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National Church Planting Conference Report, Part 2

NCPCDr. Doran preached two more excellent messages from II Corinthians 4 today, and they were excellent. Again, I look forward to having them and the other sessions available online.

I’ve enjoyed a number of conferences, but I don’t know that I’ve ever enjoyed one any more than I did this week’s. Several miscellaneous observations:

1. The desire for a “National” Church Planting Conference was met. In attendance were church planters and prospective church planters from/to Ohio, Michigan, Missouri, Minnesota, Illinois, Tennessee, North Carolina, Florida, Arizona and Colorado…just off the top of my head. Also, there were graduates and/or students from a variety of institutions: BJU, Northland, Maranatha, Pillsbury, DBTS, Central, and Central East included, and I’m sure that’s not an exhaustive list. The point is, it’s not a “BJ Conference” or a “Midwest Conference.” The breadth of attendees was a blessing.

2. Grace Church of Mentor has intentionally focused on inviting speakers that are known as solid expositors of the Scriptures. Neither Dr. Hankins nor Dr. Doran have planted a church, and neither spoke on church planting. (As an aside, that’s a good thing. Preaching on the importance of church planting would have been preaching to the choir, and addressing practical strategies was taken care of in the breakout sessions.) What these men do well is preach the Word with accuracy and clarity and passion. It’s a conference filled with exceptional preaching. From what I understand from Pastor Tim Potter, the plan is to have Dr. Doran as a featured speaker each year, alongside another keynote speaker. I think it’s a great idea. I think the future of the conference is bright.

3. The breakout sessions were extremely practical:

  • Pastor Dan Greenfield spoke on rural church planting.
  • Pastor Derek Harm spoke on bi-vocational ministry.
  • Pastor Andy Henderson spoke on leaving a church plant in stable condition and doing it again.
  • Pastor Dick Mercado, Jr. spoke on multi-cultural church planting.
  • Pastor Todd Nye spoke on merging two churches, something that is happening with greater frequency in recent years, from what I understand.
  • Pastor Robert I. Potter spoke on mentoring church planters, something he’s done extremely effectively at Grace Church of Mentor and continues to do through ARCH Ministries.
  • Pastor Tim Potter spoke on developing leaders within church plants.
  • Pastors Dave Cannon and Kent Hobi spoke on the book of Ruth to the ladies in attendance, especially relating it to ministry challenges in our own day.

4. There were several times when we heard testimonies and ideas from church planters, all of whom provided encouragement regarding what God is doing and food for thought regarding ideas for more effective ministry.

5. There is talk about moving the conference to different parts of the country. I think that’s a great idea, too.

Bottom line: if you’re not somehow involved in church planting, you should be. Plant a church. Support a church planter. Send a church plant out of your church. And plan to join other like-minded men from various states, backgrounds and circumstances to hear sound biblical preaching and fellowship together around what the Lord is doing in the reseeding of America with Bible-preaching churches.

(Part 1 of this Report is available here.)


6 Responses

  1. Chris,

    We just got home. Thank you for reporting on the conference. I agree. I do not think that I have been to a more profitable conference than the one that we just attended. The preaching was absolutely out of this world. And the fellowship was sweet. Tim and the rest of the folks at Grace were unbelievable.

    It was good to fellowship with you, my friend. Say ‘hello’ to Lori from us. Melinda had a wonderful time with her. Grace and peace to you.

  2. Chris,

    Your words are very kind, and certainly the consequences of the conference are the result of the Spirit’s hand upon it. I can assure all that this conference has been bathed in prayer by our people and many others. Heads were filled and hearts warmed. I was just as encouraged by the spirit of so many there. It certainly made the effort worth doing time and again. Thank you for your spirit, and thank you to all who read this who were able to attend. God was so good to us. You just had to be there to know the depth of how good He was (is). It has been some time since I have sensed a hush upon God’s men after preaching as there was this morning. Praise the Lord.

    Pray for our brainstorming meeting this week as we reveiw this past week and begin planning for next year. Thanks again, and thank you for your encouragement.

    BTW, the sermons should be posted next week.


  3. Chris, and others,
    I wish I could have been there for the fellowship with you and the other church planters! We were praying for the conference and glad it went well.


  4. I add my appreciation to Tim and the people at Grace Church. Fantastic conference. I would submit that the preaching was as good as you will find anywhere in this country at any conference. I don’t think 2 Corinthians 4 could be handled better by anyone anywhere.

    Great fellowship too with people who have a great heart to see the gospel go forward through faithful obedience. Great to see a lot of old friends. (I am just glad they are old and not me. )

  5. […] Chris Anderson follows up on his first report here.  […]

  6. Chris,

    I wish we could of been there. Thank you for inviting us! I look forward to listening to the messages as soon as you put them up. We hope we can catch one of these conferences on our next furlough.

    Your Friends in Brazil,

    Jon & Patty Hutchins

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