Summit: Congregational Leadership Pathway

Summit: Congregational Leadership Pathway

I’ll be at ACU’s Summit this September (2019). This gathering is important for so many reasons. Let me highlight one of them.

In the congregational leadership pathway—this year titled “A Hope and a Future for Churches of Christ”—we will take up the critical question: What does the future look like for Churches of Christ?

Recently Stan Granberg, of Kairos Church Planting, published an important article about the growth and decline of Churches of Christ. The documented membership decline and rate of congregational closures are discouraging and even alarming.

How is God calling us to respond?

Addressing that question first will be Granberg himself. He will address the data, but also offer prayerful and hopeful steps we might take to chart a future for Churches of Christ. For instance, how might church planting play a role in galvanizing the missional spirit among us?

Next we’ll here from Patrick Chappell, who has spent many years ministering among young adults. Many refer to these young adults as the future of our churches, while others recognize that they are the church’s present. Chappell will share what he hears expressed from the hearts of our young members, and how that interacts with the dynamics of generationally-diverse churches. Chappell has significant experience leading in a church that is prayerful about its future in these uncertain times.

Then we will be fortunate to hear from Dr. Suzie Macaluso, professor and researcher at ACU. Macaluso has recently completed one of the more important studies among churches in recent years, on congregational health. Just what are the markers of healthy congregations? What can we learn from these churches that is applicable elsewhere? Macaluso has helpful data to answer these timely questions.

Finally, we’ll hear from Dr. Carson Reed—a regular contributor to Mosaic and the vice president for church relations at ACU—about specific ways we can prepare for our future. Reed, who consults with numerous churches, is also learning from those in Australia about how to anticipate what is to come strategically. Most would say that Australia is a few years ahead of America in terms of becoming post-Christian. His lessons will cap off our presentations and prepare us for a final dialogue with the presenters and the attendees.

This conversation is so important right now. It’s one of the reasons I will be at Summit this year. I hope you will be as well. It matters.

Eric Gentry is co-hosting the A Hope and a Future for Churches of Christ pathway at ACU Summit 2019. Visit acusummit.org to explore this pathway and many others.

“Traffic” by Tom Vanderbilt

“Traffic” by Tom Vanderbilt