Future of the Church Summit Logo

October 24-26, 2018| Loveland, Colorado


Discovering Direction for the Trail Ahead

Join us for a “think-outside-the-box” opportunity to discuss, learn, and help shape the future of the church. Participate with pastors, church leaders, researchers, and church executives in grappling with present trends and framing solutions.

"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


Shaping the Future of the Church

Unique topics that will frame your viewpoint on where the church is headed.

  • Rethinking Discipleship for a New Generation

    Traditional discipleship programs are producing diminishing results. What will actually work to help tomorrow’s people develop a deep relationship with Jesus that produces real fruit?

  • The Church’s New Role in Racial Reconciliation

    As the nation’s racial divisions struggle, how can the church lead the way to healing and harmony? Explore how some churches are already making strides.

  • Church Security in a Dangerous World

    They call churches “soft targets.” What will tomorrow’s churchgoers expect when it comes to safety and security? What are the realistic (and common) dangers that churches face?

  • Small Is the New Big

    While some large churches will get larger, a new appreciation for smallness is emerging. Discover new—and old—forms of church that empower the unique relational benefits of being small.

  • The Changing Role of the Ministry Leader

    Will the current “professions” of ministry work in the years to come? How will ministry people need to prepare or retool for the demands of ministry in the future?

  • How the New Generation Will Impact the Church

    Why are today’s young people leaving the church? What will it take to keep them engaged? How will their values shape the church of tomorrow? Explore the new research—that may surprise you.


A Unique Line-up of Topics and Speakers

Sessions, Breaks, and Extras for the 2018 Summit.

8:30 – 10:00 am
Session 3
10:00 – 10:15 am
10:15 – 11:45 am
Session 4
11:45 – 1:30 pm
1:30 – 3:00 pm
Session 5
3:00 – 3:30 pm
3:30 – 5:00 pm
Session 6
8:30 – 10:00 am
Session 7
10:00 – 10:30 am
10:30 – 12:00 pm
Session 8

Who Should Attend

Everyone could benefit from this summit

Created for people serving on the front lines of ministry today including:

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


Act now to save your place

Summit attendance is limited—on purpose!

It’s the only way to guarantee you’ll have face-to-face time with fascinating thought leaders sharing new research and must-have intel on what’s working best in churches like yours. Claim your front row seat at the Future of the Church Summit now, and hear ministry’s most innovative voices share what’s working.

Early Bird

Ends August 3, 2018


Ends September 28, 2018


Starts September 29, 2018

1-2 people $275/person $300/person $375/person
3 or more people $247.50/person $270/person $337.50/person


Ministry Experts Share Their Wisdom and Experiences

Church leaders and visionaries on the forefront of today’s growing church trends. 2017 Speakers included...

Jonny Baker

Jonny Baker is the director of mission education for the Church Mission Society in London, England. The main focus of his work in the last few years has been setting up and leading the Pioneer Mission Leadership Training at CMS - see http://pioneer.cms-uk.org. This has been very exciting with all sorts of creative pioneers as they are called by God to new forms of mission and ministry often beyond the edges of the church.

David Haskell

David Haskell is Associate Professor at Wilfrid Laurier University in Canada. Studying church growth and member retention, including retention of youth, his research has explored which strategies work, and which don’t. His latest study of congregational traits associated with church growth drew media attention from such outlets as The Guardian, Washington Post, Fox News, and the Globe and Mail. A key finding was that conservative Protestant theology predicts church growth and liberal theology leads to decline. Full results of the study were published in December 2016 issues of the Review of Religious Research, Canadian Review of Sociology, and other peer-reviewed journals.

James Misner

James Misner is senior vice president of strategic engagement at World Relief, and helps churches, foundations and individuals stand with the vulnerable in the U.S. and around the world. Leading teams domestically and internationally, James seeks to facilitate meaningful cross-cultural experiences, leading to deeper levels of discipleship. Prior to joining World Relief, James served on the pastoral staff at Wheaton Bible Church, leading global outreach efforts, and also on the outreach staff of McLean Bible Church. James received his undergraduate degree from American University, and a Master's degree from Wheaton College. He lives in Maryland with his wife, Sabrina, and their family.

Rich Stearns

Rich Stearns is president of World Vision Inc., He’s responsible for U.S. operations, which include advocacy, fundraising, and program development, and has prioritized the organization's worldwide attention on the AIDS crisis. World Vision has experienced previously unprecedented growth following his application of corporate best practices and fostering of a strong leadership team, 'making it run more like a business.' Christianity Today calls World Vision “an increasingly important player in world humanitarian aid.” Rich has appeared on CNN, Fox, ABC, NBC, and PBS, and has written pieces published in the Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The Huffington Post, and other print media. He is a frequent speaker at churches, conferences, and denominational gatherings, and has spoken at Harvard University, the Lausanne Congress, and a variety of international venues. Stearns and his wife, Reneé, have five children and live in Bellevue, Washington.

Renee Stearns

Renee Stearns is a former attorney, mother of five, and grandmother of one. She is active in church ministries, leading Bible studies, and speaking at conferences and retreats. Reneé is passionate about helping others broaden their worldview to include the great needs she sees in her travels with World Vision. She is co-author of the book, He Walks Among Us: Encounters with Christ in a Broken World.

Andrea Syverson

Andrea Syverson is the founder and president of IER Partners, which has guided and strengthened brands of all sizes with savvy best practices for creating customers for life. Combining her passion of adventurous listening and working across diverse industries, her “outsider-insider” creative branding and merchandising expertise and objectivity has been valued by companies as diverse as Ben & Jerry’s, Celestial Seasonings, CHEFS, Boston Proper, SmartPak, Spanx and World Vision. She is the author of Alter Girl; ThinkAbout: 77 Creative Prompts for Innovators; and BrandAbout: A Seriously Playful Approach for Passionate Brand-Builders and Merchants. asyverson@ierpartners.com

Thom Schultz

Thom 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 Schultz

Joani 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.

Rick Lawrence

Rick Lawrence is an author, ministry leader, and the longtime executive editor of GROUP Magazine, the world’s leading youth ministry resource. He leads The Simply Youth Ministry Conference, the general editor for the Jesus-Centered Bible, and is the author, co-author, or editor of 37 books, including The Jesus-Centered Life; Skin In The Game: Living and Epic Jesus-Centered Life; Jesus-Centered Youth Ministry; Shred: Daring to Obey the Startling Command of Jesus; Shifted: God’s Scandalous Response to Satan’s Outrageous Demand; 99 Thoughts On Jesus-Centered Living; and the small group curriculum In Pursuit of Jesus.

Megan DeVore

Megan DeVore is the Associate Professor of Church History at Colorado Christian University. The “always-reforming” narrative of the church captivates her, and her church history classes frame discussions around the themes of cultural change, innovation and retrieval, and tradition and reformation. While her research focuses on early Christian beliefs and practices, her passion is bringing the dynamic perspectives of the historic church into our own rapidly-changing era. She has been a professor for ten years, with active involvement in spiritual formation ministries for fourteen years, is married to a Denver-area pastor, and has two young children.


What leaders are Saying about Future of the Church

Doug Pollock

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."

Justin Mayo

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."

Lynda Fickling

Lynda Fickling - Director of Servant Ministry/Spiritual Director

"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."

Barbara Huisman

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!"