Category Archives: Leadership Development

Disability ministry conference returns to Cleveland, Ohio, EPC church

 

Bay Presbyterian Church in suburban Cleveland, Ohio, will host Disability & The Church 2023 on Friday and Saturday, April 28-29. The event is the largest annual disability ministry conference in North America and is presented by Key Ministry in collaboration with the Tim Tebow Foundation.

Topics of this year’s conference include:

  • Inspired ideas and strategies for outreach.
  • Approaches to mental health inclusion/ministry.
  • Engaging lead pastors in promotion and implementation of disability ministry.
  • Innovative community partnerships.
  • Ministry with persons impacted by trauma.
  • Underserved populations in the disability community.
  • New and impactful family support models.
  • Disability, gender, and biblical sexuality.
  • Research on ministry best practices.
  • Inclusion in Christian schools, colleges, and universities.
  • Ministry with persons experiencing disabilities of aging.
  • Advancing ministry through use of technology and social media.

On Thursday, April 27, an optional, pre-conference slate of Ministry Intensives includes three options:

  • Mental Health Ministry Intensive: Every Church Can Do Something More.
  • Creating a Trauma-Informed Children’s or Youth Ministry.
  • Disability Ministry 101.

Disability & The Church is designed for pastors, leadership teams, care teams, and children’s/student ministry leaders. Cost is $129 per person (through April 21; $159 on April 22 and later. EPC members are eligible for a 20 percent discount by using the code EPC23 at registration. The Thursday add-on is $69 per person (through April 21; $79 on April 22 and later).

“I have known the Key Ministry staff for many years, and I wholeheartedly endorse their efforts,” said Dean Weaver, EPC Stated Clerk. “If your church has a disability ministry—or you are praying about starting one—you should attend this conference.”

For more information, see www.keyministry.org/datc2023.

Gospel Priorities Team champions church health, church planting, global movement, effective biblical leadership

 

The EPC’s Gospel Priorities Team: (from left) Bob Stauffer, Tom Ricks, Gabriel de Guia, and Michael Davis.

Four members of the Office of the General Assembly staff are collaborating as the EPC’s Gospel Priorities Team to shepherd the denominations four strategic priorities of church planting, church health, global movement, and effective biblical leadership. With the formation of the team, the priorities have been officially renamed “Gospel Priorities.”

The quartet, under the leadership of Assistant Stated Clerk Michael Davis, includes Gabriel de Guia, Executive Director of EPC World Outreach; Tom Ricks, National Director of Church Planting; and Bob Stauffer, National Director of Church Health.

“The Gospel Priorities Team was developed from the vision of the EPC,” said Dean Weaver, EPC Stated Clerk. “It is our desire to carry out the mission of God as the people of God. This team will achieve that goal by equipping and resourcing Teaching and Ruling Elders to build the Kingdom of God for the glory of God.”

Davis noted that ongoing collaboration between World Outreach and the Church Planting Team is an example of how the group is fostering teamwork across the various ministry efforts of the EPC.

“The synergy between World Outreach and the Church Planting Team is a growing endeavor to see our global church planters and domestic church planters collaborate on serving immigrant communities,” he said. “And our Church Health and Effective Biblical Leadership teams are collaborating to assess the health, viability, and needs of our churches and pastors through surveys and other assessment tools.”

Ricks agreed that the group’s purpose is to help create a culture that matches the EPC’s mission and vision.

“We are trying to be who we say we are,” he said. “The four Gospel Priorities are how we are going to tackle those opportunities and tell people about Jesus. My heart is that the EPC would habitually be planting churches that become multiplying churches—churches planting churches planting churches.”

Stauffer noted that healthy churches and healthy pastors are closely associated.

“I am really excited about what the Lord is doing in the EPC,” Stauffer said. “Healthy churches lead to healthy pastors, which in turn lead to healthy churches. I look forward to collaborating with Michael, Tom, and Gabriel to develop and implement strategies to reach our communities and the world for Christ.”

“It’s exciting that we are approaching the Gospel Priorities with unprecedented unity,” de Guia said. “We are working together to make each other more effective and stronger as we pursue the Great Commission. It’s motivating to collaborate with my brothers Tom, Bob, and Michael in seeing how we can be of one mind, one spirit, and one purpose.”

Davis added that he is “excited to see the Gospel Priorities Team facilitate a pathway that the family of churches in EPC will flourish to benefit their local context and for generations to come.”

For more information about the EPC’s Gospel Priorities, see www.epc.org/gospelpriorities.

Three-day Gospel Priorities Summit highlights 43rd General Assembly

 

The EPC’s 43rd General Assembly/Gospel Priorities Summit in June will be a three-day event with plenary equipping sessions each day. Those are just two of many enhancements for the denomination’s annual business meeting this year. The theme of the Assembly is Sharpen, based on Ephesians 4:12, “… to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ …”

“We want to be good stewards of our commissioners’ time and resources, so we have shortened the gathering by a day,” said Dean Weaver, EPC Stated Clerk. “Also, the business we will address deserves having as many commissioners involved as possible. In previous years, much of our important business fell on Friday when many commissioners had already left. By adjourning on Thursday, people can travel on Friday as they normally would and not miss anything.”

Each day will have training and equipping sessions based on one of the EPC’s four Gospel Priorities of Church Planting, Church Health, Global Movement, and Effective Biblical Leadership.

“The EPC exists to carry out the Great Commission, and those four priorities are the way we do that,” Weaver noted. “In the past, these concluded by noon on Wednesday. So that’s the “Gospel Priorities Summit” part this year—equipping and business will be interspersed with business across each day. Based on feedback from last year’s attendees, GA will have more of a ‘conference’ feel as opposed to primarily a business meeting with some equipping at the front.”

Weaver noted that the plenary and worship service speakers this year are all EPC leaders.

“The feedback following last year’s Assembly asked us to utilize more of our own, so we are!” he said. “Our speakers represent churches of all sizes from all over the country.”

Online registration opens on April 1. Early registration runs until May 15, with a registration fee of $295 per person. New this year is that the registration fee includes lunch each day, while on-campus dinners Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday are optional at a cost of $30 per person. The $50 early registration discount ends on May 15, when the fee increases to $345 per person. Late registration begins June 15 with a fee of $395 per person.

“The rising costs with inflation have proven to be a real challenge in planning this year’s meeting,” Weaver said. “While our registration fee is very competitive to similar gatherings of this kind, our staff continues to diligently seek ways to be good stewards of the resources entrusted to us.”

For more information, see www.epc.org/ga2023.

“In All Things” episode 65 highlights the 3 Circles personal evangelism tool with Mark Farrell

 

Mark Farrell, Pastor of Tampa Covenant Church in Tampa, Fla., is the guest for episode 65 of the EPC’s podcast, “In All Things.”

Host Dean Weaver and Farrell discuss the impact of a high school coach on his faith journey, as well as how Farrell’s 22-year Air Force career prepared him to serve both as a pastor and as Church Health Coordinator for Presbytery of Florida and the Caribbean.

Farrell also explains how to develop an evangelistic culture in the church; how the 3 Circles method is a fully biblical, effective tool for personal evangelism among all ages; and how to incorporate the 3 Circles in a variety of avenues in the church.

Episodes are available on a variety of podcast platforms, including Amazon Music, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Podbean, Spotify, and others. Search “In All Things” on any of these services.

The audio recordings also are available on the EPC website at www.epc.org/inallthings.

Annie Rose named Director of Ministerial Support and Development

 

Rev. Annie Rose

EPC Teaching Elder Annie Rose has been named to a new part-time staff position at the Office of the General Assembly, Director of Ministerial Support and Development. Rose also serves as Stated Clerk of the Presbytery of the Rivers and Lakes, and previously served as Discipleship Pastor and Executive Pastor at Saddlerock EPC in Wenatchee, Wash.

Her responsibilities include developing and implementing strategies for ministerial health and wholeness in collaboration with the Ministerial Vocation Committee, Presbytery leadership, and others; working with seminaries and other collaborative partners focused on equipping pastors for sustainable ministry; and coordinating resources and support for EPC Teaching Elders. Rose also will aid in crises involving Teaching Elders and their families.

“The EPC has been my church family for 16 years, and I’m thrilled to contribute to a culture of healthy and biblical leadership in our churches,” Rose said. “It is a blessing and an honor to be in a position to support and strengthen our pastors and their families.”

“Annie’s role is tremendously important,” said Michael Davis, EPC Assistant Stated Clerk. “In a time where pastors are unhealthy and on the verge of burnout, Annie will provide proactive care in this critical moment.”

Dean Weaver, EPC Stated Clerk, said Rose “will help us gain traction on leading in the vital area of pastoral preparation, care, and development—how we think about pipeline, discipleship, ending well, the whole scope of how we care for our pastors. The effects of the pandemic aren’t over—even though many of us have moved on from it—and that reality dramatically affects our pastors.”

“In All Things” episode 62 features ECO head Dana Allin

 

Dana Allin, who serves as Synod Executive with the EPC’s sister denomination, ECO: A Covenant Order of Evangelical Presbyterians, is the guest for episode 62 of the EPC’s podcast, “In All Things.”

Host Dean Weaver and Allin discuss some of the fundamental principles for how churches flourish, areas of collaboration between ECO and the EPC, how ECO’s Flourish Institute of Theology meshes theological education with practical application, and how ECO is defining itself as a church for its second decade and beyond.

Episodes are available on a variety of podcast platforms, including Amazon Music, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Podbean, Spotify, and others. Search “In All Things” on any of these services.

The audio recordings also are available on the EPC website at www.epc.org/inallthings.

 “In All Things” podcast episode 61 features inclusive leadership coach Kim Wells

 

Executive leadership consultant and coach Kim Wells is the guest for episode 61 of the EPC’s podcast, “In All Things.” This week’s episode continues a series of conversations focused on the denomination’s strategic priority of Effective Biblical Leadership.

Host Dean Weaver and Wells discuss how inclusive leadership does not necessarily mean racial diversity but is the discipline of seeking information from a variety of sources, listening, pausing, and then reflecting.

Wells serves as Executive Director of Executive Education and the Center for Career Excellence at Howard University in Washington, D.C. He was the guest speaker for the EPC’s 2022-2023 Executive Pastor/Church Administrator gatherings held in October and January.

Episodes are available on a variety of podcast platforms, including Amazon Music, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Podbean, Spotify, and others. Search “In All Things” on any of these services.

The audio recordings also are available on the EPC website at www.epc.org/inallthings.

Mark Ingles and EPC Chaplaincy highlight “In All Things” podcast episode 60

 

Mark Ingles, the EPC’s Chaplain Endorser, is the guest for episode 60 of the EPC’s podcast, “In All Things.” This week’s episode highlights the denomination’s strategic priority of Effective Biblical Leadership.

Host Dean Weaver and Ingles discuss the various ministry opportunities for chaplains in both the military and civilian institutions, as well as his how his role as Chaplain Endorser helps facilitate those pursuing chaplaincy ministry in the EPC. Ingles also recounts his path as the son of an Army father to his own calling as an Air Force chaplain.

Episodes are available on a variety of podcast platforms, including Amazon Music, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Podbean, Spotify, and others. Search “In All Things” on any of these services.

The audio recordings also are available on the EPC website at www.epc.org/inallthings.

Leadership Training Guide reprint now available

 

The second printing of the EPC Leadership Training Guide (revised edition) is now available for purchase at www.epcresources.org/products/leadership-training-guide. Subtitled “A Resource for Pastors, Elders, and Church Leaders of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church,” the guide was developed by the EPC’s Ministerial Vocation and Theology committees, and produced by the EPC Office of the General Assembly.

The 230-page, spiral-bound book is designed to assist churches in leadership development and includes instructions on how to use the material to prepare ministers, Ruling Elders, and deacons for their ordination vows. The 15 chapters are Early Church History, Reformed Church History, Reading the Bible, Theology, Anthropology, Christology, Soteriology, The Holy Spirit, Ecclesiology and the Sacraments, Eschatology, The Purpose for Which God Created the World, Church Government, The Officers of the Church, The Life and Character of the Officer, and Leading Healthy Churches. Each chapter concludes with practical leadership applications and questions for review and discussion. Also included are the EPC ordination vows and an Emotional and Spiritual Health Inventory.

The cost per book is $13.36 plus shipping.

Kim Wells highlights inclusive leadership principles at annual Executive Pastor/Church Administrator gathering

 

At the first of two EPC Executive Pastor/Church Administrator workshops, executive educator and leadership coach Kim Wells discussed the topic “The Strategic Power of Inclusive Leadership.” The event was held October 13-14 in Denver, Colo.

Wells, who serves as the Executive Director of Executive Education at the Howard University School of Business in Washington, D.C., said inclusive leadership involves six areas: knowing how to listen, getting feedback from stakeholders and/or constituents, not only listening but also acting, being a facilitator, having strong mental health, and demonstrating commitment to their people by action.

Wells noted that listening and getting feedback should come from a wide variety of sources.

“Are we talking to the people on the front lines? Are we listening? Are we coming down from our big offices and connecting? How can we have a forum where we are learning from our people? People are watching what we do, not what we say. How do we behave? How was that decision made? We can avoid a lot of confusion and strife if we include them in the process.”

He also explained the importance of a leader going beyond listening and being open to input from others.

“Don’t try to make big decisions in a vacuum,” he said. “There will be times as a leader when you have no choice, and hopefully you’ve done your homework. But inclusive leadership shows people that their contributions are valued. As we do that, we use our resources more efficiently. Ask the question: who else should we have here? We need to come out of our own sphere.”

Inclusive leadership also involves investing in the entire team, Wells noted.

“Provide learning and development opportunities,” he said. “Invest in them—invest, invest, invest. And not just the younger people. Let your older people know that they are still valuable to you.”

Regarding action planning, Wells explained the need for leaders to be aware of their own unconscious biases and how they affect others.

“Stop being unaware of your own behaviors and interactions, and educate yourself,” he said. “Ask for feedback to keep your unconscious biases in check. Inclusive leadership is not about race or gender, it is about listening—to different ideas, different perspectives, different people. And not just listening but engaging with others.”

Now in its ninth year, the gathering is a two-day event for EPC executive pastors and directors, church administrators, and others in senior operational leadership positions.

In addition to discussing recent challenges and opportunities in their ministry settings, participants shared best practices on a variety of topics related to church administration and operations, technology systems, personnel, vision and strategy, finance, and more.

The workshop is a resource of the Office of the General Assembly. The second roundtable, which also features Wells and has the same format as the October event, takes place November 10-11 in Orlando. For more information, see www.epc.org/xpadmingathering.

“In All Things” podcast episode 47 features discussion of pastoral stressors with Annie Rose

 

Annie Rose, Stated Clerk of the Presbytery of the Rivers and Lakes and a member of the interim committee writing a Pastor Letter of Racial Lament and Hope, is the guest for episode 47 of the EPC’s podcast, “In All Things.”

This week, host Dean Weaver and Rose discuss her path to ministry as the child of a Complementarian church, as well as how serving as a presbytery stated clerk provides avenues to observe pastoral stressors. Rose provides counsel for both pastors and elders based on those observations, and also talks about her involvement on the Pastoral Letter interim committee and how the group understands that love has to be the basis for biblical lament.

Episodes are available on a variety of podcast platforms, including Amazon Music, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Podbean, Spotify, and others. Search “In All Things” on any of these services.

The audio recordings also are available on the EPC website at www.epc.org/inallthings.

“In All Things” podcast episode 46 continues rural church pastor dialogue with Kent Mathews

 

Episode 46 of the EPC’s podcast, “In All Things,” continues a discussion with Kent Mathews, President and Academic Dean of Heartland Theological Seminary in Kansas City and Director of the EPC’s Mentored Apprenticeship Program for seminary students.

This week, host Dean Weaver and Mathews discuss strategies and resources for preparing pastors to serve in small churches and rural churches, including how Commissioned Pastors and the EPC’s CEEP (Candidates Educational Equivalency Program) serve the church by offering a pathway to ordination for prospective ministers who do not have a Master of Divinity (MDiv) degree.

Episodes are available on a variety of podcast platforms, including Amazon Music, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Podbean, Spotify, and others. Search “In All Things” on any of these services.

The audio recordings also are available on the EPC website at www.epc.org/inallthings.

“In All Things” podcast episode 45 features theological education discussion with Kent Mathews

 

Kent Mathews, President and Academic Dean of Heartland Theological Seminary in Kansas City and Director of the EPC’s Mentored Apprenticeship Program for seminary students is the guest for episode 45 of the EPC’s podcast, “In All Things.”

This week, host Dean Weaver and Mathews discuss the challenges and opportunities in preparing people for vocational ministry, and how Heartland Seminary and the EPC Mentored Apprenticeship Program combine rigorous academic preparation with practical, mentor-partnered application.

Mathews also describes the need to develop a pipeline of ordination candidates for ministry in rural churches—including the benefits of serving in rural communities—and how small churches can be better equipped for fostering community.

Episodes are available on a variety of podcast platforms, including Amazon Music, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Podbean, Spotify, and others. Search “In All Things” on any of these services.

The audio recordings also are available on the EPC website at www.epc.org/inallthings.

43rd General Assembly planning underway

 

Leaders of the EPC Office of the General Assembly and Cherry Hills Community Church in Highlands Ranch, Colo., met at Cherry Hills on September 6 to begin planning for the denomination’s 43rd General Assembly. The suburban Denver church will host the annual meeting June 20-23, 2023.

The theme of the 43rd Assembly is “Sharpen” based on Ephesians 4:12, “… to equip the saints for building up the body of Christ, ….” For more information, see www.epc.org/ga2023.

“In All Things” podcast episode 39 features Next Generation Ministries Council, Revelation 7:9 Task Force member Enid Flores

 

Enid Flores, Ruling Elder for Iglesia Presbiteriana Westminster in Bayamón, Puerto Rico, is the guest for episode 39 of the EPC’s podcast, “In All Things.”

This week, host Dean Weaver and Flores discuss her involvement in the EPC’s Next Generation Ministries Council and Revelation 7:9 Task Force, as well as her recent service as Moderator of the Presbytery of Florida and Caribbean. Flores also describes her vision for developing pathways of service for younger leaders in the denomination, as well as her desire that every EPC church member would be engaged in the work of the larger Church.

Episodes are available on a variety of podcast platforms, including Amazon Music, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Podbean, Spotify, and others. Search “In All Things” on any of these services.

The audio recordings also are available on the EPC website at www.epc.org/inallthings.

“In All Things” podcast episode 38 features EPC Chief Financial Officer Pat Coelho

 

Patrick Coelho, Chief Financial Officer at the EPC Office at the General Assembly, is the guest for episode 38 of the EPC’s podcast, “In All Things.”

This week, host Dean Weaver and Coelho discuss his upbringing as a first-generation American and his role as CFO of the denomination. Coelho also explains how he serves as a resource for EPC churches, including how the EPC set up online giving for churches at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, and his leadership of the annual gathering for EPC Executive Pastors and church administrators. In addition, he describes the EPC’s fiscal year, annual financial audit, and the recently approved change in funding formula from Per Member Asking (PMA) to Percentage of Income (POI).

Episodes are available on a variety of podcast platforms, including Amazon Music, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Podbean, Spotify, and others. Search “In All Things” on any of these services.

The audio recordings also are available on the EPC website at www.epc.org/inallthings.

2022 Leadership Institute: Evangelism in Colonial Presbyterianism

 

In the Westminster Society’s series of lectures at the 2022 Leadership Institute, Don Fortson provided an overview of Presbyterianism in colonial America in the 1600-1700s.

Fortson discussed Francis Makemie, known as “the Father of American Presbyterianism.” Makemie was one of seven ministers in the initial Presbytery of Philadelphia meeting in 1706—the first Presbytery in North America.

“We have the minutes from 1706-1746, and they are fascinating to read. Presbyterians haven’t learned a thing in 300 years,” he quipped. “We are still fussing about the same things and concerned about the same things.”

Fortson also traced how waves of Scotch-Irish immigrants in the early 1700s led to the spread of the gospel in the Middle Atlantic region, including colonial Maryland, Virginia, and the Carolinas. Among these immigrants was William Tennent, founder of the “Log College” that emphasized personal piety—what Tennent called “Experimental Divinity.” Many of its students later became leaders of the First Great Awakening in the 1730s and 1740.

Fortson serves as Professor of Church History and Pastoral Theology at Reformed Theological Seminary’s Charlotte, N.C., campus. He is the author of Liberty in Non-Essentials: The Story of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church and five other books on Christian and Presbyterian history.

The Leadership Institute is part of the EPC’s 42nd General Assembly, June 21-24 at Ward Church in Northville, Mich.

#epc2022ga

2022 Leadership Institute: The Art of Manfishing

 

In the Westminster Society’s series of lectures at the 2022 Leadership Institute, Zach Hopkins discussed gleanings from the Thomas Boston book, The Art of Manfishing. The Scottish Presbyterian Pastor wrote the book in 1699 when he was 22 years old.

“Seeing I am called out to preach this everlasting gospel, it is my duty to endeavor, and it is my desire to be (Lord, Thou knowest) a fisher of men,” Hopkins quoted Boston.

Reflecting on Boston’s life serving two small Kirks in southeast Scotland, Hopkins noted, “It is not where a minister serves, but the quality of service that counts.”

Hopkins serves as Pastor of Edgington Presbyterian Church in Taylor Ridge, Ill.

The Leadership Institute is part of the EPC’s 42nd General Assembly, June 21-24 at Ward Church in Northville, Mich.

#epc2022ga

2022 Leadership Institute: Pursuit of Public Fidelity

 

In the 2022 Leadership Institute plenary session, “Pursuit of Public Fidelity,” Vincent Bacote and Sandy Willson took questions from the audience in a variety of topics related to ministering in the public square.

In response to a question about discussing politics in the church, Willson noted that “we want our nations to have righteous laws, but we also want to be the people of grace.”

“You have to love people, but in doing that you will take some heat sometimes,” Willson said. “It’s always both/and in society as Christians. I think Peter is saying in his first epistle, ‘just behave yourselves.’ If there is injustice, let’s address it in the most humble and generous way we can. There are moments that we are just misbehaving like teenagers who don’t want to be told what to do.”

Addressing a question about political candidates, Bacote said “don’t expect candidates to be Messiah.”

“We act like we are electing a king, and then when they don’t act like we want we say, ‘I thought you were going to act like a monarch and rule by fiat.'”

Bacote reminded the audience that not all Americans are Christians.

“So how are you making some penultimate good in terms of public policy?” he asked. “It can’t just be a single-issue thing because most of politics is not a single issue. What kind of person are they? Do they want to be a public servant, or just someone being skillful in using rhetoric but their desire is for status or power. Are we in the service of their ambition?”

He emphasized that power itself is not necessarily a problem,

“How do you use it? How do you steward it? How do you direct it?” Bacote asked. “How are you going to implement justice if you don’t have power? So power is not the problem. The unique agency and opportunity we have is to be in this thing with sinful people. We recognize that some people will misuse power, but the fact of misuse doesn’t make the power itself the problem. Anything can be misused.”

Bacote is Professor of Theology and Director of the Center for Applied Christian Ethics at Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois. He is the author of The Political Disciple: A Theology of Public Life and The Spirit in Public Theology: Appropriating the Legacy of Abraham Kuyper.

Willson currently serves as Interim Senior Minister of Covenant Presbyterian Church (PCA) in Birmingham, Alabama. He served as Senior Pastor of Second Presbyterian Church in Memphis, Tennessee, from 1998-2017, when he was named Pastor Emeritus.

The Leadership Institute is part of the EPC’s 42nd General Assembly, June 21-24 at Ward Church in Northville, Mich.

A recording of Bacote and Willson’s session will be available on the EPC website soon.

#epc2022ga

2022 Leadership Institute: Westminster Society session 2

 

In the Westminster Society’s series of lectures at the 2022 Leadership Institute, Aaron White discussed “Evangelism and Mission in the New Testament.”

“Jesus’ in the euangelizomai in the New Testament, and we see three stages of the Greek word in Luke-Acts. With John the Baptist, it was imminently arriving. With Jesus, it arrived. With the disciples, it is extending,” he said.

“John the Baptist straddles the prophecy and arrival, and points to the imminent arrival of God’s Kingdom. In Jesus, it’s here, it’s near, and it’s coming. In Acts 8, we see ‘now those who were scattered went about preaching the word.’”

White serves as Pastor of First Presbyterian Church in South Charleston, Ohio.

The Leadership Institute is part of the EPC’s 42nd General Assembly, June 21-24 at Ward Church in Northville, Mich.

#epc2022ga

2022 Leadership Institute: Trafficking in Our Backyards

 

In the 2022 Leadership Institute seminar, “Trafficking In Our Backyards,” Bonnie Gatchell began by reporting some statistics about the sex industry in the United States.

“The average age of entry into the sex industry in the U.S. is 12, and many people think that is actually high,” she said. “Seventy percent are girls who have aged out of the foster system and have nowhere to go. It’s important to see women in strip clubs as the victims they are. No girl wants to be a stripper when she grows up.”

Gatchell said the primary reason women leave the sex industry is “one trusting relationship encouraging them” to live a different life.

“Traffickers are really good at recognizing vulnerable people. The church needs to be better.”

Gatchell is a Teaching Elder in the Presbytery of the East and is the co-founder and Executive Director of Route One Ministry, a Boston-based non-profit organization that serves women who are sexually exploited.

The Leadership Institute is part of the EPC’s 42nd General Assembly, June 21-24 at Ward Church in Northville, Mich.

#epc2022ga

 

2022 Leadership Institute: Westminster Society session 1

 

In the Westminster Society’s series of lectures at the 2022 Leadership Institute, Scott Redd discussed “Evangelism and Mission in the Old Testament.”

“Just as Adam and Eve were not meant to stay in the Garden but to fill the whole earth, with Abraham the goal was that all the families of the earth would be blessed,” he told attendees. “The Psalmist said, ‘All of the earth will be filled His glory.’ It was never about one nation or one family.”

Redd serves as President and Professor of Old Testament at Reformed Theological Seminary’s Washington, D.C., campus.

The Leadership Institute is part of the EPC’s 42nd General Assembly, June 21-24 at Ward Church in Northville, Mich.

#epc2022ga

General Assembly Networking Lunches offer connection, equipping

 

Networking Lunches at the EPC 42nd General Assembly provide opportunity for GA participants to connect with others with similar ministry interests. Networking Lunches are held on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, June 22-24, from 12:00-1:15 p.m. at Ward Church in Northville, Mich. For more information about each lunch, see www.epc.org/ga2022networkinglunches.

Wednesday, June 22

  • Building Retirement Savings and Tax-Exempt Housing Expense Withdrawal (hosted by Bart Francescone, Executive Director of EPC Benefit Resources, Inc.).
  • Christians Need to be Evangelized, Too (hosted by Cameron Shaffer and the Westminster Society).
  • Church Planters and Friends (hosted by Rodger Woodworth and the EPC Church Planting Team).
  • Developing Six Key Relationships to Avoid Burnout (hosted by Jay Fowler and Clark Tanner of PastorServe).
  • Empowering Leaders to Spark Disciple-Making Movements (hosted by Marcos Ortega and The Antioch Room).
  • Guarding Your Soul While Caring for the Soul of Others (hosted by Jan McCormack, Associate Professor and Chair of the Chaplaincy and Pastoral Counseling Programs at Denver Seminary).
  • Offering Grace and Truth: The Transgender Experience (hosted by Scott Kingry, Program Director for Where Grace Abounds).
  • Strengthening Our Leadership Relationships (hosted by Roy Yanke, Executive Director of PIR Ministries).
  • The Evangelistic Challenge to the Pro-Life Church (hosted by Deborah Hollifield, Executive Director of Presbyterians Protecting Life).
  • The Opportunity to Recharge a Church During a Pastoral Transition (hosted by Bob Stauffer and the EPC Church Heath Team).
  • Women’s Connection Lunch (hosted by Rachel White and the Ward Church Women’s Ministry).
  • World Outreach Master Plan (hosted by Gabriel de Guia, Executive Director of EPC World Outreach).

Thursday, June 23

  • Female Teaching Elders and Ordination Candidates (hosted by Carolyn Poteet and the Presbytery of the Alleghenies).
  • How to Flourish in the Grind of Ministry—Caring for Your Soul (hosted by Jay Fowler and Clark Tanner of PastorServe).
  • International Theological Education Network (hosted by Bruce Anderson, Director of the International Theological Education Network of EPC World Outreach).
  • Reaching the Next Generation Next Door to Your Church (hosted by Jen Burkholder, Director of Strategic Partnerships for the Coalition for Christian Outreach).
  • Re-Equip: Your Church as Seminary (hosted by Scott Manor, President of Knox Theological Seminary).
  • Revelation 7:9 (hosted by Rufus Smith and the EPC Revelation 7:9 Task Force).
  • Spiritual Friendship: A Practice of Vocational Resilience and Resistance (hosted by Brandon Addison, Denver City Network Leader for the Made to Flourish Network).
  • The Opportunity to Recharge a Church During a Pastoral Transition (hosted by Bob Stauffer and the EPC Church Heath Team).
  • What Does Your Personal Well-being Look Like? (hosted by Bart Francescone, Executive Director of EPC Benefit Resources, Inc.).
  • World Outreach Engage 2025 (hosted by EPC World Outreach).

Friday, June 24

  • B.O.O.M.: Boomers Out On Mission (hosted by Ken Priddy and the GO Center of the Presbytery of the Mid-Atlantic).
  • Building Retirement Savings and Tax-Exempt Housing Expense Withdrawal (hosted by Bart Francescone, Executive Director of EPC Benefit Resources, Inc.)
  • Creative Outreach with Your Community and Beyond (hosted by Michelle Munger and the Presbytery of the Mid-Atlantic).
  • Discipling Through Deconstruction (hosted by Nicole Unice and the Ward Church Women’s Ministry).
  • Executive Pastors and Church Administrators (hosted by Patrick Coelho, CFO for the EPC Office if the General Assembly).
  • Faith and Work Ministry at Your Church (hosted by Brandon Addison, Denver city leader for the Made to Flourish Network, and Case Thorp, Orlando city leader for the Made to Flourish Network).
  • Sharing the Gospel in Times of Tumult: Ancient Wisdom for New Challenges (hosted by Joey Sherrard and the Westminster Society).
  • The Essential Role of the Smaller Church (hosted by Roy Yanke and Ed McCallum of the EPC Smaller Church Network).

For more information about the 42nd General Assembly, including online registration, schedule, and more, see www.epc.org/ga2022.

2022 Leadership Institute features Ed Stetzer, Vincent Bacote, Andrew Brunson, practical training workshops

 

Ed Stetzer, Vincent Bacote, and Andrew Brunson highlight the slate of keynote speakers for the Evangelical Presbyterian Church’s seventh annual Leadership Institute. The Institute is a strategic component of the EPC’s 42nd General Assembly, to be held June 21-24 at Ward Church in Northville, Mich.

Bacote, Professor of Theology and Director of the Center for Applied Christian Ethics at Wheaton College in Wheaton, Ill., will address “Pursuit of Public Fidelity” on Tuesday, June 21. Bacote will be joined by Sandy Willson, Pastor Emeritus of Second Presbyterian Church in Memphis, Tenn.

Bacote and Willson will consider whether Christians have (or need) permission to engage the public square, and what it means to reflect Christlikeness in public practice. In addition, they will discuss the tension between allegiance to a nation and/or a political party and ultimate allegiance to Christ.

The Tuesday afternoon keynote speaker is Ed Stetzer, Dean of the School of Mission, Ministry, and Leadership at Wheaton College, where he also serves as Executive Director of the Billy Graham Center. He holds two earned master’s degrees and two doctorates, has trained pastors and church planters on six continents, and has written hundreds of articles and 12 books. He is Regional Director for Lausanne North America, is the editor-in-chief of Outreach Magazine, and is frequently cited in, interviewed by, and writes for news outlets such as USA Today and CNN. He also is the Founding Editor of The Gospel Project, a curriculum used by more than 1.7 million individuals each week.

Wednesday plenary co-speakers are Andrew Brunson and Brad Strait. Their three-part presentation is titled “Persecution: Building Effective Biblical Leadership through Global Movement Wisdom.” The three sessions are titled “Situational Awareness: Is Persecution Coming for the American Church?” “Effective Shepherding: How Can We Help God’s People Through Tough Times?” and “Panel Discussion: Real Lessons from Real Persecution.”

Brunson was detained in a Turkish prison for two years on charges of terrorism before being convicted and subsequently released on the equivalent of time served in October 2018. Strait, Senior Pastor of Cherry Creek Presbyterian Church in Englewood, Colo., served as Moderator of the EPC’s 41st General Assembly.

The panel discussion will include Erick Schenkel, Executive Director of Cru’s The JESUS Film Project; Setan Lee, an EPC Teaching Elder who survived the “killing fields” genocide in Cambodia under the Khmer Rouge regime of Pol Pot in the 1970s; and Clay Jones, Director of Second Glance Ministries and former Executive Administrator of The Power Team.

Effective Biblical Leadership

In addition to the plenary sessions, five ministry-specific leadership development gatherings will be available on Tuesday, June 21.

  • Chaplains Workshop, featuring Jan McCormack, Chair of the Chaplaincy and Pastoral Counseling Programs at Denver Seminary, and Mark Ingles, EPC Chaplain Endorser. McCormack will lead sessions on “The Role of Spirituality and Religion in Crisis and Disasters,” “Religious Accommodations is the Boss’ Decision,” and “Moral Injury Affects Everyone.”
  • Church Health / Church Planting, led by Stetzer, Jimmy Scroggins, and Todd Thomas. Scroggins serves as Lead Pastor of Family Church in West Palm Beach, Fla, and the developer of the Three Circles personal evangelism resource. Thomas serves as Campus Pastor of Family Church Sherbrooke in Lake Worth, Fla.
  • Trafficking In Our Backyards: A Survivor-led Conversation on Domestic Sex Trafficking, led by Bonnie Gatchell, Executive Director of Route One Ministry.
  • Understanding Evangelism: Biblical, Theological, and Historical Reflections on Evangelism in the Reformed Tradition. The Westminster Society’s annual workshop features sessions on “Evangelism in Colonial Presbyterianism,” “Evangelism and Mission in the Old and New Testaments,” “Evangelism in the Established Scottish Kirk and the Dissenting Irish Church,” and “The Art of Manfishing.” The workshop is led by EPC Teaching Elders Don Fortson, Zach Hopkins, Scott Redd, Scott Sealy, and Aaron White.
  • World Outreach Master Plan discussion, led by Rick Dietzman, Chairman of the EPC World Outreach Committee; Gabriel de Guia, Executive Director of EPC World Outreach; and Jason Dunn, Associate Director of EPC World Outreach.

Each of these workshops is open to anyone attending the 42nd General Assembly.

See www.epc.org/ga2022leadershipinstitute for more information on the Leadership Institute, including full seminar descriptions, times, and speaker bios.

See www.epc.org/ga2022 for more information about the 42nd General Assembly, including a full schedule, links to online registration, and more.

Ohio EPC church to host nation’s largest disability ministry conference

 

Bay Presbyterian Church in suburban Cleveland, Ohio, will host Inclusion Fusion Live (IFL2022) on Friday and Saturday, April 29-30. IFL2022, the largest annual disability ministry conference in the country, is hosted by Key Ministry in collaboration with the Tim Tebow Foundation.

Topics of this year’s conference include:

  • Supporting outreach and reintegration into church of persons impacted by disability after the pandemic.
  • Finding, empowering, and resourcing individuals with disabilities and families impacted by disability to launch and lead ministry.
  • Growing mental health ministry.
  • Innovative disability ministry strategies.
  • Impacts of trauma upon disability.

IFL2022 is designed for pastors, leadership teams, care teams, and children’s/student ministry leaders. Cost is $99 per person, and EPC members are eligible for a $22 discount by using the code EPC22 at registration.

“If your church has a disability ministry—or you are praying about starting one—this event should be on your annual calendar,” said Dean Weaver, EPC Stated Clerk. “My dear friend Beth Golik leads the Special Needs Ministry at Bay Pres, and also is on staff with Key Ministry. This conference will be a blessing to many people.”

For more information about the event, see www.keyministry.org/ifl2022.