Over 100 local pastors and ministry members gathered at Cairn University for the annual Church Leaders Conference on Thursday, March 7, 2019. This one-day event provides church leaders with the opportunity to get know others serving in similar fields as well as to receive instruction and encouragement through sessions relevant to today’s ministry challenges.
This year’s theme was “Perseverance.” President Todd Williams spoke to the event attendees during its first main session. Speaking on the topic of “Persistence,” he encouraged the church leaders to resist the current societal urge to avoid difficulties and challenges. Rather than retreat when problems and fears arise, Christians should have the courage to drive confidently through adversity. Dr. Williams examined books such as James and the story of Job to reinforce his point that trials, as severe as they may be, are opportunities to grow in faith.
Conference attendees had the choice of attending one of the four offered breakout sessions. Dr. Matt McAlack led a session titled “Loving and Challenging Generation Z,” examining current issues in ministering to the next generation. Dr. Kyle Canty ’96/G’98 spoke on “Planting the Gospel within Urban Space.” Dr. Keith Plummer informed church leaders about the “Challenges in Contemporary Apologetics,” and Pastor John Stange ’98 spoke about “Reducing Stress in Ministry.”
After lunch, Dr. Jonathan Master, dean of the School of Divinity, conducted the final session of the day. While Dr. Williams addressed the human side of perseverance in the morning session, Dr. Master look at Christ’s role, focusing on the topic of “Preservation.” Using John 6:35–40 as his primary text, Dr. Master reminded the attendants that Christ not only preserves us through to the end, he also raises us up, and we will later be exalted with him.
Church Leader Conference attendees were both exhorted and encouraged by this year’s sessions that taught them to not only continue to run the race well, but also to rest in the knowledge that Christ will help believers persevere to the end.
Watch the two main sessions on “Persistence” and “Preservation” below.