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2019 ETCH conf. to help ministries ‘thrive’

NASHVILLE (BP) — Church work can be draining and lonely for leaders who sometimes find themselves working in departmental silos. But when leaders of individual ministries come together to work toward a common goal, families — and the entire church — begin to thrive.

“Thrive” is the theme of this year’s ETCH (Equipping the Church and Home) Family Ministry Conference — an annual resourcing and networking event hosted by LifeWay Christian Resources. This year, around 1,200 leaders from kids, students, next-generation and family ministries are expected to gather in Nashville Oct. 7-9 for ETCH.

“ETCH is all about ministry teams leading together,” said Jana Magruder, LifeWay Kids director. “This year, our kids and student ministry teams chose ‘Thrive’ as a theme to capture the verse John 15:5: ‘I am the vine; you are the branches. The one who remains in me and I in him produces much fruit, because you can do nothing without me.’

“When we thrive in our own personal spiritual lives we bear fruit that helps our ministries thrive,” Magruder said. “Ultimately, this fruit translates to the thriving of the churches and families we serve.”

Main session speakers will include:

— Louie Giglio, Passion City Church founding pastor, next generation ministry expert and author;

— Christine Caine, co-founder of Propel Women and The A21 Campaign — an anti-human trafficking organization;

— Ben Mandrell, president and CEO of LifeWay Christian Resources and former pastor;

— and Andrew Peterson, singer, songwriter, recording artist and author.

This year the ETCH team is hosting the first-ever pre-conference family ministry summit. During the summit, Magruder and Ben Trueblood, LifeWay Students director, will moderate a discussion among a panel of experts about what family ministry means for the whole church.

“‘Family ministry’ is a term that gets thrown around a lot,” said Magruder, “but means different things to different people.”

In addition to the panel, registrants will choose an intensive focused on the age group or area of ministry in which they serve. Choices include: preschool, elementary, middle school, high school and family ministry leadership.

Other main stage and breakout speakers include: Scarlet Hiltibidal, author and speaker; Kevin Jones, education expert; Dianne Dokko Kim, special needs ministry expert; Jonathan Pitts, author and co-founder (with his late wife Wynter) of For Girls Like You Ministries; and Josh Straub, marriage and family coach.

Cross Point Music (of Nashville’s Cross Point Church) will lead corporate worship songs during the 2019 ETCH conference. To learn more about ETCH or to register, visit EtchConference.com.