2st Annual ITCM Conference-2012

"And the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied" (Acts 6:7)


In August 2012, ITCM hosted a Russian church leaders' conference, "Multiplication", exploring how, through God's grace, the gospel can be spread in Russia today. We rediscovered for ourselves an old truth - out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks.

  On August 1, representatives from ten congregations from Minsk (Belarus), Donetsk (Ukraine), Voronezh, Barnaul, Tomsk, Miass, Yuzhno-Sahalinsk and St. Petersburg met at the facilities of Neva church of Christ in St. Petersburg, Russia to discuss the problem of the shrinking size of congregations. The churches of Christ in Russia are not growing, and the number of overall congregations is decreasing. We assembled to pray and discuss what we can do, by God's grace, to remedy this situation. A few years ago there were 55 congregations in Russia. For a territory that covers 1/6 of the Earth's surface, this is far too few. Congregational leadership has not developed. Because of this, small congregations become dependent only on certain individuals. In addition to undeveloped leadership, we generally are not taught to look further than the immediate needs of a local congregation. This focus only on the internal needs of a congregation ends up harming it. As one brother stated during the conference: "The more we are trying to keep what we have, the more brethren we lose." At this conference we discovered for ourselves that the real secret to preserve what we have is to reach out, to be evangelistic, and to spread the Good News without ceasing. We were reminded that there is no one, except us, who can do it. This ministry now is in hands of indigenous Christians.

  We had an international group of teachers at the conference. Andrey Malets is a minister in one of three congregations in Minsk, Belarus. He also is Dean of the Biblical department at Minsk Seminary. Aleksander Prokopchik is a minister at one of the many congregations in Donetsk, Ukraine. As a TV- evangelist on the nationwide TV program "Church of Christ,"he has had the opportunity to travel Ukraine, teach those who write letters and plant new congregations. Andrey Sklyarov from Barnaul is a very well known and respected minister from a congregation that has been training and sending church leaders throughout Russia. Recently, he participated in planting a new congregation in Barnaul.   Andrey Sklyarov from Barnaul
  These brothers prepared lessons and questions for discussion in small groups. After each class we divided into three groups and had a workshop, where everyone was involved in discussions using the prepared questions. During these sessions, everyone was given the opportunity to share ideas on how to more effectively spread the gospel. We prayed that God's spirit would be active during our brainstorming sessions. The small groups then shared their ideas with each other during a general discussion time.   small groups
  Brothers in Christ   Every morning and evening we had inspirational lessons by Rich Little, a minister from University church of Christ in Malibu, CA. His lessons on Spiritual Formation, Spiritual Disciplines and Discipleship were both informative and inspiring. We asked conference participants a question: if they were to mention just one thought from the conference, what it would be? The answers were diverse. "I really need to reconsider the role of fasting in my spiritual life." "One idea from the conference that I particularly liked was a prayerful "divine" reading of the Scripture." One comment in particular really summed up what we discussed during the conference: "True evangelism is a result of a changed heart, rather than some kind of strategy."
  During those August days in St. Petersburg, we considered different strategies and approaches to evangelism, but everything starts in the hearts of people. The conference challenged us to be bold in dreaming and acting and we pray that we can realize this idea in our ministry. We are already looking forward to another conference hosted by ITCM in May of next year for the benefit of the brethren and for God's glory.

Pictures  Download...
Conference Program    Download...*.DOC

Audio Materials

MP3 Audio    Download...[*.MP3 357 Mb]

Video Materials

Video  01 See on-line... Lesson 1. "Spiritual Formation at the Heart of the Gospel" Rich Little

Video  02 See on-line... Lesson. "Why Does the Church Grow? Are There Special Secipes for Growth?"

Video  03 See on-line... Cohort discussion. Overall results of discussions

Video  04 See on-line... Lesson 2. "Spiritual Formation at the Heart of the Church" Rich Little

Video  05 See on-line... Lesson 3. "God's Use of Formative Spiritual Disciplines" Rich Little

Video  06 See on-line... Lesson. Part 1. "Go and report what great things the Lord has done for you."

Video  07 See on-line... Cohort discussion. Overall results of discussions

Video  08 See on-line... Lesson. Part 2 "Paul - Wise Builder."

Video  09 See on-line... Cohort discussion. Overall results of discussions

Video  10 See on-line... Lesson 4. "Choosing and Practicing Spiritual Disciplines" Rich Little

Video  11 See on-line... Lesson 5. "Revisiting the Great Commission: A Primer for Discipleship"

Video  12 See on-line...Lesson. "Multiplication of Church of Christ Congregations"

Video  13 See on-line... Cohort discussion. Overall results of discussions

Video  14 See on-line... Part 1. Presentation of churches, ministries, needs, expectations

Video  15 See on-line... Part 2. Presentation of churches, ministries, needs, expectations

Video  16 See on-line... Lesson 6. "Discipleship in the Local Church: Practices and Models"