by Pastor Duane Smets

I want to take a minute to tell you why I think you should come to the Leaders the Conference 2015

As a pastor who attempts to stay in touch with what is happening not only in the world at large but also in the Christian evangelical world, I know there are all kinds of conferences that happen every year. Some focus on practicals, some focus on theology, and others focus on specially gifted speakers and leaders.  

I think going to conferences can be extremely beneficial. The elders at The Resolved Church have asked that I go to two conferences every year for my own personal and leadership development. I’ve been to good conferences and I’ve been to bad ones. In my experience, the most beneficial conferences are those that provide me opportunities to:

1) Worship outside my normal context
2) Think and be challenged in my heart and my mind
3) Connect with other Christians
4) Process our church’s health and direction

This will be the third Leaders the Conference that The Resolved Church has organized and hosted. Each time we have tried to provide an experience that provides these four opportunities. In 2010 our keynote speaker was Dave Kraft and in 2013 we had Alexander Strauch. Hebrews 13:7 says, "Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God. Consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith.” We have aimed to have men such as these come to teach us.  

This year’s speaker is Ken Sande, most known for his book, The Peacemaker, which has become a standard in gospel-centered pastoral counseling. I use the principles he teaches in that book on a regular basis, not only in pastoral meetings but in all aspects of life with my wife, children, friends, and those I disciple. The Peacemaker focuses on how to confront and resolve conflict with the Gospel. At our Leaders the Conference this coming January, Ken will be rolling out a bunch of new material on how to have healthy relationships in life and ministry so that you avoid unhealthy conflict in the first place. Whether it’s in the home, in the workplace, or in church ministry, this is perhaps what we need most — grace and gospel filled relationships.

This year we are also providing several great Breakout Session tracks to help us apply the principles of grace and gospel filled relationship to marriage, parenting, friendships, community, work, church planting, and ministry teams. One track in particular, “Effective Ministry Teams” is designed to allow entire church staff and volunteer teams to be individually assessed and then coached on how to work better together. Besides Ken Sande, the following speakers are also either doing main sessions or breakouts:  

• Duane Smets (Lead Pastor of The Resolved Church)
• Tim Cain (Lead Pastor of Kaleo Church)
• Brian Howard (Leader of Context Coaching)
• Jessica Thompson (Author of “Exploring Grace Together” and co-author of “Give Them Grace”)
• James Martin (Pastor of The Resolved Church and President of Monk Development)
• Matt Ortiz (Lead Pastor of Infusion Church)
• Chris Sandoval (Pastor & Church Planter)
• Brad Sarian (Pastor of Restored Church)

This is simply going to be a great conference. If you are a human being in relationships with other human beings, I want you to join us. The conference is affordable, practical, and not just for church leaders, but for everyone. You won’t regret coming, and if you’re not from San Diego, Leaders the Conference will also provide you the opportunity to enjoy “America’s Finest City."