Atlantic Conference Church Growth Dinner focuses on “Impacting People, Changing Eternity”

LANCASTER, Pa. (Nov. 18, 2008)—BIC church-planting pastor Shawn Anthony was walking down the streets of Lancaster (Pa.) city, talking with one of his church leaders about the best way to evangelize. Spontaneously, he decided to just follow Jesus’ example. Seeing a man sitting on his porch, Shawn yelled up: “Hey, did you know the kingdom of God is busting out in this city?” As Shawn related this story to the nearly 400 adults who gathered at the Lancaster Host for the 2008 Atlantic Conference Church Growth Dinner on November 7, he went on to share that this man on the porch, recently released from prison, has become a faithful attendee of his church plant, Inner Metro Green.

Shawn’s story beautifully illustrated the evening’s theme: “Impacting People…Changing Eternity.” And although the focus of the evening was on church planting, Nate Yoder, bishop of the Atlantic Conference, emphasized in his message that the “privilege and honor… of extending God’s kingdom” belongs to every follower of Jesus. Using the illustration of a crop farmer, Nate encouraged the audience to orient their lives around the crop, practice resiliency, and ultimately, rejoice in the harvest.

In addition to a full dinner, the evening included a performance by the Harrisburg (Pa.) BIC Church Gospel Choir and a time of singing led by the Pequea (Pa.) BIC Church worship team. Several pastors of recent church plants in the Atlantic Conference were also given opportunities to share. And approximately 60 children, ages 3 to 12, attended their own dinner and program, which ran simultaneously with the adults’.

At the end of the evening, guests were encouraged to respond to the invitation to impact people and change eternity. Nearly 90 households signed up to be prayer partners and approximately $40,000 was raised to be used for future church planting efforts within the Conference.