More Than Conquerors Faith Church in Birmingham has licensed and ordained more than 400 ministers serving in non-denominational churches throughout the Southeast.
Many of them are returning to Birmingham this week for workshops at More Than Conquerors that will cover various aspects of running a church, said Pastor Steve Green.
Green said he wanted to pull together a group of experts to cover a wide array of ministry questions and issues.
More Than Conquerors kicked off this week’s programming with a Sunday night youth event that featured a panel discussion led by Evangelist Matt Pitt, founder of The Basement youth group.
“We focused in on the key millennial leaders,” Green said. “It was raw and real, ecumenical, dealing with real issues: accountability, unity, grace and law, ministry, servanthood. It was about the challenge of ministry, the inspiration and the motivation.”
Green said he has stuck by Pitt despite two arrests for impersonating an officer because all ministers face challenges that they must overcome, and that’s part of his message. “I’ve got challenges,” Green said. “I hate seeing ministers quit. He’s really humbled himself.”
The Holy Convocation workshop sessions called “The Ingathering” run Tuesday through Saturday and are tailored for non-denominational churches and ministries.
The workshops begin Tuesday night, Oct. 11, at 7 nightly and continue through Saturday, Oct. 15. Speakers include the Rev. Jamal Bryant, pastor of Empowerment Temple in Baltimore, on social activism; Evangelist David Turner on healing; Bishop Clarence McClendon, pastor of Full Harvest International Church in Los Angeles, on international ministry; and author Mark Hanby talking about church leadership.
On Thursday, Oct. 13, there will be daytime workshops: Rickey White will discuss millennials, social media and the church at 9 a.m.; tax consultant Roderick Mack will discuss church tax issues at 10 a.m.; Judge Carole Smitherman will discuss legal issues at 11 a.m.; attorney Etta Hearns will discuss U.S. Supreme Court rulings and how they affect the church at noon.
The workshops are free and open to the public.
The 3,000-member More Than Conquerors Faith Church was started by members of the UAB gospel choir in 1982. The choir introduced praise and worship teams with full bands, keyboards, synthesizers, bass guitar and horn section in nondenominational church services. Green became pastor in 1985.
Not about pastor’s charisma?
One of the keys for building a solid church is making sure that it’s not all based on the pastor’s personal charisma, Green said.
“I am not the glue,” said Green. “It’s a kingdom and I’m not the king. Jesus is the king. If you are coming to hear me, your motive is wrong. Come for the Word. If I start building it on me, my charisma, something’s wrong with that.”
Megachurches run the risk of being wide but not deep, Greens aid.
“It’s an information generation,” he said. “We want knowledge. Knowledge is power. It’s such a micro-age. Everybody wants everything quick. Membership has increased. Discipleship has decreased.”
What draws people to church is a desire for the supernatural power of God, Green said.
“This generation is hungry for power,” Green said.
The church has to provide that by showing the true source of power and answering key questions people have, he said.
“Is there any power in this gospel?” Green said. “Can there be any manifestation of the power of God?”
Hanby will lead a ministry leadership breakfast on Saturday, Oct. 15, aimed at pastors. Cost for the breakfast is $20.