The first ever Small Town Church Conference will be October 3-4, 2016 in Villa Rica, Georgia, hosted by LifeGate Church. I love pastoring in a small town and, along with the other Small Town Church lead team members, believe every small town church can have huge impact for the Kingdom. I am excited about this conference and would like to share some reasons I think you should be here too:
- I attend too many conferences and seminars that have great content and material but are all too often aimed at churches in large urban or suburban areas. Even though the stuff presented is excellent, it usually requires some ‘translation’ to make it applicable to the unique characteristics and challenges faced by the small town church leader. This conference is planned for the specific dynamics of the small town church and leader.
- Every presenter is actively leading in a small town. As one of my friends told me, “I thought I had found a conference for the small town church, but none of those presenting were actually leading in small towns. They may have been there at one time, but all of them were now leading in large urban or suburban areas.” I guarantee you will have the opportunity to connect with someone leading in a situation similar to yours at this conference.
- Our network is founded on the belief that every small town should have a great and healthy life-giving church. Sometimes all we need to take our church to the next level is one tool or one friend. Whether your town is 500 or 50,000, you will have the opportunity to make new friends and find new tools—new friends who know what it’s like to lead in a small town and new tools that will help you ‘break the code’ for your small town.
- No church is too small and no church is too large to benefit from this conference. It is focused on helping every small town church, whether it is 50 people or 5000 people, achieve their full Kingdom potential. That potential is different for every church, but the principles that will be shared will help every church and leader identify and achieve their full potential. Many of the churches present at this year’s conference have congregations that exceed 10% of their town’s population and several of them are successfully planting multiple campuses in other small towns.
- I know attendance numbers are an important measurement, but I believe community influence is a more important measurement. A church of 85 in a town with a population of 500 may have more influence in their community than a church of 5000 in a city of a million. No matter the size of the church you lead or the size of your town, this conference will help you discover ways to increase your influence.
- There is no one who understands your role as a small town pastor or leader better than another small town pastor or leader. One of the turning points in my life was making friends with Billy Hornsby and some of the others involved in the early days of the Association of Related Churches. Billy became like a father in the ministry to me and Sheryll and his input changed our lives and made our church better and more successful. Our #1 goal for the Small Town Church network and the Small Town Church conference is to create the opportunity for great relationships. Our conference this year is designed in a roundtable format, allowing the participants to have more networking time. I believe there will be friendships forged that, like my friendship with Billy, will take us all closer to realizing the full Kingdom potential in our own leadership and in the churches we lead.
You only have one opportunity to be the first, so register today for the first ever Small Town Church Conference. I look forward to hanging out with you there.
Written by Tony Ashmore.
I am a husband, father, grandfather and pastor of LifeGate Church in Villa Rica, Georgia, with campuses in Bremen and Carrollton, GA. My wife Sheryll and I have planted 5 churches and have a passion for helping small town churches and pastors. We also believe that too many pastors were like us, not having a ‘father or mother in the ministry’, and we are in a season in our lives where we embrace that role. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.