The Trent@Montreat Conference will return April 16-19, 2018, and promises to offer more opportunities for church leaders to engage in ways that practically equip them for ministry.
Trent@ Montreat was offered as a pilot project in 2016 and focused exclusively on nurturing church leaders. The format of bringing together mentors, relevant topics, and participants seeking opportunities to grow their skill set for practical ministry was a great success. The uniqueness of the Trent@Montreat conference begins with the diversity of the sponsoring organizations: Montreat Conference Center, NEXTChurch, Second Presbyterian Church of Roanoke, VA, and Union Presbyterian Seminary. Though diverse as organizations, they each embrace a brand of nurturing church leaders, offering practical help in core competencies for ministry through coaching, peer support, and worship.
Trent@Montreat emphasizes coaches over speakers. After shared worship and brief presentations by leaders, participants divide into peer tracks that focus on a specific competency such as preaching, staffing, conflict, finances, pastoral care, and Christian education. The tracks are led by experienced practitioners with demonstrated competency in that area.
“We, on the planning team, know what has kept us going in ministry. It is our friendships with colleagues and coaching from those who were doing well what we wanted to do better. We designed a conference to offer others what has sustained us and kept us in ministry over many years,” says George Anderson, pastor of Second Presbyterian Church in Roanoke, VA, and Trent planning team member. “Every member of the planning team, and every sponsoring organization has a passion to help ministers in practical ways within the context of worship and encouragement. This conference is a cause.”
Following the 2016 conference, survey results from participants affirmed the planning team’s hopes for the event: “Life changing, ministry changing. Renewed my passion for serving and getting more involved in my community.” “This was one of the best, if not the best, conferences I’ve ever attended.” “Please do it again. For others. For us. Do this.” The decision to offer Trent@Montreat again was based largely on these survey results which reflected both a strong endorsement of the experience and a strong desire that the conference be offered again.
The event is geared to those who have expanded or changed the direction of their call, and for those who are newly ordained. “Trent@Montreat is like no other conference,” says Lori Raible, planning team member and co-pastor at Selwyn Avenue Presbyterian Church in Charlotte, NC. “While engaging each leader in a way that practically equips them for a sustaining and vibrant ministry, Trent@Montreat connects pastors and educators with colleagues who share a passion for the Church.
With the planning team finalizing details on topics and leadership for the 2018 event, registration is slated to open on May 1, 2017 – well in advance of the April 2018 event. Full details and online registration will be available at www.montreat.org/trent.
Montreat Conference Center is one of three national conference centers affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), annually visited by over 35,000 people seeking physical and spiritual renewal in the beautiful mountains of western North Carolina. For more information, or to learn about programs, conferences, and other activities at Montreat, visit www. montreat.org or call 828.669.2911.