Lay and clergy leaders from 26 districts across the USA/Canada Region gathered August 12 and 13 at TEACH 2016 to learn how to be more effective disciples who make disciples in and through the local church. The conference, hosted at Springdale Nazarene Church in Cincinnati, Ohio, was hosted by USA/Canada Sunday School and Discipleship Ministries International.
The conference emphasized that every Christian – regardless of position, circumstance, or vocation – is called by God to be rooted in Christ, growing in faith, and fruitful in reflecting the character of Christ and sharing the gospel.
General Superintendent David W. Graves opened the conference by addressing the first stage of discipleship – becoming rooted in Christ. He called everyone to become a regular and intentional student of the Word and to be shaped and directed by the mission of making Christlike disciples.
Springdale Nazarene Worship Pastor Scott Kelly, with a choir and worship team, infused each service with singing and media support.
Albert Hung, lead pastor at Trinity Church of the Nazarene in Monterey Park, California, spoke Saturday morning on growth, the second stage of discipleship. He shared his passion and plan for mobilizing Christians to use their gifts and abilities to advance the kingdom of God within their local communities.
Conference attendees then participated in workshops led by Nazarene educators, pastors, and ministry leaders addressing 47 topics related to local church ministry and discipleship. Special emphasis was placed on deepening ministry methodologies by being intentional in biblical equipping and personal discipleship.
During a lunch mega-seminar, Holly Catterton Allen, professor of family studies and Christian ministries at Lipscomb University, presented the Nazarene Theological Seminary Laytham Lectures in Early Childhood Ministry. Allen, an international expert in children's spirituality and intergenerational ministry and the co-author of Intergenerational Christian Formation: Bringing the Whole Church Together in Ministry, Community and Worship, addressed the importance of building a strong intergenerational fellowship within local congregations.
Dan Boone, Trevecca Nazarene University president, addressed the final theme of the conference, “Fruitful in Season.” He challenged participants to embrace the changing culture with the eyes of Christ and seize the opportunity to be Christ to family, friends, neighbors, and the stranger.
Audio and video resources from the TEACH2016 conference services and workshops will be posted on TEACH2016.org in the near future.