NAVIGATINGCHANGE Church Leadership Conference

Save The Date

Navigating Change 2014 will be held on February 20 & 21.  That is a Thursday and Friday, so plan ahead and mark those dates on your calendar.  Navigating Change is great for teams.  Let your volunteers and staff know these dates, so they can take off work.  Registration and more information coming soon.

Our 2014 Speakers

We are really excited to announce that our Keynote Speaker line up includes Thom Rainer, Mark Brooks and Debi Nixon and Rev. Shane Bishop.

Thom Rainer is the president and CEO of LifeWay Christian Resources.  Prior to LifeWay, he served at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary for twelve years where he was the founding dean of the Billy Graham School of Missions and Evangelism.  He is a 1977 graduate of the University of Alabama and earned his Master of Divinity and Ph.D. degrees from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.


In addition to speaking in hundreds of venues over the past 20 years, Rainer led Rainer Group, a church and denominational consulting firm, from 1990 to 2005. The firm provided church health insights to over 500 churches and other organizations over that period.


Rainer and his wife, Nellie Jo, have three grown sons: Sam, Art and Jess, who are married to Erin, Sarah and Rachel respectively.  The Rainers have six grandchildren: Canon, Maggie, Nathaniel, Will (with the Lord), Harper, and Bren.


He is the author of twenty-two books, including Breakout Churches, Simple Life, Simple Church, Raising Dad, The Millennials, and Essential Church.  His latest book, I Am a Church Member, is scheduled to be released in 2013 by B&H Publishing Group.

As the founding partner of The Charis Group, Mark Brooks brings not only a rich background of ministry experience but also years of successfully helping Christian ministries raise funds for capital projects. His desire to better personalize the engagement that each ministry receives from their stewardship partner led him to begin The Charis Group. With creative, outside the box thinking, Mark has helped scores of ministries achieve maximum financial and spiritual results.


In 1998, Mark left the pastorate to enter into the stewardship field. Before starting The Charis Group he had risen to the level of Vice President at Injoy Stewardship Services. Mark has worked in a cross section of churches across the nation. He has experience in virtually every type of church setting from small to large, from main line denominations to seeker sensitive settings. He has worked in campaigns that range in size from the largest church in North America to emerging churches.


A prolific writer, Mark  has written three print books and several e-books and various magazine articles.  He also writes a monthly online column for Christian ministry leaders entitled, “The Stewardship Coach.” These columns focus on the current trends impacting leaders today and gives practical advice on how to solve them. He also writes a blog called “The Stewardship Coach“.


Mark has been married thirty six years to his wife Valerie.  They have two children.  His son, Jon, was a Captain in the Army and a decorated Iraqi war veteran who is now employed with Deloitte Consulting in Washington D.C. Jon and his wife Lianna have one child, Zoe who is one.  Mark and Valerie’s daughter Amy is married to Captain Nick Cherry who has served two deployments to Iraq.  Amy and Nick have two children, Jackson who is five and Paige who is two.  They currently are posted to Fort Stewart in Hinesville, GA.

Debi Nixon is the Managing Executive Director of Regional Campuses and Catalyst Ministry at Church of the Resurrection. She has been a part of the Resurrection Staff since 1994 serving first as the founding Director of Children’s Ministry. Debi and her husband Reed have been married 28 years and are the parents of two young adults. She is the author of CATCH: A Churchwide Evangelism Program.

Shane Bishop has been the Senior Pastor of Christ Church since 1997. Raised the child of a pastor/evangelist, Shane was called into ministry in 1989 and has a relentless passion for connecting people to Jesus Christ. Shane believes the Church of Jesus Christ is God’s strategic plan for the conversion of the world. “The church is not an institution among institutions, a charity among charities or a good cause among good causes. We are the hands and feet of Christ entrusted with the transformation of the world.” Shane and Melissa have two grown children and four grandchildren.

Sylvester Weatherall - Former Directing Pastor, Grace and Kumler United Methodist Churches, Springfield; graduate McKendree College (1988), Eden Theological Seminary (1991); two time Recipient of the National Evangelism Award, and The Harry Denman Award; Serves on conference committees and jurisdictional committees and commissions; Elected Delegate, 2000 and 2004 and First-Alternate, 2008 and delegate to the 2012 General Conference.


Navigating Change 2014 will be held at Christ Church in Fairview Heights, IL.  We are in the St. Louis Metro East area.  There are several restaurants and hotels near the conference.  Here is a map with the church and local hotels.

View Navigating Change Conference in a larger map


We have a great lineup of workshops this year that will help your ministry be the most effective that it can be.  Dynamic speakers from our region will share their insights on topics that are relevant to your ministry setting.  Pick one workshop per session that you want to attend.

Workshop 1 // Friday, Feb 21 9:45am - 10:45am

Creative Ideas For Small & Medium Churches:

The Mascoutah / New Bethel Story

Rev. Jason Woolever shares how effective ministry can grow a small church from 50 to 180 in attendance each week.

Target Audience: Small to medium churches

Rev. Jason Woolever, Senior Pastor - Bethel United Methodist Church, Mascoutah, IL



Designing Worship for Your Space

Learn Techniques for creating effective worship services for any size sanctuary with as few or as many resources as you may have at your disposal.


Target Audience: Pastors and worship leaders

Rev. Shane Bishop, Senior Pastor - Christ Church, Fairview Heights, IL

Rev. Don Frazure, Pastor of Worship Arts - Christ Church, Fairview Heights, IL

Nathan Tobin, Technical Director - Christ Church, Fairview Heights, IL



Bi-Vocational Ministry: Motivating Volunteers

in the Church

Bi-vocational ministry is when a person serves (volunteers) in a ministry while also being employed in a secular job. This workshop will explain how you can assure your ministry leaders, "They are not just a volunteer."

Target Audience: All ministry leaders and volunteers

Melissa Bishop - Christ Church, Fairview Heights, IL




The Future of Giving? It Ain’t Paper

America is moving away from cash and checks towards e-commerce.  Wise churches are adapting their giving platforms to meet this new trend.  This session will not only talk about the rise in online giving but give practical helps and advice on how to make this work for your church.  Attendees will leave with an increased knowledge of online giving but also real tools to make this new trend of giving work for their church.

Target Audience: Finance leaders, lay leaders and pastors

Mark Brooks - The Charis Group

Workshop 2 // Friday 21

2:00pm - 3:00pm

Creative Ideas For Small & Medium Churches:

The Trenton Story

Pastor Mike Rucker shares his journey of creating an evangelistic culture in a new location.

Target Audience: Small to medium churches

Rev. Mike Rucker, Senior Pastor - First United Methodist Church, Trenton , IL



Discipleship Has Left the Building

Learn how to develop a small group ministry model that will grow disciples and create community in your church.


Target Audience: Education / Small Group Staff and Volunteers

Alan Prass, Executive Director - Christ Church, Fairview Heights, IL

Erin Hanson, Director of Connections - Christ Church, Fairview Heights, IL

Noel Russell, Director of Retail Services - Christ Church, Fairview Heights, IL


Planning and Leading an Effective Church-Wide Prayer Service

This workshop will teach you how to prepare for, design and lead a church-wide prayer service with your church in mind.

Target Audience: Pastors, Prayer Teams and Lay Leaders

Rev. Troy Benton, Associate Pastor - Christ Church, Fairview Heights, IL

Debby Creagh, Parish Nurse Coordinator - Christ Church, Fairview Heights, IL




Upping Your Communications Game

Churches of all sizes struggle to communicate effectively with their members.  Justin Aymer equips us to up our communication game.

Target Audience: Church Staff and Volunteers

Justin Aymer, Director of Communications - Christ Church, Fairview Heights, IL

Pre-Conference Sessions

Pastors Pre-Conference Session: Why Change Can't Come Soon Enough

Rev. Shane Bishop and his wife, Melissa Bishop, will share insights for lead pastors on navigating change in dangerous waters for the long haul.  Pastors will also have a special dinner following the pre-conference session.  Pastors and registered spouses are welcome to attend this pre-conference session.




Lay Leaders Pre-Conference Session: CATCH - Connecting and Attracting Visitors

As a church, we are called to be outwardly focused.  This workshop gives a grand-scope view of the strategies and tools used at Church of the Resurrection to attract and connect with the unchurched in their community, as well as gives ideas on action steps for your own setting.  Consider attending this workshop as a team to discuss the importance of: Clarifying three important questions, attracting visitors in your community, transforming into a welcoming environment, connecting and doing effective follow-up and helping individuals on their journey.  This session is led by Debi Nixon, Managing Executive Director of Regional Campuses and Catalyst Ministry at Church of the Resurrection.


Get a feel for how the Navigating Change Conference is going to flow.

*** The Conference Schedule is subject to change. ***

Thursday, February 20, 2014



3:30pm - 5:00pm






5:00pm - 6:15pm




6:30pm - 7:30pm



7:30pm - 7:45pm


7:45pm - 8:45pm




Pre-Conference Registration


Pre-Conference Sessions

Lead Pastors - Rev. Shane Bishop & Melissa Bishop

Open To All - Debi Nixon // CATCH: Attracting and Connecting Visitors


Dinner on your own


Dinner for Lead Pastors and Their Spouses


Conference Registration


Main Keynote 1

I Am A Church Member - Thom Rainer




Main Keynote 2

I Am A Church Member - Thom Rainer


Ice Cream Social

Sundae Bar, Live Music and Fellowship

Friday, February 21, 2014

7:45am - 8:30am


8:30am - 9:30am




9:30am - 9:45am


9:45am - 10:45am


10:45am - 11:00am


11:00am - 12:00pm



12:00pm - 12:45pm


12:45pm - 1:45pm



1:45pm - 2:00pm


2:00pm - 3:00pm


3:00pm - 3:15pm


3:15pm - 4:15pm



Continental Breakfast (Registration)


Main Keynote 3

Debi Nixon, Managing Executive Director of Regional Campuses and Catalyst

Church of the Resurrection, Leawood, Kansas




Worskhop 1




Main Keynote 4

Loving Neighbor - Rev. Sylvester Weatherall




Main Keynote 5

Giving - Mark Brooks




Workshop 2




Main Keynote 6

Rev. Shane Bishop, Senior Pastor

Christ Church, Fairview Heights, IL


First 25 Pastors' Spouses are free.  $50 Early Bird Rate.  $80 Regular Rate.  No refunds, but you may transfer your registration to another person in your church.  No Group rates this year.  We are treating our Early Bird Rate as the Group Rate, so register your group early!


Give us a call at 618-277-4659 // M - F // 8am - 4pm.  We can answer any questions you have about the Navigating Change 2014 Conference.


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