Imagine: You’ve been sent by God to a town new to you, where you don’t know anyone, to start a church.
WOODWORTH – Imagine: You’ve been sent by God to a town new to you, where you don’t know anyone, to start a church.
Day one. You arrive. Now what?
Geoff Hammond, president of the North American Mission Board, has been there, done that, and made plans to talk about it at the annual Connections conference for church planters, set for Aug. 25-26 at Tall Timbers Baptist Conference Center.
Pastors of churches participating in the EKG/Acts 1:8 process, along with pastors of churches sponsoring new works, associational directors of missions and interested others are invited to join with the 75 church planters starting churches across Louisiana, to hear from Hammond and others about reaching people in their own culture and people group, being innovative, and meeting spiritual needs in a diverse, mobile environment, leaders say.
Connections was designed by the Missions and Ministry team of the Louisiana Baptist Convention to showcase tools church planters can use to help establish healthy churches; shed light on solutions to difficult situations; and provide a way to help churches connect with church planting.
The Cooperative Program-supported, two-day get-away also was designed to be a respite for church planters and their wives during which they could get recharged and reinvigorated, said John Hebert, Central Louisiana regional strategist. The event includes two nights lodging and four meals for church planters.
“This will be a time of encouragement, networking, training and most of all, connecting with other church planters, sponsoring churches, associations and others who want to support you in your ministry and help it grow,” Hebert wrote in an invitation recently sent to church planters. “Wives will have an opportunity to attend sessions especially designed for them …. You won’t want to miss this exciting time of Connecting as we encourage one another for the ‘good works’ in this wonderful state we call home.”
Registration is still open. Call 318.448.3402 or 800.622.6549, ext. 262.
“Due to high attendance, registration prior to the event is highly encouraged,” Hebert said. “This year we will be hosting a series of small seminars on Monday afternoon, and we will be hearing several speakers on Tuesday.”
The first session Monday, Aug. 25, is to start at 1 p.m., though the event opens with lunch at noon, and early bird appointments from 9 a.m. to noon. Monday sessions are by invitation only, for church planters and their wives, and directors of missions.
Tuesdays sessions are for church planters, sponsoring pastors, EKG/Acts 1:8 pastors and all interested leaders.
In addition to testimonies by three church planters, David Cornelius of the International Mission Board, LBC Executive Director David Hankins and NAMB’s Hammond will speak on Tuesday. Cornelius is an AFAM – African American – mobilization consultant with the International Mission Board.
Though no further inducement is needed, several books, CDs, DVDs and other materials will be made to church planters at Connections 2008, Hebert said. Church planters’ wives are to receive the gift book My Husband is a Church Planter, What Does That Make Me?
“We’ll have excellent worship, great speakers and focused training you won’t get anywhere else,” Hebert said. “It is our hope that our churches will connect with our church planters to make a difference in our state.”