The Equip Conference takes place in Orlando this coming weekend. Formerly the Spiritual Growth Workshop, the Equip Conference is a gathering of members of the churches of Christ with a focus on practical application of Scripture. This year’s focus is on “Harvest.” looking particularly at evangelism. That makes it fitting for someone to be there from Hope For Life, a Herald of Truth ministry. I’m privileged to be that someone.
Besides the sessions in English, there is also a strong Spanish track. I was very pleased to be invited to speak both in English and Spanish. As is often the case, there are numerous excellent offerings in English at the same time as my two classes; I have no illusions about drawing a large audience. In Spanish, mine is the only class where there is a separate ladies class going simultaneously; though I’ve got a better shot at speaking to a good-sized group, I know that my audience will only be half as large as it would be otherwise. But I don’t go to such events so that hundreds can hear me speak; I go to meet with other Christians and be mutually encouraged.
It’s been eight years since I’ve been to this workshop, but I remember it as a vibrant gathering. I’m really looking forward to being back there.
This month makes ten years that I’ve been working with Herald of Truth. (We’re now using the name Hope For Life, a Herald of Truth ministry) During that time, I’ve gotten to do some amazing things as part of my work here. Here are a few:
- I’ve been blessed to work with lots of amazing people, from fellow ministers to office staff to board members.
- I’ve gotten to see firsthand the work of local churches around the U.S. and around the world.
- I’ve co-authored four books and been the sole author of another. I write regularly for Heartlight and less frequently on other sites.
- I’ve spoken on lectureships at Lipscomb University, Harding University, Pepperdine University, Faulkner University, and Abilene Christian University. I’ve also spoken at the Tulsa Workshop and the Orlando Spiritual Growth Workshop.
- I’ve done men’s retreats, family retreats, areawide church gatherings, gospel meetings, and church seminars around the U.S.
- I’ve been blessed to preach in campaigns in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, and Spain.
None of that’s to my credit; it’s all been what God has done through the ministry of Herald of Truth. I hope there’s at least another ten years of ministry ahead for me here. Thanks to all of you who give generously to keep this ministry functioning! In a way, you too have done all of the things I’ve listed above through your support.
I’ve been invited to speak at the Equip Conference in Orlando, Florida, this year. It’s been 8 years since I’ve been to this conference (formally known as Spiritual Growth Workshop), so I’m really looking forward to being back. Hope For Life, a Herald of Truth ministry, is paying my way, for which I’m very grateful.
The theme of the conference is “Harvest.” I’ll be doing two classes in English and one in Spanish, all covering material from Church Inside Out. The English classes are labeled as being in the missions track; hoping no one will be disappointed, because I won’t be addressing missions in the traditional sense. I’ll be discussing churches engaging their communities, as the book focuses on. In Spanish I’ve been given the theme “Cultivating Relationships,” which will have an evangelistic overtone based on the overall theme of the conference.
If you’re going to be at the conference, I hope you’ll let me know in the comments section so I can be looking for you. I’d love to have you come to one, two, or even all three of my classes.
The conference is June 30-July 3. It will be held at the Rosen Centre, in Orlando. All of the information you need can be found on the conference website or by contacting the Orange Avenue Church of Christ in Orlando:
c/o Orange Avenue Church of Christ
1511 East Orange Avenue
Eustis, Florida 32726
Just got back from a great trip to Guatemala, traveling on behalf of Hope For Life, a Herald of Truth ministry. Roberto Alvarez did a great job of organizing a campaign with five of the smaller congregations in the Guatemala City area.
With Roberto Alvarez at Radio Progreso
Besides being a preacher and church planter, Roberto directs the BICA (Biblical Institute of Central America) school in Guatemala.
Some of the BICA students worked hard the week of the campaign going from house to house to invite people, talk to them about Jesus, and study with them.
Steve speaks to the BICA students
Roberto, Steve Ridgell, and I were on the radio each day at midday, inviting people to the conferences. During the week there were 20 baptisms and 10 restorations, which was very exciting for these small churches.
On Sunday we had a combined service with congregations from the Guatemala City area.
Part of the crowd at Centro Histórico
Over 500 people crammed into the Centro Histórico church building. Steve preached to the children and adolescents upstairs, while I spoke to the adults downstairs. There was another baptism that day.
All in all it was a great trip. I’m fortunate to get to do what I do.
It rained styrofoam peanuts and snowed polystyrene flakes. Books and workbooks came out of the box, and a dream became reality. The first copies of Church Inside Out had arrived.
As I’ve mentioned, this is a book that I feel that I’ve put a lot of myself into. Helping the church improve its outreach and discipleship efforts is very important to me. This book/workbook set is my contribution to this effort. I hope to have the chance to go through the material in person with congregations through the seminars Hope For Life (a Herald of Truth ministry) provides.
I hope you’ll take a few moments and look at the material. 21st Century Christian has posted sample pages of both the book and the workbook.
You can find the book sample here: https://www.21stcc.com/pdfs/samplepages/9780890989159.pdf
You can find the workbook sample here: https://www.21stcc.com/pdfs/samplepages/9780890989166.pdf
You can order the book from the 21st Century Christian website. You can arrange for seminars focused on Church Inside Out by contacting Bill Brant at firstname.lastname@example.org. There is no charge for the seminars. Churches need only cover my expenses and allow me to update your congregation/leadership on what Hope For Life is doing in the world.