Large Church Initiative 2015

April 20–22 • The Woodlands, TX


Limitless God. Boundless Possibilities.

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.

Contact Mark Sorensen at with any questions regarding LCI 2015.

Large Church Initiative April 20–22, 2015 The Woodlands UMC
Registration: (Through April 19, 2015)
  • $329 Individual
  • $289 Groups of 3+ (per person)

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.

Tim Walker

Dr. Tim Walker, Chair

Conference Schedule

(Full schedule announced soon)

Our Speakers

Mark Beeson

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

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

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

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 Rasmus

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

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

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

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.

Featured Workshops

Here’s an abbreviated list of over 30 workshops being offered this year. Full conference breakout schedule coming late January.

Developing a Thriving Youth Ministry

Presented by Bob Swan

The Woodlands UMC’s Director of Student Ministries shares lessons learned from 30+ years in youth ministry.

The Bigger You Become,
The Smaller You Must Get (Small Groups)

Presented by

Return to the roots of Methodism as we learn about class meetings — small groups — and how to recover these traditional building blocks for the modern church.

The World Is My Parish

Presented by Dr. John Hull

The Woodlands UMC’s Pastor of Missions reveals how the church engages its members to connect with missions on a local and global scale.

That’s Hospitable

Presented by Fred Domenick of Marriott

Learn practical hospitality secrets from the country’s largest hotel chain.

Setting the Stage for Success in Worship

Presented by Mike Sims

Learn best practices for worship production planning and execution so your media enhances the message instead of competing with it.

Less Clutter, Less Noise: Communications Beyond Bulletins, Brochures and Bake Sales

Presented by Kem Meyer

Smart communication systems that help people connect with Christ and each other don’t have to be complicated.

The Social Church

Presented by Justin Wise

Create 24/7 relationships with existing and prospective church members by harnessing the power of social media.

Reaching Millennials

Presented by Mike Baughman

The leader of Union, a flourishing church start/coffee house in Dallas, shares from his experiences engaging millenials productively.

Capital Campaigns: Building a Solid Foundation for Church Growth

Presented by Gary Laugharn

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 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 and

Hotel Information

Hyatt Place

Nightly Rate - $229
1909 Research Forest Drive
The Woodlands, Texas 77380

Drury Inn & Suites

Nightly Rate - $134.99
28099 I-45 North
The Woodlands, Texas 77380

Residence Inn

Nightly Rate - $209
9333 Six Pines Drive
The Woodlands, Texas 77380

Hilton Garden Inn

Nightly Rate - $229
9301 Six Pines Drive
The Woodlands, Texas 77380

Fairfield Inn & Suites

Nightly Rate - $189
16850 I-45 South
The Woodlands, Texas 77380

Best Western

Nightly Rate - $85
17081 I-45 South
The Woodlands, Texas 77385

From George Bush Intercontinental Airport

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.