Inside the CLA Conference: Learn about Leadership and Financial Management from People Who Know

by Jac La Tour, ECCU Communications Manager
(Originally published as a post within ECCU’s former e-publication, The Buzz.)

A friend once suggested that if you come away from a conference with one good idea, it was worth the investment of time and money to attend. My friend was wrong, especially now, when ministry time and money are harder to come by. If you attend a conference today, you have to come home with good ideas—the kind that you can quickly put into practice. And if it’s geographically close, all the better.

This year the Christian Leadership Alliance (CLA) National Conference (April 19—21) meets both of these important criteria. Well, technically it’s only geographically close if you live in Southern California, since the conference is in San Diego. Then again, using my friend’s kind of conference logic, if you can fly or drive to Southern California, you will be geographically close.

Wherever you come from, once you arrive, you can expect to hear a lot of good ideas. The conference’s keynote speakers alone promise to deliver enough valuable content to make it worth your while. They include:

John Ortberg, senior pastor of Menlo Park Presbyterian Church and author of numerous books, including The Life You’ve Always Wanted.

Ken Blanchard, cofounder and chairman of Lead Like Jesus, chief spiritual officer of The Ken Blanchard Companies, speaker, and author of books like The One Minute Manager.

Major Jeff Struecker, a chaplain and former Army Ranger whose story was featured in the motion picture Black Hawk Down.

Miles McPherson, senior pastor of The Rock Church in San Diego and author of the book Do Something: Make Your Life Count.

If you’re on staff or in volunteer leadership at a church, then the Church Leaders Summit will be of particular interest. Many of the ideas you’ll hear will be about managing ministry finances. Here are some of the dynamic Summit session presenters:

Matthew Cork, lead pastor of Friends Church in Yorba Linda, California, will share the powerful story of how God, in a moment of economic crisis and leadership turmoil, took him and the church on an incredible journey from ministry discouragement to authentic spiritual renewal.

Jim Sheppard (CEO/principal) and Allen Walworth (president/principal) of Generis will present ideas about funding strategies in a challenging economy.

Dale Burke, senior pastor of First Evangelical Free Church of Fullerton, California, is author of several books, including How to Lead and Still have a Life. He will talk about how to slow down, rethink how you lead, and focus with more freedom to pursue the “main things” that move your mission forward.

With presenters like these, you’d have to work hard to come away from the CLA conference and Church Leaders Summit with only one good idea. Hmmm, maybe I should call my friend and invite him to attend.


Details about the CLA National Conference and Church Leaders Summit are available online. Note that when you register for the Summit, you’ll have access to all the conference general sessions as well.

Are you on the staff of an ECCU member ministry? You can attend the Church Leaders Summit (and conference general sessions) for only $149. That’s a savings of $400 from the full, three-day conference price. Register using this code: ECCU_10.

If your ministry is not an ECCU member, you can still enjoy a significant discount. Register for the Church Leaders Summit as a friend of ECCU for only $249 (and attend the conference general sessions as well). That’s a savings of $430 from the full, three-day non-member conference price. Register using this code: ECCU_S.


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