Harvest Church hosts conference on changing times

Published 11:58 am Tuesday, July 13, 2021

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Leaders of the eighth annual Prepare Conference, beginning this Thursday at Harvest Church, say the multifaceted event has evolved over the years. “Our heart is to prepare the church for changing times while being led by the Holy Spirit,” said Treva Tankard, who is music pastor at Harvest. “We are moving from being an annual worship gathering with teaching, training and activation to now include encouragement, equipping and empowering for attendees in their roles as current or aspiring leaders navigating in the midst of changing times.”

The event has attracted Jesus-believers from most of the Eastern Seaboard since its inception in 2014, with attendees from faith communities as small as 50 and as large as 300 people. Tankard said the conference offers “something for everyone”, including free evening sessions open to the public at 6:45pm on Thursday and Friday. Former YWAM worship leader Scott Coats will fire up Thursday night’s event.

Also offered are daily “breakout sessions” focusing on worship, leadership, missions and outreach. Led by national and international guests whose experience aligns with featured topics, the 15 sessions include titles ranging from “How To Lead Worship When Nothing Is Normal” and “Opportunities for Growth and Fellowship” to “Teaching and Training in Crisis”.

Tankard and Coats will conduct a separate one-day “Songwriting Intensive” for Jesus-believers whose original music is intended for the local church or other arenas with a Christian message. Four teaching / training sessions are included, as well as individual and group songwriting opportunities. Coats and his wife, who are North Carolinians, launched “Barn Burners” in 2019 to reach America’s small towns and rural areas through nights of worship and gospel proclamation in barns, farms and fields. He is also part of national leadership with “Awaken the Dawn”, which coordinates city-wide tent gatherings as part of the vision to “step out of religious performance and step into our glorious inheritance in Him.”

Other guests include Mathew Lilly, a North Carolinian who has recorded multiple solo and collaborative albums with a vision to “connect, equip, and plant nationwide ‘presence-centered’ communities and expressions of worship and prayer.” Speakers include Bob Sorge and Michael Brown. Based in Kansas City, Sorge was an international worship leader and teacher who lost his voice after a surgical error and, through his battle to adjust and trust God, became a voice for radical dependence on the Holy Spirit’s leading. Brown is another North Carolinian, known for his syndicated radio show “Line of Fire” and contributions to news platforms “The Stream” and “Town Hall”. He is also head of the Charlotte-based Coalition for Conscience and president of FIRE School of Ministry in Concord.

Registration and pricing specifics for daytime sessions and the songwriters’ intensive are available online at prepareworshipconference.com – as well as descriptions of breakout sessions and full guest speaker information.