Speakers and Seminars Set for Connect Conference 3-6 August

Jun 1, 2017

The first newly designed Connect Family Conference will be held 3-6 August at the Lachen Gästerhäuser in Neustadt an der Weinstrasse, Germany.

Rodney Woo, pastor of the International Baptist Church of Singapore will be the featured speaker.  During the worship service each morning he will be speaking on the theme of the weekend, “The body … joined together,” based on Ephesians 4:16.

The extended weekend conference will begin on Thursday and will continue through Sunday afternoon. The schedule will feature a worship service each day, some seminars for spiritual growth, and a children’s program. Teens will have some events as well.  Afternoons will be free for recreational activities or sightseeing.  Evenings will feature a relaxed program geared towards families.

Seminars during the weekend will include “A Guided Tour of the Reformation” led by Paul Gritz, “Helping Families who are Struggling” led by Sandi Black, “Understanding and Parenting Teenagers” led by Wes Black, and “A Scriptural Basis for the International Church from Acts” led by Rodney Woo.

Prices for the weekend are based on the type of room selected.  Prices include registration, lodging, and meals.  Camping prices include three meals a day; day guests include two meals per day.  To register, go to: https://ibc-churches.org/our-events-services/.

Seminars and Seminar Leaders

A Guided Tour of the Reformation

How do events of 500 years ago have any relevance for today? Why has 1517 become an important date in 2017? Why did Lutherans oppose Roman Catholicism? Why did a second branch of Protestants develop? Why did forming churches on the pattern of the New Testament cause problems and result in persecution and martyrdom for its advocates?

To find answers to these questions and more we will take a “guided tour” through the significant locations and individuals who shaped the Reformation. In three sessions we will explore the story of the Lutherans (der evangelisch Kirche), Reformed Protestants, and Free Church folks.

Paul L. Gritz retired as professor of Church History, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Fort Worth, Texas, after teaching for 32 years. He grew up in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, where his father edited the state’s news journal for Southern Baptists. In 1957 he professed his faith in Christ at Trinity Baptist Church. Prior to seminary, he assisted the Governor of Oklahoma for two years on health and human services issues. Paul and his wife Sharon are members of University Baptist Church in Fort Worth  and also work in its mission congregation, Luz del Mundo. Their daughter, Lydia Ruth Whitley, and her husband, Taylor, serve on the staff of IBC Stuttgart.


Helping Families who are Struggling

Often the Lord opens doors for us to be a good listener to a hurting friend or acquaintance we know at church. But how do we know when just listening and praying is not enough? What are some signs that a person might need professional help? What can we do to help if a couple needs marriage counseling? How do we help with friends who are considering or going through a divorce? What about blended family problems? What are some good resources to share with hurting people who need more help than we can give them? Learn some of these skills so that you are ready and open to the Lord using you to minister to people all around who may be hurting and not knowing where to turn.


Sandi Black is a licensed professional counselor who works with teens, married couples, parents, and others in her counseling practice.  She has written and led conferences for women, married couples, youth, parents, and youth leaders in the United States and Europe.  She often speaks for women’s groups in churches.  Sandi and her husband Wes are the proud parents of two grown children and one granddaughter.  She is actively involved in the ministry to parents of teenagers at Travis Avenue Baptist Church in Fort Worth.




Understanding and Parenting Teenagers

Who can understand what’s going on inside the teenage brain? Will I ever survive the teenage years? How can I rebuild the heart connection and improve communication between my teen and me? These are just some of the questions we will deal with in this conference.  If you are a parent or grandparent of a teen or preteen, or if you work with youth in a church, this conference is for you.

Wes Black is retired professor of student ministry and associate dean for Ph.D. studies in the School of Church and Family Ministries at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Fort Worth, Texas. He now serves in retirement as the minister with legacy and senior adults at his church.  He has written for and taught youth and youth leaders in the United States, Europe, Asia, and the Philippines.  He and his wife Sandi are the parents of two grown children and one granddaughter.  He is actively involved in the ministry to parents of teenagers at Travis Avenue Baptist Church, Fort Worth, Texas.



A Scriptural Basis for the International Church from Acts

Many believe that the 21st century is the closest to the 1st century than any other century since the beginning of the church. The book of Acts is the only book in the New Testament that tracks the movement of the Gospel from its place of origin, Jerusalem, to the capital of the Roman Empire. There is a possible new GPS system (global people system) as the church moves from a somewhat homogeneous Jerusalem church (especially in their mindset) to the internationally diverse Rome church. There are elements that we will discover from Acts that have direct parallels to the international church, especially in navigating the local church in a global direction, namely the global mission, the global makeup, and the global mindset.

Rodney Woo is senior pastor of the International Baptist Church in Singapore. Before his call to Singapore, he was the senior pastor of Wilcrest Baptist Church in Houston, Texas, and a professor at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and Houston Baptist University. He and his wife Sasha have three sons.

As pastor of Wilcrest Baptist Church for more than 18 years, Woo led the church from an all-Anglo declining congregation into a multiracial congregation with more than 44 different countries represented.  For the last five years, he has served at IBC, Singapore with 54 different nations and 121 different ethnicities represented.  The church is now moving toward the full integration of the four language congregations into the English-speaking congregation.