Our team of tenured church leaders, instructors and administrators look forward to spending dedicated time with conference participants in various workshops and interactive instruction. The overall commitment of IC3 is to provide focused study in areas most essential to remarkable church growth, sustenance and individual leadership development. Below you will find a list of breakout sessions led by those with exceptional backgrounds in each area of focus.

You may choose breakout sessions from the following tracks:

  • Children & Youth Track

  • Worship & Arts Track

  • Pastors & Leaders Track

Women Ministry Leaders

Men's Ministry Leaders

Young Adult Ministry Leaders

Preaching

Managing Staff

Business, Expansion & Finances

Leadership

Church Membership

Children & Youth Leaders

Worship & Arts Leaders

Breakout Sessions

***The Children & Youth Track will feature a 30 minute General Session, followed by two breakout sessions each day***

Day 1: General Session – The Great Commission

How to GROW Ministry Volunteers

How to GROW Ministry Volunteers (Rosalind Burroughs) –One of the greatest challenges of a ministry is recruiting and retaining volunteers to take on volunteer roles within the church. This session will focus on four simple principles to help you G.R.O.W. current volunteers and leverage the potential of their service investment as you G–Galvanize Volunteers, R-Recognize Potential Leaders, O–Optimize Resources, and W-Watch as God provides.

C 3 - Church, Campus and Community

C 3 – Church, Campus and Community (Tyrone Smith) – This session will focus on how to make a true connection between the church, campus and community in building and developing a sustainable youth ministry. Leaders will better understand the “WHY” of youth ministry and be able to create a clear focus to drive youth ministry activities and programs.

Day 2: General Session – Maximize the Time

#BASICS - Building an Effective Children’s and Youth Ministry

#BASICS – Building an Effective Children’s and Youth Ministry (Ricchard Carter) – Developing the basic fundamental steps and strategies to build a healthy and thriving children and youth ministry.

Technology and Youth

Technology and Youth (Jonathan Daniels) – This session will focus on using technology as a strategic way to reach youth and encourage them to serve in ministry.

Day 3: General Session – Ministry Inventory

The Parent Factor

The Parent Factor (Terrance A. Bridges) – This session will address key factors of consideration in building a robust youth program that includes the support and involvement of parents in the faith development process.  Based upon research from church sociologists, The Barna Group, practical application to church statistics regarding youth involvement and parental involvement in youth ministry will be shared. 

The Great Connection

The Great Connection (Tyrone Smith) – How you can utilize events as an evangelism tool to encourage children and youth to come to church.

***Special Track for various areas of Worship & Arts***

Partnering With the Pastor

Partnering With the Pastor (Kenneth Myles) – Understanding the relationship between Pastor and Worship Leader. Understand how to consistently connect with your Pastor and the importance of reading his demeanor and anticipating his needs for worship.

Diversity in Worship Music

Diversity in Worship Music (James Abbington) – Exploring how and when to use different genres of sacred music in worship.

Worship Planning

Worship Planning (James Abbington) – Exploring different ways of planning music for worship; liturgical calendar, sermon series, church personality, musical styles and other helpful tools.

Team Alignment

Team Alignment (Avis D. Graves & Todd Harrison) – Getting your music team to be aligned with the pastor’s vision. Developing goals and objectives for the year that point to the pastor’s vision.

O That Men Would Praise Him

O That Men Would Praise Him (Michael L. McFrazier & James McKnight) – Providing practical and proven strategies to actively engage men in music ministry and to effectively develop and produce a level of excellence in Men’s Choirs.

Enlivening and Enriching Congregational Singing led by Choir

Enlivening and Enriching Congregational Singing led by Choir (Avis D. Graves) – Making hymn singing exciting in modern day church with choirs and congregation

Academy of PreachersWe are Excited to partner with the Academy of Preachers this year to offer a Festival of Preachers for first time parish pastors, seminarians, and young preachers. Participation in the Festival requires an additional $25 fee which goes towards your annual membership to the Academy of Preachers. Each Festival participant will preach a 15-minute sermon before a panel of pastors and their peers from around the country. SPACE IS LIMITED TO 18, so be sure to select this option during registration.

A Festival of Preachers is a trans-denominational, one-of-a-kind event designed to showcase and encourage young people who aspire to be preachers of the Gospel. The Academy of Preachers’ mission is to identify these young people while cultivating within them the conviction that Gospel preaching is a vocation of great social and spiritual significance and is worthy of their very best.

A Festival of Young Preachers is not a competition. It is a celebration, an inspiration, an occasion of mutual edification and encouragement. Young preachers from every Christian tradition (Evangelical, Orthodox, Protestant, Pentecostal, and Roman Catholic) are encouraged to preach at a Festival precisely as they would in their home environment: dress, text, voice, style, substance, whatever! This diversity has proven to be one of the most transformational elements about the gathering.

Pastors’ Wives

Rise Up… Moving from Low Beams to High!

You Matter: Effectively Using Your Influence (Sheretta West) – How are you shining your light of influence?  Whether you want it or use it, you have been given a platform to make a difference. There are many in your congregations and communities that are looking for leadership, mentorship and direction.  It is time to Rise Up! Adjust your disposition so that you can shine bright in the lives of others.  

Panel Discussion for First Ladies: What is Your Ministry?

Panel Discussion for First Ladies: A New Chapter (Sheretta West, Stephanie Carter, Arthurene Jones, Debra B. Morton) – Rewriting the roles, messages, and position of the First Lady.  

WOMEN: Special 4 Hour Leadership Excursion (off campus)

Leadership Excursion: The Balancing Act

Lecture, Lunch, Learning: Maintaining a fulfilled life while balancing multiple roles  (Sheretta West) – Join Lady Sheretta West and a host of special guests for a special 4 hour leadership excursion for women in the Galleria area.  Wednesday, April 26th. (additional fee required at registration for lunch & transportation)

Women

Millennials: Lights, Camera, Action

Millennials: Lights, Camera, Action (Ruth Williams & Brenda White) – Tradition vs Culture…Bells and Whistles vs Insightful Message… How can you minister to the unique needs of the millennial women without turning your ministry events into an entertainment-fest?  Their concerns are valid.  Find the middle ground and seek to reach this woman with love, grace and compassion.

Chasing Relevancy

Chasing Relevancy (Ruth Williams & Brenda White) – Developing relevant, inclusive and vibrant women ministry programming is often a challenge for the ministry leader. The ever-changing needs of a woman’s spiritual, personal and career life is a valid concerns.  Keep your finger on the pulse beat of the times and be prepared to adjust when rhythm of change is necessary.

Men

Building a Church that Disciples Men

Building a Church that Disciples Men (Bryan Carter) – We will teach you how to create a culture in the life of the church that attracts, disciples and deploys men in your church and community.   Many churches struggle to effectively connect with men in meaningful ways.  We want to provide you proven tools and strategies to strengthen your approach to ministering to men.   

A Beautiful Shoe with a Troubling Fit

A Beautiful Shoe with a Troubling Fit (Ronald Lindsay) – 21st Century Men’s Ministry Confronting a Complex World and Shifting Culture

Church Growth by Men's Ministry

Church Growth by Men’s Ministry (Anthony Riley) –Building an effective men’s ministry is about connecting with the priorities of men.  Join a conversation which will define barriers to a man’s involvement in church, discuss best practices in engaging brothers, and share strategies for attracting, discipling and deploying men to serve in their homes, communities and churches. Let’s Man Up!

Millennials

Millennials: Not Your Grandmother’s Faith

Millennials: Not Your Grandmother’s Faith (John J. Cox) In  2 Timothy 1:5 Paul says I am reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also. This is both true and not true of millennials today. They have sincere faith, but it is certainly not the faith their grandparents had. This class will explore the difference between the two expressions of faith and shed some light on how to better understand the sincere faith of millennials.

Decoding the Millennial Mystery

Decoding the Millennial Mystery (Ralph D. West II)  -Developing exciting and educational ministries to build tomorrow’s leaders with emphasis on practical introductions to biblical study through interactive technology and community centered activities. Learn how Young Adult Ministries can be created to prepare this next generation to live, serve, and lead.

#YGT: Moving Millennials from Fantasy to Faith

#YGT: Moving Millennials from Fantasy to Faith (Gerald M. Young)  –This class is designed to aid young God talkers who are millennials to become and walk in the awareness of the reality of God.  By pursuing an inner witness, inner glow and inner desire to pursue new adventures, new possibilities, and new inspirations that will be gained when a union of love with God is aroused.  

Membership

Who Moved My Members?

Who Moved My Members? (Felicia Hedgepeth) – Do you know how many guests worshiped with you this year? Do you know how to move guests from being visitors to membership and membership to ministry? Discover the tools that aide in moving first time and returning guests to membership and fully engaged disciples in the ministry. This session will explore current assimilation trends to grow your church numerically and spiritually using SIMPLE church strategies.

Building and Developing an Effective Ministry

Building and Developing an Effective Ministry (John K. Jenkins, Sr.)This workshop will share the 14 key areas that are critical to develop and build an effective church ministry.

Seven New Friends and They are Yours: Moving People from Membership to Discipleship

Seven New Friends and They are Yours: Moving People from Membership to Discipleship (Romell Williams, Jr.) – The Modern Church is failing in the midst of her success: we are aggressively adding members, but rarely making disciples. This class will address this fatal dysfunction in our congregations, and challenge leaders to promote a culture that embodies the reality of the Great Commission. The Kingdom needs more disciples who imitate Jesus, not just more members who gravitate toward the church. Membership has its privileges, but discipleship highlights our responsibilities.

Staff

Challenging Opportunities: Training for Executive Assistants

Challenging Opportunities: Training for Executive Assistants (Lisa Rattler) – As assistants, we sometimes find ourselves in a challenging situation or position. This could be the result of entering into a new position, a new responsibility or even a change in leadership. This can also affect our mind, body and spirit. How can we transition that challenge into an opportunity to solidify our value to the organization and to Glorify God?

Avoiding Staff Infection

How to Hire, Develop, Warn, and Terminate Staff (Joe S. Ratliff) – Building and managing church staff can be a daunting task. Learn how to work through the challenges of staff development. Building and managing church staff can be a daunting task. Learn how to: Build a winning team. Create affective requisitions to attract professional candidates. Leverage Labor. Work through the challenges of staff development. Develop disciplinary processes. Understand federal, state and local labor laws.

Second Chariot: Sideline Leadership

Second Chariot: Sideline Leadership – Functioning as an Associate and Staff Minister (Karl J. Minor & James Harris) – Learn how to serve as an associate minister or pastor. What is the appropriate temperament needed for this role in leadership? What is the importance of clearly defining the role of the associate minister or Pastor? Learn to add value and bring support to the body from the second chair.

Christian Education

Discipleship for a Disbelieving World

Discipleship for a Disbelieving World  (Ken Campbell) – Discover innovative methods to engage and mature today’s culture in the Christian faith. Learn creative ways to teach and inspire a new generation of disciples, and structure ministries for maximum effectiveness. Develop strategies to transform skeptics into faithful partners who enthusiastically recruit/assimilate their peers.

Christian Education in the 21st Century

Christian Education in the 21st Century (D.Z. Cofield) – As we enter the third millennia of the Christian church, church leaders must learn now, more than ever, how to teach biblical truths in an age appropriate, culturally relevant manner. This workshop will show you how to provide for the spiritual formation of all age groups in your church and help to move congregants from a school-with-pews mentality to a seeing the church as the place that equips them to become change agents for The LORD in their community and around the world. We will discuss the biblical functions of Christian education and look at the various forms through which God’s truth can be taught in the 21st century, helping people connect what they learn on Sunday with how they are to live every day.

Church Growth Through Christian Education

Church Growth Through Christian Education (Kimberly Credit)Matthew 28:19-20. In this last commandment Jesus gives us the key ingredient for Church Growth:  Go. Make. Teach. Remarkably, our dilemma is that we have been attempting to grow the church by increasing attendance at a building, but not by disciple-ing our members (disciple shaping) to go, make and teach new disciples (disciple making).  This workshop is going to show you how to revolutionize your approach to Church Growth through Christian Education.

Missions & Outreach

21st Century Evangelism: 10 Ways to REACH and KEEP the Unchurched

21st Century Evangelism: 10 Ways to REACH and KEEP the Unchurched (Steven Carter) – Are you trying to attract and keep the millennials in your congregation?  Are you looking for ways to make sure your ministry will be appealing to this generation without compromise the integrity of the gospel? Come and learn proven principles that will positively impact and attract multiple generations, especially the millennials.  

Becoming a Missional-Minded Church

Becoming a Missional-Minded Church (George E. Hurtt) – Based off of Acts 1:8, this class will argue that being missional is not what the church does, but who she is. Therefore, we must construct people, plans and programs that inherently make more and better Christians. This demands a mental shift that focuses on being effective, efficient and excellent in our ministry efforts.

Let the Church Move Out

Let the Church Move Out (Martin Kokuma & Arbra Bailey) – Many Christians give little consideration to missions, believing that it is the responsibility only of clergy.  This workshop covers the Biblical imperative for missions, the need to follow, not avoid God’s call to share the gospel with people of all nations, the history of the Black church in missions and the critical roles that each believer can play.  We’ll conclude by providing suggestions of practical applications of the ministry of missions. 

Pastoral & Leadership

It’s All in the Family: How to Lead Your Ministry Without Abandoning Your Family

It’s All in the Family: How to Lead Your Ministry Without Abandoning Your Family (Freddy J. Clark) – The first ministry of a pastor is to his own family. How do you raise ‘normal’ kids living in the glass house of the pastorate? How do you continue to date your spouse when crowded church calendars and preaching schedules prevail? Join the conversation and learn to set clear boundaries and time management skills to keep first things first – your family

Sex and Sexuality: The Conversation the Church Must Have!

Sex and Sexuality: The Conversation the Church Must Have! (William H. Curtis) – Sexual pluralism and the growing LGBTQ communities want for institutional involvement is creating the need for the church to explain again its beliefs and interpret afresh its doctrine. This seminar will endgame the conversation about the Churches need to be solidly in control of the conversation.

5 Keys to Growing as a Young Pastor

5 Keys to Growing as a Young Pastor (Charlie Dates) – The pastorate is at once the most rewarding and perilous calling among mankind. Its requirements are vast and its expectations often unmanageable. Young pastors, by virtue of age, are often in need of particular encouragement and admonition. This break-out will help young pastors give attention to 5 key components that ensure their faithfulness to God and dedication to His people. 

Church Growth Principles That Really Work

Church Growth Principles That Really Work (Jeffrey A. Johnson Sr.) – If we want what we have never had before, we must do what we have never done before. Let us open our hearts, minds and souls to God’s Word and Holy Spirit to effect the transition that is needed by God’s churches to experience the growth that is destined to come. With our understanding of church growth principles, love for God and His people, hard work and the grace of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, God will add to the church daily who are being saved.

The Treasure in Broken Vessels: Substance Abuse Ministry

The Treasure in Broken Vessels: Substance Abuse Ministry (Conway Jones) – Understanding the times, and knowing what to do often require adjusting how we process and perceive our overall needs.  While every subject matter addressed in this conference is essential to transforming a, seemingly, traditional, unchurched culture, 80 percent of the participants are in, some way, affected by substance abuse and/or behavior disorders.

Simplifying Ministry Strategy: How to Do Big Things with a Small Approach

Simplifying Ministry Strategy: How to Do Big Things with a Small Approach (Paul D. Landrew) –What do you do when you have big vision, but do not have human capital to support it? Come and learn how to do big things with small resources.

Every Sunday is Super Bowl Sunday: Intentional Worship in 90 Minutes or Less

Every Sunday is Super Bowl Sunday: Intentional Worship in 90 Minutes or Less (Jewel M. London)-We design and plan over 900 worship services per year. Come and learn how to do worship effectively, efficiently, and in a spirit of excellence. Learn how to keep worship intentional and impactful without keeping the congregation hostage all day. Learn how to gauge what are critical pieces of the worship experience that must be kept and what can be deleted. Learn about resources are available to build worship services that will be effective in 90 minutes, especially for churches with multiple services and/or locations.

The Scarlet “S” – Sexual Misconduct in God’s House

The Scarlet “S” – Sexual Misconduct in God’s House (Michelle Rhett, Esq.) – The Scarlett “S”- Sexual Misconduct in God’s House, is a part of a national training series called Church at Risk: Piercing the Sacred Veil. Hear its creator and the founder of the nation’s first Ecclesiastical (Church) Law Center discuss the evolution of sexual misconduct in the church.  Beginning with what has become known as the “Scandal of the Century,” i.e., the cover up within the Roman Catholic Church, hear how a history of constant cover-ups in the church has lead to the explosion of sexual crimes against all ages, as well as the evolution of sexual expression from the LGBTQUIA community.

Serving the Shepherd: Practical Training for Armor Bearers/Personal Assistants

Serving the Shepherd: Practical Training for Armor Bearers/Personal Assistants (Ted Richards) – This class is designed to help uncover the temperament and key characteristics a servant leader should possess in order to better Serve the Shepherd. This will allow one to free up the Shepherd to use their gifts and meet the needs of the church to the fullest.

Suffering in Silence: Depression and Ministry

Suffering in Silence: Depression and Ministry (David Roberts)Though depression is a real struggle, there is a major question that many Christians tussle with: Is depression a sin? We will face this question head on and let those who suffer in silence know that there is HOPE.

Leading Through Conflict

Leading Through Conflict (Timothy W. Sloan) – Sometimes conflict is healthy.  Every conflict cannot be avoided, so instead acquire tools to engage irate and displeased leaders, congregants, or community leaders. Learn how to deal with conflict and move forward.

Business/Expansion/Finance

The Real Talk About African Americans and Money

The Real Talk About African Americans and Money (Shawn Dorrough)  –Over the next decade, African Americans will see more income flow into our homes and communities than ever seen before. This seminar will be an open dialogue surrounding the statistics that will directly affect our families, churches, and businesses so we can position ourselves for what God is calling us to accomplish for the Kingdom.

Keep Your Balance Without Falling

The Nuts and Bolts of Church Business (Paul Jefferson, Brentwood Baptist) – Learn the best practical church business and management principles on how to handle the business of the Church: Forecasting; Solidifying a Mission Statement; Budgeting; Establishing Bylaws; Drafting Policies and Procedures; Accessing Tangible Resources; Making a Fluid Transition.

Preparing Green Pastures for Pastors: Planning for Your Retirement

Preparing Green Pastures for Pastors: Planning for Your Retirement (Jocelyn McGregor)  – If you are only relying on your church to provide a solution for income after retirement, you are in trouble. Many of our churches offer insufficient or no retirement resources at all for pastors or staff personnel. This session will focus on the unique retirement needs of vocational ministers, reveal how to avoid common missteps, and help you understand the steps to take today to create and maintain a solid financial foundation and future for you and your family. Participants will leave this session more confident and knowledgeable about planning for retirement.

Facility Building and Financing Process

Facility Building and Financing Process (David Pack) – The class will provide counsel and guidance to simplifying the complexities of obtaining commercial capital.  We will review and discuss ones borrowing potential, what are the different financing options, proper and orderly sequence of events to plan an expansion project, does your financial numbers support the expansion project that you want to build, counting the cost before committing to any one option, and hiring wise counsel to help bring all partners together for a successful project.  

Producing Your Church CD and Getting it Heard on the Radio

Producing Your Church CD and Getting it Heard on the Radio (Gregg Patrick) –

Psychology & Theology of Transitioning

Psychology & Theology of Transitioning (Keith Reed, Sr.) – Transitioning a church is more than psychological. The mindset of the church needs to be changed theologically. It is important to understand what happens during transition in order for it to take place with the least amount of casualties.

Know When to Hold ‘Em and Know When to Fold ‘Em: Should I Stay or Go?

Know When to Hold ‘Em and Know When to Fold ‘Em: Should I Stay or Go? (Maurice Watson) – Let’s talk about what happens next when considering whether to move to another church or stay. What are the signs that it is time to leave? How do you make the congregation ready? Who should be involved in the decision and process? How do you create and execute an exit plan?

Salary for the Servant: Adequate Compensation for Those Who Rule Well: Pastors

Salary for the Servant: Adequate Compensation for Those Who Rule Well: Pastors (T.R. WilliamsIf the goal for compensating Pastors is so that there is no worry about financial obligations during the tenure of service then the compensation package should be a breeze. What are the components of the package? Who does the package cover? Who establishes the benchmarks for how the package is created? What legalities must be met in creating a compensation package for the Pastor?

Preaching, Theology & Social Justice

Synopsis of Black Preaching

Synopsis of Black Preaching (Lawrence E. Aker III) – As our church and society battle for relevancy we must never forget the history of Black Preaching. This course will examine the timeline of prophetic voices that helped to create legacies of hope and faith. From John Jasper to Jarena Lee, Dr. Gardner C. Taylor, and beyond.

Pastoring Through the Painful: Funeral Preaching

Pastoring Through the Painful: Funeral Preaching (Delvin Atchison) – Few experiences afford the minister the opportunity to build pastoral relationships like the death of a member. Effectively navigating this sensitive time can endear a pastor to the heart of a family. This seminar seeks to address practical masters of ministry as well as examining pertinent scriptural texts for effective funeral preaching.

The Future of Preaching

The Future of Preaching (Jerry M. Carter, Jr.)The purpose of this course is to examine the relevancy of preaching in the 21st century. With the goal of maximizing impact to transform lives, through the Word of God, participants will dialogue and explore the varying approaches, to the preaching task.

Movement-Ministers: New Moments of Protest Preaching

Movement-Ministers: New Moments of Protest Preaching (Keri Day) – This session re-reads major theological events in Protestantism as movements that have been led by protest preachers. In our present culture of deep division and inequalities, this session will suggest ways that 21st-century preaching participates in protest movements in order to foster social transformation in the church and broader society.

Illustrating: Preaching Analog Sermons in a Digital World

Illustrating: Preaching Analog Sermons in a Digital World (Joel C. Gregory) – Joel will demonstrate how to find stories that fit, how to store them, craft them,  and tell them.  If you cannot illustrate it then it is not the truth.

Preaching 101: Out of Shape Preaching

Preaching 101: Out of Shape Preaching (Christopher Hartwell) – How to prevent the irresistible temptation of substituting the matrix of effective biblical preaching, for the attraction to the contemporary cultures response to borrowed anemic sermons that lack depth and substance.

Preaching and Social Justice

Preaching and Social Justice (Frederick D. Haynes III) – With  the ever changing climate of social injustice across the globe, there is an urgency to educate congregants on the perils of these trying times.  As gate keepers of the Gospel, it is the leader’s responsibility to help the congregation understand the divine charge to exercise love and humanity against all odds. This class will teach pastors how to educate, empower, equip and unify the congregation to stand against social injustice in our communities.  

Preaching the New Testament: Engaging and Exploiting the Greek Text

Preaching the New Testament: Engaging and Exploiting the Greek Text (Claybon Lea, Jr.) – Twenty-first century preaching in many American pulpits evidences a departure from sound biblical exegesis. This session is intended to facilitate a return to the exegetical enterprise as it relates to preaching the New Testament. Focus will be given to engaging and exploiting the original Greek text for responsible biblical preaching. Students should walk away with tools and resources to move from observation and interpretation to proclamation and application.

Prophetic Preaching in the Age of Trump

Prophetic Preaching in the Age of Trump (A.B. Sutton, Jr.) – Prophetic preaching in the age of Donald Trump is preaching truth to power in a season where truth is eroding. This is an administration characterized by fake news, reckless tweets, and alternative facts. The voice of the prophet cannot afford to be silent.