Church Leadership Conference bringing ‘brightest and best’

The annual SBTC Church Leadership Conference, Aug. 14-15 at First Baptist Church of Forney, will offer more than 60 topical sessions with “the brightest and best” thinkers in church ministry today, said Church Ministries Associate Kenneth Priest.

The conference will feature keynote speaker Chuck Kelley, president of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, on Aug. 15. Also included this year are pre-conference sessions on Friday, Aug. 14 featuring roundtable discussions and a session called “Spiritual Conversations with the Unchurched” with Mike Glenn, pastor of Brentwood Baptist Church in suburban Nashville, Tenn., and author of “In Real Time: Authentic Young Adult Ministry As It Happens.”

“The main emphasis of the Church Leadership Conference is comprehensive leadership training,” Priest said. “From a pastor’s perspective, this conference is designed for them to bring their key lay leaders and there is a track of study that will help that lay leader in service to the church. We have tried to focus on the hot topics in the church today.

“In today’s economic climate, most churches are not going to be able to do all the training they would want to do at the church. We have made available at a minimal cost top-level leaders. Overall, I think we’re bringing in the brightest and best.”

Priest said examples of such leaders are Alan Chambers, executive director of Exodus International, in response to what Priest said was a growing number of inquiries from churches, especially small- and medium-size churches in metropolitan areas, about ministry to people with homosexual attraction, and church staff members such as David Lorenz, college and singles pastor at First Baptist Church of Orlando.

Chambers will lead discussions on “Leaving Homosexuality” and “Practical Tips on Ministering to Children Whose Parents are in the Gay Community.”

Tracks include collegiate ministry, missions, family ministry, evangelism, preschool and preteen ministry, student ministry, technology, pastoral ministry, publicity and many others.

Other breakout sessions include such topics as “Spiritual Practices of Small Group Leaders,” “Equipping Parents to be the Primary Disciplers,” “Effective Church Websites,” “Developing a Church Evangelism Team,” and “iPod Children in Sunday School.”

The theme verse for the conference is Philippians 4:9: “Do what you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you.”

A Spanish-language session will also be offered at the conference featuring Mike Gonzales, director of the Hispanic Initiative and SBTC Ethnic Ministries, along with his wife, Dalia; SBTC ministry associate Bruno Molina and his wife, Clara; and Sergio Arce of LifeWay Christian Resources.

Registration through Aug. 7 is $15 per person or $20 at the door. To register or for more information, visit First Baptist Forney is about 15 minutes east of Dallas at 1003 College St. (FM 741) in Forney (75126).

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