LEAD Conference 2019 was a huge success. A record 280 Baptist leaders from around the country attended the event, which was expertly hosted by Hutt City Baptist Church on the 24th to 26th June 2019.

With the theme of ‘Together’, the conference was focused on having conversations about who we are, what our purpose is, and how we are to serve. So, as well as hearing from keynote speakers Charles Hewlett and Mick Duncan, and from nine speakers who gave thought‑provoking TED Talks style presentations, there was ample time given for attendees to speak from the floor and to talk in small groups about the ideas being raised. A panel discussion and four interactive seminars also took place, making it a full but invigorating programme.

“For me it was as much about who spoke as it was about the content,” says one attendee, Steven Goulstone. “I was super encouraged by the many different voices that contributed both from the front and from the crowd. There was something beautiful in the creation of space to hear from each other. Charles Hewlett’s facilitation of the discussions, his off-the-cuff ‘I want to pray for you/this’ moments, and his encouragement for us to be silent as God was speaking were all profoundly special. Sharing communion with people I had only ever seen across the room at a Baptist Hui was also a wonderful gift.”

LEAD takes months of preparation—and a special ‘shout‑out’ must go here to the Hutt City team led by Rob Petrini and to the National Centre staff involved—but the hard work is more than worth it when you get feedback like this: 

“LEAD was inspiring. Great conversation. Massive focus on Jesus. Nine superb cameos from people like us. Charles and an outstanding support crew getting us yarning about what makes us tick. I can’t wait for Hui in November. Thanks!” – Chris Chamberlain