[God's] intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, according to his eternal purpose that he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Ephesians 3:10-11, NIV
THROUGH THE CHURCH
What is God doing through the church? What is happening when we gather together in our congregations, our small groups, our leadership teams? Why do we keep coming back--in spite of the cost, the effort, the struggle, and the heartbreak that's often involved?
In Ephesians Paul tells us that God is doing something amazing through the church. God is using our congregations to broadcast his wisdom to all the powers that are arrayed against him--to show the world that his way--the way of Christ--is the true and only way to heal the world of its divisions. No matter the size, style, or location of the church, God is using your congregation to change the world!
As we gather from the 171st Northwest Christian Convention, we will be learning about and celebrating God's amazing plan for the church. Our main speakers will lead us through the book of Ephesians, unpacking for us the amazing ways God equips his churches to fulfill their amazing mission. Our workshops and classes will be tailor-made to help equip and encourage churches in the ways they most need it. And our worship and fellowship will help us to truly celebrate how good it is to dwell together in unity, to be the churches that God calls us to be. We hope to see you there!
DR. MELISA ORTIZ-BERRY
Assistant Professor of History and World Christianity
Melisa Ortiz Berry is the professor of History and World Christianity at Bushnell University and the author of the social media devotions @DrBerryDaily. She combines her knowledge of history and the Bible with an inspirational speaking style to convey the truth and love of God. Dr. Berry is a wife and mother of kindergartner twins who also enjoys relaxing with a good book or dinner out with friends.
DR. JOHN MARK HICKS
Professor of Theology,
John Mark Hicks has taught full time in higher education among Churches of Christ since 1982 and is currently Professor of Theology at Lipscomb University in Nashville, Tennessee. He has taught in over 40 states and 20 countries around the world. He has authored, co-authored, edited, or contributed to over 40 books as well as contributing to both academic and popular journals. He is married to Jennifer and shares five living children and six grandchildren with her.
WHAT IS THE NORTHWEST CHRISTIAN CONVENTION?
The Northwest Christian Convention is an annual gathering of Christians that has been happening in Oregon for 170 years. Over that time the gathering has gone by many different names--The Missionary Society of Oregon, The Annual State Cooperation, and The Oregon Christian Convention. Throughout that time, however, the mission of the gathering has always been the same:
to promote unity among Christians in the Northwest,
the encourage and equip churches in the Northwest, and
to promote and support missions around the world.
Every day of the convention is meant to encourage and equip the whole church.
However, each day will also have a special theme that focuses on specific types of needs in the church. Check out the schedule below to see which days will be most relevant to you!
WEDNESDAY (6/28): CHURCH STAFF
Vocational ministry is a unique challenge. There's nothing else like it in the world! On Wednesday our workshops will focus primarily on the challenges and opportunities faced by preachers, pastors, and their spouses.
WHO TO INVITE: senior pastors, associate pastors, or other church staff employed in ministry--and their spouses!
THURSDAY (6/29): CHURCH BUSINESS
Church leadership involves a lot more than Sunday services. Churches have to deal with all kinds of complex issues--budgets, insurance, employment policies, technology, to name a few.
On Thursday our workshops will focus on the nitty-gritty of running churches so your church can face the details with confidence!
WHO TO INVITE: elders, deacons, church officers (treasurer, etc), staff members--whoever's responsible for making church business decisions.
FRIDAY (6/30): CHURCH TRANSITIONS
Churches face many types of challenges and it can be hard to find help from others who have been there before. On Friday our workshops will focus on times of transition and disorientation in the church--topics could include pastoral searches, interims, generational changes, turnaround churches, and congregational healing.
WHO TO INVITE: staff, leaders, and members from churches that are facing a time of transition or division.
SATURDAY (7/1): CHURCH TEACHERS & LEADERS
Every church depends on a team of volunteer teachers and group leaders to minister in their children's, youth and adult ministries. On Saturday our workshops will focus on equipping volunteer teachers and group leaders for their essential role in the church.
WHO TO INVITE: teachers, small group leaders, children's ministry volunteers, youth leaders, anyone who disciples others in your church.
CONVENTION LEADERSHIP TEAM
MATT & CASEY HOLMES
Matt and Casey Holmes live in Turner, Oregon, where Matt is the senior minister at Turner Christian Church. Matt and Casey love the church, love the convention, and are excited to be leading a great team this year!
CHAD & BECCA DEKAY
After leading an excellent convention in 2022, Chad and Becca are staying on to help lead the '23 convention! They live and minister in Eugene, Oregon, where Chad is the associate pastor at Santa Clara Church.
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Online registration for the '23 convention is not open yet. In the meantime, sign up for updates and we will let you know when registration is available--and you'll also be the first to hear as we announce details about the convention!