ERLC, Village Church to co-host conf. in Dallas

NASHVILLE (BP) -- The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission and The Village Church will co-host a conference on the church's Gospel engagement with the world just prior to the Southern Baptist Convention's annual meeting this year in Dallas.

The two-day event -- titled "The Gospel and the Future of the Church" -- will be held the weekend before the SBC's June 12-13 gathering in Dallas. The pre-conference, held in partnership with Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, will be June 8-9 at The Village Church's Flower Mound campus in metro Dallas.

The pre-conference will focus on how the Gospel of Jesus is to form the church's ministries and outreach to the world. The speakers will address such issues as preaching, evangelism, discipleship, church planting, missions, sexuality and cultural engagement.

ERLC President Russell Moore told Baptist Press the ERLC is "looking forward to equipping our Southern Baptist pastors, leaders and churches on what's happening in the world around us and how we can engage the culture with the way of the cross."

"With so many issues before us, this time together promises to be beneficial in shoring up a faithful witness for confusing times," he said in written comments. 

The Village Church is excited to partner with the ERLC and Southern Seminary in the event, said JT English, pastor, The Village Church Institute.

"At The Village, we are passionate about training and sending disciples of Christ to participate in the Great Commission," English said in a written statement for BP. "At the center of the Great Commission is the local church, and we are eager to consider how local churches can faithfully participate in the mission of God in the days ahead."

Southern Seminary President R. Albert Mohler Jr. told BP in written remarks, “This conference is a rare opportunity to gather young leaders who care deeply about the Gospel, the church and the Southern Baptist Convention just before we will meet as a convention in Dallas. It represents a great opportunity, and promises to be both important and historic.”

In addition to Moore, Mohler and English, the speakers will include:

-- Matt Chandler, lead pastor, The Village Church.

-- Steve Gaines, SBC president, and senior pastor, Bellevue Baptist Church, Memphis.

-- Kevin Ezell, president, the SBC's North American Mission Board.

-- Danny Akin, president, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.

-- Frank Page, president, SBC Executive Committee.

-- J.D. Greear, pastor, The Summit Church, Raleigh/Durham, N.C.

-- Jen Wilkin, author and Bible teacher.

-- Trillia Newbell, author and the ERLC's director of community outreach.

-- Susie Hawkins, author and speaker.

-- Thabiti Anyabwile, pastor, Anacostia River Church, Washington, D.C.

-- Juan Sanchez, senior pastor, High Pointe Baptist Church, Austin, Texas.

Information on and registration for the pre-conference is available at erlc.com/upcoming-events/2018-sbc-pre-conference.

The main addresses will be live-streamed at erlc.com, and video of the sessions will be posted after the event.

Tom Strode is Washington bureau chief for Baptist Press, the Southern Baptist Convention's news service. BP reports on missions, ministry and witness advanced through the Cooperative Program and on news related to Southern Baptists' concerns nationally and globally.
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