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.

Bob Bush

Bob Bush has served as the managing director of IBEC Ventures since 2014. IBEC Ventures helps build sustainable businesses, primarily in the 10/40 window, through consultative expertise that changes lives and transforms communities. Bob’s focus in this position is to reach the unreached by creating jobs that make disciples of Jesus.

Jason Caston

Jason Caston is an international speaker, author, digital/social specialist for faith-based organizations. Caston has authored over five books on digital ministry and developed an innovative approach to helping organizations advance their online presence using a six-part iChurch Method approach of Websites, Multimedia, Ecommerce, Social Media, Mobile, and Innovation. Additionally, Caston is the director of digital media at Daystar TV and the spokesperson of AT&T’s national #InspiredMobility campaign that highlights how we use mobile technology to enhance our spiritual and personal lives.

Rick Chromey

Rick Chromey is the founder and president of MANNA! Educational Services International, a nonprofit organization that specializes in inspirational “edu-trainment” for churches and faith-based organizations. He earned his Doctor of Ministry from George Fox University with a specialty in leadership and the emerging culture. He’s also a regular columnist for Group’s Refresh the Church blog and the author of 15 books, including Sermons Reimagined, Thriving Youth Ministry in Smaller Churches, and the soon-to-be-released GenTech: An American Story of Technology, Change and Who We Really Are (1900-present). He also leads and builds life groups for his church in Eagle, Idaho.

Kadi Cole

Kadi Cole is one of the most experienced authorities in organizational and leadership development in the church today. With a background in executive leadership at one of the largest multisite churches in America and a master’s degree in Human Resource Development, she offers practical strategies and insights that are relevant and easily applicable to present day church culture. Kadi helps individuals and teams uncover and fulfill their God-given purpose with more effectiveness and joy through her international work as an organizational consultant, leadership trainer, and LifePlan facilitator. As one of the first females leaders to serve in an executive role at a large, multisite church, Kadi is a founding member of the Women’s Executive Pastor Network, author of Developing Female Leaders, founder of MinistryChick.com, and works with churches to create environments in which female leaders can be fully developed, thrive in their calling, and help fulfill the mission of their church.

Bob D’Ambrosio

Bob D’Ambrosio is a 25-year veteran of front-line church ministry and now serves with Group’s content solutions team. He’s a trainer for volunteer equipping, a Refresh the Church blogger, and a ministry coach and course instructor with Group U. Bob is a contributing author and general editor of the E4:12 Bible Study Series Better Together: Connecting to God and Others and Leading Out: Connecting People to Purpose. He serves with the small-group ministry team at his church in Loveland, Colorado.

Mark DeVries

Mark DeVries founded Ministry Architects in 2002, a firm that works with youth and children’s ministries in transition. He served in youth ministry for nearly 30 years and has provided top-notch training throughout the United States, Canada, Russia, South Africa, and Northern Ireland. Mark is an author, speaker, listener, advice-giver, and perpetually forward-thinking guy. He’s currently the associate pastor for New Projects at First Presbyterian Church in Nashville, Tennessee. He’s also co-authored The Indispensable Youth Pastor and Youth Leader Training on the Go.

Kent R. Hunter

Kent R. Hunter is the founder of Church Doctor Ministries. Kent says his reason for being on this earth is to help Christians and churches become more effective for the Great Commission, to make disciples of all people. He recognizes that America is the third largest mission field in the world, behind China and India. His passion is to come alongside pastors and church leaders to provide encouragement, direction, and focus, and to turn challenges into opportunities for mission through the local church.

Gail Flander Jones

Gail Flander Jones is a recent transplant from the San Francisco Bay Area to Colorado. Gail loves to encourage emerging ministry and marketplace leaders and coach experienced ministry leaders and their teams. She is a certified StrengthsFinder and MBTI coach and facilitator. She holds an MBA from Indiana University and after leading several company-wide initiatives at PG&E in San Francisco, Gail became an entrepreneur who has had a key role in founding, leading and/or selling seven companies since 1996. She is currently the principal of GFJ Consulting, managing member of Faith Properties of Colorado LLC and a board member at Dream Centers of Colorado Springs, New Horizons Community Foundation, and Resource Exchange International.

Rick Lawrence

Rick Lawrence is an award-winning author, journalist, cultural researcher, editor, and national speaker. He’s been executive editor of Group Magazine for 30 years, and he creates and leads interactive learning experiences and trainings for church and cultural leaders, parents, and teenagers. Rick has authored hundreds of magazine articles and is the author, co-author, or editor of 39 books and curricula. He’s the general editor of the number-one best-selling Jesus-Centered Bible, and author of the recently released books Spiritual Grit and The Jesus-Centered Life. He’s also the host of the popular podcast Paying Ridiculous Attention to Jesus, now in its third year.

James Misner

James Misner is senior vice president of strategic engagement at World Relief. He 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.

Sally Morgenthaler

Sally Morgenthaler is a speaker, author (Worship Evangelism), and the founder/executive director of New Day Coaching & Staffing. Morgenthaler helps congregations find gifted senior leaders, from lead and executive pastors, small groups/missional community pastors, to worship pastors. Morgenthaler’s hybrid coach/search approach is unique in the world of church recruiting. With over 25 years of experience in evangelical and mainline congregations, Morgenthaler understands the crucial distinctions between these cultures and serves both well. Previous to starting her own coaching and staffing company, Morgenthaler worked with three national ministry search companies: Slingshot, Chapter Next, and FaithSearch Partners.

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 curricula, vacation Bible school programs, books, magazines, conferences, music, and trainings.

Nils Smith

Nils Smith is the chief strategist of social media and innovation at Dunham+Company, helping Christian ministries around the world accomplish their goals through cutting edge technologies. Prior to joining Dunham+Company, Nils served as the innovation pastor at Community Bible Church in San Antonio, Texas, launching the ministry of OnlineChurch.com, which reached more than 15,000 online worship attendees weekly and grew an online Facebook community to more than 800,000. Nils is the author of Social Media Guide for Ministry, The Social Media Guide, and Crypto for Good.

Tracee J. Swank

Tracee J. Swank serves as the leader of Church Doctor Ministries and is a certified Church Doctor consultant, Christian leadership coach, and a licensed StoryBrand Certified Guide. Tracee is committed to helping local churches and ministry organizations discover their purpose and mission in the communities they serve. Tracee leads the ministry staff team, trains and develops Church Doctor coaches and consultants, and oversees the advancement of the mission of the ministry.

Christine Talbot

Christine Talbot is senior vice president of human resources at World Vision. She oversees more than 1,100 employees across the country. She joined World Vision in 2015, leading efforts to build a strong, high-performing staff and ensure resilience through organizational changes. Christine has more than 25 years of broad experience in human resources leadership, with a focus on building staff capability and navigating change. Before joining World Vision, she was vice president of human resources at Kaiser Permanente.

Manuela Casti Yeagley

Manuela Casti Yeagley is research assistant professor and principal investigator with the Flourishing in Ministry Project at the University of Notre Dame, IN. She received both her master’s and Ph.D. from King’s College, London. Her current area of research is congregational studies, with a specific emphasis on clergy flourishing and women pastors’ wellbeing. Before joining the Flourishing in Ministry team, Manuela was involved for almost two decades in ministerial education, as faculty member of three different theological seminaries (Italy, France, and United Kingdom). She currently leads an interdenominational research project focusing on clergy women’s development during the early stages of their ministry as congregational leaders.

Bob Turley

Bob Turley graduated from Vassar College and spent a decade marketing before being forced to take his first mission trip with his church. It changed his life. Since then he has spent over 30 years developing mission trips for Group Publishing. In this capacity, he initiates and maintains relationships with organizations dedicated to improving the lives of those in need in communities across the U.S. Bob’s vision is to create sustainable partnerships that typically endure for decades, helping people overcome the challenges of aging, disability, or poverty.

Maina Mwaura

Maina Mwaura has served on staff at several churches of various sizes and cultural diversity. He is a freelance journalist who has interviewed close to 300 influential evangelical leaders, including former President Carter, T.D. Jakes, Tim Keller, and Priscilla Shirer within the last three years. Prior to his freelance journalism ministry, he was a full-time minister for 20 years. Maina resides in Atlanta, Georgia, with his wife, Tiffany, and daughter, Zyan. To find out more about Maina's work, check out mainaspeaks.com.


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!"