Oklahoma Baptist University recently hosted the “Imagine 2018: OBU Pastors School and Leadership Summit.” The event took place July 9-11 on the OBU campus in Shawnee.

The university partnered with the Great Commandment Network to host the event, which provided pastors with practical strategies for equipping the church, breakout sessions, keynote speakers and numerous free resources.

Approximately 110 participants filled the Stavros Hall Conference Room for a time of fellowship, encouragement, growth and transformation. Attendees hailed from North Carolina, Georgia, Texas, Oklahoma and California, including pastors, ministry leaders, directors of missions and friends.

This year’s summit challenged pastors and leaders from around the country to imagine a world where churches were growing younger and looking more like their neighborhoods, where faith was being imparted to the next generations and where church members were engaged in missional living in their communities and the workplace, exploring key topics both practically and biblically.

The attendees were challenged to consider how to best transmit faith to the next generation through effective discipleship. They were likewise challenged to imagine better strategies for effective outreach to millennials. The group then examined how to undertake effective outreach and evangelism to those closest to the church, within their communities. Also, the group discussed ideas for effective spiritual and leadership development for local church leaders.

Speakers included Dr. Heath A. Thomas, dean of the Hobbs College of Theology and Ministry at OBU; James Swain, Equipping Team Leader for the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma; Dr. David Ferguson, director of the Great Commandment Network and Intimate Life Ministries; Dr. Tom Phillips, vice president of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association; Dr. Jake Mulder, director of strategic initiatives at the Fuller Youth Institute; Dr. Alton Garrison, assistant general superintendent of the Assemblies of God; Dr. Alan Bandy, Rowena R. Strickland Associate Professor of New Testament at OBU; and more.

“This year's pastor's school was, I believe, a landmark for pastoral and leadership development at OBU,” Thomas said. “I have received emails, texts and phone calls from those leaders whose lives were touched and ministry profile changed because of what God did in those three days. Old friends and new friends came together with a commitment to do what it takes to reach the world for Christ. I cannot wait to begin preparing for what God will do in next year's conference!”

The “Imagine 2018: OBU Pastors School and Leadership Summit” was made possible due to gracious support from numerous sponsors and partners, including the BGCO, Baptist Foundation of Oklahoma, LifeWay, B&H Academic, FBC Broken Arrow, Stanfield and O'Dell Consultants and CPA, Christian Standard Bible, The Billy Graham Library, and BroadStreet Publishing.

For more information about OBU, visit www.okbu.edu.