Connect Conference Recap
After last year’s cancellation, the Connect Conference returned to the St. Cloud area, where nearly 500 ministers gathered at The Park Event Center. Troy and Jana Jones from New Life Church in Renton, WA, were our guest speakers, while Reba Grey and a collection of worship pastors led us into God’s presence throughout the week.
The Jones’ have been leading their church since 2004. They recently started a ministry called “Recalibrate” to help equip pastors across the United States to lead churches into health and growth. A recent study by the Barna Group found that 38% of pastors were considering quitting in 2021. Recognizing the difficulty of ministry in the middle of the pandemic, Troy and Jana kicked off the event Monday night with an encouraging and timely word on staying the course.
Tuesday morning Pastor Darrell Geddes led a session on “Diversity in our District,” highlighting pastors from different churches and ministries reaching people of color in the Twin Cities and beyond. The common thread and challenge from each pastor was to not only focus on the nations beyond our borders, but reaching the nations that have come to Minnesota. Pastor Earnest Jeyaraja emphasized, “It’s no longer that the nations of the world are in our backyard; they are at our front door.”
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On Tuesday night, Troy and Jana spent time opening up about their own relationship. Troy said, “Family is the first ministry. We need to celebrate each other’s differences and not just tolerate them.” They described the connection between a healthy family relationship and a healthy church dynamic. The night ended with a prophetic word to reignite the fire for ministry within pastors and churches across Minnesota.
Wednesday morning Troy first acknowledged the impact and importance of rural churches across the nation. He then wrapped up the conference with practical steps for pastors to lead their church through recalibration. To listen to audio recordings from Connect, visit mnaog.org/media