The FiveStone Rock Conference opened with a reading of Luke 6:47-48 . . . the Rock is Jesus Christ. FiveStone Churches is acting on its core commitment to build relationships that Edify, Protect, Encourage and Support church shepherds. And so we did when FiveStone pastors, planters and network shepherds gathered from May 26-29.
The network has grown to five partner churches—including one plant that went public last fall—and on-going work with three church plants in the U.S. and one in Canada. That’s nine churches as of the end of May. (We have not yet announced all of them, so you won't yet see them all on our website.)
FiveStone has grown a lot faster than I expected, said Brian Jones, senior pastor of Calvary Bible Church in Ypsilanti, Mich. Calvary was one of the earliest adopters of the vision of FiveStone Churches, and has been partner church since 2010. Many good things are happening.
FiveStone Churches has not reaped easy fruit. In fact, the ministry has weathered difficult days that have built strength into the base of our ministry of planting, strengthening and renewing local churches.
What did we talk about at the Rock Conference? Here are some of the session topics:
• The Challenge of the Five Stones;
• FiveStone Foundational Commitments;
• Strengthening and Renewing the Local Church;
• Biblical Evangelism and Discipleship;
• Working with Elders;
• Using Tension to Command Attention in Preaching;
• Doing Church in Context.
We combined the sessions with a barbecue, deep dish pizza, a few vegetables, assorted man-foods and a handful of guest church pastors who were checking out the FiveStone ministry. At the core, it’s not how big, how many, how much. It's not Attendance, Building and Cash. It’s about setting character before gifting and building passion for shepherding the local church to make disciples of Jesus Christ.