Revitalize Your Association

Gary Mathes

Wednesday, 8-9:15 a.m. Plaza B (80)

Answer the question, “Why should my church be a part of this Baptist Association?” Learn how to answer this by gaining clarity as to the purpose, role and relevance of an association and why it has tremendous value for churches relationally, cooperatively and missionally. 

Dr. Gary Mathes serves as the Director of Missions for Clay Platte Baptist Association in northern Kansas City.  Since January 2019, he has led the association to accomplish its mission of being a network of 40 churches partnering for the gospel to reach the KC northland and the nations.  Prior to his service with CPBA, he served six years with the Developing Leaders Team for the Missouri Baptist Convention focusing on the area of church revitalization. Before his denominational service, Gary served 24 years in pastoral ministry serving churches in Missouri and Kansas.  

Adding Value to Pastors 

Ray Gentry and David Roberts

Wednesday, 9:30-10:45 a.m. Plaza B (80)

Ray Gentry and David Roberts will discuss ways to encourage, inspire, and motivate your pastors through Pastor Cohorts, Roundtables, Conferences, etc.

Ray has served as President & CEO of the Southern Baptist Conference of Associational Leaders (SBCAL) since July 1, 2015. Founded in 1960, the SBCAL is the oldest and largest associational leader network in Southern Baptist life. Ray began his service as an associational leader in 1993. He has had the unique privilege of serving as a Pastor, an Associate Pastor, and as the leader of five associations, including as AMS of the Southside Baptist Network in McDonough, GA, in south metro Atlanta, since March 1, 2013.  He is a graduate of the University of Georgia, Southwestern Seminary, and Southeastern Seminary.

David is the Associational Mission Strategist (AMS) for the Bay Area Baptist Association of Michigan and has pastored churches in Michigan, New York, and North Carolina. He has 30 years of ministry experience.

Association Was Biblical Before it Was Baptist

Glenn Davis

Wednesday, 11-12:15 p.m. Plaza B (80)

The New Testament shows us many ways that churches have associated together since the birth of the church.  Churches have been associated together for church planting and church health and many other things since the birth of the church. Understanding the Biblical basis for the association will help us to value what New Testament churches valued, lest we lose our way because we have forgotten the "why" behind the "what".

Glenn Davis is the Associational Mission Strategist for Heart of Kansas Southern Baptist Association in Wichita, KS. Glenn served as a pastor for 30 years before coming to this associational mission role in 2008. One of the joys in Glenn's ministry is seeing the Lord create a culture of trust and cooperation among the pastors and churches of Heart of Kansas.

Coaching: A Vital Skill for the Associational Leader

Clint Calvert

Wednesday, 2:15-3:30 p.m. Plaza B (80)

One of the recommended proficiencies for the Associational leader is to be a supportive coach. Typically, this is a formal process, but the reality is only a few pastors and associational leaders will pursue this avenue.  In this session, we will consider how to informally coach through conversations and relationships built upon the Gospel.  We will define what coaching is and what it is not.  We will explore the necessary techniques for coaching. We will discuss how coaching can serve pastors and churches.

Clint Calvert is the Church Leadership Catalyst for the Minnesota-Wisconsin Baptist Convention (since 2006). He coaches and trains leaders of churches and church plants in Minnesota and Wisconsin. Clint’s DMin ministry project was Coaching Church Planters to Make the Case for Their First Facility. He is currently a Supervisory Candidate for Clinical Pastoral Education International. Clint is also an adjunct professor with Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, where he facilitates Doctor of Ministry cohorts. Clint is married to Tara Calvert. The Calverts have three adult children and a granddaughter.

Rising to the Challenge: An Associational Leader Roundtable

Mark Millman

Wednesday, 3:45-5 p.m. Plaza B (80)

Are you, as an Associational Leader, rising to the challenge of learning, leading, and serving your pastors and churches in this post-COVID world? Dr. Mark Millman moderates a panel composed of Mark Elliott, Heartland Network, Omaha, NE; Dr. Ray Gentry, SBCAL President/CEO, McDonough, GA; Mark Jones, NorthCoast Association, Vermillion, OH; Chris Kellermeyer, Crossroads Association, Indianapolis, IN; and Dr. Gary Mathes, Clay-Platte Association, Kearney, MO in a Q and A format.

Dr. Mark Millman serves as the AMS/CPC for the Southern Wisconsin Association, Madison, WI, and as Chairman of the SBCAL Executive Team for 2020-2021.

Effective Pastor Search Process: Steps Toward a Better Match

Mark Emerson

Thursday, 8-9:15 a.m. Plaza B (80)

Assisting a church through times of transition is crucial to their future health and growth. This breakout will present current trends that are affecting today's pastor search processes, offer insights into an effective search, and describe best practices that churches are using in their search processes.

Mark Emerson is the Associate Executive Director of the Illinois Baptist State Association with the responsibility of supervising the ministry teams. Mark joined the IBSA staff in 2009 after being appointed by the North American Mission Board. Before joining the IBSA staff Mark helped plant Living Faith Baptist Church in Sherman IL where he served as the Senior Pastor for 18 years. Mark is a graduate of Southwest Baptist University, Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary, and has recently earned his Doctorate from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. Mark and his wife Tammie have two married daughters and one granddaughter.

Identifying the Call to Plant

Noah Oldham

Wednesday, 8:00-9:15 a.m. Plaza I (130)

Is someone in your congregation called to plant? Are you? This session will provide keys to knowing if you or someone you lead has been called to plant a church.

Noah Oldham is the founding pastor of August Gate Church and serves the Send Network as Senior Director of Church Planting Deployment. He previously served as the St. Louis Send City Missionary. Since August Gate began in 2009, Noah has led their team to identify, deploy, and support more than 10 church planters. He and his wife Heather have five children.

Raising Up Leaders for Multiplication

Matt Miller, Ryan Johnston

Wednesday, 9:30-10:45 a.m. and Wednesday, 11 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. Plaza I (130)

You already know that the keys for mission are already in your pews, but how will you identify and equip them? This session will provide insights into developing leaders and creating residencies that multiply disciples and churches.

Matt Miller is the founding pastor of New City Church and the Send City Missionary in Kansas City. New City started in 2012 and has since multiplied to four campuses and helped plant other churches. He has been married to Jenn for 17 years and they have three children.

Ryan Johnston serves as the Church Planting Leader with the Send Network in Kansas/Nebraska. He has served in multiple roles within the local church as a collegiate pastor, planter, and pastor in his 22 years of ministry. Recently he led a church through a succession of leadership, revitalization out of decline, and on to multiply new churches through residencies. Ryan is passionate about leader development, multiplication, and pastoral health. He has been married to his wife Debby for 19 years and has five children ranging from 13 years old to a 1-year-old.

Restoration: How the Gospel intersects with community needs

Rayden Hollis, Kent Steiner, Jason Stuckey, Ailee Taylor

Wednesday, 2:15-3:30 p.m. Plaza I (130)

When we make disciples, we help them to see the needs in their community with a new lens. This session will discuss how church planting goes hand-in-hand with meeting physical, social, and economic needs in your community. You'll get new ideas for how your church or church plant can facilitate more kingdom impact.

Rayden Hollis is the founding pastor of Red Hill Church in Edwardsville, IL, and serves as the St. Louis Send City Missionary. Rayden led Red Hill to send a church plant within their first five years and continues to find creative ways for their church to meet needs in Edwardsville. He has been married to Sarah for 20 years and they have three children.

Kent Steiner grew a love for the city and the people of Chicago at 18 years of age when he came to be trained at Moody Bible Institute in Biblical Studies and Ministry. He met his wife Deanna while serving together as MBI students in Cabrini-Green housing. They were blessed by getting connected to families and convinced that Christ-centered life on life ministry is how to love our neighbors as ourselves! He then served at Breakthrough Urban Ministries in Chicago as Director of youth outreach for 8 years. God gave Kent a clear call to pastoral ministry through the local church in 2001. In 2016 Pastor Kent joined Pastor Jon Kelly in planting Chicago West Bible Church in the Austin neighborhood on the west side of Chicago. They are grateful for how the Lord has established this local church body in the community that He has placed them in! Kent and Deanna have three children, Riley, Rayna, and Roslyn. Kent enjoys exploring cities, eating at ethnic restaurants, and participating in outdoor activities and sports!

Jason Stuckey serves as the ministry center coordinator for the Send Relief ministry center in Chicago, IL. Jason has served in leading missions in both rural and urban contexts for a little over a decade, and his passion is to help equip the local church see mission as a way of life. When Jason is not leading missional efforts in the city, he and his wife Melissa, their 5-month-old daughter Mila love to explore their new city and host gatherings in their home.

Ailee Taylor is the Director of Church Operations for Net Community Church in Staunton, IL. She is married to Derrick, who planted the church in 2016. Ailee plays a key role in helping their church minister to the unique needs in their rural community. She and Derrick have three children.

Multiplication for normal churches

Matt Marrs, Travis Smalley, Todd Stiles

Wednesday 3:45-5:00 p.m. and Thursday 8-9:15 a.m. Plaza I (130)

Small and mid-sized churches are leading the way in church planting for Send Network. In this session, you’ll hear from pastors of normal churches about how they are leading their congregations to send and support church planting teams for local and global impact.

Matt Marrs is the Midwest Regional Director for the Send Network. He is a pastor of Northland Baptist Church in Kansas City where he’s served for 26 years. Northland is a mid-sized church that has planted and partnered with more than 10 plants in the last 10 years. He has been married to Kerry for 26 years and they have three children.

Travis Smalley is the lead pastor of Lakota Hills Baptist Church in West Chester, OH, and serves as the Cincinnati Send City Missionary. Lakota Hills is a mid-sized church that has partnered with and planted over 20 churches in the last 15 years. Travis has been married to Robin for 29 years and they have two grown children and one grandson.

Todd Stiles is the founding pastor of First Family Church in Ankeny, IA. First Family is a mid-sized church that has partnered with and planted multiple churches in Iowa, Kazakhstan, and Indonesia. He has been married to Julie for 33 years. They have four children and nine grandchildren.

Why Every Christian is an Apologist

Rob Phillips

Wednesday 8-9:15 am Plaza C (80)

The apostle Peter writes that followers of Jesus should be “ready at any time to give a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you” (1 Pet. 3:15). That means every Christian is called to be an apologist or a defender of the faith. This conference offers a basic introduction to Christian apologetics and provides three conversation starters for ministers and laypersons.

Rob Phillips serves as director of Ministry Support & Apologetics for the Missouri Baptist Convention. He leads conferences on Christian apologetics and directs the Missouri Baptist Apologetics Network. He is the author of 10 books, including What Every Christian Should Know About the Trinity and, most recently, What Every Christian Should Know About Satan (Autumn 2021).

Creating a Culture of Redemption

Tim Rhodus

Wednesday, 9:30-10:45 am Plaza C (80)

Imagine your church growing again AND growing by primarily reaching unchurched and de-churched people! Tim believes creating a culture of redemption will result in your church growing and experiencing 75% of that growth from reaching unchurched and de-churched people. We all know our churches need to reach the lost, yet year after year most of us fail miserably. Why do we have very limited success with all the various evangelistic strategies we have tried over the decades? Why are some churches able to maintain an external focus and reach the unchurched and de-churched in their region while other churches who pray the same prayers, sing the same songs, and preach similar messages seemingly fail in evangelism? The problem is the culture. The church culture. The late business management guru Peter Drucker once said, “culture eats strategy for breakfast”. This is also true for the culture of a local church. We can have the world’s greatest strategy, but unless we create and maintain a culture of redemption, the culture of our local church will "eat our world's greatest strategy for breakfast" and sabotage our mission of reaching the undecided masses around us with the gospel.

Tim Rhodus has served as the Lead Pastor of Cross Church, Carlinville, IL (pop. 5,800) since March 2000. Over the past 22 years, Cross Church has grown from 90 to 650-750 regular attenders, with 83% of that growth coming by reaching what Tim refers to as the “undecided masses” or “unchurched & de-churched people” in his region. Tim’s ministry mindset is aimed at creating a culture of redemption by staying externally focused and engaged in his community/region so he can keep Cross Church focused on being faithful with the mission and redemptive potential God has entrusted to them. As a 36-year veteran of church revitalization, Tim loves coaching pastors and churches as they seek a path through the process of church revitalization & health. Tim serves in multiple roles on the Illinois State Baptist Executive Board and as the President of his community's Chamber of Commerce. In his spare time, Tim also coaches high school football.

Evangelism in the Small Church: It’s More About Motivation Than Methods

Ed Gregory

Wednesday, 11-12:15 pm, Plaza C (80)

Creating a mindset for personal evangelism in the local Church. We will focus most on vision and possibilities which lead to ongoing and effective personal evangelism. It is more about motivation than methods, though some tools and methods will be discussed. The concepts will fit churches of all sizes, small to large.

Ed Gregory serves as a Pastor/Church Support Staff member for the Baptist Convention of Iowa and as a Field Organizer with the Church Ministry Division of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. Ed has served as a Pastor for 38 years and on State convention staff for 11 years.  He is a graduate of Blue Mountain College and Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary.

Creating a Culture of Redemption

Tim Rhodus

Wednesday, 2:15-3:30 pm Plaza C (80)

Imagine your church growing again AND growing by primarily reaching unchurched and de-churched people! Tim believes creating a culture of redemption will result in your church growing and experiencing 75% of that growth from reaching unchurched and de-churched people. We all know our churches need to reach the lost, yet year after year most of us fail miserably. Why do we have very limited success with all the various evangelistic strategies we have tried over the decades? Why are some churches able to maintain an external focus and reach the unchurched and de-churched in their region while other churches who pray the same prayers, sing the same songs, and preach similar messages seemingly fail in evangelism? The problem is the culture. The church culture. The late business management guru Peter Drucker once said, “culture eats strategy for breakfast”. This is also true for the culture of a local church. We can have the world’s greatest strategy, but unless we create and maintain a culture of redemption, the culture of our local church will "eat our world's greatest strategy for breakfast" and sabotage our mission of reaching the undecided masses around us with the gospel.

Tim Rhodus has served as the Lead Pastor of Cross Church, Carlinville, IL (pop. 5,800) since March 2000. Over the past 22 years, Cross Church has grown from 90 to 650-750 regular attenders, with 83% of that growth coming by reaching what Tim refers to as the “undecided masses” or “unchurched & de-churched people” in his region. Tim’s ministry mindset is aimed at creating a culture of redemption by staying externally focused and engaged in his community/region so he can keep Cross Church focused on being faithful with the mission and redemptive potential God has entrusted to them. As a 36-year veteran of church revitalization, Tim loves coaching pastors and churches as they seek a path through the process of church revitalization & health. Tim serves in multiple roles on the Illinois State Baptist Executive Board and as the President of his community's Chamber of Commerce. In his spare time, Tim also coaches high school football.

Making Disciples and Developing Missional Leaders: An Introduction to the Multiplication Pipeline and Pipeline Survey

Bob Burton

Wednesday, 3:45-5 pm Plaza C (80)

What if your church could develop more and better disciples and leaders? We will explore this question together as we think about what it means to have “intentional pathways” of discipleship and missional leadership development to raise up more and better disciples and leaders from within your church. There is not a one of us that would disagree with that need and assessment. Frankly, the challenge for us has been in the rubber hits the road implementation. Think about how you were developed as a leader. What did you need to know (head)? What took place to help you mature (heart)? What did you need to experience (hands)?" The most powerful learning comes thru experiences, not just knowledge transfer. Avery Willis said, “Most of what we call discipleship is actually knowledge-based and what we really need is obedience-based discipleship” It’s the way Jesus did it!

  • HEAD - What do they need to know?
  • HEART - How do they need to mature?
  • HANDS - What do they need to experience?

The Multiplication Pipeline and Pipeline Survey are two practical resources that will give your church their own online training platform with biblical courses built around those three things head, heart, and hands. It’s an obedience-based approach for making disciples and developing leaders. You will be given access to the Send Network Resource Library through your platform where you’ll find all kinds of modules related to evangelism, leadership, church planting, IMB etc. plus the Pipeline. Come join us and learn more about how to get your church’s own free, easy to use, customizable online training platform to assist you in raising up more and better disciples and leaders for harvest.

Bob Burton’s heartbeat is for missional revival seeing every church as a multiplying church in the making. He seeks to be a Barnabas to all pastors as well as all churches. He is a native to Illinois where he has served as a pastor, associate pastor, planter and on the IBSA staff prior to coming to NAMB. He and his wife Dana currently live in St. Charles, Missouri. They have three married sons and two wonderful grandkids (third on the way). He has a firm conviction to always be a practitioner and moved to St. Charles to plant True Life Community Church there. Recently, he has published two books through Lifeway, “The Spiritual DNA of a Church on Mission” and its accompanying workbook. His degrees are from Midwestern and Southern Seminary both in the areas of Educational Leadership.

Bob serves the Lord as your Midwest Regional Equipper, he is tasked with equipping and coaching missionaries, field staff and churches for their work in the harvest by giving support and providing tools to fulfill the vision of seeing a multiplying church in every community in North America. The great need of the day is for pipelines that create intentional pathways to living on mission through discipleship, leadership development, and residencies. He has served as your missionary since his appointment in 2001 and it’s with grateful thanks for your generous gifts through the Cooperative Program and the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering.

Elevating the Good News of Jesus Christ Through Relationships

Tony Lynn

Thursday, 8-9:15 am Plaza C (80)

In your community, every individual has the freedom to create, recreate, or crush their personal, customized spirituality without their spirituality ever being challenged by anyone while simultaneously approving the personal, customized spirituality of all other individuals. So how do you share the good news of Christ in such a fluid context? Tony will help you understand what you're facing and how to use best practices gathered from around the world.

Dr. Tony Lynn is the Church Planting Leader for the North American Mission Board serving with the Baptist State Convention of Michigan. Having lived on three continents and visited 24 countries while using three languages to share the good news of Jesus Christ with others, Tony brings a broad and unique perspective on how to share faith with today's audience in every context.

Building Your Women’s Ministry on the Word

Kelly King

Wednesday 8-9:15 am Sangamon (40)

Women's Bible studies might be common in your church, but are you truly building a strategy for discipleship? In this session, we'll explore ways you can form a Bible study strategy for the local church, help women learn how to study the Bible on their own, and encourage them in ways to teach scripture with confidence.

Kelly D. King is the Manager of Magazines/Devotional Publishing and Women's Ministry Training for Lifeway Christian Resources. She is the author of Ministry to Women: The Essential Guide to Leading Women in the Local Church, the Bible study Living By Faith: Women Who Trusted God, and is a contributor to The Whole Woman: Ministering to Her Heart, Soul, Mind, and Strength. She has also contributed to Lifeway’s Advent and Easter studies and is the co-host of the Lifeway Women’s Marked podcast. Prior to coming to Lifeway, she served as the Women’s Missions and Ministries Specialist for Oklahoma Baptists and taught women’s ministry courses at Oklahoma Baptist University. She holds a Master of Theology degree from Gateway Seminary in Ontario, CA, and is currently pursuing her Doctorate in Ministry degree.

Knowing Your Ministry Context

Mark Croston

Wednesday, 9:30-10:45 a.m. Plaza G (165)

Learning your Ministry Context is one key to getting Big Results. What works in one place may not work in another. Gain skills to better understand the place where you minister and the people you serve.

Dr. Mark Croston is a native of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; served as pastor to an urban congregation in Virginia for 26 years; a Doctor of Ministry concentrating in Christian Education; and traveled, been on mission or preached in almost 40 countries -- Mark Croston now serves as National Director of Black Church Ministries at Lifeway Christian Resources. He is General Editor of the YOU Bible Study Curriculum, Executive Editor of Deacon Magazine, and author of his latest book, Big Results Leadership. Follow him at @CrostonMin on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. www.BigResultsLeadership.com

Missional Speed Mentoring

Sandy Wisdom-Martin

Wednesday, 11-12:15 pm Plaza G (165)

Come join this fun and fast-paced learning experience! Participants meet with several mentors in a succession of brief, 8- to 10-minute conversations. A facilitator will keep things moving along in the time allotted. The missional topics presented will enhance your ministry.

Sandy Wisdom-Martin serves as executive director-treasurer for national WMU in Birmingham, Alabama. Prior to this post, she led WMU of Texas as executive director from 2010–2016. She also served as women’s missions and ministries director for the Illinois Baptist State Association from 2001–2010 and served in the areas of WMU and Church and Community Ministries with Arkansas Baptist State Convention from 1991–2001. Born and raised in southern Illinois, Sandy is married to Frank Martin. They have one daughter, Hannah.

Steak Fries, BBQ, and Men’s Ministry

Paul Miller

Wednesday, 2:15-3:30 pm Plaza A (80)

In this session, Pastor Paul will answer 3 questions:
Why should a church have a strong emphasis on reaching men? In other words, what's at stake if we don't reach men?
How would a church family begin to build a vibrant men's ministry? In other words, what are the key goals, elements, and steps regardless of church location and culture?
What are the unique challenges that every men's ministry must overcome? In other words, how can we prevent men's ministry from being a "flash in the pan?"

Dr. Paul Miller is the Lead Pastor of Cornerstone Community Church in Chariton, IA. Paul has been a Christ-follower since 6th grade. God called Paul into vocational ministry in 2002 while he was working as Pulp Mill Superintendent in a large paper mill in Macon, GA. Paul served as a Youth Pastor for 11+ years in GA before God called him to join the elders at Cornerstone. Paul and his wife Brandy have 5 children. Paul earned his B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Georgia Tech, and his M.DIV. and D.MIN. degrees from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. Paul has led the Baptist Convention of Iowa Men's Conference ministry since 2015.

Living Life in Drive: Leading Women Forward

Carmen Halsey

Wednesday, 3:45-5 pm Sangamon (40)

We are called to make disciples who make disciples, but we can’t lead someone where we have never been unless we’re going with them.  Our life on earth is meant to live moving forward toward a very specific destination, but do all disciples live like that?  Sometimes we get stuck and need someone to help us get moving again. Learn how to walk alongside women helping them to connect the dots of everyday experiences to spiritual truths. Equip them to keep an eye on their spiritual dashboards keeping their lives in tune with the Holy Spirit.  Teach them to reimagine with God each day how we can deliver the gospel in an ever-changing community. You have a part in the stories God is writing through the women that you will influence.

Carmen Halsey serves at IBSA in the role of Director of Leadership Development and the Illinois WMU Executive Director. Carmen is a registered nurse and has completed her graduate degree in the area of Management of Organizational Behavior. In her role with IBSA, Carmen has the privilege of serving alongside Illinois Baptist Women to train, equip and resource multi-generational women enabling them to engage their worlds and share the gospel.

Growing Your Leadership Team

Mark Croston

Thursday, 8-9:15 am Plaza A

Developing the leaders in your organization is one key to getting Big Results. Learn how to maximize your efforts through developing and maximizing your team's strengths.

Dr. Mark Croston is a native of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; served as pastor to an urban congregation in Virginia for 26 years; a Doctor of Ministry concentrating in Christian Education; and traveled, been on mission or preached in almost 40 countries -- Mark Croston now serves as National Director of Black Church Ministries at Lifeway Christian Resources. He is General Editor of the YOU Bible Study Curriculum, Executive Editor of Deacon Magazine, and Author of his latest book, Big Results Leadership. Follow him at @CrostonMin on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. www.BigResultsLeadership.com

Cómo obtener Excelencia en el Ministerio de Alabanza

Tony Muñoz and Julio Arriola

Wednesday, 8-9:15 am Springfield (40)

“Conceptos Bíblicos y prácticos para el desarrollo de un Ministerio de Alabanza efectivo para la iglesia”

Obtaining Excellence in Worship Ministry

“Biblical and practical concepts to develop an effective Worship Ministry for the church”

See above for bios.

Plantación efectiva de Iglesias saludables

Felix Cabrera

Wednesday, 9:30-10:45 am Springfield (40)

Principios Bíblicos que demuestran la razón de por qué y el cómo las iglesias plantan iglesias.

(Effectively planting Healthy Churches - Biblical principles that demonstrate the why and how churches plant churches)

El Pastor Félix tiene una Licenciatura en Administración de Empresas (con concentración en Administración) de la Universidad de Puerto Rico, una Maestría en Consejería Pastoral del Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary, una segunda Maestría en Artes (con concentración en Plantación de Iglesias) del Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary y un Doctorado en Ministerio (con especialización en Liderazgo) del Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. El pastor Félix plantó la Iglesia Bautista Central en la ciudad de Oklahoma City en el 2011 y ha desempeñado diferentes funciones dentro de la Convención Bautista del Sur (SBC):

  • Segundo Vicepresidente de la Convención Bautista del Sur (SBC).
  • Director Ejecutivo de la Convención de Iglesias Bautistas del Sur de Puerto Rico.
  • Miembro del Consejo de Liderazgo Hispano de la SBC.
  • Consejo Pastoral de Lifeway Español.
  • Cofundador y miembro del Consejo de la Alianza de Pastores Bautistas Hispanos.
  • Fundador y Director de la Red de Plantación de Iglesias RED 1: 8.

El pastor Félix es un apasionado de tres cosas:

  • Ver el inicio de nuevas iglesias saludables.
  • La formación, desarrollo y envío de líderes.
  • Amar y alimentar a las ovejas que el Señor pone en sus manos.

Por la gracia de Dios, el Pastor Félix está casado con Denisse desde 2001, y como fruto de su amor, el Señor les regaló a sus dos princesas, Andrea Nicole y Adriana Victoria.

Pastor Félix holds a Bachelor of Business Administration (with a concentration in Management) from the University of Puerto Rico, a Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling from Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary, a second Master of Arts (with a concentration in Church Planting) at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, and a Doctorate in Ministry (with a concentration in Leadership) at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Pastor Felix planted Iglesia Bautista Central in Oklahoma City in 2011. He served as:

  • Second Vice President of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC).
  • Executive Director of Convención de Iglesias Bautistas del Sur de Puerto Rico.
  • Member of the Hispanic Leadership Council of the SBC.
  • Pastoral Council for Lifeway Español.
  • Co-founder and member of the Council of the Hispanic Baptist Pastors Alliance.
  • Founder and Director of the RED 1:8 Church Planting Network.

Pastor Felix is passionate about three things:

  • Seeing new healthy churches being initiated.
  • The training, development, and commissioning of leaders.
  • Loving and feeding the sheep the Lord puts in his hands.

By the grace of God, Pastor Félix has been married to Denisse since 2001, and in the fruit of their love, the Lord gave them their two princesses, Andrea Nicole and Adriana Victoria.

La pareja pastoral como un equipo ministerial

Jorge and Ana Melendez

Wednesday, 11-12:15 pm Springfield (40)

El propósito de este taller es ayudar, a pastores, plantadores y líderes a entender la importancia de la pareja pastoral como equipo ministerial. Es importante aprender que el llamado al ministerio es un llamado que afecta a ambos, al pastor y a su esposa. Se va a considerar los siguientes temas. La vida matrimonial: el perdón, el amor y el servicio mutuo, y los hijos, como también el tema de la comunicación, el sacrificio y las recompensas.

The pastoral couple as a team ministry

The purpose of this workshop is to help pastors, planters and leaders understand the importance of pastoral couple as a team ministry. It is important to learn that the call to ministry is a call that affects both, pastor and his wife. We will be considering the next topics. Marriage life: love, forgiveness, service, and children, as well communication, sacrifice and rewards.

Jorge y Ana Meléndez son originarios de Honduras, Centro América. Han estado casado por 34 años y tiene tres hijos, Jorge, Isaac y Melvin. Jorge ha trabajado por 20 años como plantador catalizador de Iglesias en el estado de Illinois con la Asociación Bautista de Illinois (IBSA) y la Junta Norteamericana de Misiones (NAMB). Ana ha servido en los siguientes ministerios; como consultante para la Unión Femenil de IBSA, consultante hispano con LifeWay. Forma parte de la junta consultiva a nivel nacional de la Convención Bautista del Sur.  Tiene un ministerio como conferencista para mujeres a nivel estatal, nacional e internacional.

Jorge and Ana Meléndez are originally from Honduras, Central America. They have been married for 34 years and they have three children; Jorge, Isaac and Melvin. Jorge has worked for 20 years as a Church Planter Catalyst in the state of Illinois with the Illinois Baptist State Association (IBSA) and the North American Mission Board (NAMB). Ana has served in the following ministries; as a consultant for the IBSA’s WMU, Hispanic consultant with LifeWay. and she is a member of the advisory council of the Southern Baptist Convention. She has a ministry as a speaker for women at the state, national and international levels.

Movilizando nuestras Iglesias a las Misiones Internacionales

Oscar Tortolero

Wednesday, 2:15-3:30 pm Springfield (40)

Como la iglesia local lleva la gloria de Dios y proclama el evangelio de Cristo en las naciones enviando a sus miembros a través de la tarea misionera y la obra de movilización de la iglesia.

Mobilizing our churches for International Missions-How the local church takes the glory of God and proclaims the gospel of Jesus in the nations by sending his people through the missionary task and the church’s mobilization task.

Bio

  • Movilizador Estratégico Hispano con la IMB o Junta de Misiones Internacionales
  • Nacido en Venezuela
  • Casado con Annie por 17 años
  • Tres hijos - Nathan, Lucia and Luke
  • Educación -
    • Bachillerato en Finanza y Contabilidad de la Florida Atlantic University
    • Maestría en Estudios Teológicos con concentración en Misiones de Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary
  • Hispanic Church Mobilization Strategist with the IMB
  • Originally from Venezuela
  • Married to Annie for 17 years
  • Have 3 kids – Nathan, Lucia and Luke
  • Education
    • Bachelor’s in accounting and Finance from Florida Atlantic University
    • Master’s in Theology Studies with Missions from Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary

La Iglesia Desde El Altar Familiar

Tony Munoz

Wednesday, 3:45-5 pm Springfield (40)

Uno de los descubrimientos que nos reveló la pandemia que vivimos alrededor del mundo en el 2020, es que muy pocas familias estaban preparadas para convivir en armonía dentro de la misma casa por un tiempo indefinido sin  poder salir! Sin consultar a los padres, se cancelaron para los hijos sus prácticas de béisbol, de fútbol, no habían clases en las escuelas, ni de música, ni de gimnasia, no se podía ir al parque y hasta las iglesias cerraron sus puertas. En muchos hogares de los que llamamos Familias Cristianas, se tuvieron que aferrar a la tecnología (los que podían) para proveerse de la continua enseñanza bíblica para la casa… pero se enfrentaron también con la realidad de que no se estaba poniendo en práctica el mandato de Dios para los padres, de criar a los hijos en la instrucción y el temor del Señor para que sean gente de principios eternos y sabiduría.  ¿Cómo debe la iglesia comenzar desde el altar familiar?

Hablaremos de los propósitos del Altar Familiar, las consecuencias de NO hacerlo, te daremos ideas prácticas de cómo comenzar a hacerlo hoy mismo y compartiremos los resultados y bendiciones al ponerlo en práctica, después de todo, el mejor lugar donde nuestros hijos pueden comenzar a ejercitar el perdón, la gracia, la fe y el amor que viene de Dios es en el hogar y con nuestra propia familia primero. Mi casa está floreciendo y dando frutos que glorifican a Dios y mi iglesia está de regreso creciendo, más fuerte que nunca y ha sobrevivido la Pandemia por la gracia de Dios y el sacerdocio en el hogar que ahora practican sus miembros. #IglesiaEnCasa

The Church from the Family Altar

One of the discoveries that the 2020 pandemia left us around the world,  is that very few families were prepared to live together in harmony inside the house for an indefinitive time without leaving the house! Without any consultations to the parents, all the different activities for the children

got canceled, no baseball practice, no soccer practice, school was closed, so was the Music Academy, no gymnastics, public parks were shut down and even the church buildings were closed! Many of the so-called Christian Homes turned into technology (those who could) as they were streaming church services from a menu and relayed on that for the teaching of the Word of God in the house… confronting also another hard reality which is the fact they were not putting into practice God’s mandate to instruct, and teach the fear of the Lord into the young minds of our children and raise them to be people that leave with eternal principles and wisdom. So how does a church start from the family altar? We will be teaching the purpose of the family altar, the consequences of NOT doing it, we will give you practical ideas so you can start today, and we will show you the results and the blessings that comes with this practice, after all, the best place where our children can begin to exercise forgiveness, grace, faith, and love that is provided by God, it’s in the home and within our own family first.

My house is flourishing and bearing fruit that glorified God, and my church is back growing, stronger than ever, survived the Pandemia thanks to the grace of God and the practice of the family priesthood now among their members. #ChurchAtHome

"Missionary Strategist from Honduras who served Christ in the Music & Youth Ministry at First Baptist of San Pedro Sula in Honduras since 1987 until God called him & his wife Aleyda in 2001 to full time ministry and moved to New Orleans, LA to study Music at NOBTS (New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary). In 2005, after Hurricane Katrina hit the city, him and his family evacuated to Fort Worth, TX to enroll in the Master of Divinity program at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Since 2006 he has started and pastored Iglesia Bautista Latina in Effingham, IL serving and partnering with IBSA in many capacities, but also reaching out to the Hispanic communities for Christ and building up leaders to plant churches in the central-south area of Illinois and wherever God calls them. Brother Tony is an active member of the Hispanic Pastor’s Council for Lifeway since 2004, and for the last 4 years He continues to serve in the Executive Committe on Order of Business at the Southern Baptist Convention. (SBC) Since 2012, He continues to promote and lead an Educational & Musical Missions Project bringing teams with school bags and supplies, musical instruments, Bibles, and Christian Literature sharing the Gospel to poor children and their families in Honduras and Mexico. United in love for 22 years to the beautiful Aleyda, have the honor to be the Papi of Antonio 22, Isabella 20, and Emilia 16.

Estratega misionero que ha servido a Cristo en el Ministerio Juvenil y de Música desde 1987 en la Primera Iglesia Bautista de San Pedro Sula, Honduras hasta que Dios les llamó junto a su esposa Aleyda en el 2001 para dedicarse a tiempo completo al Ministerio del Evangelio mudándose a New Orleans, LA para estudiar Música en el Seminario Teológico Bautista (NOBTS).

 En el 2005, después de ser azotados por el huracán Katrina, fueron recibidos junto a su familia en el Seminario Teológico Southwestern (SWBTS) en FortWorth, TX donde comenzó el programa de Maestría en Divinidades. Sin embargo, desde el 2006, Dios los guió en un nuevo camino como plantador de iglesias a la ciudad de Effingham, IL donde fundó la Iglesia Bautista Latina y donde todavía continúa sirviendo en colaboración con la Asociación Estatal Bautista de Illinois (IBSA) en diferentes capacidades, alcanzando juntos las diferentes comunidades Hispanas del Centro-Sur de Illinois para Cristo y formando líderes para plantación de Iglesias donde Dios los llame. El hermano Tony es miembro activo del Concilio de Pastores Hispanos desde el 2004 para LifeWay y por los últimos 4 años ha estado también sirviendo para la Convención Bautista del Sur (SBC) en el Comité Ejecutivo de la Orden Administrativa. Desde el 2012 promueve y dirige el Proyecto Misionero Musical y Educacional en los países de Honduras y México, llevando cada año equipos misioneros que apoyan con cientos de mochilas, útiles escolares, instrumentos musicales, Biblias y Literatura Cristiana a niños y familias en áreas de extrema pobreza para que puedan ir a la escuela. Unidos en amor por 24 años junto a la bellísima Aleyda, tiene el honor de que Antonio 22, Isabella 20 y Emilia 16, lo llamen Papi.

Cómo Identificar, entrenar y motivar líderes en nuestras Iglesias

Julio Arriola and Felix Cabrera

Thursday, 8-9:15 am Springfield (40)

Principios Bíblicos básicos que demuestran la responsabilidad que tienen las iglesias de descubrir, desarrollar y enviar hombres y mujeres para vivir en misión

(How to Identify, train and motivate leaders in our churches - Basic and Biblical principles that demonstrate the churches responsibility to discover, develop and send men to live on mission)

Julio recibió a Jesús como su Salvador a la edad de 19 años mientras realizaba sus estudiaba Ingeniería en Computación en la Universidad de Guadalajara, México. Un año más tarde sintió el llamado de Dios al ministerio. Después de casarse con su amada esposa Carla, juntos viajaron a Argentina para comenzar sus estudios teológicos en el Instituto Bíblico de Palabra de Vida.

A finales del 2002 emigraron a los Estados Unidos de América. Julio fue ordenado como pastor en Texas, donde sirvió en diferentes ministerios como Pastor de Jóvenes, Director de Evangelismo y Director de Alabanza. En 2011, Julio se naturalizó como Ciudadano Americano. Ese mismo año se graduó de Liberty University en la concentración de Religión. Fue ese verano también cuando aceptó la posición como Pastor principal de Alabanza de Cross Church, en el Noroeste de Arkansas bajo el liderazgo del Pastor Ronnie Floyd. A finales de 2016, Julio y su familia se mudaron a Guadalajara, México siguiendo la dirección de Dios de plantar una iglesia en ese lugar. Iniciaron la iglesia en septiembre de 2017 siendo Julio el Pastor líder, y en menos de dos años llegó a ser una de las Iglesias con mayor crecimiento en Guadalajara con cerca de 700 miembros y más de 500 personas de asistencia semanal. En diciembre de 2019, Julio y su familia regresaron a vivir a los Estados Unidos en el área de Nashville, TN donde están las oficinas centrales de la Convención Bautista del Sur y dónde sirve actualmente como Director Ejecutivo de Relaciones Hispanas y Movilización. Julio terminó sus estudios de Maestría en el Seminario Teológico Bautista de Southwestern en Fort Worth, Texas y actualmente está realizando sus estudios doctorales en el Seminario Teológico Bautista de Midwestern de Kansas City, Missouri. Julio y Carla tienen tres hijos, Daniel (18), David (16) y Elizabeth (14)

Julio received Jesus as his Savior at the age of 19 while he was studying Computer Engineering at the University of Guadalajara, Mexico. A year later he felt God's call to ministry. After marrying his beloved wife Carla, together they traveled to Argentina to begin their theological studies at the Word of Life Bible Institute. At the end of 2002 they moved to the United States of America. Julio was ordained as a pastor in Texas, where he served in different ministries as a Youth Pastor, Director of Evangelism, and Worship Pastor. In 2011, Julio became a US Citizen. That same year he graduated from Liberty University with a B.S. in Religion. It was also that summer that he accepted the position as Global Worship Pastor for Cross Church in Northwest Arkansas under the leadership of Pastor Ronnie Floyd. At the end of 2016, Julio and his family moved to Guadalajara, Mexico following God's direction to plant a church there. They started the church in September 2017 with Julio being the lead Pastor, and in less than two years it became one of the fastest growing churches in Guadalajara with about 700 members and more than 500 people in weekly attendance. In December 2019, Julio and his family returned to live in the United States in the Nashville, TN area where the Southern Baptist Convention offices are located and where he currently serves as the Executive Director of Hispanic Relations and Mobilization. Julio completed his Master's studies at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas and is currently pursuing his doctoral studies at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Julio and Carla have three children, Daniel (18), David (16) and Elizabeth (14).

See above for Felix’s bio

Planning for Pastoral Succession: Leaving the Church Better for the Next Pastor

 John Flowers

Wednesday, 8-9:15 a.m. Illinois (80)

How to equip the church to successfully navigate changes in pastoral leadership. Passing the leadership baton requires communication, practice, and synchronization. Unfortunately, too many churches flounder during the critical phase of pastoral succession. Equip your church to know exactly what to do if you “get hit by a bus” tomorrow. Work with the church to design an intentional plan for your departure or retirement. Topics include contemporary trends in succession planning, guidelines for succession planning, communicating a succession plan to the church, planning my personal succession plan, common pitfalls of pastoral succession, and ten commandments of succession planning.

Dr. John Flowers is the founding pastor of Living Hope Baptist Church in West Fargo, ND. He has served in the Dakotas for 37 years as a church planter, pastor, and National Guard Chaplain. He earned his Master of Divinity from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and his Doctor of Ministry from Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Soul Care for the Pastor

Ben Mandrell

Wednesday, 9:30-10:45 a.m. Plaza E/F (300)

Local church ministry is a depleting, never-ceasing project and this session is designed to help church leaders look within the heart to discover where the Holy Spirit wants to bring healing and growth. Are you weary? Feeling a little burnt out? Come in and get some encouragement.

Ben Mandrell is the 10th president of LifeWay Christian Resources, one of the world's largest providers of Christian resources headquartered in Nashville, Tennessee. Prior to joining LifeWay, Ben pastored churches in Colorado and Tennessee. Ben and his family moved to the Denver area in 2014 to plant Storyline Fellowship in partnership with the North American Mission Board and First Baptist Church in Orlando, Fla. The church launched in February 2015 and grew to 1,600 in weekly attendance in four years. In its third year, Storyline voted to quadruple its giving through the Cooperative Program, becoming one of the top 10 churches in the state giving through the Cooperative Program. Before planting Storyline Fellowship, Ben served as senior pastor of Englewood Baptist Church in Jackson, Tenn., from 2006-2013, leading the church to grow from 1,800 to 2,600 in weekly attendance. A native of Tampico, Illinois, Mandrell graduated from Anderson (Indiana) University in 1998. He also holds a Master of Divinity degree from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, and a Doctor of Ministry degree from Union University in Jackson, Tennessee. Mandrell and his wife, Lynley, have been married since 2001. The couple has four children: Ava, Max, Miles, and Jack.

From Surviving to Thriving in Ministry

Corey Schliep and George Boujakly

Wednesday, 11-12:15 p.m. Plaza D (80)

How do you move yourself, and your ministry team, from a place of mental and emotional fatigue and ministry exhaustion to once again thriving in living out your calling? We will look at practical tools to help you and your team overcome barriers that keep you from thriving and help develop a culture that sustains ministry and leader health.

Dr. Corey Schliep is the Executive Director of Christ First Counseling Center. Corey has been in full-time ministry for over 20 years, as a husband, father, licensed therapist, trainer, consultant, speaker, and taught for multiple years at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary at the master’s and Doctoral levels. He is passionate about caring for people and spiritual formation. He earned his Doctorate degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Kansas State University.

Georges Boujakly was born in Beirut, Lebanon. He came to Canada in 1969 and to the USA in 2001. Georges, until his retirement was involved in the world of church planting. He spent 11 years as a missionary in Montreal, Quebec. In the USA he was leading the church planting work of Southern Baptist in Kansas and Nebraska. Georges is the husband of Carolyn and the father of 4 daughters and grandfather of 8. He likes to read, play table tennis, grow veggies, and woodworking. His passion in ministry is the spiritual formation of Christians into the likeness of Jesus. He presently leads CFCC Renovate, a ministry that is meeting the needs of Christian leaders for spiritual formation and soul care.

Making Disciples That Make Disciples Mentoring Process

Bob Dickerson

Wednesday, 2:15-3:30 p.m. Sangamon (40)

This session will draw from the speaker's 40 years of ministry experience while focusing on mentoring resources currently in use that participants will have free access to receive. The key to this process is the materials are simple enough for new believers not to be overwhelmed and quit before finishing. They are also “user friendly” for those who complete the course to use with others as the Lord leads them to make disciples. Topics will include how to set up a mentoring ministry, how to train mentors, how to use a sample outline for new member mentoring, and current examples of how God is using the ministry.

Bob Dickerson became the Senior Pastor of the First Baptist Church of Marion, IL, in 2007, after serving Illinois Baptist State Association as an Associate Executive Director of Church Strengthening. He received a B.S. in Education and taught high school Mathematics for seven years after college. When called to the ministry, he attended Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and Luther Rice Seminary, earning a D. Min. Degree while serving churches in Illinois. He has been married to his high school sweetheart, Robin, for over forty-six years and has two sons, Joshua and Lucas.

We Need Healthy Leaders

Doug Munton

Wednesday, 3:45-5 p.m. Plaza E/F (300)

Using principles, stories and humor, this practical presentation will focus on the qualities, attitudes, and activities of healthy ministry leaders.

Doug is the Senior Pastor of FBC O'Fallon, IL where he has served for more than 25 years. He is the author of 4 books and teaches preaching and evangelism with Liberty and Midwestern seminaries. He graduated from Wheaton College and earned his M.Div. and Ph.D. from Southwestern Seminary.

Preaching to the Skeptic

Ben Mandrell

Thursday, 8-9:15 a.m. Plaza E/F (300)

Without knowing it, some pastors alienate the unchurched in the room. With a few intentional decisions, your messages can become more engaging and compassionate toward those who are far from God. Ben Mandrell shares some of the things he learned while planting his church in Denver, as he communicated each week in a post-Christian context.

See above for bio.

Learning to Thrive in Your Role as a Pastor’s Wife

Kari Minter

Wednesday, 8-9:15 am Governor (80)

All pastor's wives are different.  Some approach this role with excitement while others are a bit more apprehensive. But regardless, pastors' wives face unique challenges and joys as they serve alongside their husbands.  This workshop is designed to help pastors' wives embrace both their giftings and unique personalities as they learn to thrive in the ministry context they are currently serving.

Kari Minter works for the Baptist Convention of Iowa as the church planter's spousal advocate.  She is also a Bible teacher and writer who is passionate about helping women understand the beauty and value of God's Word. Kari has been a pastor's wife for over 18 years and has served in multiple roles within the church throughout her life.  Throughout their marriage, they have served in mega-churches in the south, mobile churches in the Midwest, and are currently serving at a rapidly growing church in Ankeny, Iowa.  Kari is also a mom to 3 children, ages 12-16, and is currently attending Midwestern Theological Seminary to attain her master’s in theological studies.

The Emotionally Healthy Leader

Kathy Litton

Wednesday, 9:30-10:45 am Governor (80)

Recognizing, understanding, identifying, and managing our emotions is truly a marker of health. God desires to bring fullness and maturity into every area of our life including our emotions. Join us to discover how our growing emotional health strengthens us as leaders.

Kathy Litton lives in Mobile, AL with her husband Dr. Ed Litton who is pastor of Redemption Church and newly elected President of the Southern Baptist Convention. Both had their lives take unexpected journeys as they lost their former spouses in car accidents. Kathy knows the sting of death, a journey of losses all against a backdrop of a loving Savior who proved to be faithful, good, and ever-present. Ed and Kathy share six grown children and eleven grandchildren. She is the Director of Planter Spouse Development at the North American Mission Board.

A Woman in the Garden

Vickie Munton

Wednesday, 11-12:15 pm Governor (80)

The Bible has a clear message for women today. By God's design, we are an intricate part of His perfect plan.  Do you struggle to see where you fit into God's role for you?  Are you confident in the place God has placed you?  Are you growing or withering in this season of your life?  Looking to His Word we can be encouraged and even empowered to be the woman that God created us to be.

Vickie Munton is married to Doug Munton, who has been pastor of First Baptist Church in O’Fallon, IL for 25+ years.  They have four children and twelve grandchildren. She is a blogger at wateringcanblog.com, where she shares her passion for faith and family. Serving alongside her husband in almost 40 years of ministry, she has filled many roles--but none more joyfully than the role of wife and mom.

Expectations. Ours, Others, God’s!

Diane Nix

Wednesday, 2:15-3:30 pm Governor (80)

What is a woman to do? We surrender to the call of God in our lives. We do so with an expectancy and hope of things to come. We train. We Pray. We plan. We dream. We are obedient. And here is the thing: the rub, if you will, in western Christianity, we complete all of the steps with the understanding and expectation, God will answer as we think, or perhaps we genuinely believe He should. There are times, days, hours, and even events when our lives, as obedient as we have lived, don’t turn out as we believe or thought they should’ve. What we believe/think about our God will, in those times, either move us closer to Him or send us on a journey of great despair. Often, a woman in ministry leadership will have extra-biblical expectations placed upon her and can lead her to a place of questioning her very calling. Through Biblical and practical application, join in a frank discussion as we unpack a conversation concerning our expectations and what to do with them!

Diane is the director and founder of Contagious Joy 4 Him, a network of encouragement to ministry wives around the globe. They are offering “Free Refresh Retreats” and a safe place for ministry wives to share their hearts with other like-minded women. Thirty-eight years ago, she married her husband, pastor/professor, Dr. Preston Nix.  He is a professor of evangelism and evangelistic preaching at NOBTS. They have two biological daughters, two spiritual-grown daughters, two grands, and two son’s in-laws. Diane’s life bears the scars of addiction, abuse, loss, and dysfunction. She remembers being drawn to spiritual things. Searching for the One who could bring peace, she found her Savior, Jesus Christ! And soon after her salvation, she surrendered to ministry. She has never looked back! Diane has lost all material possessions on two different occasions. Once by a house fire and another by Hurricane Katrina. She has survived a life-threatening illness, with aftereffects that still impact her today. A speaker and author of the book When God’s Woman Wants to Give Up! Diane sheds light on “never giving up” amid trials. She is also a contributing author to LifeWay’s Ministry to Women blog, and most recently Broadman and Holman’s Daily Devotional for Women and The Psalms and Proverbs Devotional for Women. She is an author, speaker, vlogger, and blogger. Connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram: @nixheart and on her ministry Facebook: contagiousjoy4him.com, Instagram & Twitter: @contagiousjoy4him or cj4h.org 

Called to a Desert Place

Sarah Young

Wednesday, 3:45-5 pm Governor (80)

The Lord called Philip to a desert place. While it appeared unfruitful and harsh, the desert bore fruit when Philip obeyed the Lord's command. How can we bear fruit in the deserts of our lives and ministries? Both practical and inspiring, a deep dive into Acts 8 will equip us to carry on in love, joy, and fruitfulness.

Sarah Young only owned one pair of socks when she moved from South Florida to serve the Lord with her husband Paul on the Spirit Lake Nation in North Dakota. She was equally unqualified to be a follower of Jesus, but she is thankful for His steadfast love and saving grace. She enjoys sharing His love with women and children in her community. She also loves home educating her four children, gardening, reading, baking, and snowshoeing. She is the author of "Love Much," a weekly syndicated article and four books including her latest, In His Light: Opening the window to the Transforming Love of Jesus.

In Our Shoes: Real Talk for Pastors’ Wives

Amy Max

Thursday, 8-9:15 am Governor (80)

Running. Sandals. Boots. Heels. Wedges. No matter the style of your shoe, your favorite, in just-your-size, has a way of making you feel good. Serving alongside a husband committed to church service is no small task. It takes tough skin and a soft heart to learn to please God and love people well. ‘One size fits all’ doesn’t translate for shoes and it doesn’t for pastors’ wives, either. Come learn, grow, and share about life in ministry with a fellow pastor’s wife who knows what it’s like to walk in (similar) shoes as yours.

Amy Max is married to Ted who is the Lead Pastor of Vale Church in Bloomington, IL where they have served for the past 15 years. Together they have three children. Addison 12, Ariana 9, Asher 6. Amy is passionate about women in the local church. She is the organizer and lead speaker for Vale’s women’s ministry. Amy also enjoys math education, gardening, nachos, working out, and sharing the love of Jesus with others.

Disciples Making Disciples: Understanding the Micro-Church Movement

David Nelms

Wednesday, 8-9:15 am, Plaza D (80)

Globally the church is growing. People are running into the Kingdom. Church Planting Movements are occurring in many places. We long to see it happen Stateside too! This breakout will help you train your disciples to become disciple-makers who in turn lead the unchurched to Christ with the goal of starting to reproduce micro-churches.

David serves as Founder & President of The Timothy Initiative (TTI). TTI is an international church planting movement that was established with the purpose to train and multiply disciples and disciple-making churches around the world. David casts vision and gives direction to TTI as they impact the world for Christ. David believes that TTI’s strategy to make disciples who make disciples is a simple method for spreading the Gospel to the ends of the Earth that echoes the book of Acts. He believes that as the body of Christ works together, we can finish the task Jesus gave us 2,000 years ago—to make disciples of every nation and people group. David is a former senior pastor and had success in growing three different churches in Maryland, Iowa, and Florida. David received a Master of Arts degree from Moody Bible Institute, a Master of Divinity from Luther Rice University, and his Doctor of Ministry from Luther Rice University. David is married to his lovely wife Loretta. They have three grown children and five grandchildren.

Replanting Dying Churches as Campuses

Chad Keck and David Faile

Wednesday, 9:30-10:45 a.m. Illinois (80)

How do you help your church engage in church planting by starting new campuses? What if these new campuses were once dying/struggling churches? What if these campuses were not started with the intention of a permanent multi-site strategy, but instead were part of your church planting strategy? We will examine how to use revitalization, replanting, and multi-site as a strategy for church planting.

Dr. Chad Keck serves as the Senior Pastor of FBC Kettering, OH (Dayton area) since 2010. He is married to Candace, and they have 4 children. Chad has been in full-time ministry for 23 years having served on staff at LifeWay as well as churches in TN, TX, and FL. Chad holds a Ph.D. in Leadership from the University of the Cumberlands and a D. Ed. Min. from MBTS. In addition to pastoring, he is an adjunct professor at Cedarville University and MBTS.

Transforming the Local Church into a Regional Force: From Addition Through Multiplication to Movement

Andy Addis

Wednesday, 11-12:15 pm Plaza E/f (300)

Churches are generally in the business of reinventing the wheel. Every week pastors, volunteers, and committees are in a never-ending process of creating, producing, and presenting. But what if you could take the best of what you're already doing and share it? Bivocational pastors could redeem their time, places where the ministry has never survived could thrive, and ministries of every size could expand. Explore the model of content-producing churches and help revitalize and plant like never before.

Andy Addis is the pastor of CrossPoint Church: A rural multisite network of churches with numerous locations throughout Kansas and a congregation of more than 3,000. Andy is also the volunteer Rural Strategy Coordinator for the Replant Team of the North American Mission Board. He also serves as the State Director of Heart Renewal and Evangelism for the Kansas Nebraska Convention of Southern Baptists. Andy is the author of three books: Reading It Right, Count It All Joy, and BLOTCH. Reading It Right is a tool for in-depth Bible study with thousands of copies in print. Count It All Joy is a 21-day devotional covering the Biblical book of James, and BLOTCH is a children’s book and parent resource produced by LifeWay and B&H Kids. Andy has Bachelor's and master’s degrees in communication from Fort Hays State University, and a Master of Divinity with Biblical Languages degree from Southwestern Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. His professional background has provided him several career opportunities: college Instructor, radio on-air personality, newspaper journalist, church staff member, independent speaker, and trainer. Andy is married to Kathy, and they have two wonderful adult sons, Noah and Nathan.

Growing Young: Six Essential Strategies to Help Young People Discover and Love Your Church

Kevin Jones

Wednesday, 2:15-3:30 pm Plaza D (80)

Strategies for your Church to employ to reach younger demographics.

Kevin Jones is the State Director of Church Planting in the Illinois Baptist State Convention. Kevin has served in multiple capacities over 12 years in Young Adult/Student ministry. He received a Bachelor of Theology from Ouachita Baptist University and his Masters of Divinity from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Planning My Future While Serving My Ministry Calling

Jordan Puskos and Art Tennille

Wednesday, 3:45-5 pm Plaza A (80)

GuideStone is committed to providing retirement solutions, insurance coverage and investment products and services to ministry-minded individuals. This session will discuss best practices for navigating the contemporary and complex issues facing individuals today. Join us to discuss what needs to happen today to be ready for tomorrow.

Jordan Puskos is an experienced insurance professional who is dedicated to meeting your organization’s benefit needs. From helping craft a plan that is right for you to providing continued administrator support, she is committed to building a lasting relationship with your ministry. Jordan has served at GuideStone® since 2010 and has a bachelor’s degree from Texas A&M University. In addition to helping clients, Jordan plays an active role in her church and community. Jordan and her husband, Jeff, have a son named Brooks.

Art Tennille is GuideStone’s Regional Relationship Manager based in Nashville, Tennessee. Art joined GuideStone in 2020 after almost two decades of ministry to churches and individuals through various leadership roles at LifeWay, serving most recently as National Field Director for the former LifeWay Christian Stores. Art is a trusted mentor and servant leader who loves helping ministries and their teams steward their financial resources well and prepare wisely for their financial outcomes in retirement. He thrives on helping people see the practical steps they can take to positively impact their futures. Art is a life-long Southern Baptist who grew up in Georgia and earned his Master of Business Administration degree from The University of Georgia. He and his wife Ruth live in Franklin, TN and have both been highly involved in leadership and service at Brentwood Baptist Church in Brentwood, TN, since moving to the Nashville area in 2005.

Hope for Every Dying Church

Mark Clifton

Thursday, 8-9:15 am Plaza D (80)

8 reasons churches die & 4 steps to reclaim them for God's Glory and our joy.

Mark Clifton is the Senior Director of Replanting at the North American Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention. Mark has served as a pastor, church planter, church revitalizer, mission strategist, coach, and mentor to young leaders. He has planted and replanted numerous churches. His experience includes serving as the lead mission strategist for the Kansas/Nebraska Southern Baptist Convention, serving as a church planter in Montreal, Quebec, as a Southern Baptist National Church Planting Missionary for eastern Canada, and leading Southern Baptist church planting projects west of the Mississippi. Mark has been planting, replanting, and providing strategic mission leadership since 1978. Mark, the author of Reclaiming Glory, co-author of Rubicons of Revitalization, and podcaster with Thom Rainer on the weekly Revitalize and Replant podcast, is a graduate of William Jewell College in Liberty, Missouri and Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City, Missouri. Mark and his wife Jill live in Shawnee, Kansas, and have two sons, two daughters in law and four grandsons.

Six Biblical stepping stones to church revitalization

Rob Peters

Wednesday, 8-9:15 a.m. Plaza H (165)

Wednesday 3:45-5:00 p.m. Plaza H (165)

The Bible reveals six key steps to leading the renewal process. Knowing these vital steps and having them anchored in Scripture helps pastors have conviction and reduces church leaders' and church members' resistance to the revitalization process. During this session, you will hear from others who have practiced these 6 biblical steps and you will receive free resources that help you navigate the church revitalization maze.

Dr. Rob Peters has been in ministry for almost 30 years. After serving as senior pastor in 3 churches for 25 years, today Rob is the founder and president of Corpus - a ministry committed to helping pastors and churches recover the mission of the local church. Rob has served as a consultant for two large consulting firms, has an MDivBL from SWBTS and a DMin from SEBTS.  He is married to Wendy and has 3 children. Rob enjoys hunting, reading, golfing, and traveling with his family.

Pathways to partnership: How you and your church can join the replanting movement

Bob Bickford

Wednesday, 9:30-10:45 a.m Plaza H (165)

Churches in need of replanting and revitalization are best served by kingdom-minded congregations who can come alongside, offering support, encouragement, and the resources required to see a dying or declining church turnaround. Explore the necessary requirements for partnering and receiving partnerships to create thriving gospel proclaiming churches.

Bob Bickford is a Replant pastor of The Groves Church, founder of churchreplanters.com, the Associate Director of Replant for the North American Mission Board, and is the Metro Zone Leader for the Resound (Revitalization) Network of the Missouri Baptist Convention. He co-hosts a weekly podcast, The Replant Bootcamp.  He and his wife live in Webster Groves, MO. Follow Bob on Twitter @bobick.

What are we aiming for? The what & why of church revitalization

Brandon Moore

Wednesday, 11-12:15 p.m. Plaza H (165)

Identifying the biblical target for church revitalization reveals the need, fuels the work, and clarifies the path forward. During this workshop-style session, you will be equipped to assess and strategize in light of the biblical target.

While serving in urban church planting in NYC and then rural church revitalization in Southeast MO, Brandon Moore earned his Ph.D. from SBTS focused on church revitalization. He transitioned from First Baptist Oak Ridge in January 2020 to serve with the MBC as the director of the Resound Network, the revitalization and replanting efforts of Missouri Baptists. He lives in Columbia, MO with his wife, Becca, and their three boys, Hudson, Wyatt, and Beckham.

The importance of assessment and coaching in the revitalization journey

Scott Foshie

Wednesday, 2:15-3:30 p.m. Plaza H (165)

Determining a pastor's readiness and a church's receptivity can impact the decisions you make as you journey towards revitalization. In this session, you will learn how assessments inform the coaching journey of a revitalization pastor and can help a pastor stay focused during the chaos of leading change. During this session, you will receive a free resource to help you in your Revitalization discovery and hear from those who are already on the journey.

Dr. Scott Foshie serves as Revitalization Director for the Illinois Baptist State Association. Scott has been in ministry for over twenty years and has served as an associate pastor, senior pastor, associational mission strategist, and state convention missionary.  He has been married to his wife, Audra, for twenty years, and they have been blessed with three kids, Lydia, Levi, and Liz.

Revitalization Roundtable

Rob Peters, Brandon Moore, Bob Bickford, Scott Foshie

Thursday, 8-9:15 a.m. Plaza H (165)

Join Bob Bickford, Scott Foshie, Brandon Moore, and Rob Peters for an interactive roundtable discussing revitalization issues and opportunities for churches and leaders today. Questions from attendees are welcomed and encouraged.

What We Need to Know About Reaching Gen Z with the Gospel

Shane Pruitt

Wednesday, 8-9:15 a.m. Plaza E/F (300)

What we need to know about reaching, discipling, and mobilizing Generation Z with the Gospel. We'll look at the similarities and differences of Generation Z compared to previous Generations. The better we understand a Generation, the more effective we'll be at reaching a Generation with the Gospel.

Shane serves as the National Next Gen Director for the North American Mission Board (NAMB). He and his wife, Kasi, reside in Rockwall, TX with their five children – Raygen, Harper, Titus, Elliot, & Glory. He has been in ministry for over 18 years as a denominational worker, church planter, lead pastor, and student pastor. Shane is also a traveling communicator, evangelist, and Bible teacher. Every year he speaks to tens of thousands about the good news of Jesus Christ. Shane is also the author of a popular blog, which has over 3 million views. His articles have been picked up by RELEVANT, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, The Gospel Coalition, CrossWalk, Church Leaders, The Baptist Press, FaithIt, HelloChristian, and many others. He is also a monthly guest and contributor on the Point of View Radio Show that airs on over 300 stations nationwide. Shane and his wife, Kasi, were featured as ABC’s Nightly News “Persons of the Week” in August 2017. Shane has recently written a book with the major publishers, Waterbrook Multnomah and Penguin Random House. 9 Common Lies Christians Believe: And Why God’s Truth Is Infinitely Better is available everywhere books are sold. He is also the host of the podcast, Next Gen on Mission (available on podcast platforms), and the YouTube Channel – GenSend Conversations.

Developing International Partnerships

Terry Sharp

Wednesday, 9:30-10:45 am Sangamon (40)

What does a Strategic International Partnership look like? What are some of the key elements for one? We will look at how we can partner and work well with our missionaries, and discover ways to be strategically involved beyond volunteer trips.

Terry Sharp served as an IMB missionary in Spain and Brazil and then spent 10 years at the Tennessee Baptist Convention as a director—first in the language church planting department, and later in partnership missions. He has also served on the staff of numerous churches, the last as missions pastor. He presently serves the International Mission Board as Convention and Network Relations Leader and co-leader of the Diaspora Coalition.

Which Traits Matter?

Todd Stiles

Wednesday, 11-12:15pm Illinois Room (80)

Are there certain traits within pastoral servant leadership that affect, to a greater degree, membership retention? Find out in this data-driven session with research from a 2020 study among Iowa SBC churches.

Dr. Todd Stiles is Lead Pastor at First Family Church in Ankney, Iowa, a church he and an initial group of about 20 planted in 2004. He is married to Julie, and they have four grown children and nine grandchildren. His books, blog, and podcast are found at ToddStiles.net.

Pastoral Traits God Uses in Biblical Revitalization

Mark Clifton

Wednesday, 2:15-3:30 pm Plaza E/F (300)

Discover the traits of pastors who lead Biblical revitalization processes.  Learn how to determine if you possess those traits and explore ways to develop them. 

Mark Clifton is the Senior Director of Replanting at the North American Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention. Mark has served as a pastor, church planter, church revitalizer, mission strategist, coach, and mentor to young leaders. He has planted and replanted numerous churches. His experience includes serving as the lead mission strategist for the Kansas/Nebraska Southern Baptist Convention, serving as a church planter in Montreal, Quebec, as a Southern Baptist National Church Planting Missionary for eastern Canada, and leading Southern Baptist church planting projects west of the Mississippi. Mark has been planting, replanting, and providing strategic mission leadership since 1978. Mark, the author of the Reclaiming Glory, co-author of Rubicons of Revitalization, and podcaster with Thom Rainer on the weekly Revitalize and Replant podcast, is a graduate of William Jewell College in Liberty, Missouri and Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City, Missouri. Mark and his wife Jill live in Shawnee, Kansas, and have two sons, two daughters in law and four grandsons.

College Ministry – Why it Matters and Where to Start

Chase Abner, Daniel Nemmers, Shane Pruitt

Wednesday, 3:45-5 p.m. Plaza G (165)

College students are one of our most strategic mission fields. This session will describe the tremendous opportunity that churches have to impact future generations through college ministry. You’ll hear about different models of reaching students and get ideas about where your church can start today!

Chase serves as the Lead Church Planting Catalyst in Iowa and also as a Collegiate Church Planting Catalyst nationally. He became a Christian through campus ministry in Carbondale, IL, and has been a college ministry leader since 2005. He lives in Ames, IA with his wife Alisha and their three children.

Daniel is a church planting candidate with the Salt Network, based in Ames, IA. Daniel is leading a team to launch a multi-generational church in Bloomington, IL in August 2022. Previously, Daniel led a college ministry impacting a community college in Ankeny, IA. He and his wife Kayla have three children.  

Shane serves as the National Next Gen Director for the North American Mission Board (NAMB). He and his wife, Kasi, reside in Rockwall, TX with their five children – Raygen, Harper, Titus, Elliot, & Glory. He has been in ministry for over 18 years as a denominational worker, church planter, lead pastor, and student pastor. Shane is also a traveling communicator, evangelist, and Bible teacher. Every year he speaks to tens of thousands about the good news of Jesus Christ. Shane is also the author of a popular blog, which has over 3 million views. His articles have been picked up by RELEVANT, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, The Gospel Coalition, CrossWalk, Church Leaders, The Baptist Press, FaithIt, HelloChristian, and many others. He is also a monthly guest and contributor on the Point of View Radio Show that airs on over 300 stations nationwide. Shane and his wife, Kasi, were featured as ABC’s Nightly News “Persons of the Week” in August 2017. Shane has recently written a book with the major publishers, Waterbrook Multnomah and Penguin Random House. 9 Common Lies Christians Believe: And Why God’s Truth Is Infinitely Better is available everywhere books are sold. He is also the host of the podcast, Next Gen on Mission (available on podcast platforms), and the YouTube Channel – GenSend Conversations.

The Future of Missions: Overcoming Barriers with Gen Z

Julia Baird

Thursday, 8-9:15 am Sangamon (40)

Students are the future of missions. Research shows that there are some major barriers to their understanding and participation in missions. Knowing what the top barriers are and how to address them is the key to creating your missional pipeline and raise up healthy missional students. Let’s talk about what are the barriers, how to prevent them, and some tools that you need in your missions toolbox.

Julia has served with the International Mission Board for 13 years. For the first 11 years, she served as the missionary team leader in North Africa. She has been the mid-South regional IMB Student Mobilizer for the last 2 years. She leads a regional mobilization team to serve state conventions and churches as they engage their young adult, collegiate, and youth groups in discovering their role in the missionary task. She along with her husband and daughter, are based out of Little Rock, AR. She loves coffee, Brazilian jiujitsu, and hiking.

Breathing Life into Sunday School

Ken Braddy

Wednesday, 8-9:15 am Plaza A (80)

No matter what you call your Bible-teaching ministry, there are 12 essentials that can breathe new life into it. Ken has been on staff at three churches and has led them all to grow and improve their teaching ministries and introduced these 12 essentials in his book. His first church grew from a mission church with 44 Sunday School members to become an award-winning Sunday School in Texas with a membership of over 2500 people. The church he most recently served became the fastest-growing Sunday School in Tennessee.

Ken Braddy is the Director of Sunday School for Lifeway Christian Resources. He also leads the adult curriculum team to produce all of Lifeway's adult ongoing Bible studies. He has been in full-time ministry for 30 years and has published multiple books on Sunday School and groups. His new book, Creating a New Scorecard for Groups, releases in June 2022 through B&H Publishing. He graduated from Southwestern Seminary and is pursuing a doctorate in ministry degree.

Can You Develop a Small Group Ministry That Brings Increasing Value?

Chris Mavity

Wednesday, 9:30-10:45 am Plaza D (80)

Yes, YOU can! Implement the five fundamentals shared in this session and watch your group ministry skyrocket in value to you, your leaders, and your congregation.

Chris Mavity was instrumental in the development of North Coast Church’s (northcoastchurch.com) small group ministry (Life Groups). Growing from seventy-three to five hundred sixty-nine groups over the nineteen years Chris served, groups became the lifeblood of the ministry there. Chris trains, consults with, and coaches a variety of pastors and ministry teams from around the country in the areas of small group development, multisite expansion, and team leadership. His forte is to help pastors and church leaders craft strong, stable ministries. Chris serves at the Baptist Convention of Iowa as the Leadership Coach. He and his wife, Kathy, are the parents of three adult children, Joey, Jenny, and Rachel; and grandparents of Cora and Finley.

Pastors Praying for Pastors: The Foundation of Corporate Ministry

John Newland

Wednesday, 11-12:15 pm Sangamon

How do you survive the pastorate? Pastors are on the front line of serving and defending the flock of God. Only other pastors can truly understand the calling we share. Learn how to pray powerfully for one another as the best means of building enduring, sacred camaraderie. There is no substitute for the practice of praying for fellow pastors.

Dr. John Newland is the Pastor of Fall Creek Church in Indianapolis. John has served in full-time preaching ministry for thirty years. He has also participated in mission work in Bolivia, Brazil, Jordan, Iraq, Laos, South Africa, and Thailand. He also served as Second Vice-President of the SBC. He earned his MDiv from Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary and his DMin from Southern Seminary. He is in the writing phase of his Ph.D. in preaching and ethics at Southern Seminary.

Transforming Prayer: Discover How Everything Changes When You Seek God’s Face

Daniel Henderson

Wednesday, 2:15-3:45 pm Plaza G (165)

Praying Christians are hungry to learn how to connect with God in a way that takes them beyond the typical grocery-list approach. Join Daniel Henderson to discover the profound difference between seeking God's hand (what he does for people) and seeking God's face (who he really is). This workshop will equip pastors with practical tools for a more effective personal and corporate prayer life.

As a senior pastor for over two decades, Daniel Henderson brought prayer-based revitalization to numerous churches. Now, as the President of Strategic Renewal, Daniel is dedicating his full-time efforts to helping congregations across the country and the world experience renewal. Daniel is sought after for his expertise in leading corporate prayer. He has authored numerous books on biblical leadership and prayer including, Old Paths, New Power, and Transforming Prayer: How Everything Changes When You Seek God’s Face.

Creating a New Score Card for Groups

Ken Braddy

Wednesday, 3:45-5 p.m. Plaza D (80)

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed group life in profound ways. The old scorecard of attendance must give way in this new era to other ways to measure the health and effectiveness of groups. Using a golf analogy, Ken will unpack the 4 essentials of groups and a series of key questions to ask in the formation of a new scorecard for groups.

See bio above

Bringing Transforming Prayer to Your Church: A Roundtable Discussion

Daniel Henderson, Steve Hopkins, Chris Eller, Rob Jones

Thursday, 8-9:15 a.m. Illinois (80)

Join a panel discussion with Daniel Henderson and a group of pastors who have infused prayer into the DNA of their church. Learn where to start and how to begin leading prayer gatherings that are more than a checklist of random prayer requests or a bookend to the start and finish of every meeting.

Daniel’s bio, see above.

Steve Hopkins came to serve with the State Convention of Baptists in Ohio after 22 years of pastoral experience. Steve and his wife Denise have two married daughters and seven awesome grandchildren. Steve's responsibilities include leader development with pastors and church leaders, the PrayOhio! prayer initiative, and associational relations.

Chris Eller serves as Associate Executive Director for the Baptist Convention of Iowa and has 30 years of church ministry experience.

Rob Jones had the privilege of planting Fellowship Church in 1995 & continues to serve in the role of Senior Pastor. Our family has lived in the Norwalk area since 1992 and consider ourselves extremely blessed to live here and serve God in this area.

Kingdom Diversity: Today and Tomorrow

Willie McLaurin

Wednesday, 8-9:15 a.m. Plaza G (165)

This conference will explore the Why, Who, What, and How of embracing a path forward in the area of ethnic diversity and participation in the Kingdom. The church should reflect the diversity of its community and declare the diversity of the kingdom. Unity across race and ethnicity is one of the hallmarks of the gospel, a sign to the world that the gospel has real power.

Dr. Willie McLaurin is the Vice President for Great Commission Relations and Mobilization for the Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee. Prior to this Willie Served on the staff of the Tennessee Baptist Mission Board for 15 years. He has served as Senior Pastor in churches in Tennessee, North Carolina, & Arizona. Willie also served in the United States Army Military Intelligence Corps. He is married to Antonia and they have two daughters.

Navigating the Changing Culture and How to Protect Your Ministry

Harrison Smith

Wednesday, 9:30-10:45 am Plaza A (80)

Wednesday 2:15-3:45 pm Illinois (80)

"As a Christian ministry, how do you address the changing cultural views on issues such as sexuality, marriage, and gender identity? How can your ministry love and serve everyone while not giving into the shifting morality of the day? How can you be proactive and prepare without becoming a lightning rod in the media and the courts? This seminar will explore the recent cultural and legal challenges the Church is currently facing so that you can be a good steward of your ministry, understand how to navigate these challenges, and can know how to keep the doors open for the Gospel for future generations.”

Harrison Smith is a Regional Alliance Director for the ADF Church Alliance and has been with Alliance Defending Freedom for over 7 years. His passion for the Gospel and interest in law and current affairs and how those intersect allow him to enthusiastically communicate with others. He works with major ministry and denominational leaders across the country on religious liberty issues to ensure that the body of Christ understands the current cultural and legal climate and knows how to respond via the resources available to them through the ADF Church Alliance.  His heart is to see the Church boldly proclaim the Truth of the Gospel in our day!

Staying Sharp: Leading Change

Scott Nichols

Wednesday, 11-12:15 pm Plaza A (80)

Oh my! What a year 2021 has been for church leaders. You have invested your leadership time and energy rebuilding from the COVID19 pandemic that shook our churches to the foundations over the past two years. COVID19 and the aftermath have forever changed your church – are you equipped to lead that change? God called you to lead his people during this challenging season. You cannot abdicate that calling. Join me as we wrestle through questions like:
• How do I keep my leadership sharp?
• How do I rebuild momentum at church?
• How can I lead constructive change?
• When can I expect things to return to normal?
Join me for a fast-paced hour of learning, stories, questions, and answers. We will apply biblical theology to practical problems, and by God’s grace, come out better equipped for the leadership role we serve. “What we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake” (2 Corinthians 4:5).

In 2001, Scott Nichols and his wife, Victoria, launched Crossroads Community Church, located west of Chicago. Today Crossroads is a thriving congregation with two campuses, a daughter church (2009), and a goal to reach Chicagoland with the good news of Jesus Christ. Crossroads led the way for Chicagoland churches in recovering from COVID19. Scott and Vicki have three grown children (all married), two grandchildren, and a Labrador Retriever. He wrote his doctoral program around developing leaders in the local church. He loves expository preaching, developing young leaders, and evangelism. He speaks at conferences and churches in the Midwest, Mountain West, and Africa. Scott enjoys reading, watching old movies, playing basketball, Saint Louis Cardinals baseball, and working on projects around the house. His joy will be to finish well for the Lord Jesus Christ.

God and Government

Greg Baker

Wednesday, 3:45-5 pm, Illinois (80)

What does the Bible say about government and how should we as Christians interact with government? During this presentation, we will explore what the Bible says about government and how God's people have interacted with the government throughout history. We will look at present-day and historical examples from all around the world.

Greg Baker is the Executive Vice President of The Family Leader and the Founding Director of the Church Ambassador Network. Greg has been serving at The Family Leader for over 10 years and has been connecting pastors to state government leaders in Iowa for over 8 years with the goal of the church pouring into our governing leaders spiritually and working together to find solutions to issues facing our communities. Greg is currently training state leaders in 11 others states to replicate what God began in Des Moines. Greg is a member of Walnut Creek Church in Des Moines, where he came to know Christ in April 2010. Greg and his wife Ashley reside in the Drake Neighborhood of Des Moines.

How to Have a Game-Changing Ministry

Willie McLaurin

Thursday, 8-9:15 am Plaza G (165)

If you are ready for your church and ministry to go to the next level then it’s time to learn a new game. This breakout session explores the blueprint for unleashing the talents, passion, and creativity of your church and propelling you to greater ministry effectiveness. You will learn the simple framework needed to be successful in your ministry.

See bio above