PEORIA, Ill.—Pastors gained a sharper focus on multiplying disciples of Jesus during a Church Solutions Conference Feb. 17.
The Church Solutions Conference was sponsored by the GARBC’s Generate ministry and developed by EveryEthnē, the North American ministry of ABWE. Clare Jewell, director of Generate and a member of the EveryEthnē team, along with EveryEthnē’s Thad Bergmeier, facilitated the conference.
The conference is designed to equip churches for ministry reproduction by helping them strategically think through the systems and culture of a healthy church that multiplies believers, leaders, and church plants.
Meeting at Fellowship Bible Church in Peoria, participants collaborated in surveys and group discussions and were challenged to think beyond traditional approaches to disciple making in order to multiply churches. The participants left with a bundle of resources, a stack of seven free books, a new network of friends, and a common vision to mobilize leaders for the Great Commission.
“The conference is super challenging about leadership development,” says Jason Alligood, pastor of the host church. “One of the things that I learned and thought was so good was the My Circle idea of seeking to reach those people who we have influence over, and to think about ways to actually engage in a gospel conversation with them. I’m really looking forward to teaching that.”
Mike Carlson, pastor of Germantown Hills (Illinois) Baptist Church, says the conference was “challenging in a number of different areas for me as a pastor. I’m encouraged that our church is headed in the right direction to try to become a disciple-making, focused church. At the same time, I need to better define what that looks like and work on a path that is easily understandable for myself and our people to see God doing great works in our hearts but through us in the lives of others who will then reproduce disciples of Christ.”
Asked if he would recommend the conference, Mike says, “This has been an excellent day, and I would encourage any church and any pastor to be part of this.”
Jim Murphy, one of the pastors at Missio Church, a church plant in Mount Ayr, Iowa, says, “One of the things that I found really encouraging about being here is the strategic, focused conversation around making disciples. What does that mean? How do we measure it? How do we create pipelines that help develop people in distinctive marks of discipleship with intentionality so that leaders can rise from that?”
Jim continues, “One of the ways that I would encourage any pastor to become part of this conference is that this really helps lift our eyes to be part of something much bigger than just leading within our own local context, but to see God’s mission in our city, region, and world. As churches begin to posture themselves toward that broader vision of what God is doing, it helps us be faithful in making disciples, leading to true multiplication through a geography.”
Four more Church Solutions Conferences are scheduled this spring: one in Minnesota, two in Ohio, and one Florida. Visit Church Solutions Conference to see the schedule and register.