Pre-Conference Events*

The following Pre-Conference Events will take place on March 15th between 9am-4:30pm the day before the National Gathering begins. 

*These events require additional registration and costs, which may vary depending on event.


Dinner Church Pre Conference

Introduction to the Dinner Church movement

Leaders all across the country are rediscovering Jesus' dinner table theology that dominated the Apostolic Era. The present-day Dinner Church movement is giving leaders and churches a renewed ability to reach people who would never attend their Sunday morning gatherings. Join us for this pre-conference event, not only to hear the transformation story from a declining urban church in Seattle into a network of dinner churches gathering over 1,200 people weekly, but also to find out how your church can join the movement. 

Speakers: Verlon Fosner, Isaac Olivarez, Kendall Vanderslice and Mark Cryderman


From Seating Capacity to Sending Capacity: How Growing Churches Can Multiply Their Reach and Impact through Fresh Expressions of Church

Fresh Expressions are not only vital for smaller congregations or those in need of renewal. Larger congregations across the country are finding the necessity of a mission-based approach to their strategy vital in this new era of culture. While these congregations may be stable or growing, keen pastors observe the changes taking place around them and are positioning their churches to more effectively reach those who will come to church as we know it and ALSO to reach those who will not. This gathering will feature pastors of vibrant churches that are cultivating an environment of permission-giving, recruiting and equipping members of their community to start fresh expressions of church, and making shifts in understanding their own role as a leader.

Speakers: Travis Collins, Dave Fitch, Shannon Kiser, Matt Lake


Ready for Tomorrow: Preparing to Lead the Mission Ahead

Have you ever felt like you were leading in a cultural context you were not expecting? Perhaps you have even sensed that your training holds you back more often than it carries you along?

Drawing from his extensive experience as a pastor and consultant, Tod Bolsinger brings decades of expertise in guiding churches and organizations through uncharted territory. Through the course of the day he will guide you through a combination of illuminating insights and practical frameworks to help you reimagine what effective leadership looks like in our rapidly changing world.  To lead the mission ahead we all need new navigational tools that will set us on right course to leading our congregations with confidence and courage.

Speaker: Tod Bolsinger


Events Open to Select Groups by Invitation or Sponsorship*

FX & Latino Communities - Pre Conference Event FXNG2018.png

Fresh Expressions & Latino Communities: Introducing Expresiones Divinas 

The Hispanic population in the United States is culturally rich, diverse and exponentially growing. The unique challenges facing First, Second & Third Generation Latinos provide the church with unprecedented opportunities for Latino congregations to grow today. This event will explore how cultivating Fresh Expressions can maximize the potential of the Church to reach diverse and multicultural communities, particularly within Hispanic cultures and other sub-cultures.  Specifically, we are gathering key leaders who are interested in helping to provide wisdom and guidance on the development of a Latino movement within Fresh Expressions - Expresiones Divinas. Together, we will be seeking to discern critical building blocks and next-steps for the Expresiones Divinas movement, allowing for the contextualization of the gospel to the specific needs of distinct and multiethnic milieus of Hispanic/Latino cultures and sub-cultures living in the USA.  

Speakers: Rev. Dr. Iosmar Alvarez and Rev. Dr. Eliseo A. Mejia

This is an invitation-only Pre-Conference Event. If you are interested in attending, please email

Church beyond the walls: innovating mission & ministry through fresh expressions of church

For over a decade, the Fresh Expressions movement has worked to understand how to be church in a changing culture by creating new forms of church alongside inherited congregations. The movement has brought widespread impact and renewal throughout the UK and is now rapidly spreading throughout the US. Each and every month, new leaders (both lay and ordained) are discovering that they can start fresh expressions of church to reach those beyond the reach of the church as we know it. You are invited to a conversation with Bishop Graham Cray, former Team Leader for Fresh Expressions UK, Chris Backert, National Director of Fresh Expressions US, and other US leaders to discover the impact and potential of this movement for your leadership and ministry.

Speakers: Dr. Graham Cray and Dr. Chris Backert

This is an invitation-only Pre-Conference Event for conference sponsors. 



Beyond a Denominational program: integrating the mission & ministry of fresh expressions into the whole life of your church community

Fresh Expressions of church are more than a strategy for mission, the next church program, or a department within your ministry. While fruitful in all these ways, fresh expressions of church call for a shift in the DNA of the church toward a missionary posture in its life and witness. This vision requires the integration of a mission posture into the wide-ranging areas of ministry that comprise denominational life. Join Phil Potter, Team Leader for Fresh Expressions UK, and other invested Fresh Expressions US leaders, on how to take fresh expressions of church to a deeper level and transform your denominational family into a missionary movement of churches.

Speakers: Phil Potter and Gannon Sims

This is a private event exclusively for Fresh Expressions US Movement Partners.


In this Pre-Conference Gathering for pastors, staff, and leaders associated with the Baptist General Association of Virginia (BGAV), we will explore the implications for the equipping gifts found in Ephesians 4. In Ephesians, Paul left us critical instructions on how the life of the people of God as members of the kingdom of God is meant to flourish and function. Paul's vision was for a maturing community of disciples released to function according to their giftedness, but also in unison.  Author and missiologist Alan Hirsch has taken a deep dive into the powerful dynamics of this New Testament understanding of the church and will help us begin to envision it unfolding in our local congregations and in the General Association.  

Speaker: Alan Hirsch

This event is open to those connected to the BGAV.