The Legacy Conference serves to equip those serious about making disciples with biblically-based tools to go out into the world to preach the Gospel of Christ. We have chosen to provide Legacy attendees with an array of 90-minute workshops on various different topics. Pray and look over the various workshops prior to coming to Legacy. Our hope is that you will walk away equipped as a disciple of Christ.

African DESCENDANTS in Christian History             (Sponsored by: RAAN)

Location: Culbertson 1 - Community RooM

Faith, Justice and the Civil Rights Movement Through the Life of Fannie Lou Hamer (Thursday 10:30 a.m.-12:15 p.m.) 

Presenter: Jemar Tisby

Born as the youngest of 20 children in a sharecropping family in rural Mississippi, Fannie Lou Hamer endured more hardship as a child than many do in a lifetime. Like countless others trapped by poverty and racism, Hamer would likely have died in virtually the same situation as she was born. But one fateful evening, she attended a meeting about voting rights, and she altered the course of her life.

Hamer became one of the most vocal and eloquent drum majors for justice in the Civil Rights Movement. Despite jail, beatings and brutal verbal attacks, Hamer persisted in the struggle for black rights because of her faith in God. Her story reveals how the Civil Rights Movement was fueled by faith and why current justice movements must also draw on the reservoir of Christian faith to emerge triumphant.  

The Colored Methodist Episcopal Church and the Struggle for Autonomy and Reform (Thursday 2:15 p.m.-4 p.m.)

Presenter: Alicia Jackson

In his poem “We Wear the Mask,” Paul Lawrence Dunbar describes how racial minorities must cover their pain as they maneuver throughout a majority world that misunderstands them. The Colored Methodist Episcopal church began as an offshoot of a predominantly white denomination, but because of ongoing racism and marginalization, the church began to exercise its own independence and work for justice reforms.

Alicia Jackson recounts the founding and history of this predominantly African-American denomination to illustrate how Christians of color learned to fight for their full dignity as image-bearers.

Is the Black Church Dead?: A Panel Discussion on the Black Christian Past and Future (Friday 10:30 a.m.-12:15 p.m.)

Presenters: Various

In 2010, Princeton professor Eddie Glaude wrote an article titled “The Black Church Is Dead”. His words created an ongoing debate about the history of the black church in America and whether it is still relevant today.

This panel, which includes presenters from all the workshops in this track plus special guests, will respond to Glaude’s thoughts on the black church. Not only will panelists reflect on history, but they will also discuss the role and potential of the black church in the 21st century. 

Why Christianity Is NOT the White Man’s Religion (Friday 2:15 p.m.-4 p.m.)

Presenter: Vince Bantu

Increasing numbers of young African Americans are turning to other religions or choosing no religion at all in a rejection of the faith. “Christianity,” they say, “is a white man’s religion.” But is that true?

Belief in Christ goes back over two millennia and believers live in all parts of the world. Vince Bantu, professor of missiology, corrects the myth that Christianity originated in Western Europe. He traces the faith back to some of its roots in Africa to demonstrate that Christianity belongs to no single race, ethnicity or people group because Christ is building a global church from a global people.

chrisitan Apologetics

Location: sweeting 211

The Proof for the Truth: Keeping Them in the Faith Through Apologetics (Thursday 10:30 a.m.-12:15 p.m.) 

Presenter: Alex McElroy

This course will give the tools necessary to engage our culture with the abundant evidence that proves God exists and Christianity is true so we don't lose a generation of believers in the years to come. Both new and seasoned believers will leave knowing scientific, historical and archaeological evidence for Christianity and how to communicate it to all who challenge the one Way, the one Truth and the source of all life.

Defending the Faith Against Black Hebrew Israelites (Thursday 2:15 p.m.-4 p.m.)

Presenter: Lamar Simms

Over recent years, Lamar Simms has seen a rise in the teachings of the Black Hebrew Israelites in the African-American community. In 2015, he planted a church three blocks away from their local gathering. Every time Simms went to evangelize, he encountered a BHI or someone who believed their teachings.

This led Simms to study the depth of their doctrine and equip himself to defend the gospel. In this workshop, we will cover their beliefs and practices, Simms’s personal experience with them and practical ways defend the gospel against their lies.

One Size Fits All (Friday 10:30 a.m.-12:15 p.m.)

Presenter: Da' T.R.U.T.H.

Is religious pluralism a good thing? Does it really promote peace? Aren't Christians arrogant to think Christianity is the only true religion? Aren't all religions basically the same? What happens if I don't believe?

Da' T.R.U.T.H. answers these relevant questions to American culture.

The Apologetic of Love (Friday 2:15 p.m.-4 p.m.)

Presenter: Brian Dye and Juan Pierre

We are told not to love in word or talk but in deed and truth (1 John 3:18). Apologetics is often understood as simply arguing the faith with someone of opposing beliefs.

While we must defend the truth, we can’t do it apart from our deeds. Our deeds show whether we truly believe the truth that we claim. Jesus defended the truth verbally and by his actions of feeding the hungry, giving sight to the blind and healing the lame. Come and learn the apologetic of love through everyday actions.

Building Gospel Community in a Multi-Ethnic Context (Sponsored by: SBTS)

Location: Sweeting 415

The Biggest Hindrance to Multi-Ethnic, Gospel Communities (Thursday 10:30 a.m.-12:15 p.m.)

Presenter: Jarvis J. Williams

Too many Christians have a narrow understanding of the gospel. To them, the gospel only talks about one’s vertical relationship with God, but not one’s horizontal relationship with those inside of and outside of the Christian community. Yet, some of these same Christians wonder why their churches in diverse urban contexts remain mono-ethnic.

By an exposition of Galatians 2:11-14, this session will discuss that a misunderstanding of the gospel is a fundamental hindrance to building multi-ethnic, gospel communities.

The Necessity of Multi-Ethnic Gospel Communities (Thursday 2:15 p.m.-4 p.m.)

Presenter: Curtis A. Woods

If your church is housed in a multi-ethnic urban area, God requires you to develop loving outreach strategies that will demonstrate a sincere love for one's neighbor. The gospel enables us to build relationships with all kinds of people without contempt or fear. When we pursue multi-ethnic communities of faith, God reveals Himself in a deeper way. 

This session will discuss why we need multi-ethnic, gospel communities in multiethnic, urban contexts to advance the common good through unity in diversity.

The Spirit's Role in Multi-Ethnic Gospel Communities (Friday 10:30 a.m.-12:15 p.m.)

Presenter: Darryl Williamson

The most neglected person of the Trinity in many of our churches is the Holy Spirit. In fact, depending on one’s denomination and theological heritage, certain churches are content with altogether excluding the Spirit from their worship, in spite of the fact that the Spirit is the one who enables multi-ethnic communities to live in Spirit-empowered, gospel-community with each other in multi-ethnic, urban contexts.

This session will discuss a few ways the Spirit works in Christian communities to create multi-ethnic, gospel communities.

The Practicalities of Multi-Ethnic Gospel Communities (Friday 2:15 p.m.-4 p.m.)

Presenter: John Erickson

Many Christians talk about building multi-ethnic community in multi-ethnic, urban contexts. But the difficulty of living life-on-life with those from different ethnic, racial and social postures can cause hesitancy to pursue this. The result will be mono-ethnic churches in multi-ethnic urban contexts.

This session will discuss practical things churches can do to build multi-ethnic gospel communities.

The Christian and Politics (Sponsored by: The AND Campaign)

Location: Sweeting 235

Social Justice and Christian Women (Thursday 10:30 a.m.-12:15 p.m.)

Presenters: Justin Giboney and Kori Porter

The And Campaign will examine the role that Christian women have played in the fight for social justice. We'll look at how their leadership and commitment guided and fueled social movements.  From Fannie Lou Hamer to Dorothy Day, these servant leaders had something to teach us about social awareness and efficacy.

The War for Popular Culture (Thursday 2:15 p.m.-4 p.m.)

Presenter: Sho Baraka

We will address how media, popular philosophies and entertainment have shaped our culture in recent years. Are we allowing the marketplace to inform our faith? Is it our job to shape these industries, and if so, how should the Christian engage and respond?

Frontline Discipleship and Christian Activism (Friday 10:30 a.m.-12:15 p.m.)

Presenter: Angel Maldonado and William Calloway

The church should be on the frontlines of cultural engagement and political advocacy.  The Christian witness must be applied to society's most pressing issues. The And Campaign will detail what that looks like and why it's important.  

The And Campaign Q&A (Friday 2:15 p.m.-4 p.m.)

Presenters: Various

Do you want to know more about The And Campaign? Join us to learn about our vision, objectives and how we differ from other movements. Also, learn about new initiatives and how you can get involved.

Disciple-Making in the City (Sponsored by: BLVD)

Location: Sweeting 233

The Context: New Urban (Thursday 10:30 a.m.-12:15 p.m.)

Presenter: Dhati Lewis, Steven Lee and Muche Ukegbu

The urban of today is not the urban of yesterday. Urban contexts are dense and diverse. As the church, we want to restore dignity within these spheres. But to engage your context, you have to know it first. Come engage with us as we explore the complexities of this new urban.

The Movement: Among Wolves (Thursday 2:15 p.m.-4 p.m.)

Presenter: Dhati Lewis and Jackie Taylor

In the book of Matthew, we see eight distinct movements of how God took a vision from burden and unleashed an army.

Matthew begins with a vision to see God’s presence come near to all people — Immanuel, God with us. The gospel ends with Jesus unleashing an army of disciple-makers to carry His name and presence to the ends of the earth. The movements in Matthew are helpful guidelines for us to follow as we seek to do the same in our cities and neighborhoods.

The Issues: The Church & Social Engagement (Friday 10:30 a.m.-12:15 p.m.)

Presenter: Sho Baraka and William Branch

What is the church’s responsibility in social and political matters? How do we navigate the tensions of submitting to government while pursuing justice and reconciliation? How do we form a biblical response to societal issues that isn’t governed by the demands of our culture? Join us as we discuss these questions and more.

The Pipeline: Conversion to Co-Labor (Friday 2:15 p.m.-4 p.m.)

Presenter: Dhati Lewis

Churches everywhere seem to have a consistent leadership deficit. But leaders won't appear out of nowhere — we must develop them.

To walk a new believer from conversion to mature leadership will take time and intentionality. The Pipeline takes the guess work out of the process with clear steps and roles for the leader and the upcoming leader. Want to learn more? We'd love to share how you can get involved.

Doctrine of the Church (Sponsored by: 9Marks)

Location: Sweeting 317

Understanding Membership and the Implications of the Ordinances (Thursday 10:30 a.m.-12:15 p.m.)

Presenter: John Onwuchekwa

How does an individual know he or she belongs to the church? This session will discuss why Christians should join churches, what defines a member and what's the role and responsibility of members.

Knowing and Understanding Biblical Polity and Its Benefits (Thursday 2:15 p.m.-4 p.m.)

Presenter: James McNair

Ever had thoughts and conversations about how a church should be organized and led? This session will discuss what responsibilities the congregation has, as well as the offices and roles of deacons and pastors.

A Church that Disciples and Disciplines Thrives (Friday 10:30 a.m.-12:15 p.m.)

Presenter: Joseph Dicks

Many love using the word discipleship but hesitate and cringe at the word discipline. But those two actually work together to grow a church. This session will discuss what discipleship isn't and what biblical discipleship is. We'll also define church discipline, its purpose, when and how to apply it, who applies it and a few case studies.

Why Biblical Preaching and Teaching Gives Life to the Church (Friday 2:15 p.m.-4 p.m.)

Presenter: Jarvis J. Williams

This session will discuss God's Word as a central role in bringing life to the church: Why exposition is good preaching, why biblical theology is a good framework for right preaching and why the gospel should be the center of right teaching.  

Gospel Contextualization (Sponsored by: Streetlights)

Location: Sweeting 230

Engaging the Sojourning Skeptic with God’s Word (Thursday 10:30 a.m.-12:15 p.m.)

Presenter: Warner Miller

Let's talk about God's Word and our skeptical society. Brooklyn-born apologist and professional actor Warner Miller will share his experience and exhortations about using God's Word from the professional acting realm to the university chopping block and how to engage the sojourning skeptic in their philosophy pit.

Counseling the Wounded with God’s Word (Thursday 2:15 p.m.-4 p.m.)

Presenters: CD and Melody Fabien

Have a cup of cafe and unpack the luggage with CD and Melody Fabien while hearing their thoughts on how the Word of God gets used mightily as both a balm and a pruning knife in shepherding those wounded by life and the Church.

Speaking to the Nations in our Neighborhoods with their Heart Language (Friday 10:30 a.m.-12:15 p.m.)

Presenter: Jorge Rodriguez

From the pulpit to the corner, from cities to ‘burbs, we are a beautiful and complex nation of customs, backgrounds and heart languages. Join Venezuelan native and current Chicago pastor Jorge Rodriguez in the exploration of how to engage folks' heart language with the Word of God for the growth of Gospel disciple-making among all nations within our neighborhoods.

Engaging the Corner and Multimedia Learner with God’s Transforming Word (Friday 2:15 p.m.-4 p.m.)

Presenter: Esteban Shedd

How do 66 books breathed by God meet our corners? How do the written Scriptures get translated for dynamic delivery to the impoverished, illiterate forgotten of our blocks? How do the timeless truths of God's Word get distributed to meet the modern multimedia mind?

Join Streetlights Director and Alert312 emcee in a Deuteronomy 11-geared dialogue about the need to take the transforming Word of God from the pulpit to the corner, from the bookstore to the ministry barracks.


Location: Sweeting 234

Understanding the Refugee Crisis (Thursday 10:30 a.m.-12:15 p.m.)

Presenter: Sara Aardema

With over 65 million people displaced around the world, we must begin taking a closer look at the global refugee crisis. This workshop will explain what sets refugees apart from other immigrant groups, explore why so many people around the world are becoming displaced and walk participants through the refugee resettlement process. We will consider both sides of the conversation around welcoming refugees into the United States and close with some practical ways to advocate for refugees.

Immigration: A Journey Through the Biblical Perspective (Thursday 2:15 p.m.-4 p.m.)

Presenter: Rondell Trevino

Only 12 percent of evangelical Christians name the Bible as the most influential source of how they view immigration and immigrants, according to Lifeway Research. The majority are more shaped by politics, economics or media.

However, as Christians, we must view everything through a biblical lens. During this time, we will dive deep into God’s Word and go on a journey through what the Bible says about immigration and immigrants, as well as how to build relationships with them.

Discipling the Undocumented (Friday 10:30 a.m.-12:15 p.m.)

Presenter: Paco Amador and Chris Ophus

Do we build a wall? Do we send families back? Do we overlook laws being broken? Do our immigration laws need to be changed? These and other questions will be addressed during this workshop.

But may there be even a greater question that needs to be asked, “Could immigrants be exactly what our American Church needs?” Much of the New Testament is written to a scattered Church, the Church on the move. Come hear about what God might be up to through the immigrant Church in our midst.  

Your Migrant Neighbor and the Local Church (Friday 2:15 p.m.-4 p.m.)

Presenter: Solomon Dixon

We live in a unique time in human history when “urban is global.” Our God is calling a people out of the world from every tribe, tongue and nation. One of the ways he is doing this is he has sovereignly ordained immigrants and refugees from the nations to come to our cities and become our neighbors.

This workshop will seek to answer the question, as the local church, how do we steward this global moment in history well? We will examine the heart of God for his covenant people since the beginning in relation to the nations; specifically, how, through the unity of his Church, our God desires to bring every nation into fellowship with Him wherever the church finds herself.

It will be a call for the local church to move as one to engage the sojourner among us in impactful and practical ways.

Kingdom’s Economy Track

Location: Sweeting 343

Theology of Work (Thursday 10:30 a.m.-12:15 p.m.)

Presenter: Damien Howard

What is work, and why do it? Why do Christians so often say they value work but do almost nothing that reflects this in terms of how they address issues of poverty?

A principal way in which God demonstrates his love for people is through the day in and day out work of people. This workshop will consider the nature of work, calling and vocation for the people of God with an emphasis on how this is relevant for work among the poor.

Financial Fluency and Competency (Thursday 2:15 p.m.-4 p.m.)

Presenter: Oscar Leiva

Have you discovered God’s principles to financial freedom and fluency? How can we use our affluence to have lasting influence for your common good, your family and others? This workshop will give you competency skills that will set an infrastructure of building blocks to financial freedom and peace.

Resisting Economic Segregation by Practicing Yahweh’s Economy (Friday10:30 a.m.-12:15 p.m.)

Presenter: Mark Bowers

Walk outside any given day, knock on your neighbor’s door and borrow a cup of sugar. Increasingly in the U.S., that neighbor likely shares your income level. As middle-income neighborhoods disappear, while wealthy and poor ones increase, how do God's people respond?

Throughout Scripture, we’re given a vision for an economy different than the mainstream system — one striving for togetherness and human flourishing, not self-sufficient autonomy. In this workshop, we’ll unpack principles of Yahweh’s economy and practical strategies to work toward togetherness and economic empowerment of our under-resourced neighbors.

Redemptive Entrepreneurship: A Blank Canvas to Embody the Gospel and Impact Culture (Friday 2:15 p.m.-4 p.m.)

Presenter: Anthony Flynn

From Snapchat and Instagram to Uber and Reach Records, entrepreneurs play a critical role in forming how our society thinks, what we value and what we desire. Jack Dorsey, founder of Twitter and Square, recently said, "The best way to spread an idea today is through corporate structure." As followers of Christ, we have an important idea to spread, but how can we do that through entrepreneurship?

This workshop will explore the intersection of theology, culture and entrepreneurship, sharing how we can create innovative solutions to some of the biggest problems we see in the world today. We'll share lessons and tactics that apply across all aspects of culture, from tech startups to film studios, ed-tech companies, church plants, urban ministries and more — all who are working to be winsome witnesses to the culture.


Location: Sweeting 345

How a Lack of Curiosity Will Kill Your Ministry (Thursday 10:30 a.m.-12:15 p.m.)

Presenter: Barnabas Piper

Character, godliness, the fruits of the Spirit: These are the key traits for a person in ministry. Curiosity isn't usually thought of in those terms, but it is essential for a thriving, vibrant ministry.

Come and hear how curiosity is the habit and mindset that sets anyone in ministry in any context up for success. We will explore how curiosity feeds our spiritual lives, our relationships, our vocation and our engagement with the cultures around us.

Idolatry in Ministry (Thursday 2:15 p.m.-4 p.m.)

Presenter: Wil Franco

Everyday idols motivate, validate and crush ministers. In this workshop, we will discuss the relationship between idolatry and ministry. Wil Franco will unpack how easy it for us to find our identity and significance in things that are infinitely smaller than Jesus. Even though ministry could possibly change our hearts, it will always reveal our hearts.

Preventing Burnout In Ministry (Friday 10:30 a.m.-12:15 p.m.)

Presenter: Cisco Cotto

It's easy to press forward in ministry because you're passionate about Christ, your community and your church. But God didn't design us to go 100 miles per hour all the time.

Cisco Cotto shows us the Biblical model for rest that will allow us to have a long, fruitful ministry. He'll also show us how to lead staff and volunteers in such a way that they don't burn out.

Donde esta Mi Gente? The Forgotten Theologians (Friday 2:15 p.m.-4 p.m.)

Presenter: Carlos Lollett

Where are all the evangelical Latino theologians? Who are some of the Latino theological leaders that we look up to and learn from? Latinos are the largest minority group in the United States, and yet they are the most underrepresented minority group in higher theological education, according to The Association of Theological Schools.

Why? Is this a real problem for the church? Do Latinos have something unique to offer the Kingdom from a theological standpoint? In this session, Carlos will touch on the reasons for this phenomenon and make a case for why Latino(a) leaders should pursue theological training.

Life on Life

Location: Sweeting 301

Discipleship and Mentoring (Thursday 10:30 a.m.-12:15 p.m.)

Presenter: Dana Thomas

What’s the difference between discipling and mentoring? Is it possible to disciple without mentoring or mentor without discipling? In this workshop, we will explore the relationship between the two and the roles they play in the development of another person.

To and from: Discipleship in a Shifting and Socially-Tensed Culture (Thursday 2:15 p.m.-4 p.m.)

Presenter: Rich Perez

Not only does the term "disciple" sometimes feel ambiguous, but the process by which they're birthed also lacks the kind of clarity important for faithful and compelling Christian living today. Far too often, discipleship is understood in linear terms: You're in or you're out; you're close or you're far. And while those statements may be theologically true, they create cultures that don't consider someone's journey to and with Jesus.

In this workshop, we hope to discover that a disciple, and thus discipleship, is a matter of entering a relationship that commits to journey toward the cross, not away from it; a commitment to trust Jesus — moment by moment — no matter your distance from the cross.

Ancient Disciple-Making: Old Methods in a New World (Friday 10:30 a.m.-12:15 p.m.)

Presenter: John Latorre

What would happen if you decided to disciple just like Jesus did? No, really … just like he did? Could you imagine yourself leaving the popular models of today that require only a portion of what Jesus gave and asked of his first 12?

In this session, we will look into a modern day "follow me" disciple-making ministry that is bearing fruit in the city of Chicago. This residential ministry strongly resembles Jesus's life-on-life discipleship ministry. It can and should be lived out by more of Christ's followers. Come see if God's oldest paradigm of disciple-making could be refreshed and applied in your world.  

The Theological Failure of Christian Discipleship (Friday 2:15 p.m.-4 p.m.)

Presenter: Soong-Chan Rah

American society has yielded to a dysfunctional theological imagination that has produced a warped theology and ecclesiology. We will look at dysfunctional theological narratives that has served as significant obstacles to the work of the gospel.

Manhood Track

Location: Sweeting 201

Being Mr. Right (Thursday 10:30 a.m.-12:15 p.m.)

Presenter: Bobby Manning

All single men have a list of traits that he is looking for in a woman. While you’re working hard looking for a godly woman that meets your expectations, are you working as hard to be the type of man that a godly woman is looking for?

Your future wife is looking for certain traits of a man. Are you ready to receive the gift that God has given to you?

Sin and Temptation (Thursday 2:15 p.m.-4 p.m.)

Presenter: Victor Sholar

One of the most sobering verses in all of the Bible reads, “Pursue peace with all men, and the sanctification without which no one will see the Lord” (Heb. 12:14).

The point of the passage is clear, if holiness is not your pursuit in this life, then you will not see the Lord in the next. What are the ways in which we should respond to sin and temptation that will give us the assurance that we are saved?

Fathers in the Faith (Friday 10:30 a.m.-12:15 p.m.)

Presenter: David Washington

“For though you might have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet you do not have many fathers; for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel” (1 Corinthians 4:15).

Nearly 2000 years ago, Paul makes a profound statement that seems to still ring true in many of our churches today. It is a fact that no one achieves greatness on their own. Behind every biblical or contemporary leader is a host of people nurturing them, building them up and helping them along the way. True biblical manhood is about reproducing godly men. This workshop will provide a biblical framework to explore the need for, the call to and the responsibility of spiritual fatherhood.   

We Are the Ones (Friday 2:15 p.m.-4 p.m.)

Presenter: Kareem Manuel

In this workshop, we will discuss how unity and love are weapons of war against division and hate, assessing past and current events through the lens of Scripture to see what God might be calling us to; what he always calls us to — love and peace.

Marriage (Sponsored by: Build a Better Us)

Location: Vendor area - asc2

Resolving Everyday Conflict, Every Day (Thursday 10:30 a.m.-12:15 p.m.)

Presenter: Steve Ross

Close relationships, especially marriages, encounter conflict more than some like to admit. However, while no one looks forward to it, we all experience and have to deal with disagreements and contention.

In this workshop, we'll learn how to apply the biblical and practical responses of conflict resolution in relationships and how the gospel can transform even a marriage full of problems into one of peace.

Headship and Submission: Are They Issues of Competence or Calling? (Thursday 2:15 p.m.-4 p.m.)

Presenters: Preston and Jackie Hill Perry

In Ephesians 5, we read that wives are to submit to their husbands and that husbands are to be the head of their wives, but what does that actually look like?

If a man is naturally timid, is he qualified to be the leader in his home? Or if a woman is smarter and wiser than her husband, should she be relegated to the position of a helper instead of the head? Preston and Jackie Hill Perry will seek to answer these questions and more.

Building a Marriage of Grace and Not Performance (Friday 10:30 a.m.-12:15 p.m.)

Presenter: BJ Thompson

Every marriage demands that we care for our spouse, but often times, we end up building an identity around our spouse instead of Jesus. In this session, we will discuss what it means to build a marriage on Jesus and not me or my spouse’s performance.

Dating, Marriage and Everything Else: A Panel Discussion on Relational Health (Friday 2:15 p.m.-4 p.m.)

Presenters: BJ & Vanja Thompson and Steve & Jamie Ross

Whether you're single, dating, engaged or married, relationships can be extremely confusing. In this workshop, we've assembled a diverse panel to answer your specific questions.

Mercy and Justice Track

Location: Sweeting 328

How to Develop a Holistic Prison Ministry (Thursday 10:30 a.m.-12:15 p.m.)

Presenter: Corey Buchanan

The urban community has been affected by the criminal justice system. Learn how your church or ministry group can develop a meaningful, holistic ministry to those incarcerated who are returning citizens and their families.

Mercy and Justice a la Kingdom of God (Thursday 2:15 p.m.-4 p.m.)

Presenter: Robert Guerrero

A definite fruit of the gospel, both individual and corporate, is compassion expressed through mercy and justice. The gospel also informs how we engage in mercy and justice. There is a worldly (a la Babel) way, and a gospel (a la kingdom of God) way. The gospel renews not only the motivation but also the manner we do justice and mercy ministries.

In this workshop, we will look at the importance of ministries that are birthed out of presence, governed by the logic of grace (versus Babel), where privilege is stewarded and the poor become the main partners in the decision-making process. We will also explore different church-based models of engagement.

Do All Lives Matter? (Friday 10:30 a.m.-12:15 p.m.)

Presenters: John Perkins and Wayne Gordon

Something is wrong in our society — deeply wrong. The belief that all lives matter is at the heart of our founding documents, but we must admit that this conviction has never truly reflected reality in America. Movements such as Black Lives Matter have arisen in response to recent displays of violence and mistreatment, and some of us defensively answer back, "All lives matter."

But do they? Really? This workshop is an exploration of that question. It delves into history, current events, Christian teaching and personal stories in order to start a conversation about the way forward. We cannot do everything. But we can each do something.

An Oppressive Criminal Justice System (Friday 2:15 p.m.-4 p.m.)

Presenter: Cliff Nellis

We will discuss historical and current laws and policies that oppress minorities through the criminal justice system. Working up to present day from the 13th Amendment abolition of slavery, through reconstruction, Jim Crow and the Civil Rights Act of 1964, we will discuss the various strategies that have been used to oppress minorities through the criminal justice system.

The workshop will also discuss real-life, present-day cases that demonstrate the vast amounts of discretion that authorities in the criminal justice system hold and how that discretion has been exercised with obvious racism. Cliff Nellis will also cover what the Lawndale Christian Legal Center does to combat these realities.  


Location: Sweeting 347

The Mission Field Around The Corner: Serving The Local School (Thursday 10:30 a.m.-12:15 p.m.)

Presenter: Shawn Procter

In every city neighborhood, there's most likely a church, a corner store and a school. With the church's call to make disciples, what better place than a local high school filled with hundreds of young people searching for their identity?

Come hear about practical ways for your church to serve and make disciples in your local public school, even in light of the separation of church and state.

Imprisoned by Grace: True Hope, Help and God's Heart for the Single Mom (Thursday 2:15 p.m.-4 p.m.)

Presenter: Gina Cho

There is an epidemic of brokenness in today's world. The growth of single parenting has become all too common, even in today's churches.

What does life look like for a single mom who is just trying to put food on her table and clothes on her kids? How can the church be Jesus's hands and feet to empower but not enable difficult circumstances?

A Theology of Incarnation In Under-Resourced Neighborhoods (Friday 10:30 a.m.-12:15 p.m.)

Presenter: Noel Castellanos

Based on his book, Where the Cross Meets the Street, Noel Castellanos will present a theological framework for engagement in under-resourced neighborhoods that focuses on the good news of the kingdom that Jesus proclaimed.

Engaging the Recovering Alcoholic and Addict as Evangelistic Resources (Friday 2:15 p.m.-4 p.m.)

Presenter: Edwin Colon

Many churches have an incredible ministry resource close at hand that they know nothing about. It’s those who participate in 12-step communities (N.A., A.A., etc.). These people can be galvanized and encouraged to use their unique stories to win many to Christ.

Spiritual Disciplines

Location: Sweeting 319

Hidden Idols (Thursday 10:30 a.m.-12:15 p.m.)

Presenter: Derrick Puckett

Many times in life, we think of physical things as idols or sins that we struggle with as idols, but have you ever consider your culture, your race or your religion as an idol? In a day where we are driven by everything that happens around us from the media, to our associates, to the color of our skin, there are hidden idols that most of us don't recognize but, in reality, can be the driving forces behind all we do good and bad. They can keep us divided across many different lines or bring us together.

As believers, we need to know how to recognize these idols of culture, religion, race and society to live and lead in everyday life. Come join us as we unpack this hidden idol that drives so much of what we do.

Finding the Groove: Composing a Jazz-Shaped Faith (Thursday 2:15 p.m.-4 p.m.)

Presenter: Robert Gelinas

Out of sync in your relationship with God? Jazz is more than music, and it's the more that makes all the difference. Discover how understanding the beauty of jazz can help you better understand Jesus, his vision for those who follow him and his heartbeat for a world that is badly offbeat.  

In jazz, we discover a way of thinking, living, communicating; a way of being — a groove. A jazz-shaped faith balances freedom with boundaries, the individual with the group and traditions with the pursuit of what might be. Jazz is hip hop and hip hop is jazz.

Praying the Psalms (Friday 10:30 a.m.-12:15 p.m.)

Presenter: Mark Bergin

Learning to pray is not automatic. Many Christians never develop in their practice of prayer and so grow weary of it. In this workshop, we will examine how the Psalms provide a new grammar for our prayers and so invite us into deeper prayer.

In fact, since the Psalms were the prayer book of Jesus, learning to pray them leads us into the very spiritual life of Christ. We begin to think his thoughts, feel his heart and speak his words to our Father in heaven. Praying the Psalms is praying in Christ.

No More Drama (Friday 2:15 p.m.-4 p.m.)

Presenter: Ezekiel Azonwu

In this workshop, we will discuss the Christian approach to conflict resolution, examining how to settle beef among believers and nonbelievers with biblical lenses; step-by-step prescription on resolving issues and promoting reconciliation in relationships.  


Location: Sweeting 219

The Secure Woman (Thursday 10:30 a.m.-12:15 p.m.)

Presenter: Erikah Rivera

As women, our lives are often full of comparison, people pleasing, fear and constant self-focus. What would it look like as a woman to have a transformed view of one’s self and to actually live in the truth that our identity and security are settled?

The search for affirmation and acceptance is over once it finds its sure footing in the gospel. There is freedom and security as our hearts learn to humbly rest in the finished work of Jesus.

Closeness to Jesus: Holiness, Humility and Happiness (Thursday 2:15 p.m.-4 p.m.)

Presenter: Blair Linne

As Christian women, we know that we are called to humility and holiness. Yet, it often seems that those who appear to be the most holy and the most humble are the least happy. Are these things at odds with each other?

Well, they shouldn't be, because the Lord Jesus Christ Himself is the supreme example of One who is perfect holy (Heb. 7:26), perfectly humble (Phil. 2:5-8) and perfectly happy (Ps. 16:11). In this workshop, we will look at Jesus's example in Philippians 2 in order to glean principles that will help us to practically live out these characteristics by faith.

Black Girl Magic and the Temptation of Identity Idolatry (Friday 10:30 a.m.-12:15 p.m.)

Presenter: Itohan Omolere

I was a fresh 15 when the idea of straitening my hair became repulsive to me. Everywhere I looked, the tyrant of popular culture demanded universal alignment to euro-centric beauty standards. Now we find a black girl's bellowing cry of self-acceptance echoed from the hashtags and streets, to the throat of our old enemy, pop culture.

As God's design of our beauty is finally being affirmed on a larger scale, another enemy craftily inserts his distortions into the mix. How do we fight the temptation to exalt our beauty and character above others? How do we affirm our identity unapologetically, holistically and righteously? Let's have a candid conversation about our experiences and consult God's Word in handling these glowing, magical embers.

Trusting the Lord in Uncertain Times (Friday 2:15 p.m.-4 p.m.)

Presenter: Heidi Dye

We are living in dark days, but we can have hope! Through the lens of Esther, we will see how God's hand is present even when we don't see it. As women, we tend to want to have a road map for our lives and have God sign off on it. Instead, we should be open to seek the Lord's will for our lives and how we can impact the culture around us (like Esther).  

Word of God Track

Location: Sweeting 209

Introduction to Biblical Exegesis (Thursday 10:30 a.m.-12:15 p.m.)

Presenter: Joseph Solomon

Studying the Bible is not just for academic scholars. With some helpful tools, and the guidance of the Holy Spirit, we can understand more deeply the purpose and narrative of Scriptures by ourselves and among other common believers. This workshop will cover some basic and maybe intermediate approaches to understand to the heart of God’s word and applying it to our everyday lives.

Christ-Centered Scripture Reading and Interpretation (Thursday 2:15 p.m.-4 p.m.)

Presenter: John Richards

This workshop is designed to teach students to look at all of Scripture through the lens of the cross, focusing on the big picture of redemptive history and each book’s role in moving the big story forward to the person and work of Jesus Christ. We will discuss interpretive methods for Old Testament texts using Sidney Greidanus’s approach in Preaching Christ from the Old Testament.

More Than a Sermon (Friday 10:30 a.m.-12:15 p.m.)

Presenter: Carlos Borges

Sermons are great and God certainly uses them mightily. However, are there other teaching strategies to utilize that are gospel-centered and interactive for days other than Sunday morning?

This workshop explores teaching methods that extend beyond the standard lecture. Learn from a National Board Certified teacher who has been teaching Bible studies to adults and kids for over 25 years. Attendees will get an interactive session of biblical content, along with ideas and strategies that can be used as soon as they get home.

Preaching to Millennials (Friday 2:15 p.m.-4 p.m.)

Presenter: Brandon Watts

Most research suggests that millennials (those born between the early 1980's to mid-2000's) often have a cynical view toward church. While their skepticism for organized religion runs deep, one of the gauges used for the authenticity and relevancy of the church is its preaching.

Because preaching is a priority for the bride of Christ, learning how to reach this group through the pulpit is imperative. Come learn how to engage and keep the attention of millennials through your preaching.


Location: Sweeting 349

Off the Page: Letting the Holy Spirit Take Us Out of Our Agenda And Into Radical Worship (Thursday 10:30 a.m.-12:15 p.m.)

Presenter: Dianna Lyons Pinkston (*Updated Workshop)

Together we will engage in worship, and explore ways to authentically and freely be in His presence, with the Holy Spirit as our worship leader.  If you are hungry for the unexpected and love to worship, this is the place to be.

The Tool Belt (Thursday 2:15 p.m.-4 p.m.)

Presenter: Diamone Ukegbu

“I'm sure that I know what we want. and I think I'm pretty clear on what we need, but I have no idea how to get there with what we've got.”

Is this statement true of you? Let's talk the the nuts and bolts for the vision of your church as a whole and its gathering. Let's share perspectives and tools to serve your body and city at large.

Pursuing Racial Reconciliation Through Worship Music (Friday 10:30 a.m.-12:15 p.m.)

Presenter: Jimmy Needham

This is a practical guide for pastors and worship leaders who want to see their congregations grow in diversity, but find that their approach to things like music and liturgy are an obstacle to certain cultures engaging within their church. We know the gospel is ultimately what unites the body, but how do we leverage everything in our power to make sure no one has to leave their heritage at the door when they join us for worship on Sunday morning?

This session is about how to make your church a safe place for people of diverse backgrounds to worship God in ways that are both biblical and culturally meaningful to them.

Spontaneous Worship: Singing the Scriptures (Friday 2:15 p.m.-4 p.m.)

Presenter: Dee Wilson

A workshop for worshipper and worship leaders: We're going to focus on engaging Scripture with our gift as we lean into singing “spiritual songs.”

youth track

Location: alumni auditorium