Hello, BRN Family! It’s great to be with you today!

We are so excited about this year’s Accelerate Conference! We sense that God is doing something special in our midst. Let me explain.

Back in the spring, BRN’s team of directors gathered to discuss what breakouts we should offer for this year’s conference. We knew our keynote speaker would be Jeff Christoperson,  executive director of the Canadian National Baptist Convention and Church Planting Canada. Jeff, a missiologist, is the author of “Once You See: Seven Temptations of the Western Church,” a book which drives readers to reflect on how God might be calling them to a richer, more fulfilling Christian life, leadership, and ministry. At the Accelerate Conference, Jeff will examine the seven temptations during his keynote addresses.

As we sat in our directors’ meeting to strategize the breakout content, we weren’t feeling very inspired. Then someone asked how many breakout rooms we had available. The answer was “seven.” As in “Seven Temptations”!

Shannon, our director of communications, pulled out her “Once You See” book and started reading the temptations to the rest of the team. One by one, the directors excitedly shared the helpful, practical content that would match each temptation, which Jeff defines as the “very things that we often celebrate as marks of faithfulness, but might in reality be the very opposite.”

These seven temptations of the western church include:

  • Philosophicalism — “We are a Bible-believing people.”
  • Professionalism — “We have a gifted pastoral team.”
  • Presentationalism — “Our worship is inspiring, and our preaching is strong.”
  • Passivism — “Everybody is welcome.”
  • Pragmatism — “We are one of the fastest growing churches.”
  • Partisanism — “We love our country.”
  • Paternalism — “We train pastors around the world.”

Our Accelerate Conference breakout sessions seek to offer some of the Kingdom correctives to these seven temptations. Presenters were selected by their demonstrated experience in each of these areas.

Recently, we held a meeting with all the breakout speakers with Jeff Christopherson. Even in that meeting, we felt the profound presence of the Holy Spirit. All were moved. It is hard to explain what we felt, but suffice it to say we have great anticipation that God has good, good plans for us.

Jeff said that, in many ways, his book is a culmination of his lifetime of missiological learning, observation, and practice. His prayer is that it might be used for God’s glory as He reveals His Kingdom through churches solely devoted to Jesus’ mission. That is our prayer as well.

Please join us at the Sheraton Harrisburg Hershey Hotel on October 2 for a Meet and Greet with Jeff and on October 3 for the conference. You can register at www.acceleratepasj.com. And don’t worry… we will record all the breakout sessions so you will have access to all the content, not just the one you attend.

And please do pray for our Accelerate Conference. May it truly help all of us accelerate Kingdom movement. We look forward to seeing you! And as always, thanks for listening in today. May God bless you!