Church Involvement

Creating a Culture of Involvement in Every Church – 2018 Church Involvement Conference January 19 & 20

Month: October 2017

2018 CIC Schedule is Here!

“Members into Disciples”

2nd Annual “Church Involvement Conference”

Athens Church of Christ in Athens, TN


Jesus said, “Go and make disciples….” (Matthew 28:19a).   However, in many cases, we’ve implicitly taught, “Go and make members.”

We’ve emphasized the externals of church membership (with all the rights and privileges therein) yet have, in many cases, not said much about discipleship.   Church membership (of the one body) is a privilege bestowed upon individuals who give their whole lives to the Lord Jesus Christ.   Discipleship is a calling and church membership is privilege.   Church membership, in some cases, has been reduced to church attendance, giving and doing the right things in the right ways.   Discipleship is MUCH more!

Our 2nd annual “Church Involvement Conference” will emphasize making members into disciples.   We will be looking at lessons that will encourage us to be disciple-makers: to move people from the pew to priesthood, from sainthood to service, from membership to ministry, from being served to serving, from church attendance to being the church, from being privileged to being purposeful, and from being intimidated by the world to being intentional.

Who Would Benefit the Most from CIC?

We’ve seen many elders from many congregations attend and elders are always looking for ideas to ‘grow’ the church.   One of the best ways to grow the church spiritually and numerically is involvement.   If you are an elder or eldership, you benefit greatly from CIC.

Deacons and Ministry leaders attend in an effort to show them how to get and keep new volunteers.     They will also benefit in that they will be refreshed by learning new skills and being around others who are just as dedicated to service.

Pulpit preachers benefit because they will know what lessons they need to present (from the pulpit and classroom) to move the brethren from filling a pew to fulfilling God’s purpose for their lives.

Bible classes teachers, regular members of the church, teenagers and ladies of the church can benefit in learning how they can contribute to the ‘spirit of service’ in their local congregation.   Any member of the church who wants to serve can benefit from CIC.

Sessions & Topics:

Keynotes:   The Greatest Command       The 2nd Commandment

Classes:   Today’s Spiritual Gifts       Personalities & Gifts

Coaching         Your Church’s Core Values

Gift Development               From the Pulpit

Panel Discussion on Millennials or

423 745 0554                 Cost:   $40 each includes meals, snacks, CDs, materials and great fellowship and lessons

Location:  1016 North Avenue, Athens, TN 37303 for both events; this is the location of the ‘church’ building for Athens church of Christ.

Pre-Registration Required before January 10, 2018

Schedule of Events

Friday, January 19:

         6:00 to 7:00 pm – Sandwiches and Registration

         6:30 pm – Keynote speaker:   Dr. Tim Gunnells of Amridge University — “The Greatest Commandment”

         7:15 to 7:45 – Breakout sessions

         7:45 to 8:45 – 1st series of classes: (includes 20 minutes of break out)

                 Spiritual Gifts Today – Matthew Thomas of Pickerington, Ohio (auditorium)

              Personalities & Gifts – Travis Irwin, IM of Athens, TN (large classroom)

         Dismissal in the auditorium: 8:55

Saturday, January 20:

       7:30 to 8:30 am – Breakfast and Keynote: Mark Littleton, pulpit minister of  Athens church of Christ, Athens, TN –

                                                         “The 2nd Greatest Commandment”

         Breakout sessions:   8:30 to 9:00 – locations to be assigned

         2nd Series of Classes: (the time designated includes 20 minutes of break out)

         9:10 to 10:10 – From the Pulpit- auditorium – Mark Littleton

                          Gift Development – in the large classroom – Travis Irwin

                        Break for the restroom and snacks – 10:10 to 10:30

        10:30 to 11:30 – Coaching – in the auditorium – Travis Irwin

                    Your Church Core Values – Tim Gunnells in large classroom

          11:30 to 12:30 Noon – Panel Discussion in the auditorium:


         LUNCH, Evaluations, & Dismissal in the fellowship hall at 12:30

    Pre-registration by January 10, 2018 and a $40 fee per  person for food & recordings of the auditorium classes & presentations.


This year we are offering free space for IMs to display their writings and methods. This is strictly for making materials available on involvement and not any other subject matter.

To reserve a space for your display, you will need to call me soon; we will have a very limited amount of room for these displays, probably 4’x4’ at most.

This will allow IMs to get their materials out to the brotherhood and for the brotherhood to know what’s available.   Thank you for your cooperation.


Last year, the Comfort Inn on Exit 49 of I-75 gave discounts to those who stayed there because of CIC.   Be sure to call them to make reservations; the rooms will fill up fast at Comfort Inn.  Comfort Inn gives a church discount and you can call them at 423 252 8030.   There are two other motels at that exit that we recommend:   Holiday Inn Express and Hampton Inn.   There is also a new Fairfield motel there near Cracker Barrel and it isn’t open yet.


Your meals, drinks and snacks will be provided.   You may bring your own drinks and snacks if you wish.


Making the CDs of the keynote speakers available to you last year went very well.   We want to do that again this year.   Any keynote speaker and any auditorium speaker will be recorded and his recording will be sent to you within the following two weeks after the conference. You do not have to pay for these CDs; they are a part of your package and each individual should get his/her own set of CDs.

Registration – see next page

We are requesting all attenders to be pre-registered by January 10, 2018 to make sure we have amble room, food and materials for everyone.   The registration form is on the next page.

If the conference is cancelled for any reason, you will be refunded your full registration fee.

   Registration For for the 2018 “Church Involvement Conference”

January 19 & 20, 2018

  1. Which church do you represent?
  2. How did you hear about C.I.C.?
  3. How many are in your party?   Please give a full name for each person who is attending with you and his/her position/role in the church.



  1. Who is your contact person?   Please give full name and contact information.


  1. As soon as we receive your registration fee, you will be fully registered and we will confirm your registration. Is your fee enclosed?   Make checks out to “Athens church of Christ” put “CIC” in the memo.   Thank you.
  2. If you are not attending all the sessions, which sessions will you be attending?
  3. If you have questions, you can call the church office at 423 745 0554, or Thank you.   We are looking forward to your being with us.  The conference and IM training will take place at 1016 North Avenue, Athens, TN 37303; this is the ‘church’ building location for Athens Church of Christ.

Training for Prospective IM’s

Friday, January 19   8 to 4

“Involvement Minister Training”

We will cover job descriptions, inventories, coaching and other relevant subjects…

This day will be good for new IMs, any one transitioning out of one ministry into IM and Bible majors in schools of preaching and Christian universities..

There is NO cost to participants of this training—-but room is limited.

This day will allow us to come together to discuss the issues related to being an IM and hopefully provide even greater opportunities for training others

Are you transitioning out of the pulpit into IM?

Are you looking for IM Training & can’t find it?

Are you looking for training for deacons or ministry leaders?

Are you trying to create an IM job description?


Fire Volunteers?

May Volunteers Be Fired?

The term “fired” is a pretty strong one.   It reminds one of Donald Trump’s show “Apprentice” wherein he fired folks every week until only one candidate for a job was left.

When it comes to volunteers, the idea of ‘firing’ is frightful and it seems to be extreme and unloving—especially in a church context.

I would suppose a better term may be “replacing.”   What I mean by that is that if a volunteer isn’t performing well, he/she should be replaced after an explanation of why the change needs to take place.   Also, a volunteer who is being replaced could be placed in another ministry more fitting for him/her.

John Williams gives some times when it is wise to replace a volunteer:

“Generally, a volunteer who doesn’t do the job well is 1) well-meaning but incompetent (in over his or her head), 2) well-meaning but has not counted the cost in time and effort (has too many other irons in the fire), 3) well-meaning but providentially hindered by some unexpected illness, family responsibility, or other personal problems, 4) well-meaning but who, over time, has lost enthusiasm for the job and maybe is ashamed to admit that by quitting.”

I think there may be other times when a volunteer needs to be replaced; these times would be extreme and do not necessarily need to be discussed herein.

I would suggest that when John’s examples occur, the volunteer should be approached lovingly and kindly.  A blog or text will not do.  It must be in person or at least a phone call.

Going back to our examples, if she/he is incompetent, you may suggest a ministry for which he/she is better qualified.   If time is an issue with the volunteer, you may ask him/her if they are struggling with the demands of the ministry and ask them if they wish to be relieved.   If they are providentially hindered from serving as the ministry demands, you can excuse them from serving.   And, if you see someone who has lost his/her passion for a ministry, you will have to take control, telling him/her what you have seen and heard about their lack of passion and offer him/her a break until the passion returns.   Most volunteers will response positively to your suggestions.


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