Throughout history, God has used some of the most unlikely people to change the world. A shepherd with a speech impediment led the Israelites out of slavery. A boy with a slingshot defeated the Philistines. A carpenter from Nazareth saved us all.
And yet, we place limits on the ways God can use our churches today.
We don’t have to be confined by what we think we can accomplish when we rely on “Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine.” (Ephesians 3:20)
So let’s imagine greater service, greater storytelling, and greater and more creative opportunities for reaching more people with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Let’s imagine greater impact, and know that our limitless God will do those things — and immeasurably more.
The Large Church Initiative has provided leadership conferences for the past 20 years. We meet once each year, hosted by a strong church. “Large” in United Methodism indicates 300 or more in the average weekly worship attendance. Our goal is inspiration and best practices from the host church—and from outstanding well-known keynote presenters. The Steering Committee is made up of volunteer senior pastors of large churches.
Dr. Tim Walker, Chair
(Full schedule announced soon)
Early Check-In Opens
6:30 p.m. Sunday, April 19
with optional activities
1:00 p.m. Monday, April 20
11:30 a.m. Wednesday, April 22
Mark Beeson is lead pastor at Granger Community Church in Granger, Indiana. He leads, inspires, informs, motivates and equips other church leaders to share the hope of Jesus to a hurting world. In 2013 he was named Distinguished Evangelist of the United Methodist Church.
Pete Briscoe pastors Bent Tree Bible Fellowship in Dallas, Texas. His ministry also includes “Telling the Truth,” an international media outreach that includes a nationally syndicated daily broadcast heard on nearly 500 local radio outlets across the US.
Jessica LaGrone is the Dean of the Chapel at Asbury Theological Seminary in Lexington, Kentucky. She is an acclaimed pastor, teacher, speaker and the author of Namesake: When God Rewrites Your Story, and Broken and Blessed: How God Changed the World Through One Imperfect Family.
Ken Werlein is founding pastor at Faithbridge Church in Northwest Houston. In addition to preaching God’s Word, Ken’s ministry includes mentoring young leaders and working to strengthen other Kingdom-minded ministries in local and global communities.
Rudy and his wife co-pastor St. John’s United Methodist Church in Houston, one of the most culturally diverse congregations in the country. Pastor Rudy coordinates domestic and global anti-hunger initiatives in conjunction with concert tours by longtime friend and church member Beyoncé Knowles. He is the author of the book, Love. Period. When All Else Fails.
Justin Wise is a social media strategist and digital communication consultant. He is the author of The Social Church: A Theology of Digital Communication. He teaches churches how to build their online community and influence them to take action.
Olu Brown serves as the Lead Pastor of Impact Church in Atlanta, Georgia. Impact is a growing, multicultural congregation that is making a global impact by sticking to the basics and taking the “churchiness” out of church.
Kem Meyer is a communications coach, noted speaker and the author of Less Clutter, Less Noise. She teaches church leaders how to understand common worldviews and how to remove barriers that keep people from connecting with Christ.
Here’s an abbreviated list of over 30 workshops being offered this year. Full conference breakout schedule coming late January.
Study the components of a successful capital campaign including project scoping, budgeting, and construction management.
The Woodlands United Methodist Church (TWUMC) is a 10,000-member congregation located in suburban Houston, Texas. TWUMC is an evangelical Methodist church offering nine live worship services each week in four unique worship styles. TWUMC webcasts worship live online at watch.thewoodlandsumc.org. It offers dynamic Christian programs for all ages, placing special emphasis on discipleship, missions and outreach. TWUMC also runs an accredited preschool, a private elementary school, and a licensed counseling center. The TWUMC mission is to “Win people to Jesus Christ, disciple them in faith, and help those in need.” Learn more at thewoodlandsumc.org and loftchurch.com.
Follow the Terminal Road to John F. Kennedy Blvd. Head south on John F. Kennedy Blvd. and then take the Hardy Toll Road. Continue on Hardy Toll Road to The Woodlands, where it will merge into Interstate 45. Take exit 77 from Interstate 45 and turn right at the signs for Lake Woodlands Drive. Take the loop, crossing the highway and continuing for one mile. The Woodlands United Methodist Church will be on your right.
From Hobby Airport
Take Broadway Street to Interstate 45, then continue north on Interstate 45 for 40 miles to The Woodlands. Take exit 77 from Interstate 45 and turn right at the signs for Lake Woodlands Drive. Take the loop, crossing the highway and continuing for one mile. The Woodlands United Methodist Church will be on your right.