Don’t Miss Advance The Church 2018

To be the most helpful conference possible for the long term health of church-planting churches.

Summit Crossing Community Church, Huntsville, AL


Breakout Information


Breakout Speaker Breakout Topic/Title Breakout Description Breakout Time
Josh Howerton Essentials for Church Growth Senior Pastor Josh Howerton will download the practical, philosophical, and theological lessons The Bridge Church learned about how to grow in a healthy way as they scaled from 100 people in a school to 3,000 people across two campuses in 10 years. Issues will include identifying and eliminating hidden barriers to growth, how to build an outstanding culture, hiring / firing / staff structure, adding new services and campuses, etc. November 7 at 3pm & 5pm (Repeated)
Ted Sinn The Value in Creating a Discipleship Framework In this Breakout we will discuss how the Creation of a Discipleship Framework can help elders use their church to build disciples instead of using their members to build a church.  The local church is a necessary “institution” in the multiplication of disciples, but “institutionalization” happens when disciples are used to plant the church instead of the church being used to plant disciples.  In this breakout, participants will learn what a Discipleship Framework is, see some practical examples and begin the process of creating a Discipleship Framework for their church. November 7 at 3pm & 5pm (Repeated)
Dr. Charles Smith The (Second) Most Important Thing About You: The What, Why, and How of Leadership Development It could be argued that what you believe about leadership is the second most important thing about you. In this breakout, Charles Smith will underscore the centrality of leadership development and offer practical advice for those called to train and deploy ministry leaders. November 7 at 3pm & 5pm (Repeated)
Phil Taylor Five Systems Every Church Planter Needs In church planting, it’s important to let a lot of things develop over time, but there are a few systems that every church planter needs no matter how unstructured you are. Join me as we take a look at five systems that will help you connect and build trust with your people while maintaining some semblance of a healthy soul.  November 7 at 3pm & 5pm (Repeated)
David Thew, Rodney Wilkinson Multiplication In this breakout session, we will talk about being a multiplying church.  We will reverse engineer church planting churches and how they assess the ways they evangelize, make disciple-makers, and multiply churches.  Additionally, we will discuss how you can be engaged in church planting no matter size or age of your church. November 7 at 3pm & 5pm (Repeated)
Francisco Benfeldt Church Planting in Latin America Interested in church planting in Latin America or partner to see churches planted in Latin America? Join the Acts 29 Latin America Network Director as he provides both vision and practical ways to see more church-planting churches planted across Latin America. Will be held during the Lunch Hour on Thursday, November 8.
Adam Flynt Excellence Without Excess: How to be excellent in church planting without spending a penny No one wants to plant a mediocre church.  No one sets out to be an okay preacher.  No one sets the goal of crafting average worship gatherings or a mundane discipleship model.  So how do you plant a church with excellence when you have little to no budget, time, staff, or margin?  This session will look at biblical model of excellence and explore seven ways to pursue excellence without spending a single penny. November 7 at 3pm & 5pm (Repeated)
Dylan Dodson

External Church Communications 

5 Practical Ways to use Social Media to Reach New People

Social media is a powerful tool for your church, but you may be unsure of the most effective ways your church could be taking advantage of it. In this breakout you will learn five practical tips you can integrate right away that will help you create content your people will love to follow, increase your church’s engagement online, and ultimately help you reach new people.

November 7 at 5pm
Jen Wilkin Christian Education and the Church Plant: Making Space For Learners The Great Commission charge to “make disciples, teaching them to obey” implies that churches will take great care to form disciples who form other disciples. Yet biblical and theological illiteracy are rampant in the church, begging the question, “Where can Christians go to learn their faith in a way that they can teach it to others?” Consider how the local church can make space for learning our basic tenets and biblical text in transformational ways. November 8 at 10:30am
Matthew McClure (Reliant Ministries) Fundraising & Finances for Church Planting Missional Churches and church planting present unique challenges and opportunities with their funding needs.  Does your fundraising model support the mission?  It certainly affects it.  We’ll explore the methods and models we can approach funding and fund raising with, and how they support and affect the mission of the church. The personal support raising model has withstood the test of time.  We’ll explore how this crowd-sourced approach to funding the mission is fueling church plants and missions.  We’ll also expand on the methods and models of fund raising, best practices, and how they support and affect the mission of the church. November 8 at 10:30am
Valerie Stranathan, Kirk Brown Internal Church Communications:

Communication Strategies to Build Enthusiasm and Engagement with Your Staff and Your Congregation 

Valerie and Kirk will explore what drives a ministry forward and how effectively communicating those ideas will determine if they fall flat or if they launch the ministry to the next level. They will be addressing ways to effectively use verbal, written, and graphic communication in the conference room and in the worship space/sanctuary to build forward momentum for a diverse audience. November 8 at 10:30am
Matt Adair (Acts 29 US Southeast Coaching Director) & Tal Prince (Founder, Insights Counseling Center) How To Build A Counseling Network For Your Church What issues should you counsel yourself? What should you look for when you recommend a counselor? Join Matt Adair and Tal Prince, co-hosts of the Pastors & Preachers Podcast, as they answer your questions and help you build a counseling plan for your church. November 8 at 10:30am
Terrence Jones Key Ingredients for Healthy Churches in Hard Places Urban ministry can be hard. The cycles of violence, fatherlessness, drugs, poverty, and hopelessness are real challenges. Yet, we serve a God who is able to do above and beyond anything we can hope or imagine. In spite of these challenges, God has already been at work in these communities and will continue to be at work long after we are gone. In the midst of the turmoil of the inner city, there is so much beauty and fertile ground. God desires to see healthy churches planted in these communities! Join Terrence Jones and journey with him to discover key ingredients from God’s word for planting healthy churches in hard places. November 8 at 10:30am
Patrick Johnson Worship Ministry:

How do we get people to sing loud?

Nothing can defeat a worship team more than standing in front of a congregation that is visibly unmoved. And nothing moves a visitor quite like stepping into a church service where everyone is singing at the top of their lungs. So, the question is –  How do we encourage and train our churches to be “all in” during the singing time. Join Patrick in this “Worship Ministry” Breakout to join this discussion. November 8 at 10:30am
Matthew Wilson, Layke Rowell, Lyndsay Abel Running Quality Events: Hospitality and the Church Events are the tangible and measurable vehicle by which you train, equip and encourage your church body. They can be complex or simple, have a large or small budget, recurring or a “one-off” – whatever the case may be, there are guiding strategies that are helpful in pulling off successful events. Join the SC3 Events Team for this breakout!   November 8 at 10:30am
Andrea Johnson Leading a Healthy Kids Ministry Children’s Ministry is one of the most difficult areas to adequately staff.  In this breakout, we will talk about practical ways to establish and maintain a healthy kids’s ministry. November 8 at 10:30am
Tim Bice

Panel: Jaye Bice, Matt Ford, Kirk McDonald, John Schroeder

Ministry in a Rural Context: 

Fighting for Brotherhood & Sisterhood

A big key to longevity with pastors and leaders, especially in a rural setting, is having a brotherhood and sisterhood with strong accountability. The enemy entices pastors and leaders toward isolation and secrecy which leads to ministerial brevity, but the Lord draws brothers and sisters in leadership toward  vulnerability which leads to ministerial longevity. Brotherhood and Sisterhood is what we fight brevity with, but it’s also something we have to fight for. November 8 at 10:30am


The closest airport is Huntsville International Airport (HSV).

Summit Crossing Community Church is a 15 minute drive from HSV.

Summit Crossing Community Church

7200 Governors W

Huntsville, AL 35806


We recommend booking your room at one of the following hotels located in the Huntsville Area near Summit Crossing Community Church. You must book your hotel prior to the deadline per each hotel listed below.

Hotel Options

Element Huntsville 6810 Governors W, Huntsville, AL 35806 (256) 428-5406 $129.00 October 10 Advance the Church Conference
Hilton Garden Inn – Huntsville 4801 Governors House Dr SW, Huntsville, AL 35805 (256) 430-1778 $122.00 October 6 ATC
Residence Inn By Marriot Huntsville 6305 Residence Inn Rd, Huntsville, AL 35806 (256) 895-0444 $104.00, $109.00, $159.00 October 31 atcatca
Courtyard by Marriott Huntsville University 4804 University Dr NW, Huntsville, AL 35816 (256) 837-1400 $109.00 October 24 ACTO
Home 2 Suites 7010, Cabela Dr, Huntsville, AL 35806 256-489-8166 $109.00 October 19
Hampton Inn & Suites 7010 Cabela Dr, Huntsville, AL 35806 256-489-8166 $109.00 October 19
Huntsville Marriott at the Space & Rocket Center 5 Tranquility Base, Huntsville, AL 35805 (256) 830-2222 $109.00 October 16th

Wednesday, November 7
Registration Opens - 8:30am
Main Session 1 - 10am
Main Session 2 - 1pm
Break - 2:30pm
Seminar 1 - 3pm
Break - 4:30pm
Seminar 2 - 5pm
Thursday, November 8
Main Session 3 - 9am
Seminar 3 - 10:30am
Main Session 4 - 1pm
Dismissal - 2:30pm


Our sponsors for Advance’18 will be chosen based on the value we believe they add to our event and conference attendees. We are grateful for these organizations and for the causes they represent.

If you are interested in sponsoring this event, please fill out and submit this sponsorship application form. You can also inquire by emailing us at