2021 CHURCH PLANTERS RETREAT
If you are a church planter, network leader, Presbytery leader, Pastor with a heart for planting churches—or married to any of these—you need to be at the EPC Church Planter’s Retreat, October 19-21, 2021 at the Cheyenne Mountain Resort in Colorado Springs, Colorado! The three-day gathering features nationally known speakers who will address issues relevant to today’s church planter, as well as a variety of breakout sessions on practical topics faced by those engaged in new work. Plenty of time for rest, relaxation, and recreation is built into the schedule so bring your hiking shoes, or your clubs if you are a golfer!
The annual Church Planters Retreat is hosted by Tom Ricks and the EPC Church Planting Team.
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Becky Lahna was ordained in ECO in 2013. After 17 years of serving in college ministry, in June 2016 she moved to Santa Barbara, California—the second-most “never churched” city in the country—to plant Goodland Church. During the pandemic, Becky worked up to five different jobs to support herself, and presently works with a tech company, as well as Orange Theory as a coach. She also is writing a book on friendship. She planted Goodland through the missional community model, and because of COVID-19 and persistent health concerns has faced many challenges that have demanded that she practice gospel resilience. As a single woman church planter, Becky brings a unique and needed perspective, and her broad experience in unchurched communities equip her to bring a critical message of evangelism and gathering. She looks forward to encouraging and equipping us as planters in these areas. She may also be talked into leading some stellar workouts in the amazing gym at the resort!
Thurman Williams is planting New City West End in St. Louis and also serves as Director of Homiletics at Covenant Theological Seminary. He has served Grace and Peace Fellowship (PCA) in St. Louis, New Song Community Church (PCA) in Baltimore, and Faith Christian Fellowship Church (PCA) in Baltimore. He has been married to Evie for 24 years and they are blessed with four children. Thurman launched New City in 2019 just months before COVID-19 took hold and is very familiar with the challenges and struggles we face as church planters. Most of his ministry has been in cross-ethnic and urban environments, and he looks forward to addressing the topic of gospel resilience, as well as providing practical ways for us to better minister in our church plants.
Director of Worship
Cron and Elizabeth Gibson will provide personal marriage coaching sessions for church planter couples on Wednesday afternoon at no cost. Times are available from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. (register for a session below). If all the slots are filled and you’re interested in a coaching session, email Amanda Coop at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cron is the Founder and Executive Director of the Hopewell Equipping and Counseling Ministry Center in Virginia Beach, Virginia. His passion is helping people find life-transforming hope, build deep and satisfying relationships with others, and learn peace in their own souls in the midst of the deepest struggles in their lives and relationships. Elizabeth is a gospel coach with a passion for helping women understand their freedom in Christ.
Recreation time is built into the schedule, with the beautiful mountain scenery of Colorado Springs as our setting. There will be time to enjoy the outdoors, play golf (organized by Tom Ricks), attend yoga led by Jessie Steadman, or take a Garden of the Gods prayer walk.
SENIOR PASTOR PEER COHORT
Mike Moses will host a learning experience and personally tailored consultation for pastors of churches that have caught the church planting vision and recognize the Kingdom potential of moving their existing church to become a serial multiplying church. Additionally, it’s for leaders of churches already getting their toes wet in planting new churches. The group will explore biblical, historical, and practical rationale for being a multiplying church. Mike will share and lead discussion on best practices for how to form a vision for church planting in an existing church; how to lead a Session to unify around such a vision; and methods of organization, polity-usage, and funding for long-term church planting out of an existing church. Mike serves as the Lead Pastor of the Lake Forest family of churches in Charlotte, North Carolina, which is organized to plant a new church every two to three years.
Part of the Cohort time will include interviews with other Senior Pastors who have led their churches to become church planting churches. Mark Toone, Senior Pastor of Chapel Hill Presbyterian Church in Gig Harbor, Washington, and Tom Ricks, Lead Pastor of Greentree Community Church in Kirkwood, Missouri (and leader of the EPC Church Planting Team), will discuss behaviors, practicalities, and courageous moments that impacted their success.
The Senior Pastor Peer Cohort will meet Tuesday afternoon, including Tuesday dinner with the Church Planters, and Wednesday morning. Participants are encouraged to enjoy free-time Wednesday afternoon and join the Church Planters for Thursday’s Sessions. Cost for the cohort is $600 per person ($900 for couples).
Capacity is limited for this Senior Pastor Peer Cohort, so register early to ensure your spot.
Lodging and meal costs are waived for current EPC church planters and their spouses. Presbyteries are encouraged to scholarship the travel costs for the planters in their presbyteries.
Lodging and meal cost for network leaders, Presbytery leaders, Senior Pastor Peer Cohort participants, and all others interested in attending is $600 per person ($900 for couples).
To sign up to play golf on Wednesday afternoon, contact Tom Ricks at email@example.com.