Engage to feature Eric Bryant

KANSAS CITY – The Missouri Baptist Convention’s (MBC) annual Engage Conference, Feb. 21-23, will feature Eric Bryant, a member of the leadership team at Gateway Church in Austin, Texas, and author of Not Like Me: A Field Guide for Influencing a Diverse World – formerly titled, Peppermint-Filled Piñatas.

Bryant’s book challenges Christians to engage the diverse people that surround their churches, genuinely relating to them, guiding them to faith and developing them into leaders who share the church’s values and convictions.

According to Matt Kearns, MBC leadership development team leader, Bryant and other speakers at the 2014 Engage Conference will equip Missouri Baptist leaders to foster a set of values and convictions that will draw diverse people together for ministry.

“What we hope to accomplish at Engage,” Kearns said, is to “help them know how to create environments and implement strategy to live out their values or accomplish their goals. … How can people embrace the values of this organization, be it the church or the place where I work or the campus ministry, without having to talk about it every week. What are the ways that you can graft that into the DNA of who you are as an organization?”

Gene Austin, MBC leadership development team strategist, added that once such values and convictions are planted get “engrained into the ministry or the church,” the church and its members operate by these values “automatically.”

During four sessions, Bryant will equip ministers and student leaders to create a culture in their ministry or church that both welcomes unbelievers and transforms believers and unbelievers alike. He will also discuss how to develop an innovative culture that calls people to and equips them for mission.

The Engage Conference will also feature breakout leaders, including John Mark Yeats, dean of Midwestern Baptist College, and Steve Turner from the North American Mission Board, who will lead a session on missional living. Other breakout session topics include worship, kingdom leadership, Christ’s kingship, Missouri summer missions projects, making disciples of youth, facing fears, and international student ministry.

Jon Meyer will lead worship during the conference.

To learn more or to register for the Engage Conference online, visit