By Dr. James Emery White, Crosswalk.com
On Thursday, the eighth annual Church & Culture Conference will take place via livestream from Mecklenburg Community Church (Meck) in Charlotte, NC.
If you have not attended before, you may be wondering what the vision is for this event.
Heaven knows the Christian world doesn’t need another conference that is just like every other conference. You know the drill: the same eight or 10 speakers currently hot on the circuit, the same “pep rally” atmosphere. Yes, they serve a purpose, but we have them in ready supply.
In its earlier years, Meck offered what we called the “New Work Conference.” It was for church planters, and we served countless numbers. We stopped after a while because we had grown distant from our own church planting days and the church planting world was changing rapidly. There were simply churches better positioned for that role.
But it was rich while it lasted. Why? Because it really did fill a niche. So we waited until another very clear niche presented itself.
There are conferences that bring the latest insights into leadership, but where is the conference that brings the latest insights into culture?
And not just cultural insight, but practical applications for the local church in light of those insights? If our mission is the evangelization and transformation of culture through the centrality of the local church, then two things must follow: we must understand the times and then we must know what to do.
We must understand our culture and how best to respond to it,
… penetrate it,
… reach it,
… and transform it.
And we must understand how to do that through the local church. It is not that other means do not exist for the mission, but Jesus created and charged the Church to be in the vanguard.
So the vision for the annual Church & Culture Conference is simple: to bring the latest, best insights about culture to the surface and then, to explore how to practically respond as a church being mindful of those insights.
This year is no different.
We’ll be bringing entirely fresh content and new challenges anchored by the living laboratory of Meck that experiences more than 70% of its growth from the previously unchurched.
We’re offering the event via livestream, with the option to watch on demand for six months. So whether you’re joining from another time zone in the U.S. or from another country around the world, there is no need to worry—you can access the content whenever your schedule allows.
We also have tiered pricing options, so whether you are watching as an individual or an entire church staff, you’ll find price breaks at every level.
So what’s on the docket for the 2022 Conference?
“THE HYBRID CHURCH: RETHINKING MINISTRY IN A POST-CHRISTIAN, DIGITAL AGE”
The Church must bring together the two worlds of the physical and the digital. It must also be a vibrant community of faith, as well as a church for the unchurched. These twin dynamics are at the heart of the new hybrid model that the Church must embrace.
“THE NEW POST-CHRISTIAN SPIRITUALITY”
We were created both to respond to and relate with the living God. When our souls are separated from a right relationship with God, the spiritual yearning does not dissipate. Rather, it simply looks for other things to fill the spiritual void. And there is no doubt that people have found them. This session will examine the new spirituality of our decidedly post-Christian culture.
“REVISIONING COMMUNITY IN A DIGITAL AGE”
One of the most important tasks for any leader is to build community. This is true for corporations, and it’s absolutely essential within the Church. A deep sense of community is one of the most sought-after outcomes. It is also incredibly attractive to those on the outside of the group contemplating whether to explore the group. In today’s new digital age, can community really be cultivated? Can you truly create a thriving, online church?
“CONNECTING WITH THE UNCHURCHED IN A POST-CHRISTIAN, DIGITAL AGE”
It used to be that whatever churches did digitally was designed to serve the physical, meaning in-person, physical events and activities. The digital was used to market, give information about, or offer registration for the physical. But now, the Church needs to turn that upside down and have the physical serve the digital. And that means we need to move away from a focus on gathering and move toward a focus on connecting.
Sound interesting and practical? That’s our hope.
Along with the hope that you will join us. You can access all of the registration details here.
James Emery White
About the Author
James Emery White is the founding and senior pastor of Mecklenburg Community Church in Charlotte, NC, and a former professor of theology and culture at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, where he also served as their fourth president. His latest book After “I Believe” is now available on Amazon or your favorite bookseller. To enjoy a free subscription to the Church & Culture blog, visit churchandculture.org, where you can view past blogs in our archive, read the latest church and culture news from around the world, and listen to the Church & Culture Podcast. Follow Dr. White on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram at @JamesEmeryWhite.
James Emery White is the founding and senior pastor of Mecklenburg Community Church in Charlotte, NC, and a former professor of theology and culture at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, where he also served as their fourth president.
His latest book, After “I Believe,” is now available on Amazon or your favorite bookseller. To enjoy a free subscription to the Church & Culture blog, visit churchandculture.org, where you can view past blogs in our archive, read the latest church and culture news from around the world, and listen to the Church & Culture Podcast.