Big Ideas for Smaller Churches

By Mark A. Taylor

Barney Wells summarized the Energizing Smaller Churches Network challenge at an October ESCN conference. “Being where God wants you is more important than being where it looks good,” he told the crowd gathered for the event at Cincinnati Christian University. “You can’t get in a place so small that God can’t work there.”

All of us who heard him left eager to seek God’s direction, even if it leads away from big cities, well-known congregations, or obvious opportunities. “Small” does not need to equal “unimportant” or “inconsequential,” especially where God is guiding. That’s the message of the ESCN.

Church leaders from out-of-the-way places have received encouragement and practical help for several years at ESCN conferences. The lineup for 2009 will again offer them the chance to fellowship with other leaders in similar situations, discover ideas and insights to boost their effectiveness, and reaffirm their conviction that God can do big things in small places.

Each ESCN conference offers a pleasing mix of small-group instruction and larger-group inspiration. An improved format next year will give more time for questions and answers with the conference main speaker and workshops led by Standard Publishing hosts Shawn McMullen or me in addition to local leaders.

“You’re all getting inside my head to help me think better,” one Indiana minister wrote after the Cincinnati event. Better thinking leads to more effective serving. It’s happening in many places because of ESCN.

For more information about next year’s conferences, go to www.ESCNetwork.org.

 


 


 

 

ESCN Conferences: Spring and Summer 2009

January 30

Iowa/Neb. Christian Convention

Omaha, Nebraska

Main Speaker: Ben Merold

Host: Shawn McMullen

 

 

February 28

Boise Bible College

Boise, Idaho

Main Speaker: Tom Ellsworth

Host: Shawn McMullen

 

 

February 28

Emmanuel Institutes

Johnson City, Tennessee

Main Speaker: Ben Merold

Host: Mark Taylor

 

April 4

Alberta Bible College

Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Main Speaker: David Roadcup

Host: Shawn McMullen

 

April 4

Oregon Christian Convention

Turner, Oregon

Main Speaker: Paul Williams

Host: Mark Taylor

 

April 25

Christian Student Fellowship

Muncie, Indiana

Main Speaker: Tom Ellsworth

Host: Shawn McMullen

 

 

July 31

Maritime Christian College

Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada

Main Speaker: Ben Merold

Host: Mark Taylor

 

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