Learn


PLI is devoted to empowering pastors, spouses and other church leaders for wider influence for the sake of the gospel in their communities and effective leadership in their congregations. Learn more about our vision and process here.

Connect


Life is better connected. Connect with others to experience life-giving community and build authentic relationships. We have several learning communities. Find the best fit for you.

Grow


We provide a number of resources and materials to educate both our participants and the general public on effective leadership principles.

Join


Interested in how PLI can impact your ministry? We'd love to get to know you and learn how we can empower your ministry.

Frequently Asked Questions

PLI…What’s That Mean?

When PLI first began, the initials stood for Pastoral Leadership Institute. However, as times have changed and PLI has adapted with the changing culture, it seemed as though Pastoral Leadership Institute didn’t fully capture what PLI was about. PLI trains and invests in multiplying missional leaders – pastors for sure, but also spouses and leaders from congregations – so Pastoral wasn’t quite capturing the essence of PLI. And, PLI offers learning communities with a focus on not only leadership, but also mission and discipleship – so Leadership didn’t fully explain PLI either. And, finally Institute – PLI is more of a movement to equip today’s pastors, spouses and key church leaders in the LCMS to reach people for Jesus. But even though Pastoral Leadership Institute wasn’t helping to name PLI anymore, many people remember the name PLI and SO… all of that said, after a lot of praying and thinking and searching for how God was leading PLI, the decision was made to keep the name as the initials.  PLI used to mean Pastoral Leadership Institute but now it stands for so much more that we are simply PLI.

Logistics

When do immersions typically start and end?

On day one, immersions typically start between 1pm-2pm. On the last day they will end around noon. You will be sent off with a yummy box lunch.

Can PLI accommodate special dietary needs?

Before the immersion we’ll ask everyone to register for that particular gathering. In the process we’ll ask about specific health and dietary needs and concerns. We’ll do our best to accommodate.  However, the immersions are held and local congregations. They do a wonderful job at hosting us, but they are not experts or hotels.  You may need to supplement with some of your own food.

What meals are covered?

Breakfast is on your own. Lunch and snacks are provided. Typically one dinner is included and the rest are on your own.

Are there other events I need to attend outside of the Learning Communities immersions?

There are no other events outside of the immersions.

What do we do with our kids during a PLI Learning Community?

Figure out the best way to have your kiddos cared for at home.  Ask grandparents, people from church, neighbors and friends to help care for your kids.  Trust us… you’ll be really grateful for the time away together and for learning together.  It’s awesome for marriages when couples can get away.  And quite honestly, it’s good for your kids too!  It can be a lot to sort out, but we’ve seen time and time again it’s beyond worth it!  We do understand that sometimes babies and moms need to be together.  When you rsvp for your upcoming learning community immersion just let us know.  We’ve found that there will be lots and lots of people willing to hold a baby :).

Financial

My congregation is paying for my learning. When will my congregation be billed?  

If your learning community begins in the spring, you will receive an annual invoice in the late winter with the tuition due by May 1 of each year of the learning community. If you learning community begins in the fall, you will receive an annual invoice in the late summer with the tuition due by October 1 of each year.

Is there financial assistance available?

Yes PLI does offer scholarships. Please contact Raechel Pfotenhaur and she would be more than happy to speak with you about our available scholarships. Raechel@plileadership.org 630.795.9747

Do you reimburse for travel, lodging or ground transport?  

Your tuition covers the immersions and coaching. We leave the rest up to you.

If I pay by check, where should I send my payment?  

P.O. Box 972  Wheaton, IL 60187-0972

Please write “tuition payment”, your name and the name of your Learning Community on the memo line.

 

Time Commitment

I’m not sure I have time to add one more thing to my already overloaded schedule?  What is the time commitment of the Learning Community?  

“PLI will actually help lessen their load by helping them learn to raise up and release lay leaders on their team to carry mission forward.  I found that implementing the plan I made in PLI Missional Leader meant that the work on my plate actually was lessened by about a third.  I went from spending six evenings a week doing ministry to only spending two evenings a week, pouring into leaders who poured into others giving me more time to be present for my family, which is a blessing.” -Eric Johnson, PLI Missional Leader Alumni

Would my spouse be involved every immersion?  

PLI places a high value on the spouse being held up, esteemed and equipped as the people that God has made and called them to be in their own lives, marriages and ministry, whatever that looks like.  PLI also treats each couple as a unique ministry team.  The learning you share greatly benefits your marriage, family and mission together.  If the spouse is unable to come to the actual immersion or gathering, she is still very much invited to receive coaching.

I’m not married.  Is PLI for me?  

YES! PLI focuses on each leader’s unique context.  The principles of leadership, discipleship and mission that are taught can be applied to any context.  Through time at each immersion and regular coaching calls collegiality and community is built.  Single or married you are part of the PLI family.

 

Is the mission trip still a part of the PLI experience?

The international mission trip is no longer a part of PLI.  The essence of PLI has remained the same, however there have been some changes to the structure including the mission trip.

 

D2MC

What should I keep in mind as I consider who to ask to be on my D2MC team?

Think more of character and capacity, rather than competency.  What that means is that you pray and then invite people to join you who are walking with the Lord, demonstrate an authentic/relational character with others.  Also, they have capacity in their life, meaning that they can join you in the immersions, walk alongside you as this unfolds slowly at your church.  They need to not be so busy that they really can’t be a part of it.  Think highly relational, highly trusted in your faith community, highly influential, passion for those who are far from God.

Don’t worry about competency – meaning what skills in discipling and mission the person already has. That can be taught. Character and capacity are hard to be taught.  Also, think of a person who already is a leader, already has people following them, gathering around them – even if they are not an official leader.

Who gets coaching in D2MC?

For a team of 3 – pastor and spouse would get weekly coaching for a year, then every other week for a year. For a team of up to 5 people – pastor and spouse, and one leader would get coaching. For a team of up to 7 people – pastor and spouse and two others would get the coaching.

 

Regionally Based PLI

How can I get a “regionally based” PLI learning community in our region?

Many congregations and many leaders have been nearly overwhelmed by the relatively sudden shift away from the church and the outright dismissal of the church by young adults today.

  • You’ll need to be or find a champion that cares about the future of the church, its leaders and the mission.
  • You’ll  need to determine interest, usually 10-12 leader couples from the region.
  • You’ll need to contact raechel@plileadership.org at PLI and inform us of your interest
  • You’ll need to locate a host site/congregation near a major airport (for participants from outside the region) that can comfortably accommodate 50-60 participants.

What if I am or my pastor is interested in PLI but there’s no PLI learning community scheduled in our region?

  • Nothing has really changed for you. You still have access to all of the PLI offerings but just not quite as conveniently located.
  • 50% of all learning communities will be participants from other regions of the country, providing a rich diversity of experience and background.
  • Many pastoral couples/leaders will actually find that a PLI learning community outside their region will best suit their schedule or particular interest.

Good Faith Agreement

PLI utilizes a Good Faith Agreement in the registration process. This agreement describes the covenant relationship that you enter with PLI – it details what you can expect from PLI in this learning community and then also gives you the opportunity to commit to both your wholehearted participation and the financial investment.

Click here for a pdf of the Good Faith Agreement.