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  • Baptist Beacon

Leaders are learners: Church Equipping Conference

PLYMOUTH, MI – The Church Equipping Conference is September 28 at Cornerstone Baptist Church in Roseville. We design it to inspire, encourage and equip church leaders for their areas of ministry. What benefit does the CEC offer you and your church?

The most obvious reason is practical ministry training

A phrase I heard years ago still echoes in my head: “Leaders are learners.” It’s absolutely true! It’s hard to lead beyond where you are. Our workshop presenters excel in their areas of ministry. They are practitioners who are able to share best practices with us. At the CEC, you will encounter fresh and innovative ideas to use in your ministry. It will help you grow as a ministry leader!

It affirms those who serve

The unsung heroes of churches are people just like you. You make ministry that matters happen. Imagine pulling into church this Sunday and the grass has not been mowed, the building has not been cleaned, and the preschool teachers are nowhere to be found. You would notice immediately - you would notice because things like this rarely happen. Behind the scenes, volunteers are serving the church in more ways that can be counted: teachers are preparing, deacons are ministering, musicians are practicing, and believers are sharing Christ through their words and actions in countless, untold ways. The CEC is an incredible opportunity to encourage, inspire and affirm God’s people for ministry that matters to the Kingdom!

See the power of partnership vividly displayed

Partnership is in our DNA as Michigan Baptists. We know that our impact for Christ is greater together. The CEC happens because Michigan Baptist churches of every size and make-up give through the Cooperative Program. Our collective resources allow us to send missionaries, train ministers, start churches and equip believers in our own state through events like the CEC. Presenters from LifeWay, the North American Mission Board, Women’s Missionary Union, GateWay Seminary, other state conventions and our own will be with us. Together, we are stronger. Our partnership exists to advance God’s Kingdom and it will be on full display at the CEC.

Strengthen teamwork in your church

Sundays are busy for the men and women who serve as volunteers in our churches. They arrive earlier and stay later than everyone else. Watch them and you will see them preparing spaces and gathering materials before services and cleaning up after. It’s easy to be so focused on the task at hand that silos can form. It can be a challenge to connect meaningfully with leaders in other areas of ministry. Sharing time together getting to and from the conference, during breaks and lunch, and talking about the CEC after gives your team the opportunity to form deeper relationships with each other. It’s a great way to build your church’s ministry team.

Equip potential leaders

It’s important that we create the conditions for people to succeed when we ask them to serve. Most of our churches have areas where they need more people to serve. People are willing to do so, but they need and want training before they begin. Lack of meaningful training keeps people from volunteering. The CEC is an excellent opportunity to provide that training.

Start discussions for the future

Next step Ideas will abound at the CEC. It could be that God will speak to you and your church about new areas of ministry or new ways of doing current ministry. It just might just be the catalyst for ministries that advance God’s Kingdom through your church for His glory!



Mike Durbin is the State Evangelism Director for the Baptist State Convention of Michigan. Before joining the state convention staff, Mike served as Church Planting Catalyst and Director of Missions in Metro Detroit since 2007. He also has served as a pastor and bi-vocational pastor in Michigan, as well as International Missionary to Brazil.


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