The Big Little Church Conference Is Coming! (April 11-13, 2016)

BLC logo 1240 x 697Have you ever gone to a pastors’ conference, only to leave discouraged? Me too.

It probably wasn’t because the content was bad. But, as a small church pastor, much of the material at many conferences doesn’t fit our circumstances. Or it unintentionally makes us feel guilty because our church isn’t big. Not to mention the cost.

That’s why we’re doing the Big Little Church Conference!

Why Is This Conference Different?

First, it’s for everyone.

The idea of a doing conferences specifically tailored to small churches is still new. I’ve been honored to speak at several of them over the last few years, but most of them have been denominational. They’ve been great, and there are more coming. But this one is open to all.

Second, all the speakers come from a small church perspective. In addition to me, we’ll also hear from Dave Jacobs of, Jeff Keady of and more.

Third, we hope this will start a trend of holding other regional conferences, including one at a campground near you. So, even if you can’t be at this one, tell other conference organizers and camp owners about this event. We’d love to do one near you in the future.

When, Where & How Much?

Camp Lacamas, Retreat & Conference Center

In Camas, Washington (20 minutes from the Portland airport)

April 11-13, 2016

(Option for early check-in on April 10)

Individual Registration: $69.00

Pastoral Couple Registration: $99.00

(Includes cabin style lodging. Meal packages available)

The campground can also work with you on special pricing for bringing your entire church ministry team.

Why Is This Conference at a Campground?

1. Because they offered. Carl & Kalani Culley, who own the campground, got in touch with me over a year ago, after reading my book and blog, and asked ‘how can we use our campgrounds to help small church pastors?’ So, I visited their camp, where we brainstormed for two days and came up with the game plan.

2. Campgrounds are far less expensive than hotels. You can bring your whole ministry team for far less money than any other conference I’m aware of.

3. A campground has lots of options. You can stay in a cabin (they’re clean, but very primitive, FYI), pitch a tent, or stay in a trailer or RV. RV/Trailer slabs are limited, so register early if you want one. You can even rent a hotel room just a 10-minute drive from the hotel. So, depending on your finances and your comfort level, you can go from very rustic to very high-end.

4. You can bring your family. A campground provides great spaces for your kinds to have a lot of fun. They can play with other PKs while you’re in the sessions, and you can have some great family fun during the large chunks of down-time between sessions.

5. There’s just something about being outdoors, instead of in a hotel. We’ve purposely arranged the schedule with lots of elbow room for relaxing, prayer, fellowship with other pastors, whatever you need. We’ll get to know each other over dinner, on hikes, around the fire, and so on.

Why Being There Matters

We’ve already heard from many who are planning to come.

For those who can’t come, we hope to record the sessions and make them available online eventually. But I encourage you to do everything you can to be there. We won’t be able to live stream the event. The area is too remote for high-speed wi-fi.

We plan to do an audio recording of the sessions, and hopefully video, too. So you can get all the info by listening to the sessions later. But you won’t be able to get the most important aspect of it unless you’re there.

The fellowship. The conversations. The personal touch.

I believe those moments with other pastors and church leaders over meals or around a campfire will be the greatest benefit of this conference.

If you’d like more details, check out the official website at

Also, I encourage you to Like their Facebook page. That will be the best place to get updates, ask questions, hear from others who are going, and more.


So what do you think? Can you make it to the conference? Do you know of anyone who can help us put on a conference like this near you?

We want to hear from you. Yes, you!
Enter your comment right below this post and get in on the conversation.

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5 thoughts on “The Big Little Church Conference Is Coming! (April 11-13, 2016)”

  1. I am not sure what defines a “small church,” but I know it describes mine. My pastor has always told us to give no concern to “growing,” because the Lord will build His church. Even though small, our church has made an incredible impact on many lives through our various ministries. I have been disappointed that “big” church leaders have failed to recognize that some of the most gifted pastors and other church body members are often as equally gifted as those of so-called big churches. It is often presumed that a pastor must be “really good” if he has a big following, when the opposite can be true. People love entertainers and anyone who can make them feel good. Very few in this age want to hear the simple word of God taught without the frills and thrills. There are some wonderful large churches that have retained the intimate contact with their flock, but that is rare. My pastor, in our small church, is one of the best Bible teachers I have ever heard, but when it comes to large church conferences pastors like him appear to be snubbed. So, I commend you for recognizing that it is the LORD Who annoints to preach and teach the gospel. It has nothing to do with size. We small church bodies do have our own unique challenges and it is wonderful to see what you are doing. Finally, when I think about this issue, I remember the woman at the well. She was just one person and the God of Heaven and earth stopped to preach to her!

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