If we hope to have a genuine missional movement in North America and beyond, it will only happen because the work of the Gospel gets into the hands of the people — the everyday folks.
This demands a grassroots ethos. Sentralized has that feel to it. It is kind of a blue collar conference.
We want to offer an excellent experience for everyone, but we don’t try to make it over-produced. Missional is about accessibility. For example, all of our speakers are available during break times, hanging out with attendees to share stories, insights, and answer questions that don’t get covered during the formal talk. Every evening multiple, informal get-togethers take place. We believe this kind of culture is essential for a genuine movement to be sparked.
We also highlight some of the “under the radar” folks who are doing incredible work in their places of ministry but their story is not widely known. Maybe they haven’t written a book or spoken at other conferences, but they are fabulous missionaries. And when Sentralized attendees hear their stories, they often say, “I can do that!”
What will the format and flow of Sentralized Dallas be?
There are two things we have tried to do a little differently this year in regards to content.
First, we have divided several of the plenary sessions into 18-minute “TED-like” talks. Each of the “micro-talks” are focused more on missional practices. While the breakouts are specifically focused on training and practical application, we think adding more emphasis on practices in the main sessions will be helpful.
Second, we have created a greater emphasis on the transitioning of existing congregations in a missional direction. There will be both main sessions and workshops that will help give specific direction on church transitions.
Can you briefly share three potential and specific takeaways you believe will be eye-opening for those who attend Sentralized?
First, regardless of a leader’s approach to church, the bottom line has to be about missionary formation. Every Christian has to first see himself/herself as a missionary sent into a local context. Moreover, the leaders have to be able to equip every member in their church to also think and act like a missionary.
Second, we want people to understand that they have already been sent. God has already sent all of us to the places we find ourselves today. Therefore, it is about discovering what God is doing around us today, and then discerning how God wants us to participate in what He is already doing.
Third, we want every conference participant to recognize that they are a part of a larger family, or tribe. We have very purposely created time and space for people to “hang-out” with others who are on the missional journey. That includes all of the presenters as well as fellow participants. We want people to know that they are not alone on their journey. We all can, and need, to learn from one another.
Any stories of how over the years the Sentralized conference has been integral in inspiring and equipping leaders to live missionally?
The most common and repeated story we hear is from men and women—often in tears—who approach us sometime during or following Sentralized and say, “This is what I’ve been searching for. I knew in my heart that there was more to ministry than pulling off a Sunday service. And I am getting some handles on it through the speakers and people I’ve met here.”
The connections through the ministries and training opportunities, beyond Sentralized, that people get exposed to during the conference often gets leaders on the pathway they need to live and lead missionally.
How are you praying for Sentralized Dallas?
Please join with us in praying for leaders and Christians in general that are searching for answers on how to live and lead missionally…that they will hear about Sentralized and have the means to make it there. We are praying for our speakers and volunteers to be filled with the Spirit to serve the movement of participating in God’s mission in such a way that it will be reproducible in the lives and contexts of every attendees.
Early bird registration ends on July 31st. Mark your calendar and register here.