This is no April Fool’s joke: Just about wherever you live in the U.S., there’s a missional church conference near you this month!
What’s all the hub-bub about? As I’ve written before, I believe the missional shift is one of the most significant aspects of the emergence within Christianity taking place, which Phyllis Tickle has written so forcefully about.
With all due respect to Verge (and all the other church conferences with a strong missional emphasis not happening this month), I’ve gotta say that April is becoming the official month for missional church conferences:
Northwest? Go to Inhabit Conference — This is the third year of this groundbreaking conference (April 19-20), sponsored by the Parish Collective and the Seattle School of Theology and Psychology. I’m grateful to be returning to speak at the conference again this year. I’ll be leading a Smart Lab on “Social Media as Third Place.” There are only ~40 tickets left, so join us in Seattle if you can!
East Coast? Go to Missio Alliance — This is the inaugural gathering of the new Missio Alliance network (April 11-13), and gosh, I wish I could be there for this! So many great people will be there — including John Franke from Yellowstone Theological Institute and so many others who I’m proud to call friends, all who challenge me to think deeply about missional theology and practice. And, frankly, I’d love to be discussing sexuality and theology with David Fitch and Deb Hirsch on that panel.Southwest? Come to TransFORM Southwest — The conference this weekend (April 5-6) at Brite Divinity School in Fort Worth, Texas, won’t be on the same scale as Inhabit or Missio Alliance, but the caliber of the speakers is no less impressive. And for $25, the price is right. This is probably the most affordable missional church conference you will find anywhere in the country. Of course, I’m a little biased, because TransFORM is a labor of love for me. I’m just honored to be part of this work and for the contributions of everyone who will be participating. It’s not too late — there’s still room for more so register and join us!
Honorable mention: Exponential is probably the largest church planting conference in the U.S., and over the past several years, it’s developed a very strong missional emphasis. This year’s conference, April 22-25, is already sold out, but you can view the live webcast online from anywhere in the country (or the world).
So, why April? I’m guessing it’s because Spring has sprung, Easter and Holy Week are now behind us (and Pentecost is a month away). Plus, with warmer weather, people are getting out and talking to their neighbors a bit more again. It’s a perfect time to get out and get equipped for missional living and service in the neighborhood for the summer and all year long.
Where in the world do you live? Which missional conference will you be attending? Come on, get out, get connected with other missional practitioners, and let’s get missional in April!