In Matthew’s gospel, Jesus calls all Christians to fulfill the Great Commandment and the Great Commission: to love the Lord, to love one another, to make disciples of all nations and to teach.
But how, exactly, do individuals and churches do those things – and do them well?
On Tuesday, May 20 and Wednesday, May 21, pastors and church leaders have the opportunity to learn how to grow and reach more people for Christ at Harvest Church’s Purpose Driven Leadership Conference.
“I’m really excited about offering the Purpose Driven Conference at Harvest because of how much this model has helped us,” said Rev. Jim Cowart, Harvest Church’s founding pastor. “When we say ‘Purpose Driven’ we’re talking about five purposes for the church mentioned by Jesus in the Great Commandment and the Great Commission … worship, fellowship, discipleship, ministry, and evangelism. Of course, churches are already doing these things, but maybe not systematically and with intention.”
There’s nothing new or secret about the Purpose Driven approach to ministry, Rev. Cowart said, but it does give church leaders a system to use and helps them be intentional in their ministry.
Harvest Church is partnering with Saddleback Church – one of the largest churches in the country – to bring the Purpose Driven Conference to the Southeast. Rev. Cowart and Jennifer Cowart, Harvest Church’s director of Christian Education and Emerging Ministries, will teach, as will Saddleback Church’s Chief of Staff, David Chrzan, Rick Warren, founder and senior pastor of Saddleback Church, will teach live via Skype.
Tuesday’s sessions will focus on vision and direction and are likely when Warren will teach. Wednesday’s teaching will focus more on the “nuts and bolts” of ministry, with sessions about raising and handling money, recruiting volunteers, building systems, and growing the church.
“The Purpose Driven model can benefit every church,” Rev. Cowart said. “But it doesn’t do the work for you.”
Comparing it to a weight loss or exercise plan, Rev. Cowart said that the Purpose Driven model gives church leaders a systematic approach to ministry that has proven results.
“We all know how to lose weight and get in shape – there’s nothing new or secret about that –burn more calories than we consume. Simple. The tough part is doing it,” he said. “The successful exercise programs give us a system to follow. That’s what the Purpose Driven model has done for us at Harvest. It gave us a system, a model, to help us be intentional about doing the Great Commission and the Great Commandment.”
Participants will leave the conference equipped with tools and knowledge that will help them be more effective in their ministries.
“When I go to a conference or seminar … I want something practical that I can use,” Rev. Cowart said. “I want (things that will) help Harvest and me as a leader take the next step. That’s what we intend to give you at this Purpose Driven Conference – knowledge and tools you can use right away to move your church forward.”
Harvest Church’s Purpose Driven Leadership Conference will be held from 9 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. May 20 and May 21 at Harvest Church in Byron. The cost is $35 per person, per day, or $55 per person for a two-day pass. The cost includes materials and lunch. For more information, call 478-923-8822. Register online at www.harvestchurch4u.org.