ETCH Conference Impassions Leaders to Reach Kids and Students
By Aaron Wilson
NASHVILLE (BP) — Churches who once felt sidelined by COVID-19 have adapted to change and are now ready to reach young people like never before.
“Reach” was the theme of this year’s ETCH Conference, held October 13-14, which brought together online more than 900 ministry leaders of kids and students for training and virtual fellowship. ETCH—hosted by LifeWay Christian Resources—stands for equipping the church and home.
The typically sold-out annual conference was moved online this year because of the COVID-19 global pandemic. In addition to the four main ETCH sessions, which covered how to reach deeper, better, beyond and together, this year’s conference offered more than 60 breakout sessions, a dozen live Q&As with breakout leaders and two dozen networking rooms where viewers were able to engage in Zoom-style discussions relating to various ministry topics.
Ben Mandrell, president and CEO of LifeWay, helped kick off the conference using an expanding Hoberman sphere to illustrate how ministry often starts small with simple obedience but creates ripples that expand God’s kingdom in mighty ways.
A line-up of speakers including Megan Fate Marshman, Trillia Newbell, Derwin Gray and Robby Gallaty spoke on topics such as serving purposefully in disruptive times, embracing change, kingdom diversity and helping parents disciple their kids at home.
Other speakers at this year’s ETCH Conference included Ed Stetzer, Trevin Wax, Jamie Ivey, Kelly Minter and Brock Gill. Worship was led by Jimmy McNeal. The event was co-hosted by Jana Magruder, director of LifeWay Kids, and Ben Trueblood, director of LifeWay Students.
Aaron Wilson is a writer for LifeWay Christian Resources.
Southern Baptists Research Fellowship Announces Annual Meeting Theme, Keynote Speakers
The Southern Baptist Research Fellowship (SBRF) has announced its 43rd annual meeting theme, schedule and speakers. The fellowship meeting will be hosted November 4-5, 2020, with the theme “Baptist Research… A Future that Counts.” The online gathering and is free to anyone interested in Baptist research.
Keynote speakers for the event are Scott McConnell, executive director of Lifeway Research, and Peter Yanes, SBC executive director for Asian American relations and mobilization.
“The SBRF is one of the oldest standing Baptist fellowships in the SBC,” said SBRF President Minh Ha Nguyen. “We have been meeting annually since 1977, and we believe that need for research and data in times of crisis such as the COVID-19 pandemic is more critical than ever. We hope research-minded Southern Baptists will consider joining us online to think and re-imagine the future of SBRF and Baptist research in service of the local church of every race, ethnicity, socio-economic status, language, size, and location.”
“Scott McConnell will give us an advanced look at some innovative research he is working on, and Peter Yanes will be talking about how denominational leaders like himself are applying research in strategic ministry planning and decision-making.”
In addition to the keynote speakers, attendees will hear presentations from other entity researchers on the topics of missiological research, evangelism and rural research. The annual meeting also will feature a panel of veteran researchers who will be talking about the history of Baptist research over the last four decades.
Registration for the event is free at https://sbrf.net/.