of the Church

Developing Focus

Loveland, Colorado
OCTOBER 21-23, 2015
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Be a Catalyst for Changing the Future of the Church in Your Community


A “think-outside-the-box” opportunity to discuss, learn, and help shape what the future of the church may look like. Participate with thought-leaders including pastors, cultural influencers, researchers, and denominational executives as we brainstorm and grapple with present trends to frame futuristic solutions. This year’s panel of speakers features Leonard Sweet, best-selling author and scholar of American culture, and Josh Packard, professor at the University of Northern Colorado and researcher on the de-churched.

"Leadership Journal and Group both care deeply about the church, so I'm excited about the opportunity to partner for this year's Future of the Church Summit. Personally, I'm also thrilled to be participating in the Summit again. It's always a stimulating experience to meet with church leaders to talk about what God may have in store in the coming days."
—Drew Dyck, Leadership Journal

Course Benefits

Participants will gain insights into trends that shape tomorrow’s church. Be part of an organic process that will help you shape the future of your ministry.

You’ll learn:

  • Current trends in faith and religion in America
  • Why church attendance is declining and what can be done to reverse the trend
  • Different models for being the church
  • New approaches to ministry to reach the people not attending your church

2014 Topics

  • Taking Faith to Work
    While the current model of church is in decline, some signs point to the faithful living their faith in fresh ways outside of Sunday—by taking church to the people.
  • When God Left the Building
    Enjoy a private screening of the new documentary When God Left the Building. Then hear live from a former Kodak executive about how that iconic company failed to adapt to changing times—and what lessons the church might learn from Kodak’s collapse.
  • Colossal Trends That Will Move Culture and the Church
    Discover cultural trends from visionary leader Leonard Sweet and how those trends will impact the church for generations to come.
  • Finding the Dechurched
    Sociologist Josh Packard reveals new research about the fast-growing population of those who've left the church. Who are they, why did they leave, and what may bring them back?
  • Speechless: Moving People Through Images and Stories
    The church today faces the challenge of speaking the language of the current culture. Leonard Sweet explains how images, narratives, and metaphors are paths to communicate the Gospel to a culture that no longer listens to words.
  • Redefining Congregation
    Church as we know it is changing. A colorful variety of alternative forms of being the church will be explored.
  • Same Sex Tsunami: How the Gay Debate Will Affect the Church and Marriage
    How will issues surrounding homosexuality affect the church and our culture in the days ahead? What role will the church play in defining and officiating marriage?
  • Moving Forward
    God’s true church—the body of Christ, the community of believers—will not go away. The church is regenerating in fresh ways. In this session you’ll determine next steps to move your church forward for the future. 

Who Should Attend

  • Pastors
  • Denominational leaders
  • Paid and unpaid ministry leaders
  • Church staff teams
  • Seminary staff
  • Media influencers

Pricing and Details

$275 when you register by June 19, 2015
$300 when you register by September 11, 2015
$375 regular Rate

Receive 10% off the current registration rate when three or more people from your organization attend Future of the Church Summit 2014! To take advantage of the team discount, please register all participants coming from the same organization under the same account.

This discount will be automatically applied when you register three or more at a time. If you already registered some members of your team and are adding one or two people, please give us a call—we'll give you instructions to redeem the 10% discount. We can be reached at 1-800-635-0404 x4530.

Speaker Bios

2014 Speakers

LeonardsweetLeonard Sweet
is a scholar of American culture; a semiotician who "sees things the rest of us do not see, and dreams possibilities that are beyond most of our imagining;" and a preacher and best-selling author who communicates the gospel with a signature bridging of the worlds of faith, academe, and popular culture. In 2006 and 2007, Len was voted by his peers “One of the 50 Most Influential Christians in America” by ChurchReport Magazine, and in 2010, he was selected by the top non-English Christian website as one of the “Top 10 Influential Christians of 2010.” His popular podcast, “Napkin Scribbles,” is widely quoted, and his weekly sermon contributions to sermons.com have made that site the top preaching resource for pastors in North America. For nine years, he and his wife wrote the entire content for the weekly preaching resource Homiletics. In 2005 Len introduced the first open-source preaching resource on the Web, wikiletics.com. Len’s micro blogs on twitter and facebook rank as two of the most influential social media sites in the world. You can find some of Len’s talks on his YouTube channel, www.youtube.com/lenssweetspots. Len is the Founder and President of SpiritVenture Ministries (SVM). Author of more than 200 hundred articles, 1300+ published sermons, and more than fifty books, Leonard Sweet’s publications include the best sellers Soul Tsunami, Aqua Church, Jesus Manifesto (with Frank Viola), and Jesus: A Theography (with Frank Viola), as well as many other volumes that are revolutionizing the church’s mission.

Tom SchultzThom Schultz
is the president and founder of Group Publishing and Lifetree Café. He’s the author of many books including Why Nobody Wants to Go to Church Anymore and The 1 Thing, and he’s the director of the documentary film When God Left the Building. Thom is the founder of Group Cares, a non-profit organization that provides mission trips for thousands of volunteers each year. Thom’s blog, HolySoup.com, challenges the status quo.

Joani SchultzJoani Schultz
is Group’s Chief Creative Officer. She oversees the creation of Group’s resources, training, and services for children’s ministry, youth ministry, adult ministry, and church leadership. She’s the author of numerous books including Why Nobody Wants to Go to Church Anymore, and The 1 Thing. She leads the teams that create Group’s Bible curriculum, vacation Bible school programs, books, magazines, conferences, music, and trainings.

DrewDyckDrew Dyck
is the managing editor of Leadership Journal and the author of Yawning at Tigers and Generation Ex-Christian. His work has appeared in USA Today, The Huffington Post, and CNN.com.

JoshpackardJosh Packard
is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Northern Colorado. He is the author of The Emerging Church: Religion at the Margins and has authored numerous scholarly articles and presentations in the field of sociology of religion. His current research, entitled The Dechurching of America: How the Church Drives People Away from Religion but Not from God, empirically examines the dechurched phenomenon in the United States with original sourced data.



Doug Pollock - Author/Speaker/Reflective Practitioner

It's been said that our future reality is often dictated by our present thinking. If so, I can't think of a more hopeful place to talk and think about a preferred picture of the church’s future than Group's Future of the Church Summit. It's a "shot of espresso" guaranteed to stimulate wholesome thinking about the bride of Christ.
Doug Pollock

Justin Mayo - Founder and President, Redeye Ministries

Too often people have viewed "the church," "synagogue," and "religion" in a very narrow and negative mindset.
This gathering of individuals looks beyond traditional stereotypes and into the reality of what is and the
possibilities of what could be.
Justin Mayo

Lynda Fickling - Director of Servant Ministry/Spiritual Director
St. Luke United Methodist Church, Highlands Ranch, CO

To be included with the level of leadership that was in the room was truly a blessing. Thom and Joani opened the space so that we felt comfortable in sharing our true thoughts and feelings regarding the future of the church. We didn't all agree. We didn't all see the church in the same way, BUT we were able to come to agree on many common areas that we could address and support together. I look forward to continued active listening and returning back to my ministry even more excited than I am right now about the future of the church.
Lynda Fickling

Barbara Huisman - Cana Ministries

Being at the Summit last year affirmed that church is conversation that leads to action—centered on the good news of life lived out in the world. I was able to return refreshed and challenged to continue to journey, knowing that we are all on the road less traveled! Can't wait to see what happens this year!
Barbara Huisman