As Christians, the Great Commission is to share our faith through evangelism. However; many of the members in our congregations feel they are not adequately prepared to share the Good News. The Michigan Shift Conference 2019 was one tool that was made available to assist in training our congregations so they can be prepared to share their faith.
Traditionally, our church Sunday school classes were considered the headquarters for developing the knowledge to learn how to share your faith. Today, churches are experiencing lower attendance due to the changing priorities in our families. The Michigan Shift Conference 2019 was designed so that the entire family could participate in learning how to share their faith and provide the tools to assist in discipleship.
Our congregations must be trained in order to answer the questions today’s generation is asking. Many of the younger generation want to know the real Jesus. Often, our members are not prepared to provide a correct biblical response. The Shift conference had workshops available to help answer those questions. Our churches are full of people who agree that we should share our faith and be prepared to answer questions regarding Jesus and Christianity, but many of those same people will say they are not ready. The Shift Conference filled that void.
To set the spiritual atmosphere, a special prayer concert took place on March 23, 2019 at the Detroit Association office to lift up the various presenters and those who attended the Shift Conference.There were three primary goals for the Shift Conference this year. First, to provide information which will equip pastors, church leaders and church members to share the gospel of Jesus Christ unashamedly. Second, to offer workshops for all age groups in the church and to address the needs of each group. Finally, to have an audience which reflects diversity within the body of Jesus Christ and to praise our God in one voice.
To achieve these goals, we asked Pastor Fred Luter, the Southern Baptist Convention’s (SBC) African American President to open our conference with an inspirational message.The conference had other SBC leaders providing impactful workshops. They included Preparing the Next Generation, Reaching Young Couples in Today’s Culture, Ministering to our Youth, Learning to Lead Me, and a Women’s Symposium. LifeWay Resources was represented at the conference by Mark Croston and Michael Pigg. Our SBC Executive Committee Vice President Ken Weathersby also presented a workshop on SBC Life.
The Shift Conference was held at People’s Missionary Baptist Church in Detroit.
Next year’s Shift Conference will be held on April 3rd and 4th at the Middlebelt Baptist Church in Inkster.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Stan Parker is senior pastor of Faith Fellowship Baptist Church in Lansing, MI and a regular contributor to the Baptist Beacon.