General Council
Influence Speakers

Robert is passionately in love with Jesus. For 13 years he has crisscrossed the globe, preaching the gospel and taking every opportunity to tell people about the love of Jesus Christ.

He is a family man, husband to Taylor Madu, and father, to Everly Adair Madu, Robert Nnaji Madu III, and Remington Elaine Madu.

Robert presents the gospel in such a unique way, that you’re leaning in, holding on to every word that is spoken, as he paints the beauty of the transforming, powerful, life-giving, word of God.

Robert is compelled, to make aware to every individual that God is for them and that He has a specific plan and purpose for every life.

In addition to his itinerate ministry he serves on the teaching team at Trinity Church in Cedar Hill, TX, a church that he has called home since the age of 3.

For the past 27 years, John and Debbie Lindell have served together as Lead Pastors of James River Church, a dynamic, life-filled, multi-site church located in the greater Springfield, MO area that has grown to over 16,000 people in weekly attendance. John and Debbie have 2 married sons, David and Brandon, a daughter, Savannah and 8 grandchildren.

Bobby Gruenewald serves as Pastor, Innovation Leader at Life.Church and is the founder of the YouVersion Bible App, which has been installed on more than 345 million devices. As one of the leading voices in the Church on innovation and the use of technology, Gruenewald has been featured in The New York Times, TechCrunch, CNN, and more. Prior to joining the Life.Church team in 2001, he started and sold two technology companies as well as served in advisory capacities for various startups and venture capital funds. Gruenewald and his wife, Melissa, live in Edmond, Oklahoma with their four children.

Pastor Al Toledo, Lead Pastor of Chicago Tabernacle, with his wife Chrissy, pioneered the multi-ethnic, vibrant church in 2002. Al, who spent his early years in New York City preparing for a promising career as a professional baseball player, gave his life to Jesus while on a baseball field at the age of 17. His Major League journey ended shortly after being drafted by the Chicago White Sox, as God started to direct Pastor Al along a path towards the ministry. He left baseball and began attending a church a short distance from the apartment he grew up in, The Brooklyn Tabernacle. It was there where he would meet Chrissy, the daughter of Lead Pastor Jim Cymbala and his wife Carol. Al served in various ministries and shortly thereafter responded to the call to full-time Christian service. This led Al to Omaha, Nebraska, where he pastored a thriving Assemblies of God church. He later returned with Chrissy to The Brooklyn Tabernacle to support the growing work before, finally, moving to Chicago.

Pastor Al lives with fervent desire to see people become all God has called them to be. An expression of this desire is the DNA of a Leader, a leadership training launched in 2012 to staff and lay leaders at Chicago Tabernacle, emanating from his over 25 years of ministry experience. Since then, DNA has been taught globally, in multiple seminaries, and in various cities. (To find out more about DNA, please visit:

Al and Chrissy Toledo have three children – Susie, Annie and Tommy – and three grandchildren – Wesley, James and Roman.

Jeremy DeWeerdt and his wife Jen, serve as the Senior Pastors of City First Church. They accepted the Senior Pastor position in April of 2007, after having been on staff at City First Church for more than 16 years in the role of Student Ministries Pastor and Director/Founder of the post-high school ministry, Rockford Master’s Commission (currently named City First Leadership College). Jeremy and Jen have been married since 1995 and have three sons, Caden, Connor & Paxton.

River Valley is a church of 10,000 people with 9 US and 1 international campuses. Pastor Ryan Williams, who leads River Valley Worship, is passionate about pastoring people, building teams, and writing songs. River Valley has released 5 critically acclaimed worship albums including their major label debut “Million Lifetimes”. The songs of this local church are being sung around the world and are resourcing the body of Christ in a fresh way.

Wednesday, July 31, 2019 (1:00pm-2:00pm)

  • Jeff Leake - Models of Multiplication
  • Mike Clarensau - Acts 2 Survey: Measuring Spirit-Empowered Church Health Factors
  • Rick Dubose - Help, My People Don’t Know the Bible!
  • Panel - Building Bridges for Success in Multi-Generational Worship
  • Nino Gonzalez - Building a Multi-Cultural and Multi-Generational Church
    Nino Gonzalez - (Spanish) Construyendo una Iglesia Multicultural y Multigeneracional
  • Donna Barrett - How Should the Local Church Engage with Global Missions?
  • Scott & Crystal Martin - Side by Side: Ministering as a Husband and Wife Team
  • Panel: Mark Entzminger, Victor Oliva, Ashley Hawks, Sydney Morrow, & Josh Holdeman - Multicultural Children’s Ministry Dynamics
  • Greg Ford - Preaching the House Down
  • Scott Wilson - Creating a Culture of Leadership Development
  • Sam & Vicki Farina - Coaching Conflict
  • Tim Loar & Tom Matrone - Building Bridges for Success in Multi-Generational Worship

Wednesday, July 31, 2019 (2:15pm - 3:15pm)

  • Raymond Hudson & John Davidson - Preparing Your Church For Multiplication
  • Alton Garrison - The Acts 2 Journey Cohort: Strategy For Church Health and Growth
  • Jon Catron & Ryan Horn– We Don’t Do Sunday School… Now What?
  • Team of Musicians - Improvisational Techniques for Worship Bands
  • Roberto & Waleska Orellana - How to Establish a Successful Community Engagement Model in Your Church
    Roberto & Waleska Orellana (Spanish) Cómo Establecer un Modelo Exitoso de Participación Comunitaria en su Iglesia
  • Justin Mack - Strategic Fundraising for Missions Around the World
  • Beth Backes - Ready, Set, Lead: Creating Community-Based Leadership Development For Women In Ministry.
  • Josh Wellborn - Practical Youth Ministry and Why I Keep Coming Back For More
  • Heath Adamson - Culture, Change, and Biblical Literacy
  • Jim and Jennifer Wilkes - How to Build a Leadership Pipeline - Part 1
  • Amy DeVries - Managing Transitions
  • John Dreher & Tom Matrone - Improvisational Techniques for Worship Bands

Wednesday, July 31, 2019 (3:30pm - 4:30pm)

  • Preston Ulmer - Reaching Gen X & Millennials
  • Ron McManus - Acts Grow Track: An Assimilation Template for Churches Under 400
  • Elly Marroquin - Discipleship Beyond the Church Walls: Impacting Our Communities and Future Generations
  • Tom Matrone and Ryan Williams - Authenticity On and Off the Platform
  • Saul Gonzalez - Overcoming the “Stuck-Church” Syndrome
    Saul Gonzalez (Spanish) Superando el Síndrome de Igle-estancamiento
  • Rick Ross - Influencing Young Leaders Towards Missio Dei
  • Jim Bradford - Influence of Women in Ministry on Local Church Health
  • Rick Allen and Kay Burnett - Anchors for Spiritual Health in Today's Family
  • Chris Beard and Associate Pastor - Creating a Multi-Ethnic Church
  • Jim and Jennifer Wilkes - How to Build a Leadership Pipeline – Part 2
  • Bill Ellis & Josh Torres - Making Great Teams

Wednesday, July 31, 2019 (7:00pm-9:30pm)

  • River Valley Worship
  • John Lindell (Lead Pastor, James River Church)
  • Robert Madu (Madu Ministries)


Thursday, August 1, 2019 (9:00am-12:00pm)

  • River Valley Worship
  • Jeremy DeWeerdt (Lead Pastor, City First Church)
  • Bobby Gruenewald (Innovation Leader, Life Church)
  • Al Toledo (Lead Pastor, Chicago Tabernacle)

 Influence Conference – Wednesday-Thursday, July 31-August 1

Influence Conference is an event that will inspire and equip church leaders through main stage keynote speakers and practical breakout sessions featuring leading ministry practitioners.

Registration & Housing

Make plans now to join us for General Council 2019. Please use the links below to register for the event and to book your housing accommodations. You will need a valid credit card to both register and book your housing. Looking forward to a great time in Orlando next summer.

Breakout Speakers
NFAF / Camp GC

The 2019 National Youth Convention/Fine Arts Festival will begin on Tuesday with on-site check-in. Presentations will take place throughout the week, and the festival culminates with the Saturday evening final service. Camp GC* will once again be part of General Council 2019. Kids ages 3–12 can experience new adventures at Camp GC, the official place for kids to be while the adults enjoy the 2019 Influence Conference and General Council.

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