On Monday, Feb. 20, North Carolina Baptists will gather in Winston-Salem for the 2023 Disciple-Making Conference to learn missional discipleship and explore being “on mission together.”

The one-day conference will feature nearly 30 breakout sessions and will cover topics such as building a sending culture, fostering international discipleship, navigating tension and silos in the church and more. Those who attend will be challenged and equipped to make disciples who are on mission to see people come to know Jesus as Lord.

An abbreviated preview of this year’s breakout sessions is below:


Implementing a Kingdom Disciple-Making Strategy in Church Planting

Church planters desire to make disciples who make disciples and to see multiplication in the churches they plant. However, many planters lack the strategy, systems and structures to ensure this takes place. This breakout will help leaders learn what strategy, systems and structures they can implement to ensure a healthy disciple-making culture in their church plant.

Create Your Dream Disciple: How to Change the Scoreboard

How does your church measure success? Most churches measure success around program activities: worship attendance, Sunday School attendance, volunteer team numbers and others. In this session, we’ll show you how you can create a dream disciple that busts the Engagement Myth (that activity equals transformation) and creates a new scorecard that is based not on program activity but on individual transformation. 

Multiply Everything: Building a Sending Culture

While many churches struggle with a scarcity of leaders in a changing culture, some churches send leaders out from a position of abundance. What if your church could multiply so many leaders that you have no choice but to send them? This breakout session will focus on the tactical ways Mercy Hill Church has built a strong sending culture and will conclude with a workshop that will give you practical next steps in building your own sending culture. 

Leading Change Without Losing Your Ministry

Like every organism, every organization requires change to thrive. Leadership has never been more complex or more vital to the health and growth of the local church. For the church to thrive in a changing world, leaders must embrace the high calling of leading others to change. This breakout will be packed with insights, principles and practical instruction to help leaders move others toward the mission of God and to do so in a manner that facilitates flourishing.

Building Culture Through Tensions

Values shape culture, but even good values can create a negative culture. Truth is a great value, but no one wants a culture of truth without love. This breakout will help you understand the importance of defining competing values and using those tensions to develop and disciple your leaders.

Discipling Internationals in North Carolina

God has brought the nations to North Carolina to be discipled so that they can make disciples. In this session, you will meet and hear from international disciple-makers and learn best practices in discipling people from Islamic, Buddhist, Hindu, Catholic and atheistic backgrounds.

Discipling Students

In this session, you will learn how to implement a practical plan to reach and disciple students. How do you train your volunteer leaders to do the same by multiplying yourself as a leader? 

Making Measurable Disciples

The landscape remains full today of churches that are struggling for direction and growth after COVID-19. Many pastors and leaders started working or volunteering to make a difference in peoples’ lives, but now they find themselves only managing programs and responding to complaints. In this breakout session, come learn some tools to help you develop a model for measureable disciples that God will use to rekindle your heart for the lost and for those currently in your ministry. 

MasterLife Together: A Discipleship Experience for Small Groups

Matt and Allison Willis have co-authored MasterLife Together, a simplified revision of MasterLife written by Matt’s grandfather, Avery Willis. Hundreds of thousands of people were discipled through MasterLife, but fewer people today are able to commit to the seven-month, in-depth process of the original. This breakout session will introduce you to the updated discipleship resource for groups that takes half the time with half of the content.

Destroying Silos and Building Alignment: How to Organize and Align the Disciple-Making Ministry of Your Church

The discipleship ministry of a church is the engine that powers almost everything, and often we get so caught up in building each ministry that we neglect to strategically build and maintain alignment. In this session, we’ll talk about the reasons our ministries are often isolated and how to most effectively move toward alignment, teamwork, collaboration and clarity in all areas of disciple-making.

Developing Leaders for the Mission

Every member is made for the mission. Our goal as pastors is to disciple them to become leaders for the church and for the community. This session provides a simple process that will give leaders a basic framework to help your church develop and deploy leaders for the mission of reaching your communities for Christ.

What’s Love Got to Do With It? Emotional Hindrances in Church Change

Church revitalization is difficult work. Pastors attempting to lead a church in revitalization can face dilapidated facilities, outdated ministry methods and shrinking budgets, and often they make these needs their primary focus. But effective ministry is built on relationships. Pastors must build trust with those they lead if they want to see their church experience renewal. This process requires emotional intelligence — the ability to recognize and manage one’s emotions while also being aware of and interacting with the emotions of others. This breakout will examine the importance of emotional intelligence in church revitalization and offer practical ways for pastors to grow in this essential skill.

Biblical Exposition for Women

Jesus commissioned His followers to go and make disciples, teaching them all that He commanded. Women must take this call seriously and should be equipped to teach the Scriptures. Come learn a process for studying and interpreting the Bible so that you can teach the commands of Christ, discipling faithfully in your local church.

Hope for Struggling and Dying Churches

Do you serve a church that is losing members and trying to figure out “what’s next?” This breakout will offer “pathways of hope” for the struggling church with examples of each possibility for a preferred future.

Context Matters

God has called us to unity, not uniformity. Ephesians is a blueprint for the church to see cultural differences shared, valued and enjoyed while living on mission together. Disciple-making must be explored within this lens. This breakout session will explore the context of Scripture, contextualization (the application of Scripture), and the necessity for the body to conform to the image and character of Christ.

Finding Clarity in Uncertain Times

Times are changing rapidly in our world today, and it can be very challenging to get a handle on things when we have no idea what comes next. How prepared are you and your church to learn and lead in these uncertain times? This session will help participants know how to find clarity as a leader in the face of uncertainty and how to define success for their church as they continue to serve and advance the kingdom of God.

On Mission Together Across Our State and Around the World

This breakout session will show you ways your church can be personally involved in missions across our state, nation and around the world. Led by Baptists on Mission staff, this session will discuss how your church can participate in missions through the mobile dental/health screening ministry, disaster relief, mission camps, the Florence rebuild centers, national and international partnerships and more.

Caring for Those We Send

Just as God calls us to reach the nations, He also calls us to care for those we send. Join us as we dig deeper into what it means to send, care for and receive our missionaries well from the perspective of the missionary, the church and the sending agency.

Leadership Development Principles / Principios de Desarrollo del Liderazgo

As ministry leaders, one of our top priorities is to raise up leaders, but for Hispanic pastors and planters, it can sometimes be difficult to raise up leaders. In this session, you will learn the biblical principles of how to develop leaders through four simple steps: learn, model, disciple, lead.

How to Equip Your Church to Share the Gospel With the Nations in Your Community

God is bringing the nations to North Carolina, but church members are often ill-prepared to share the gospel with them. In this session, you will learn how to effectively equip your church members through simple and visual tools to share the gospel with the nations that are moving to your community. You can use these tools for ongoing community outreach and international mission trips. 

Preparing to Preach or Teach

In this breakout session, we’ll explore an intentional process to develop a biblically accurate, theologically shaped and Christ-centered exposition. 

Mobilizing Your Church for Mission

We talk a lot about churches being on mission, but what does that mean? In this session, we will explore practical ways to take your next step in being on mission together.

Becoming a Sending Church Through Disciple-Making

Sending churches are disciple-making churches. Learn how developing a disciple-making process can prepare your church to become a church-planting, disciple-making beacon for your community.

Discipleship Principles for Worship Teams and Choirs

Would you like to both grow your worship ministry and create disciples through each rehearsal and service? During this session, participants will learn both biblical principles and practical ways to implement discipleship into every fiber of the worship ministry. The information in this breakout is designed to simplify the process of discipleship for both full-time and bi-vocational worship leaders.

Digital Communications: Social Media, Mass Email & Graphic Design

A digital communications strategy is vital to the way a church engages with its members, guests and community. This session will focus on aspects of effective digital communication using social media and mass email as trackable delivery methods. Focusing on basic and practical principles of layout, we will delve into why good graphic design can elevate your message in these digital spaces.


Sessions will be led and facilitated by N.C. Baptist staff, as well as leaders from around the state and other Great Commission partners. Visitors will have the opportunity to attend three breakout sessions throughout the day. 

To learn more about the conference, visit disciplemakingconference.org

by N.C. Baptist Communications