Breakout Sessions

Before You Lose Faith: Dealing with Doubt and Deconstruction in the Church

The “deconversion story” narrative has become a well-defined genre in recent years, as dozens of high-profile former pastors and Christian celebrities have gone public with abandoning the faith. Their reasons are sometimes varied but often quite similar. In this panel, we’ll look at the “spiritual deconstruction” trend and offer suggestions for how to respond to friends and loved ones on this path.
ALISA CHILDERS, BRETT MCCRACKEN (MODERATOR), PRESTON PERRY, DEREK RISHMAWY, TREVIN WAX
Breakout Sessions

Bully Pulpit: Training Christian Leaders to Resist Spiritual Abuse

Numerous cases have emerged in the last few years of pastors who are domineering, authoritarian, and abusive to their flocks. In a calling that is supposed to exhibit Christ-like gentleness, how is that we have so many pastors who mistreat their own people? And why is it so often covered up? This panel will explore the problem of spiritual abuse, how to spot it, and how to develop leaders who will fight against it.
DAN DORIANI, MICHAEL KRUGER (MODERATOR), JOHN YATES
Breakout Sessions

Christ's Supremacy in Church Planting

In this panel discussion, we will talk about the theological foundations that drive church planting and the practical implementation of these theological convictions. Panelists will discuss gospel-centrality, contextualization, planting in various settings, the cultivation of healthy leaders and structure, the importance of prayer, faithful preaching, dependence on the Spirit, and some of the dangers to avoid in church planting.
MIKE BULLMORE, DAVID HELM, TONY MERIDA (MODERATOR), HARVEY TURNER
Breakout Sessions

Deliver Us from Evil: Female Bravery and the Mission of God

What does heroism look like? Disney and Marvel broadcast their perspectives, but the Bible gives its own compelling answer: true heroism looks like Jesus. Captured in its pages are the stories of people who bear great risk and opposition to obey a higher calling. We can readily call to mind the names of male heroes in the Bible. But the names and stories of its female heroes can be harder to recollect. Come explore the Bible's portrayal of female bravery in the story of the Exodus and its implications for the church today.
JEN WILKIN
Breakout Sessions

Discipleship: Building Stronger Churches One Life at a Time

Life-on-life discipleship is slow and faithful work. Jesus spent the majority of his ministry years investing in 12 disciples. They ate together, traveled together, and did ministry together. Discipleship is how the early church began, and it is how the church will continue to thrive. This breakout session will consider the practical ways we can cultivate a culture of faithful discipleship in the local church.
COURTNEY DOCTOR, MELISSA KRUGER (MODERATOR), TRILLIA NEWBELL
Breakout Sessions

Developing the Next Generation of Faithful Leaders Who Will Teach Others Also

As Hebrews 13:17 reminds us, leaders will give an account before God for the care of his church. In this session, we’ll consider not just how to be and remain faithful in ministry, but also how to identify and develop future leaders who will be faithful in order to continue a gospel legacy.
JUAN SANCHEZ
Breakout Sessions

Does Grace Oppose Hard Work? A Conversation about Legalism, Moralism, and the Gospel

Legalism is surely one of the great enemies of the gospel. And yet, we are not always careful to define exactly what counts as legalism. Does the gospel rule out our effort or discipline? Does grace mean that we can’t talk about morality or law-keeping? Do all sermons have to preach Christ in the same way? Join Mike Kruger and Jen Wilkin for an important conversation about the role of grace in the Christian life.
MICHAEL KRUGER, JEN WILKIN
Breakout Sessions

The Duty and Delight of Catechizing Your Children

Catechesis was a top priority in the Reformation. And it will be vital for church renewal in our own day as well. Learn how modern-day catechesis can help your family resist the world's false hopes and rejoice in the Lord's sure promises.
COLLIN HANSEN
Breakout Sessions

Facing Your Fear Without Losing Your Soul: How the Gospel Equips Us for Our Crisis of Courage

We live in a fearful and cowardly time. The root of all of this fear is the fear that we might lose our belonging in whatever tribe in which we seek safety, the fear that we might have to stand alone. And yet, Jesus told us that we are to stand with courage. That doesn’t mean that we will be fearless, but that we will know how to face our fear and keep walking toward the voice that calls us homeward.
RUSSELL MOORE
Breakout Sessions

Free at Last? The Gospel in African American Experience 25 Years Later

Panelists will reflect on Carl Ellis's in-depth assessment of the state of African American freedom and dignity by discussing the themes of his classic work. Free at Last stresses how important it is for African Americans to reflect on their roots by tracing the growth of Black consciousness from the days of slavery to the 1990s. Does Ellis's assessment still ring true today? If so, how can the church respond in light of these truths? What are the next steps?
CARL ELLIS, PHILLIP HOLMES (MODERATOR), WALTER STRICKLAND
Breakout Sessions

Gathered by God’s Grace

Why does it matter that the local church gathers for corporate worship? Unusual circumstances (such as a global pandemic) aside, the normal pattern for the church is to meet together to glorify God. In this breakout, we will consider how God sovereignly gathers his people by his grace. When we recognize that God is the one who calls and leads the worship service, it transforms how we approach Sunday morning.
MATT MERKER
Breakout Sessions

Gentle Savior, Gentle Shepherds: His Deepest Heart, Our Secret Power

Jesus’s astonishing claim is that his deepest heart is “gentle and lowly.” We will consider what this claim means, how it plugs in to a whole-Bible trajectory identifying who God himself most deeply is, and what kind of ministry leaders such a Savior creates. The breakout will draw on the Puritans and other voices from church history, identify strengths and weaknesses in the current evangelical church scene, handle objections, and end with Q&A.
DANE ORTLUND
Breakout Sessions

Healthy Complementarianism

TGC’s foundational documents state that “in God’s wise purposes, men and women are not simply interchangeable, but rather they complement each other in mutually enriching ways.” This panel will explore the goodness of God’s design as we consider what healthy complementarity looks like in practice. How can we rightly embrace and celebrate God’s good design? Where are we falling short of this ideal, and how can we progress toward it? The panelists will address challenges to complementarianism presented in the culture as well as concerns about how complementarian principles may be misapplied or handled poorly in the church.
KEVIN DEYOUNG, LIGON DUNCAN, NANCY GUTHRIE (MODERATOR), MELISSA KRUGER
Breakout Sessions

“How Long O Lord?” – How Lament Opens a Door for Racial Reconciliation "

Lament is the biblical language of pain and protest, exile and empathy. It’s the voice of God’s people as they navigate a broken world in need of redemption. Pursuing racial reconciliation and ethnic harmony requires a common language to cut through historical misunderstandings, strong emotions, and layered solutions. Lament doesn’t solve every problem, but it can be a helpful starting point. It can be a useful tool for gospel unity and racial harmony.
JASON COOK, IRWYN INCE, MARK VROEGOP (MODERATOR)
Breakout Sessions

How Theological Triage Can Help You Lead

When it comes to theology, some hills are worth dying on, and others are not. But how do we know which ones? When should doctrine divide, and when should unity prevail? This panel will tackle controversial doctrines and propose a way to “rank” them—all in an effort to help you lead, with greater wisdom and courage, as you seek to advance the gospel in your ministry.
H.B. CHARLES, ALBERT MOHLER, GAVIN ORTLUND, MATT SMETHURST (MODERATOR), AFSHIN ZIAFAT
Breakout Sessions

It's Not About You: How Biblical Theology Transforms Bible Study

Even in churches in which men and women are getting a regular diet of biblical theology and redemptive history in what is being preached from the pulpit, often what is being offered in small-group Bible study is driven by felt needs, has little biblical or theological rigor, or is oriented around self-improvement. But when biblical theology infiltrates Bible study, it puts the emphasis is on what Christ has done rather than on what we must do. It helps participants put the various parts of the Bible together so it begins to make sense. And it makes being united to Christ by faith urgent and necessary.
NANCY GUTHRIE
Breakout Sessions

Justification: Again?

Drawing from his recently published two-volume book on justification, Mike Horton will explore the basis for the evangelical doctrine of justification in Scripture, engaging contemporary challenges, interact briefly with the development of the doctrine historically, and share why it's still important today. For those unsure of the importance of this topic and this breakout, Tim Keller called Horton's work on justification one of the most important books he's read in the last 10 years.
MICHAEL HORTON
Breakout Sessions

Model Minority, Asian Invasion, and the Perpetual Foreigner

This session brings together several key Asian American voices from three distinct ministries: TGC, SOLA, and KALI. Panelists will discuss and debate a range of topics such as the curious, visible rise of some Asian Americans in various ministries. They will offer both competing and also complementary perspectives on what social engagement means from a distinctly biblical lens, talk about solidarity with Black siblings and other Christians of color, and the future of evangelical Christianity in America.
ALEXANDER JUN, HAROLD KIM, STEPHEN UM (MODERATOR)
Breakout Sessions

The Multi-directional Leader: Responding Wisely to Challenges from Every Side

This breakout exhorts pastors and church leaders toward “multi-directional” leadership in contrast with “one-directional leadership.” One-directional leaders are skillful in spotting and thwarting threats to the sheep that come from one direction of the field. Multi-directional leaders can fend off threats from more than one direction. We are to hold up the Scriptures and fearlessly proclaim truths that get to the root of our sins, failures, and dysfunctions, no matter what political or theological categories get crossed.
TREVIN WAX
Breakout Sessions

Nothing Outside His Control: The Paradox of Faithful Anxiety

Faith is the Christian’s heartbeat because, as Hebrews 2:8 tells us, everything is subject to him. Yet our anxieties remind us, we “do not yet see everything in subjection.” Our world is full of real dangers, real pain, real tragedies, and real evil. This breakout will explore both the dangers and also the truths in our anxiety, giving practical ways to place our confidence in Christ in the midst of our fears.
ALASDAIR GROVES
Breakout Sessions

Overcoming Resistance to Finish Well (Heb. 12:3)

Kingdom living and ministry is hard. This session will confront the challenge of battling weariness and the temptation to give up in the face of hostility, whether from outside or inside the church. Leaning heavily on Hebrews 12:3, the example of Paul, and the ministry of Charles Spurgeon, the session will point to the necessity of following Jesus's example if we hope to finish our callings in the face of various spiritual resistance.
DARRRYL WILLIAMSON
Breakout Sessions

Preaching for Transformation: The Art and Science of Wise and Winsome Sermons

Drawing upon his 20 years of teaching the art and science of preaching at the seminary level, Julius Kim will reveal the various ways preachers can improve their ability to maximize attention, retention, and hopefully, transformation in their hearers. In addition to the important intersection of gospel-centered interpretation and receiver-oriented communication, he will discuss what brain science can teach us about preparing and delivering sermons that are wise and winsome.
JULIUS KIM
Breakout Sessions

Racism: Can Your Church Honestly Talk About It?

Jesus is great. His people talking with each other about racism? Not so much. What gives? In this breakout, we’ll have a hopeful conversation about why it’s so hard for Christians to honestly talk about race and racism with one another. After all, if we can’t even talk with one another, what hope do we have for loving one another? But if we can understand more about why these conversations are so difficult, perhaps we can find fresh strength to do good to all people, especially those who are of the household of faith. Join us as we look to the founder and perfecter of our faith for refreshment, boldness, and clarity.
ISAAC ADAMS (MODERATOR), ALEX JUN, RUSS WHITFIELD
Breakout Sessions

Rising Above Cancel Culture with the Fruit of Gentleness

In a defensive, divided, politically and socially hostile “cancel culture,” how can Christians live counter-culturally by loving others as Christ has loved us, even when we were his enemies? How can we become the kind of people who turn away wrath with the fruit of Christ’s gentleness (Prov. 15:1)? In this breaakout, Scott Sauls will explore what a gentle answer can look like in our hearts, homes, churches, and world.
SCOTT SAULS
Breakout Sessions

The Role of the Local Church in 21st-Century Missions

What role does my local church have in the spread of the gospel to all the nations of the world? Every pastor and church leader needs a clear answer to this question, and a clear plan for how the part they (and their church) will play in accomplishing the Great Commission. This breakout will explore practical steps every pastor and church leader must take in shepherding their local church for God’s global glory.
DAVID PLATT
Breakout Sessions

The Secular Creed: Engaging Five Contemporary Claims

In this house, we believe that Black Lives Matter, Love is Love, Women's Rights are Human Rights . . ." So begins the text of thousands of yard signs across the United States. In this breakout, Rebecca McLaughlin will work through these opening statements of the 21st-century secular creed, exploring how the Bible relates to these modern mantras, suggesting ways we can engage with non-believers around them, and arguing that the ideological soil in which all the claims on these yard signs are planted is ultimately Christian soil.
REBECCA MCLAUGHLIN
Breakout Sessions

Seeding a National Reformation

England in the 18th century was a dreary, drunken, irreligious, immoral, and cruel society. A spiritual awakening began at mid-century that eventually culminated in startling, broad, and deep moral and societal change that became Victorian England. The Wesleys were the public face of this mighty movement. However, a handful of passionate ministers of local churches anchored and deepened the Spirit’s work over a few decades. The spiritual seeds they planted grew in the lives of men and women who became heroic reformers of the nation. What were the characteristics of their work that eventually bought such fruit as literally saved the nation? Could it happen again in our own nation?
JOHN YATES
Breakout Sessions

What Makes Plurality So Important?

Shared leadership is about power, trust, accountability, and responsibility. As a result, it’s relevant at every stage of ministry. But think about all the ways teamwork can break down. Maybe you are painfully familiar with one or more of these scenarios: 1. Plurality can be missing at the start, 2. Plurality can be lost in transition, 3. Plurality can be challenged in crisis, 4. Plurality can be taken for granted, 5. Plurality can be ungrounded in reality. Every single church, no matter its governance, has to attend to the problem of plurality—to its presence or absence, to its beauties and absurdities. But we should see this as an opportunity.
DAVE HARVEY (MODERATOR), VERMON PIERRE, SAM STORMS, JEREMY TREAT
Breakout Sessions

Why the Gospel Is Good News for Your Body

We are increasingly encouraged to think of our physical bodies as being both accidental and also incidental—just the random lump of flesh we have to carry around with us. But the Bible offers a compelling account of what it means for our bodies to have been "fearfully and wonderfully made"; what it means for them to now be offered to Chris as a living sacrifice; and of our future hope of resurrection in the age to come.
SAM ALLBERRY
Breakout Sessions

The Wisdom Pyramid: Feeding Your Soul in a Post-Truth World

We live in a world with more and more information, but less and less wisdom. Bombarded by media, opinions, “experts,” and outrage from every direction, all the time, we don’t know who or what to trust. How can Christians cultivate wisdom in this environment, where foolishness abounds? In this breakout, Brett McCracken will guide you through a proposed framework for finding truth, and becoming wise, in a post-truth age.
BRETT MCCRACKEN
Breakout Sessions

With All Your Heart - How to Orient Your Mind, Desires & Will Toward Christ

Our Lord was crystal clear, to love God “with all your heart” is your top priority. It all starts here—in your heart—for growing in repentance, faith, renewal, holiness, and prayer, for smoking out hypocrisy and seeing your real motives, for honest relationships with your spouse, family, friends, and Christ. Interested? You should be. If you want to be a true follower of Christ he demands nothing less than all your heart.
A. CRAIG TROXEL