Best Practices for Ministry Heartland | Cornerstone Lutheran Church | Cornerstone Lutheran Church
Best Practices for Ministry Heartland | Cornerstone Lutheran Church | Cornerstone Lutheran Church

Best Practices for Ministry Heartland

Best Practices for Ministry: Heartland 2019

Wednesday, Oct. 9 through Friday, Oct. 11, 2019

Cornerstone Lutheran Carmel, IN 



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With the goal of helping other congregations most effectively use their God-given gifts, Christ Lutheran Church in Phoenix, Arizona, started the Best Practices for Ministry Conference. Since it began, the conference has been presented free of charge to all who attend. Participants are greeted with warm hospitality, great speakers and practical workshops. The Conference has grown greatly since its start, expanding to the Midwest.

In 2015, Carmel Lutheran (now Cornerstone Lutheran) brought the concept of the conference to Indiana to make it more easily accessible to more congregations "in the Heartland". Cornerstone hosted in 2016 as well, and St. Peter's Lutheran in Columbus assumed the leadership of the Best Practices for Ministry:Heartland conference for 2017 and 2018. They turned the reigns back over to Cornerstone Lutheran for 2019.

Learn More 

  • Registration

    The Best Practices for Heartland Conference is free to attend. Participants are responsible for their travel and accommodation expenses. 

    Register for BPM Heartland 2019

  • 2019: Unmistakable

    Heading into its fifth year, Best Practices for Ministries Heartland's theme for 2019 is "Unmistakable". What is unique to the church? Jesus! In all of our mission and ministry efforts, our unmistakable aim is to proclaim Christ.

  • Location/Contact

    Cornerstone Lutheran Church
    4850 E. Main Street
    Carmel, IN 46033

    Vendors contact Karen Minniear 

    Breakout sessions speakers contact Holly Reay and Kate Giger

  • Schedule



    1:30 pm – Registration
    2:15 pm – Welcome
    3:15 pm – Session #1
    4:30 pm – Break
    5 pm – Keynote 
    6:15 pm – Dinner
    7:15 pm – Worship
    8:15 pm – Party


    THURSDAY, OCTOBER 10, 2019

    8 am – Breakfast
    8:30 am – Worship
    9:30 am – Session #2
    10:45 am – Break
    11 am – Session #3
    12:15 pm – Lunch
    1 pm – Keynote
    2 pm – Session #4
    3:15 pm – Break
    3:30 pm – Session #5
    4:45 pm – Break
    5 pm – Keynote 
    6 pm – Dinner and Fun


    FRIDAY, OCTOBER 11, 2019

    8 am – Breakfast
    8:30 am – Session #6
    9:45 am – Break
    10 am – Session #7
    11:15 am – Break
    11:30 am – Keynote
    12:30 pm – Sending and Fare-thee-well
    12:45 pm – Lunch
    1:30 pm – Fin

  • Keynote Speakers

    Gerard Bolling
    Associate Pastor at Bethlehem Lutheran Church in St. Louis, MO


    Kevin Wilson
    President, Ohio District LCMS

    Kevin Wilson has served as the President of the Ohio District, LCMS since 2018. Joining the Ohio District staff in 2006, Wilson previously worked as Executive Director of Mission and Ministry and as a Regional Facilitator.

    Wilson came to the Ohio District from the Phoenix area, where he started Word of Life Lutheran Church and School as a Missionary-at-Large for the Pacific Southwest District. Wilson previously served in Kansas, where he was Senior Pastor at Trinity Lutheran Church in Leavenworth, KS and founding pastor of Trinity Family of Faith Lutheran Church in Basehor, KS. Prior to entering the ministry, Wilson worked as a journalist.

    Wilson and his wife, Dorinda, are blessed with three children. The Wilsons live outside of Columbus, OH.


    Jim Morris
    Vice-Chairman, Pacers Sports and Entertainment Group


    Tom Pfotenauer
    Senior Pastor at Woodbury Lutheran Church in Woodbury, MN

    Tom Pfotenhauer serves the people at Woodbury Lutheran Church located in Woodbury and Stillwater Minnesota. WLC is a multisite congregation with three campuses and a focus on Multiplying Disciples/Transforming Lives. Besides all the pastor stuff, Tom loves to hang out with his wife Stephanie, daughter Peyten and Goldendoodle Harry. He also enjoys running with Team World Vision raising awareness and funding for clean water in Africa and of course cheering for his beloved Vikings.

  • Accommodations

    Hilton Garden Inn Carmel/Indianapolis
    13090 Pennsylvania Street
    Carmel, IN 46032

    • Complimentary WiFi throughout the hotel
    • Onsite Garden Grille Restaurant and Pavilion Lounge
    • Saltwater swimming pool, 24-hour fitness center and 24-hour Pavilion Pantry®

    Click here for reservations. Book by September 4, 2019 for group rate. 


    Courtyard by Marriott Indianapolis/Carmel
    37 W 103rd Street
    Indianapolis, IN 46290

    • Free High Speed Internet
    • Fitness Center
    • Pool

    Click here for reservations. Book by September 18, 2019 for group rate. 


    Residence Inn Indianapolis Carmel
    11895 North Meridian Street
    Carmel, IN 46032

    • Fitness center
    • Free breakfast
    • Free high-speed internet
    • Kitchen/kitchenette 

    Click here for reservations. Book by September 25, 2019 for group rate. When searching for rooms, be sure to add the dates of the conference (Oct 9-11).


    SpringHill Suites Indianapolis Carmel
    11855 N. Meridian Street
    Carmel, IN 46032

    • Fitness center
    • Free breakfast
    • Free high-speed internet
    • Pool 

    Click here for reservations. Book by September 25, 2019 for group rate. When searching for rooms, be sure to add the dates of the conference (Oct 9-11).


  • Extend Your Stay

    Make a long weekend out of your stay

    Fall will be in full gear in Central Indiana this October with tons to do and see that time of the year. Consider extending your stay a few days after Best Practices and enjoying a long weekend in the area. Here are some of the local highlights:



    Carmel’s downtown area, known as the Carmel Arts & Design District, perfectly mixes quaint Main Street USA with modern shopping and dining. Browse the boutiques, meander through the antique stores and enjoy a delicious meal at one of the many restaurants — it’s quintessential small town in a big city!

    Arts & Design District Website


    Spanning over 20 miles from downtown Indy north through Westfield, the Monon Trail is a popular spot for walkers, runners and bikers. Once a railroad, the trail is now the perfect spot to get some fresh air and a little exercise.

    Monon Trail Website


    Step back in time and experience Indiana before she became a state at Conner Prairie. This interactive history park has indoor and outdoor exhibits and is fun for all ages. See a Civil War battle recreation, visit an Indian camp and take a hot air balloon ride.

    Conner Prairie Website