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April-May 2015

10 Years in Print: Special Edition


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Power Through Vision

By Jim McComas


“here there is no vision, the people perish.”

The story is told of a church that painted Proverbs 29:18 over the baptistery. With time and age, however, the first letter chipped and faded, so the verse ended up reading, “here there is no vision, the people perish.” Sadly, this may be closer to the truth in many churches than we would like to admit.

Many thoughts, theories, plans, and programs exist when it comes to church revitalization. Opinions on the subject are as plenteous as the number of churches that are struggling and need help. Neither my department nor I claim to have all the answers, but we all can agree on this: the first step to solving any problem is admitting that there is a problem and addressing it.

North American Ministries is proud to facilitate that conversation by hosting the “Acts 1:8 Power Conference for Church Growth and Leadership,” which will be held May 25-26, in Branson, Missouri. While it is impossible to cover every area of church revitalization in two days, the goals of this conference are to provide a launching point for anyone interested in dealing with the topic, as well as providing fellowship, encouragement, and helpful resources for church leaders.


Conference Highlights

Tuesday breakout sessions will cover a wide variety of topics. Pastor and author Rob Morgan will teach four sessions on time management from his new book Mastering Life Before It’s Too Late: 10 Biblical Patterns for Pleasantly Productive People. Pastor and homiletics professor Jeff Jones will teach the “how-tos” of expository preaching. Singer/songwriter Aaron Wilburn will offer advice on choosing the proper music for the worship service. Brad Ransom and Jim McComas will share practical ideas for church growth and outreach. This conference truly will offer something for everyone.

Services on Monday and Tuesday nights will feature preaching from Jeff Jones, pastor of Hilltop FWB Church in Fuquay Varina, North Carolina, and North American Ministries Executive Director David Crowe. Southern Raised, one of the most highly acclaimed young musical groups in the country, will provide special music, along with Christian humorist and songwriter Aaron Wilburn. Expect some surprises along the way. It will be an experience to remember!

We want this to be a conference for the entire denomination. Both childcare and Spanish interpretation will be offered. Bring the whole family, enjoy Christian fellowship, and take advantage of beautiful Branson, Missouri, as well.

We feel so strongly about the need for this event that we are offering it absolutely free. The steps to attending are simple:

  • Contact Teresa Womack in our office (615-760-6132) or email to pre-register. We need to know how many folks to plan for, and it will also sign you up to receive a free “goody bag” containing books, resources, and more.

  • Contact Stone Castle Hotel and Conference Center (417-335-4700) to make your hotel reservations. Make sure you mention the Free Will Baptist conference to receive the special convention rate of only $62.95 per night plus tax. A free, hot buffet breakfast is included.

As I write this, more than half of the blocked hotel rooms have already been reserved, and folks from 12 states have signed up. Excitement is high for this historic conference. The only question is, will you join us?

May it never be said of our churches and our denomination: “here there is no vision, the people perish!”


About the Writer: Jim McComas is director of church revitalization for North American Ministries. Learn more:



©2015 ONE Magazine, National Association of Free Will Baptists