Leadership Network Marks 25th Year with One-Time Ministry Conference

Church leaders and innovators from across the nation are gathering in Carrollton, Texas, to transform their minds and ministries through connecting, networking, and collaboration.

"Sure, there will be speakers and sessions and breakouts," organizers of the two-day Innovation3 conference say, "but the real power behind the Innovation3 concept is that you will get to rub shoulders and bounce ideas off hundreds of innovative church leaders about what's working in today's church (and what's not)."

Hosted by the Leadership Network, the Jan. 27-28 conference is aimed at Christian leaders who want to keep up with today's ministry trends and discover what new types of ministries are being effective. Among the leaders attending will be senior leaders, executive pastors, and those responsible for shaping ministry opportunities. Many will be accompanied by teams, who will help the ministry absorb as much as possible from the one-time only event.

While there is a similar conference held each year in San Diego (the National Outreach Convention), organizers of Innovation3 are touting the event as a once-in-a-lifetime experience since the Leadership Network does not typically pull together more than 100 presenters from some of the most innovative churches in America.

Innovation3 was organized as the Leadership Network celebrates its 25th anniversary.

"We thought the best approach to celebrate is to do an event that looks at the next 25 years (rather than one reviewing the 'great hits' from the last 25 years)," the organization reported. "There's a good chance we won't do something like this until our 50th anniversary, which won't be until the year 2034. Don't wait until then – come to the 2009 version!"

There will be four main themes at the conference – "Risk & Failure in Ministry," "Shaping the Culture through the Church," "The Dangerous Church in 2020," and "Achieving Missional Community."

Presenters will be speaking in the main gatherings as well as smaller, more intimate sessions. Some will also be part of what conference organizers are calling "side conversations" that will be held around the venue during the day, evening, and meal sessions.

Some notable presenters at the gathering include Craig Groeschel, Mark Driscoll, Nancy Ortberg, Scott Thumma, and Ed Stetzer.

For the conference, the Leadership Network has been utilizing webtools, including Twitter and Google Maps, to better connect attendees to what's going on and also to each other.

Sponsors of Innovation3 include Zondervan, Logos Bible Software, and Asbury Theological Seminary, among others.