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A "Face In The Crowd" Perspective of KBC'S REACH Conference 2024

by Donovan Stewart Pastor, The Mission Church of Lexington

Several leaders from the CKNB attended the 2024 REACH Conference, including Rob Muncy (second row in red), Pam Polkey, Eric McCrickard, and Donovan Stewart (All front row) in one of REACH's breakout sessions.

"I highly recommend every CKNB pastor to make plans to attend in 2025. It is well worth the investment of your time!"

I was very grateful for the opportunity to attend the annual KBC REACH Evangelism and Missions Conference held on March 11th and 12th at Severns Valley Baptist Church in Elizabethtown. I always enjoy the equipping and networking opportunities this conference provides. It is my goal each year to take as many of our church ministerial staff as possible to experience this time of gaining information and gleaning inspiration related to reaching the lost. This year, I was able to take our Outreach Minister and Mission Intern with me to the conference. We enjoyed the fellowship and conversation as we drove to and from the conference. I was intentional to use the drive time to unpack and discuss the topics as presented by the various speakers. This was a very rewarding and beneficial time for leadership development and vision casting with a couple of our key church staff members. 

The KBC staff secured fantastic speakers as usual for this year’s conference. We were blessed to hear from Matt Beasley (Pastor of Severns Valley) who reminded us of Gideon and how God uses the most unlikely heroes for His purpose and glory. We then heard from J.J. Washington (National Personal Evangelism Director for NAMB) who challenged us with a message titled “3 Keys to Effective Evangelism”. We are to Pray Faithfully, Walk Wisely, and Speak Graciously. On day two we were equipped by the Word as preached by Jay Strack (Founder of Student Leadership University) and Herschael York (Dean of the School of Theology at SBTS).

One of the key strengths to the REACH Conference is their great lineup of smaller breakout sessions which allow attendees to engage in specific areas of evangelistic interest and training. This helps me to "personalize" my experience, along with my team members.

  • The breakout session I elected to attend was called “Reaching the LGBTQ+ Community” with Ricky Chelette (serves on the pastoral staff of First Baptist Arlington, TX). I was very impressed by the Biblical and practical suggestions provided throughout this presentation. Please take some time to investigate the ministry Mr. Chelette leads, There were many other breakout sessions that could be selected from depending on the participants area of interest.

  • Our Mission Intern attended the “Developing a Missions Partnership” with Jamie Reynolds (Mission Strategist for the Three Forks Baptist Association). After lunch on Day One we experienced the anointed preaching of Danny Akin (President of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary) and Chadd Pendergraft (Senior Pastor of Crescent Valley Baptist Church in Tahlequah OK).

  • For the “Lunch and Learn” on Day Two we attended the session with Jay Strack. He took this time to reflect over his many years of student ministry and public-school evangelism to share how God has been so faithful and gracious to him.

In addition to the top-notch speakers the conference also offered a variety of ministry booths for attendees to connect with “next step” ministry and mission partnerships and opportunities. 

I have never been disappointed with the REACH conference. I leave each year with fresh encouragement for evangelistic boldness. I highly recommend every CKNB pastor to make plans to attend in 2025. It is well worth the investment of your time! If you mobilize ministry leaders to attend with you it will only amplify the impact and result in even greater evangelistic motivation once you return to your local ministry context. 

Always Remember… to Live on Mission, 

Donovan Stewart 

Senior Pastor 

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