2020 Presenters & Clinicians

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Presenter- Bold Preaching that Grows Churches (Tuesday and Wednesday) @ 10:00am

Rev. Dr. Stacy L. Spencer

Senior Pastor, New Direction Christian Church 
Memphis, TN

Dr. Stacy L. Spencer is the Senior Pastor of New Direction Christian Church in Memphis, Tennessee, a multi-site congregation with church plants in Collierville, TN and Idutywa, South Africa.  The Olmstead, KY, native is a dynamic speaker, visionary and author. His energetic and culturally relevant messages address the spiritual growth of the individual and issues in society. He has a passion to teach Kingdom living- to equip people with biblical guidelines and practical resources that can transform their lives and the world. Dr. Spencer’s Kingdom mindset led to the development of Eden Square Town Center; a multi-million- dollar community model intended to reinvigorate an area of Memphis that is considered a food desert. The mixed-use development project includes a middle school, performing arts center, wellness center, retail spaces and housing.  In 2018, Dr. Spencer also wrote “U-Turn: A 12 Step Guide to Spiritual Transformation” to help people experience a deeper and more fulfilling relationship with Jesus. 

Dr. Spencer is chairman of the board of directors for Power Center Community Development Corporation. The independent non-profit launched Power Center Academy, a charter school that celebrated the May 2015 high school graduation of its inaugural class of 6th graders. He earned a Doctor of Divinity from Drew University, a Master of Divinity from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and a Bachelors in Broadcast Communication from Western Kentucky University. He and Rhonda Spencer are the proud parents of four sons, Calvin, Omari, Jordan and Jaden.


Rev. Larrin Robertson

Senior Pastor, Word for Life Church Ministries
Fort Washington, MD

What is Your Preaching Model/Method?

 “I followed the voice you gave to me but now I’ve got to find my own,” sang Beyoncé in the movie, “Dream Girls.”  Every preacher needs to find her/his preaching model, method or voice. The danger for many preachers is that we might be following the model, method or voice that someone gave to us.  Many have not taking the time to identify their model, method or voice. This workshop is designed to help each participant to declare like Beyoncé, I got to find my own.

 Additionally, the Rev. Larrin Robertson, Ph.D. Candidate (African American Preaching and Sacred Rhetoric) Christian Theological Seminary  will offer tools and aids on how to be a more effective preacher once you have found your model, your method, your voice.

Rev. Chesla T. Nickelson
Program Director, Disciples Women and Merger Staff
Indianapolis, IN

Reimagining and Re-membering Christian Education and Spiritual Development

God gave us sexuality and it is good. We were created as whole beings; mind, and soul in the image of God.  This workshop will discuss the possibilities of integrating Comprehensive Sexuality Education as an essential aspect of Christian Education and Spiritual Development.

Rev. Kristen P. Bentley
Project Director, Conversations on Stewardship & Finances
Lexington Theological Seminary, Lexington, KY

Bi-vocational Ministry Workshop

While there is biblical and theological support for bi-vocational ministry, research at Lexington Theological Seminary indicates that bi-vocational ministers face challenges and often sense their ministry is understood as a “lesser than” ministry which is often called “full-time.”  At Lexington Theological Seminary, there is a recognition of the need in many congregations for ministers who hold another job and we have conducted research to understand their experiences.

This workshop focuses on what we are learning through the research project regarding bi-vocational ministry at Lexington Theological Seminary.  It would highlight findings of a web survey of Disciples ministers in Kentucky (40% of respondents were bi-vocational) and themes emerging from interviews conducted with 13 solo bi-vocational pastors and 20 lay leaders of congregations with bi-vocational pastors.  The workshop would also draw attention to three interpretive narratives regarding bi-vocational ministry, that it is a “sign of the times,” the “way we’ve always done ministry,” or the “cutting edge of the future.”

Rev. Shannon Dycus
Dean of Students at Eastern Mennonite University
Harrisonburg, VA


Selah Circles: Being Whole While Doing Ministry

Through small group conversations filled with authenticity and grace, this workshop invites clergy and leaders to be reflective of their own spirit, experience, and relationship with God.  With guided spiritual and therapeutic prompts, Rev. Shannon Dycus and Rev. Lee Ivey will create space for listening deeply, imagining healing, and moving toward a modality of self-care that might enable a healthier human and minister.  
Rev. Lee B. Ivey III, MDiv, MA, CMHC
Resident Therapist, Christian Theological Seminary
Indianapolis, IN

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