Mar 12, 2013

I'm going to the Advance13 Conference

At least once a year, I try to attend a conference that will strengthen my understanding of the gospel or help in my practical leadership in the church.  Sometimes, that is a hard balance to find.  Some conferences are great on providing deep lectures about the gospel.  They are headlined by some of the great minds in the church.  I have been to several of these and am always stretched in my theological apprehension.  Other times, I have been to conferences that are focused on church leadership, growth strategies, and ministry nuts and bolts.  These always give me something new to think about, try to implement or adapt in my ministry context, or just be jealous that I didn't think of it sooner.

Very rarely do I find a conference that can balance these two things.  I believe that Advance13 will be such a conference.  I have been impressed by the team at Advance the Church for a couple of years now.  They have put together an impressive conference experience several times.  I haven't been able to attend because I am usually already committed to another conference by the time I find out.  I did attend a regional event with ATC in Hattiesburg, MS a couple of years ago.  I was impressed with the depth, the practicality, the speakers, and the price.  It was good to see guys within about three hours of me who shared some of the same concerns I did as a pastor.

The theme for Advance13 is "Building a Faithful and Effective Ministry".  These guys have both an appreciation for the depth of the gospel.  But more than that, they are practicioners of the church.  They are pastors who are in the trenches of church leadership every day.  Speakers at this year's conference include John Piper, Bryan Loritts, Matt Chandler, J.D. Greear, David Platt, and Tyler Jones.  Breakouts are offered that are very practical in nature.  There will be networking times for participants to meet other guys and exchange ideas.

Here is an excerpt from their blog about the conference:

There is a false dichotomy in the church today, between faithful ministry and effective ministry – depth and width – making disciples and reaching the lost. Most of our churches are good at one or the other. Churches that prioritize faithfulness make mature disciples, but don’t always reach the lost. Churches that prioritize effectiveness reach the lost, but often don’t make mature disciples.
 The gospel calls for both. Faithfulness and effectiveness cannot be separated. Churches that grow wide without growing deep are not producing width that lasts. Churches that grow deep without growing wide are not as deep as they think.
We need faithful AND effective churches.

This is a major tension I am feeling as a church leader right now.  I am looking forward to seeking the Lord on this matter and the insights I will glean at Advance13.  It's not too late to register.  You can still make it to Raleigh and if you do, call me up and we'll grab coffee.  I am sure I can learn a lot from you too!


Jason said...

And i am going with him,