2017 Columbus Conference

by WMM Staff

2017 Columbus Conference

I’m praising the Lord for the great Midwest Planters Conference in Columbus, Ohio June 11-12, 2017. We especially appreciate the wonderful hospitality of the host congregation, Beth Messiah, and its elders, led by Rabbi Howard Silverman.

Attending were brand new planters learning the basic training for planting healthy congregations. Also in attendance were representatives from well developed communities seeking to retool and renew their vision to reach the next generation. Thanks to all who prayed for the Lord to give the increase. He blessed mightily as Yeshua was exalted and His Good News firmly established as central to every healthy faith community.

So many blessed moments were provided by the Lord throughout the conference, but I especially appreciated the “breakout sessions.” Attendees chose between different facilitated discussions on Children and Youth Ministries (facilitated by D. Holdford), Women’s Ministries (facilitated by Miriam Nadler), Tech Ministries (facilitated by J. Holford), and Men’s Ministries (facilitated by Sam Nadler). Following these sessions an appointed ‘reporter’ shared some takeaways. It was absolutely riveting to hear how the Lord worked in each session to impact those attending. In the Men’s breakout, the men were all moved by one leader in particular. He raised the issue of a man to whom he is ministering who has corrupting matters at home which begin to infect the congregation plant. In supportive response, the need for renewing the vision for a renewed home was discussed. The scripture states in Proverbs 29:18, ‘Where there is no vision, the people perish; but happy is he who keeps the Torah, (i.e. Scripture).’ So when all you see around you is ‘perishing’ disarray, then prayerfully recognize for the need of vision which comes from Torah. That renewed vision is the way to build a home that is “happy,” in Hebrew, asher meaning straight and upright.” R. Silverman shared what he heard on the Word Messiah website from the teaching “Messianic Marriage Matters.” Namely, that the vision begins even earlier than understanding life as a male. In Genesis 1:27 being created in the image of God precedes gender roles. One must first appreciate his identity as created in God’s image before he can then understand how to live out that image as a male (or for women, as a female). To say it was edifying, instructive and helpful to the leaders who attended the conference would be an understatement.

Many new Messianic planters and their teams were surprised to learn of the vital importance to grow into, not out of, the basic, yet utterly major matters pertaining to establishing and developing Messianic congregations: Prayer, Evangelism, Discipleship, and Overseer ministries.

Some of the comments we received reiterate this basic premise of planting:

Henri L. Goulet, Executive Director Messianic Studies Institute (and a leader in Beth Messiah Congregation): “Honoring Sam Nadler for Majoring on Majors in Leadership! About 30 of us spent last weekend in a leadership conference that was focused on the essentials like the effectual practice of prayer, ministry of the Word, and congregational management. The essentials must never be taken for granted; and discipleship must never be assumed as if it occurs by osmosis. What a privilege to spend one’s life majoring on the majors, focusing on the essentials. Leaders: Let us especially pray unceasingly and redeem the time as we labor to present every person full-grown in Messiah.”

Michael Tamminga, Adat Etz Chaim: “Sam, I want to again thank you for presenting your conference this past weekend. I can say with confidence that the four of us from Tree of Life were blessed. What we realized was that through the conference we can now take the vision that God has given us and use the tools we gained from what we learned to carry out that vision through our community. We are all excited about God using us to lead our community into the next season of growth.”

D. Holford, Messianic Children’s Ministry Coordinator (Hope of Israel Congregation): It was my privilege to attend the Developing Healthy Messianic Congregations conference in Columbus.  I was honored to be able to attend as well as facilitate the Children/Youth Ministry break-out session. 

            Although I have attended a number of these conferences, I always come away with something new.  This time, what caught my attention was the need for leadership to help people have healthy relationships.  This goes beyond just instructing them in how to carry out their responsibilities as part of a ministry team.  Leadership is about “equipping the saints for the work of service,” developing them as people able to effectively serve in any capacity.  Messianic congregations reveal G-d’s faithfulness to the Jewish remnant so it is important that they reflect a biblical community lifestyle.  Families need be encouraged to make their homes worship centers, instruction centers, fellowship centers and outreach centers.  These functions should take place in homes and communities outside of, in addition to, the activities directed by the congregational leaders.  Messianic disciples at all leadership levels should be modeling these values and making sure that those under their care are growing in them as well. 

            As Children’s Ministry Coordinator I am always greatly encouraged to hear how G-d is blessing the work among children in other congregations.  As we pray and talk and share resources with one another the body of Messiah is built up.  I was able to share what we have learned and experienced at HOI Charlotte and get good ideas from what others are doing in their congregations.   

J. Holford, A/V Ministries (Hope of Israel Congregation): During a recent Planters’ Conference in Columbus OH we participated in an AV breakout session where our roundtable discussion centered on the mission of AV ministries.  The discussion was lively and enthusiastic. 

Romans 10:13–15 outlines a progression of steps leading up to calling on the name of G-d for salvation.  Roughly paraphrased as ‘How can you call on Him unless you believe… how can you believe if you have not heard… how can you hear unless someone proclaims… how can they proclaim unless they are sent’.  When we consider the ministry of Audiovisual (AV), this is precisely where we come in.  We are ‘senders’.  Our ministry is not about all the electronic gadgets and buttons to mash, rather it is all about the Word being sent and the people proclaiming… Those who would proclaim the good news today need to be sent every bit as much as in the first century.  In the first century the Apostles and others were sent to proclaim the Word in person and also via technology.  The state of the art “technology” at that time was ink on parchment.  Yet it effectively accomplished the same benefits as our modern technology.  The word could be proclaimed as it was sent across distance and time.  Paul could remain in Rome while his message went out across distance and time as well.  Believers in Asia Minor received his testimony as rapidly as travel permitted and believers today receive this same testimony in all parts of the world two thousand years later.  We can hear his word… we can believe and we can call upon the name of G-d.   Our current technology enables the same goals just as effectively and maybe even more so.  We still enjoy the tactile feel and interaction of written word, we can study and repeat at our own pace, flip a page and ponder… go back to re-read and clarify.  In addition to ink on paper, we now also have amplifiers and loudspeaker arrays during live events.  These enable the person in the back of the room to hear just as clearly as the person seated right next to the presenter.  We can transmit across the hall to the overflow rooms or across the globe via livestreaming.  You can hear the presenter’s inflection, intonation and emphasis to better understand what was said and how it was said.  We have video in addition to audio to share presenter notes, slides and images.  We record and archive all of this so that we can reach not only across distance but across time as well.  Remember that message from last week?  It’s out on our website and Vimeo and Roku and Streamspot… You can pass it on to a friend today. 

Those of us who serve in AV ministries are thrilled to be a part of ‘sending’.  

For these many blessings and more, we give all praise and thanksgiving to Yeshua the Messiah, our Lord. Please remember to keep in prayer (and consider registering for) the upcoming “Developing Healthy Messianic Congregations Conference in Chicago, Illinois, October 22-23, 2017. Either be there or be in prayer!