The Evangelism & Church Growth conference at Big Tent will focus on the 1001 New Worshiping Communities movement in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).  

While looking closely at the role mid-councils, entrepreneurial leaders and existing congregations play in the 1001 movement, the conference will address the following topics: 

  • “Why 1001?”
  •  Collegiate ministries commitment to start 101 new worshiping communities near college campuses.
  • Starting Racial Ethnic/Immigrant new worshiping communities with Presbyterian sisters and brothers from around the world.
  • Making disciples in new worshiping communities.
  • How existing churches can be part of the 1001 movement, event those who think they’re too small or don’t have energy.

One of the anticipated highlights at Big Tent is the ECG 1001: Get in the Game conference’s participation in a combined luncheon with the National Elders and Healthy Ministry conferences.  

“We’ll discuss the challenges of allowing creative people to start new things,” says Philip Lotspeich, coordinator for Presbyterian Mission Agency’s Church Growth ministries. “Hopefully it will break down some of the barriers to 1001 faced by those who serve on presbytery committees on ministry and preparation for ministry.”

Lotspeich, who will moderate the discussion, hopes Big Tent attendees will “be inspired” by what they hear, so that when they go back to their churches and presbyteries even more people will be open to new things being started. 

“Maybe we will all get hearts for evangelism and discipleship,” he says, “so that we can all start thinking about how to begin something new where we are.  This would help us in one of our tasks to connect innovative leaders with congregations and congregations with these leaders.” 

An optional 1001: Get in the Game event in Louisville’s 4th Street Live might have the most potential to impact those attending Big Tent.  Conference attendees are encouraged to go out in pairs of two on Friday night, August 2, to determine, by observing and talking to people:

  • What kind of worshiping community would reach this population group?
  • What kind of leader(s) would you need?
  • How might you go about getting it started?

 Each of the groups going out will report back on Saturday morning, Aug. 3, what they found out.