(Photo: Georgetown University/Sarah Gormley)
The Exponential 2013: DiscipleShift conference in Orlando, which will be hosted by evangelical leaders like Francis Chan, Rick Warren and Craig Groeschel, will be available free of charge on a high-quality webcast, April 22-25.
"This webcast offers leaders who can't make it to Orlando, or are leaving a spouse or team members at home a solid solution for encouraging and equipping them through what we believe will be game-changing conversations for the church," said Exponential leader Todd Wilson. "It's the second best thing to being on site."
Exponential 2013 will engage church leaders, small groups, church planting launch teams and individuals in discussion about discipleship, and how Christians can learn to grow in their faith and inspire others. The conference is already sold-out with 5,000 participants, but the free webcast will give anyone with an Internet connection the opportunity to tune in and follow the three-day event.
"Jesus gave the Great Commission to everyone," added Exponential Director Geoff Surratt. "These early registration numbers indicate that churches see this webcast as an important equipping tool to challenge and inspire everyone in the church."
Scheduled to speak at the conference are notable Christian names like Francis Chan, Rick Warren, Craig Groeschel, Wayne Cordeiro, Larry Osborne, Alan and Deb Hirsch, Mike Breen, John Burke, Jo Saxton, Chris Hodges, Randy Frazee, Jen Hatmaker, Dave Ferguson, Andy Hawthorne, Ed Stetzer, Robert Coleman, Kim Hammond, Lance Ford, Hugh Halter, Jeff Vanderstelt, Brandon Hatmaker, Caesar Kalinowski and Neil Cole.
Chan, who is the founder and chancellor of Eternity Bible College in California, co-wrote and released a new book last summer called Multiply, which seeks to inspire followers of Christ to encourage others to become disciples.
"Multiply is not a Bible study, it is about disciples making disciples," Chan told The Christian Post in August 2012. "It was written with the intention that everyone who goes through the material will be encouraged and taught to pass this on to someone else.
"The Spirit of God is at work, this is what the future of the church needs to be about and we want to explain that biblically in such a way that all hear it and go, 'Yeah, that's clearly the Word of God.' And then pass this on to everyone who calls himself a follower of Jesus Christ,"
The Exponential project was founded in 2008, and has grown on an annual basis. Speakers and registrants have come from almost every continent, and the organizers hope that at least 30,000 viewers will tune in live in April.
"New technology is going to help take powerful ideas that are changing the game in the United States and make them accessible across the globe," explained Alan Hirsch, key mission strategist for churches across the Western world. "It's all about movement."
On the FAQ section of its website, Exponential makes it clear that it differs from other church-related projects because its goal is not to plant churches, but to work alongside church planters "by accelerating the multiplication of leading organizations who are planting churches."