For God & Country: 2019 Power Conference Review
The Power Conference sponsored by North American Ministries provides an incredible opportunity for pastors, their wives, associate pastors, youth pastors, those interested in increasing and learning more about church outreach and growth, and children to learn more about God. This conference, free of charge, offers something for any age.
This year’s meeting was held in Branson, Missouri. The opening Aaron Wilburn concert Monday night started the conference with an abundance of laughs and chuckles. Wilburn offered amazing talent in music and comedy but also expressed deep, heartfelt themes in his lyrics. He expressed his faith in everything he did. Attendees also were blessed by special music from One Focus. The group’s music featured beautiful and worshipful harmonies that provided an atmosphere centered on glorifying God.
Retired Chaplain Colonel Kerry Steedley spoke on Monday night. Chaplain Steedley represented both his country and his faith well as he shared the Scripture with those present. He confronted believers with the idea of being under the authority of God. From Luke 7:1-10, he reminded listeners Christians wear the cross of Christ wherever we go. He shared three practical truths: Jesus cares, He wants to bring change, and He is in charge. Just as the Roman Centurion acknowledged these truths, so Christians must recognize those truths in their lives.
Tuesday morning began with a panel discussion featuring Tim Forman, Gary Mitchener, Ken Simpson, and Frank Wiley and moderated by Shiloh Hackett. These men discussed ideas for creating a more welcoming atmosphere for visitors.
Guests had the option of attending four of the eight seminars provided by eight impact speakers during the Tuesday training conference. Jeff Goodman provided sessions on “Generating Impact” and “Maximizing Your Guest Experience.” Brad Ransom provided insight to “The Evolution of Evangelism” and “Generating Momentum.” Debe Taylor discussed “Lessons for Life: God Lessons and Heart Lessons.” Rick Bowling led a session entitled “What about Me?” Ken Simpson promoted generosity through the session “Encouraging People to Be Cheerful Givers.” During “Growing your Church Through Kindness,” Jason Taylor reminded attendees to uplift those around them in church. Tim Forman reminded Christians of their need to be involved in their church during his breakout seminar. David I. Crowe (Piney Grove FWB Church, Guin, Alabama) shared “How to Go Everywhere From the Middle of Nowhere.” He reminded pastors the direction of the church can always be improved.
The afternoon concluded with a second panel discussion featuring David I. Crowe, Mike Cash, Jason Taylor, and Jeff Goodman. Each panelist was given time to express his opinion on topics relating to church growth.
This time created a unique opportunity to hear opinions from several diverse points of view.
Tuesday night began with an hour-long concert provided by One Focus. Attendees praised God through worship and song. Many attendees remarked upon the excellent song selection during the concert. Jim McComas provided special music Tuesday night, and his song truly touched the audience as he sang about the disciples who met Jesus on the road to Emmaus. The chorus of the song reminded listeners of their many blessings. Following the music, Dr. Joe Arthur spoke from a father’s point of view, sharing about Jairus, whose daughter died. He reminded listeners that fathers do anything for their children. And, when this man could not provide for his child, he sought out another, greater father—a Father who can always provide. Even in the face of death and defeat, we can be confident our Father provides.
Following the Power Conference, the North American Ministries board met on Wednesday morning. The board accepted another church-planting family. Dan and Kami Houghton and their family are returning to Vermont, where Kami was born and raised and Dan went to high school. Dan grew up in a military family and served in the U.S. Army attached to 7th Special Forces from 2000-2003. From 2003-2015, Dan climbed the corporate ladder in a large communications company. He left his career in 2015 to pursue ministry and served as youth pastor and media director at New Life FWB Church in New Bern, North Carolina. Dan and Kami soon felt the call to plant a church, and after many months of praying and fact-finding, they have determined the Lord is calling them to Burlington, Vermont.
About the Writers: North American Ministries is an organization dedicated to starting new Free Will Baptist churches in areas where there are none in the United States, Canada, Mexico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico.