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National Church Planting Conference Report, Part 1

NCPCFor the last two days, I’ve been privileged to take in the 2nd Annual National Church Planters Conference, hosted by Grace Church of Mentor, the church that sent me out to plant TCBC almost 9 years ago. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed renewing fellowship with old and new friends, including Andy Henderson (Florida), Larry Rogier (Michigan), Derek Harm (California), Brian and Mark Brock (California), John Goldfuss (Missouri), Dick Mercado (Arizona), Mike Stalnaker (Illinois), Matt Walker (North Carolina), Mark Mavar (missionary to Panama) and many others, including a number of my good friends from Ohio and a number of young men prayerfully heading toward a future in church planting. The fellowship and “shop talk” with men in similar circumstances have been worth the time all by themselves, but the preaching and workshops have been a blessing, as well.

The two keynote speakers are Dr. Stephen Hankins (BJU) and Dr. Dave Doran (DBTS). I was only able to hear the first message by Dr. Hankins, a message on the importance of grace for Christian life and ministry. It was just what I needed to hear. I understand that the other 2 were helpful, as well, and I’m looking forward to hearing them.

Host Pastor Tim Potter preached a convicting message from Colossians 4:2-6 on the connection between prayer and evangelism. Tim also taught a stellar workshop entitled “Developing Leaders by Modeling Leadership.” The other workshop I took in was by Andy Henderson. It was entitled “How Long Do I Stay?” and was ostensibly about knowing when it’s time to leave a church plant for another ministry. It was really an extremely profitable discussion of pastoral ministry and goals from Acts 20:17-38, a passage rich with teaching about a biblical philosophy of pastoral ministry. Andy and I agree on so many things, I actually wonder if we weren’t separated at birth. It’s almost freaky.

I appreciated having my family with me today, and while my girls were cared for by the church family from Grace, Lori was able to take in the preaching, enjoy fellowshipping with other pastor’s wives, and take in a workshop for ladies on the book of Ruth. She raved about the workshop, which was taught by Pastors Dave Cannon and Kent Hobi of Grace Church of Mentor. It was a great addition to last year’s conference, and it was enjoyable to have a number of pastor’s wives in attendance.

As much as I enjoyed all of these things (and I enjoyed them a lot), the highlight thus far has been a tremendous message by Dr. Doran tonight from II Corinthians 4:1-6. Larry commented that it was as good a message as you’ll hear—anywhere, anytime. Another friend said it’s the best he’s heard for a long time, perhaps ever. The kicker is, what made it so exceptional was not that Dr. Doran was particularly clever or creative. He just exegeted the passage and made profound applications that demonstrated a thorough understanding of the text, theology, and the Christian ministry. It was exceptional, and you need to hear it. I’m guessing it will be available on-line. I’ll link to it as soon as it is.

(Update: Part 2 of this update is available here.)

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5 Responses

  1. Hey Chris, were the sermons recorded? I would love to get a copy of Tim Potter’s sermon.

  2. They were, Bruce. I’ll post a link when they’re up.

  3. […] Chris Anderson reports on the conference at his blog, Two Cents. Click here. […]

  4. […] (Part 1 of this Report is available here.) […]

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