I love church planting and church planters, and I know how difficult planting a church can be. When Kay and I planted Saddleback 33 years ago, we had zero support – no conferences , no training and only about a half dozen books on church planting-mostly written for missionaries overseas. In fact when I finished seminary, I was the only guy in my graduating class going out to plant a church.
Today, of course, church planters have many training opportunities, but the granddaddy of them all is the EXPONENTIAL conference. I call it the super-conference. For affirming vision, encouraging the heart and aggregating the most approaches to church planting in one gathering, nothing else compares to it.
Why do I love the Exponential conference above all the others? Because it offers one-stop shopping for learning everything that’s out there today. Exponential has become the clearinghouse for all of the many wonderful approaches, methodologies and styles that God is using in church planting. And since Exponential as an organization does not plant churches, but instead serves the church planting efforts of everyone else, there is no competition with other ministries, networks or denominations. That ‘s why, after teaching at the conference for years, I recently agreed to join their Leadership Team and serve as senior advisor. These guys are truly servants of the church. They have no other agenda.
After joining the team as an advisor, my first suggestion was that the Exponential conference be brought to the West Coast , since few church planters on this side of the United States can afford the time and resources to travel all the way to Orlando. To convince them, I even offered our church campus for the conference. Well, they accepted the offer, so this October 7-10 , 2013 , for the first time ever, the Exponential conference will be offered on the West Coast! This is going to help a lot of church planters who could use some encouragement, so I couldn’t be more excited. It’s why I wanted to send you my personal invitation.
As one who has supervised the planting of thousands of new churches around the world, I’ll share some of what I’ve learned the hard way as a church planter. But more than that, you’ll hear from more than 75 other practitioners and church planting experts.
I really hope you’ll join us. I look forward to seeing you and saying hi. We’re in this together!