Just prior to Annual Conference Assembly, the Ohio Conference held the 2019 Missional Conference at Salem Mennonite Church in Kidron March 7-8. Eighty-eight people participated in this event.
The theme of the conference was “From Jerusalem to Antioch: Legacy Churches Anchoring Missional Communities.” Featured speakers were Sally Schreiner Youngquist of Evanston, Illinois, one of the founders of Living Water Community Church in Chicago; and Steve North, the pastor of LifeLine Toledo, a church plant in Toledo.
Sally Schreiner Youngquist talked about the years-long process of planting a church in the Rogers Park neighborhood of Chicago. Years before Living Water ever began meeting as a church, members from Reba Place Fellowship began moving into the neighborhood and spent time getting to know the people there. From there small groups developed, and then the Living Water church group began meeting in a rented space before finally purchasing its own building. Along the way there was consistent support from the Reba Place congregation.
Steve North described his calling to plant a different kind of church, and shared some of the difficulties he and his family have encountered along the way. He said that discipleship is not a class or a once-and-done task, but more of a lifetime journey. North focused on the importance of relationships in building community, and he asserted that all relationships are missional relationships.
In addition to presentations by the speakers, the conference included panel discussions and time for participants to discuss questions in small groups.
Each missional conference participant received a copy of the book Missional. Monastic. Mainline. by Elaine A. Heath and Larry Duggins.