their strategy addresses the hopes, needs, and concerns of people thinking about visiting. Presented February 2019, now on-demand.

Essentials Twitter Strategy for Congregations
Twitter is my favorite social media platform. Why? The outreach potential! The ability to be amplify the impact of justice work! In this session we discuss using Twitter to facilitate participation in worship, scheduling Tweets (weekends are busy!), using hashtags with purpose, building local relationships, and how to amplify your voice at social justice events. Presented May 2019. Now on-demand.

Video Message Bootcamp
Video dominates social media today! In this session we discuss simple video messages strategies to communicate, engage, and inspire with a goal of deepening relationships with newcomers, members and friends. Presented January 2019, now on-demand.



  • Participate in a new LIVE training with me every month!
  • All training sessions are RECORDED and posted to our member area.
  • The program member area includes recordings of all previous sessions, with closed captioning, and session notes / handouts, as well as information on our live sessions.  
  • Each session is on a topic related to congregational growth, outreach, and media with a focus on practical strategies and implementation. 
  • Sessions are schedule for 60-minutes. If our Q&A is jamming I'll stay longer to answer all questions.
  • Sessions are conducted via LIVE Zoom webinar with interactive chat and Q&A.
  • I'm on camera. You're not. You can participate in your pajamas.  
  • Sessions topics are chosen 2-3 months out with member feedback and hot topics / trends informing our emergent curriculum.
  • Gather other leaders from your congregation around your computer, connected TV or projector to participate in live trainings as a group.
  • You may play video recordings of trainings - available in program member area -- in team meetings with other leaders from your congregation.
  • Share printed copies of session handouts with other leaders from your congregation.


You'll get immediate access to all previous monthly trainings.

  • After enrolling check your email for access information.
  • Gmail users, check different tabs of your inbox -- updates, promotions -- for this email. 

You'll get immediate access to the following BONUS content:    

  • Peter's Volunteer Recruitment mini-course
  • Peter's Social Media and Membership Growth course



Monthly fee: Membership is $15 per month paid via PayPal.

Congregational Support: Many of our existing program members are being reimbursed by their congregation.  

Cancel anytime: End your subscription at any time via your PayPal account.  You control how long you are in the program.  

Try risk free:  If you are curious, join us and if the program isn't right for you, just email me (reply to your enrollment confirmation) and I'll give you a refund for that month.     

Hope you'll join us!