July 30- August 1, 2019

The Leadership Intensive is held annually at Church of the Highlands in Birmingham, Alabama.

More information about our 2019 Leadership Intensive, including details on registration, will be available at the beginning of the year. If you were unable to attend this year's Intensive, we encourage you to check out our Regional training events. Regionals are held at host churches in various cities across the United States. Visit our Regional page for more information and a list of cities we're visiting this year.


Breakout labs are a huge part of our Leadership Intensive. They are led by members of the Highlands staff and provide detailed training and resources, as well as practical insights into how ministry happens at Church of the Highlands. All labs will also provide time for Q&A to help answer any questions attendees may have.

Associate Pastor
The goal of an associate pastor is to use their gifts and personality to fulfill the vision of the senior pastor. We will dive into what it means to honor God as we serve our church and lead pastors.
Basics of Live Production
Join us to learn basic technical topics for live audio, video, and lighting production
Better Websites and Mobile Apps
Whether you've invested deeply in your website or are just beginning to communicate on the web, this lab will help you craft an amazing online experience. We will discuss key essentials of web design and development, as well as show you case studies of things that have worked well and a few that have not. We will also discuss how to create effective and practical mobile apps to keep the members in your church up-to-date.
Building a Musician Development Process
What if you auditioned someone through the lens of “potential” instead of “stage ready”? What if the gifted vocalist or instrumentalist you have been searching for is already in your church or sphere of influence waiting for an opportunity to grow in their abilities? In this lab, we will talk through how to create a process for training musicians and discuss three elements of effective musician development.
Building a Production Team
If you would love to know the keys to building and maintaining a healthy volunteer production/tech team, this is the lab for you.
Children’s Ministry
We all want our children to have a wonderful experience when they come on a Sunday morning. A few elements we use to create that experience is a team of dedicated volunteers, interactive worship, fun games, and lots of laughter. Come connect with our team to learn how to implement these elements within your Children’s ministry.
Church Finances
Sometimes the basics aren’t easy, especially when dealing with numbers. During this session we will talk through how to create a budget, how to keep departments on track financially and how to track your churches finances in a simple way. Please note, this lab will not be offered at the Greystone location.
Connecting with Social Media
You’ve always heard that word-of-mouth is the best way to grow awareness of your church, and there’s never been a more effective way to start conversations with your community than social media. This lab will help you learn how to put the “social” in your social media and reach your cities in an effective, relational way. We’ll discuss methods to simplify socials management, use technology to increase engagement and connection, and build a team that facilitates an excellent social experience. It takes intentionality and hard work, but you can have a vibrant social media presence that helps your community get to know you before they ever enter your doors.
Creating a Legacy Team
Today’s business leaders are searching for ways to experience true purpose. Pastors of the local church hold the key that can unlock the door of destiny for their business people. It is imperative to learn how you can steward and lead your business people to better understand the value of their calling and make a great Kingdom impact. In this lab, we will discuss how you can bridge the gap and create your own Legacy Team.
Creating a Prayer Culture
We will focus primarily on explaining the general structure/set-up of the prayer ministry at Highlands. We will share with you the heart of our prayer ministry, as well as discuss the unique opportunities to serve within the prayer ministry.
Creative Process
The creative process can be a challenging and time-consuming task. We will review our creative meeting process, the best practices for communicating creative concepts to your senior pastor, and how to successfully engage in brainstorming.
Data, Why It’s Important
In this lab, we will discuss a variety of data topics - the what, the why, and the how. If you are searching for practical ways to track data so it can help you better connect people to your church, get people serving on a team, pastor people, and even help you plan and prepare for weekend services and special events, this lab is for you!
Dream Team
We all understand the value of having the right people serving on the right teams. But how do you identify those people, and how do you develop a culture of “get to” instead of “have to”? Connect with our team to learn how to build a Dream Team from the ground up.
Freedom Small Groups
Our Freedom small groups focus on our identity in Christ. The purpose of this curriculum is to help people settle their yesterdays and to walk in true freedom. In this lab, you will learn the fundamentals to launching Freedom small groups, how to train leaders on the Freedom curriculum and to hear a brief explanation of the Freedom Conference, which is the culmination of our 12-week Freedom curriculum.
Global Perspectives
More information coming soon.
Growth Track
Highlands Growth Track is a four-step process designed to help people discover their purpose and live the life for which God has called them. This lab will explore the details of how the Growth Track and our teams walk people through getting connected to the church, discovering the strengths of their purposeful design, developing in personal leadership, and using their God-given gifts to make a difference in the lives of others.
Hosting an Excellent Event
The Events team at Highlands helps facilitate and implement the church-wide events. We will review topics that will include: planning an event – from budget to checklists, how to maximize the resources you do have, getting the right people on the team, creating a wow factor environment, and how to evaluate each event.
Leading and Resourcing Your Team
Regardless of the size of your team or what role you serve in your ministry, learn how to take key leadership principles and apply them to effectively lead and resource your team.
Local and National Missions
From serving those in need to creating an ongoing ministry presence through the Dream Center, missions and outreach are a huge part of the mission of Highlands. In this lab, we will share the heart behind why we serve and give the practical and impactful strategy of reaching those in need.
Pastoral Care
Whether you are creating or growing your team, this lab will present a plan to recruit, train, and equip a ministry team of staff and lay members. We will discuss the specifics of providing short-term ministry care, as well as how to transition people to long-term care and discipleship within small groups.
Portable and Excellent
Whether you are a new or existing church plant, we have all experienced the highs and lows of portable life. In this lab, we will discuss how to prepare your church location in a way that produces a welcoming and safe environment for guests, so they can experience Christ in a real and dynamic way. We will also discuss building the team structure, the set-up schedule and process, as well as locating key companies and vendors.
Small Groups
This lab will present the foundation of our Small Groups ministry and how to implement its concepts into your church. The discussion will include strategy for operating on a semester calendar, how your leaders can embrace their passions and gifts to form successful groups, and how to promote small groups in your church.
Special Needs Children's Ministry
More information coming soon.
Student Ministry
We will talk through the structure of our student ministry including Junior High, High School & College. Discussion will include: MOTION Night, Small Groups, Growth Track, as well as Dream Team, and how they relate in a student-focused environment. Explore a fresh and counter-cultural approach to leading the upcoming generation!
The Effective Executive/Administrative Assistant
Organization, attention to detail, and a positive attitude are some of the things that describe the role of an assistant in a local church. We play such an important part in helping to keep the lives of those we support in order, as well as to help the church run effectively. Topics will include: overall responsibilities, time management, staying ahead of the calendar, anticipating the needs of those you serve, and effective communication.
Videos for a Church Experience
Video elements can add so much to a worship experience. During this lab, our team will explain how we create engaging videos for ministry environments. Other topics will include: shooting and lighting techniques, video editing, creating motion graphics, and more.
Weekend Services
Join us as we discuss how to create a Sunday’s “Wow” experience for first-time guests and members. From service programming, creative elements, and series graphics to creating an inviting and life-giving environment for attendees, we will walk you through video clips of our service transitions and an outline of our weekly service flow at Highlands.
Worship Ministry
In order to have a healthy worship ministry we need to lead with spiritual vibrancy, live with core values, and learn from effective resources. In this lab, we will talk through the “ins” and “outs” of how our worship team operates. Discussion topics will include: spiritually guiding your team, song selection, service preparation, the music director role, Planning Center Online, and Multi Tracks.