Future of the Church Summit Logo

October 21-23, 2019| 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

2019 Topics:

  • The Changing Volunteer

    How will churches find, recruit, and support good volunteers in the coming years? What new roles will they fulfill? How can you avoid the mistakes that deter these indispensable unpaid workers?

  • The Sustainable Ministry Leader

    As ministry pressures increase, how will pastors and leaders maintain a healthy outlook, avoid burnout, find fulfillment, and lead effectively?

  • Building a Thriving Culture

    Competitive job markets and the values of new generations will require churches to provide staff a healthy, motivating, and friendly work environment. Discover secrets from the experts.

  • The Coming Revolution of Relational Ministry

    The effective church leader of the future will be a “relational architect.” Explore the people dynamics that will energize and sustain your ministry.

  • The Rising Role of Women in the Church

    Trends indicate that more women are aspiring to leadership positions in business and in politics. How will churches change as more women assume significant ministry responsibilities?

  • Technology and the Church of Tomorrow

    Swiftly changing technologies and human interactions are morphing ministry in dramatic ways. Learn how churches will use tech advances to reach more people, while maximizing human and spiritual advantages.

  • Missions and Service: A New Day

    Discover the emerging trends that will shape how churches engage their people in service and mission. In the midst of societal shifts, how will churches make a difference locally, nationally and across the globe?


A Unique Line-up of Topics and Speakers

Sessions, Breaks, and Extras for the 2019 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 31, 2019


Ends September 28, 2019


Starts September 29, 2019

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

2019 Speakers Coming Soon

Ministry Experts Share Their Wisdom and Experiences

Church leaders and visionaries on the forefront of today’s growing church trends. 2018 Speakers included...

Bernie Anderson

Bernie Anderson is a senior church advisor for World Vision serving the Southeast region of the US. Prior to joining the staff at World Vision, Bernie was a pastor for 24 years in the Seventh-day Adventist church. He’s been a lead pastor, youth pastor, and college pastor in congregations in Texas, Utah and most recently Orlando, FL.

Craig Cable

Craig Cable serves as a leader and tactical trainer for the armed church security team at Foundations Church in Loveland, Colorado. He also provides security consulting and training for other churches and is a board member of the NOCO Christian Security Roundtable. In addition to Craig’s church safety and security experience, he also leads strategic planning and product development teams for the creation of new ministry innovations at Group Publishing.

Steve Case

Steve Case joined Brotherhood Mutual in 2014 and was elevated to AVP–Senior Corporate Counsel in 2017, where he oversees the day-to-day operations of the Legal Department. He regularly counsels ministries on legal risk management issues involving child protection, safety & security, religious freedom, and more. Prior to joining Brotherhood Mutual, he worked in insurance defense litigation. Steve attends The Pointe Church in Fort Wayne, where he serves as a board member.

Naomi Cramer-Overton

Naomi Cramer-Overton has been partnering with World Vision since she first became a child sponsor in 1995. She speaks and writes with a mission to nurture families’ holistic development so the love of Jesus radically blesses generations. She’s the former president and CEO of MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) International, where she led and learned from more than 250,000 millennial and Gen X families. With the Lausanne Movement and the 4/14 Window Movement, she’s represented family-focused ministries for global change. She has a doctorate in intercultural studies from Fuller Theological Seminary, where she studied nearly 30,000 families to build a model for how parents can disciple their children.

Michael O. Emerson

Dr. Michael O. Emerson, one of the nation’s leading scholars on race and religion, serves as provost of North Park University in Chicago. Prior to that, he was the Cline Professor of Sociology and academic director of the Kinder Institute for Urban Research at Rice University in Houston. Dr. Emerson has authored or co-authored 15 books and monographs and over 60 journal articles and reports. His books include Divided by Faith, United by Faith, and Religion Matters: What Sociology Teaches Us About Religion in Our World.

Robert Gelinas

Robert Gelinas currently serves as the lead pastor of Colorado Community Church in Denver, Colorado, a transformative, city-reaching, multi-cultural, and multi-campus church. In addition, he's the founder of Project 127, a ministry dedicated to seeing the day when there are no children waiting for homes in Colorado's foster care system. He's also the author of Finding the Groove: Composing a Jazz-Shaped Faith, The Mercy Prayer, and the newly released Discipled by Jesus. He’s a true lover of jazz and combines this with his passion for Christ in a unique way.

Derwin L. Gray

Derwin L. Gray is a former NFL football player (Indianapolis Colts and Carolina Panthers) as well as the founding and lead pastor of Transformation Church (TC). TC is a multiethnic, multi-generational, mission-shaped community with campuses near Charlotte, North Carolina. Derwin is working toward his doctorate at Northern Seminary and has been awarded an honorary doctorate from Southern Evangelical Seminary. He’s the author of Hero: Unleashing God’s Power in a Man’s Heart, Limitless Life: You Are More Than Your Past When God Holds Your Future, and The High Definition Leader: Building Multiethnic Churches in a Multiethnic World.

Charity Kauffman

Charity Kauffman is a managing editor in Group’s children’s ministry department and co-author of Made-By-Me Nativity, a Christmas activity book for kids and families. She holds a master’s in children and family ministry from Bethel Seminary and has led children’s ministries in small, medium, and large churches. Charity is passionate about learning from kids and empowering them to use their gifts and abilities to glorify God.

Rick Lawrence

Rick Lawrence is an author, ministry leader, and longtime executive editor of Group’s Simply Youth Ministry resources. He’s led the Simply Youth Ministry Conference and co-creates the 50-city Simply Youth Ministry Local Training tour. He’s the general editor of the best-selling Jesus-Centered Bible and is the author, co-author, or editor of 38 books.

Oneya Fennell Okuwobi

Oneya Fennell Okuwobi is a Ph.D. candidate in Sociology studying race and religion at The Ohio State University. She has 14 years of experience in corporate finance, including roles in strategic business planning, category expansion, and organizational leadership. Oneya is co-author of Multiethnic Conversations: An Eight-Week Journey Toward Unity in Your Church. It is the first personal devotional and small group study on multiethnic life and church designed for people in the pews.

Tim Peterson

Tim Peterson serves as the creative pastor for Foundations Church in Loveland, Colorado. He has produced large national events with artists such as Chris Tomlin, David Crowder, Michael Tait, Michael W Smith and Lauren Diagle and produced national events with the Colorado Rockies, CHAMP, and Omnitraxx. Tim graduated with a biblical studies, youth ministry, and communications degree from North Park University in Chicago and from Covenant Bible College with studies in worship and Bible. Before joining Foundations Church, he served at Willow Creek Community Church in South Barrington, Illinois.

Frank and Sherri Pomeroy

Frank and Sherri Pomeroy. Frank joined First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, Texas, as the senior pastor in 2012 after a church split left the small, rural church with just a handful of members. Starting out as a co-vocational pastor, he soon assumed full-time ministry to meet the growing needs of the community. On November 5, 2017, First Baptist experienced a tragic church shooting that claimed the lives of 26 people, including the Pomeroys’ 14-year-old daughter and many leaders of the church. He continues to minister to the community as they heal from this event. Sherri has served First Baptist Church while working throughout the years in the child nutrition field at the local public school. She’s served as a state VBS regional director for several years and has been instrumental in the various food ministries at the church. Frank and Sherri have raised four biological children, two adopted children, and many other foster kids who came to their home in need of love and a place to stay.

Christiana Rice

Christiana Rice is an on-the-ground practitioner and visionary voice in the movement of the future church. She’s the co-author of To Alter Your World: Partnering With God to Rebirth Our Communities, with Michael Frost and serves as a leadership coach and trainer with coaching and consulting organization Thresholds Community (thresholdscommunity.org). She’s based in urban San Diego, California, where she lives with her husband, two daughters, and their neighborhood faith community.

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 Why Nobody Wants to Be Around Christians Anymore, and he’s the director of the documentary film When God Left the Building. Thom’s blog, HolySoup.com, challenges the status quo.

Joani Schultz

Joani Schultz is Group Publishing’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 Why Nobody Wants to Be Around Christians Anymore. She leads the teams that create Group’s Bible curriculum, vacation Bible school programs, books, magazines, conferences, music, and trainings.

D.J. Soto

D.J. Soto is the lead pastor of Virtual Reality Church. He is also the founder of Sonata 7 Studios, LLC., which is a film and virtual reality company. D.J. taught as an educator in a private school setting, worked as a photojournalist in broadcast television, and pioneered a multi-site campus for a megachurch in Pennsylvania. In 2016, DJ launched a new apostolic ministry to pioneer new churches. This ministry led to the launch of Virtual Reality Church, the first church to exist entirely in virtual reality.

William Vanderbloemen

William Vanderbloemen is an entrepreneur, pastor, speaker, author, and CEO/founder of Vanderbloemen Search Group. He is a regular contributor to both Forbes and Fortune, and he is frequently asked to contribute to many media outlets on staff culture and team building. William has combined over 15 years of ministry experience as a senior pastor with the best practices of executive search to provide churches with a unique offering: a deep understanding of local church work with the very best knowledge and practices of professional executive search. William is regularly invited to speak across the country, teaching on leadership, staff culture, hiring, firing, and team building. He’s the author of several books, including the new release, Culture Wins: The Roadmap to an Irresistible Workplace, on the topic of building an effective staff culture.

John M. Vitek

John M. Vitek currently serves as the president and chief executive officer of Saint Mary’s Press. He is the co-author of Going, Going, Gone! The Dynamics of Disaffiliation in Young Catholics. He has served in church leadership for 36 years, including as a parish minister and director of religious education, a diocesan director, and as diocesan chancellor.

Brandon Wrencher

Brandon Wrencher is a speaker, facilitator, and organizer working within faith, education, and nonprofit sectors at the intersections of decolonizing faith, contemplative activism, and local presence to build beloved communities. He is the founding pastor of The Good Neighbor Movement, a new inclusive and neighborhood-rooted United Methodist faith community in Greensboro, North Carolina. Rooted in his formation in small towns and the black church, Brandon’s visionary leadership has spanned rural, small town, and urban communities in North Carolina and Chicago.


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!"