Most Christians know they have a biblical mandate to “go and make disciples” that’s derived from Jesus’ Great Commission given in Matthew 28:18-20.
Some just have a hard time figuring out exactly how they should go about fulfilling this mandate.
The annual N.C. Baptist Disciple-Making Conference has been revamped for 2018 and will feature a special emphasis on training and equipping attendees in practical aspects of disciple-making in the realms of their home, church and world.
The 2018 conference is scheduled for Tues., Feb. 27, 2018, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Center Grove Baptist Church in Clemmons, just outside of Winston-Salem.
Registration is $10 per person, which includes the cost of program materials and lunch. Online registration is available at disciplenc.org.
The event is sponsored by the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina (BSC).
Matt Carter, pastor of preaching and vision at The Austin Stone Community Church in Austin, Texas, will serve as the keynote speaker for the event, and the conference will include more than 40 equipping sessions for attendees to choose from throughout the course of the day.
“We’ve repurposed the conference for this coming year so that it has more of a focus on training with a variety of breakout session options,” said Brian Upshaw, who leads the BSC’s disciple-making team. “Our last few conferences have focused on the ‘why’ of disciple-making, and we’ve had more and more requests for training in the ‘how.’”
Those requests led conference organizers to structure the conference in such a way that the content shared during the large group and equipping sessions complement one another with an emphasis on practical aspects of disciple-making.
Upshaw said Carter will cast a vision for what a disciple-making culture looks like in the local church, and breakout session leaders will focus on how to implement various disciple-making approaches and strategies.
“Matt Carter models Christ in the way that he leads and serves others,” Upshaw said. “He has led Austin Stone Community Church to focus on disciple-making, which is at the heart of who they are as a congregation. They understand disciple-making as a holistic process that includes both evangelism and discipleship, and they have some strong strategies in place to make disciples in the home, church and world.
“Matt is an excellent communicator, and I believe that North Carolina Baptists can learn a lot from him.”
Home, church and world will be the key focal points of the equipping sessions, which will be led by a mix of convention staff, pastors, church leaders and others. Upshaw described the home, the church and the world as the three primary “environments” for making disciples.
“The Great Commission should extend from our relationship with God to the personal relationships we have in our family, in the church and in the world,” Upshaw said.
“The world represents both our neighbors and the nations.”
Equipping sessions will focus on these three environments.
Sessions will address topics such as parenting, discipling children, worldview issues, sharing the gospel with people from different backgrounds and beliefs, developing a disciple-making pathway in the local church and more.
Some sessions will also address how disciple-making relates to some of the challenging cultural issues of the day.
A list of confirmed equipping sessions is available on the event website at disciplenc.org.
More session topics will be added to the list leading up to the conference.
Upshaw said he hopes conference attendees will gain some practical tools for ministry.
“My hope is that attendees would walk away from the conference with some practical tools that they can implement in their daily lives, in their churches and in their ministries,” Upshaw said.
“We want people to walk away feeling equipped and empowered saying, ‘I can do this.’”