General Council
Influence
Influence Speakers

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: www.dnaofaleader.org.)

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

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.


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.


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.

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.

Donna Barrett was appointed general secretary of the Assemblies of God by the Executive Presbytery in April 2018. She is a member of the Executive Leadership Team and the Executive Presbytery. As general secretary, Barrett oversees the credentialing of ministers, church chartering, the collection of official statistics, and the Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center.

Prior to her appointment as general secretary, Barrett was a church planter, serving as founder and lead pastor of Rockside Church (Assemblies of God) in Independence, Ohio. Following seven years as a paralegal, Barrett became a credentialed minister in 1986. She served ten years as youth pastor at Highway Tabernacle Assembly of God in Youngstown,

Ohio, followed by seven years as associate pastor at Bethel Christian in Parma, Ohio.
Barrett is the first woman to serve on the Executive Leadership Team. While pastoring, she served as an elected general presbyter and Ohio Ministry Network executive presbyter for four years each.

River Valley is a church of 10,000 people with 9 US and 1 international campuses. Pastoring people, building teams, and writing songs are his passions. 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 Church Assessment Tool
  • Rick Dubose - Help, My People Don’t Know the Bible!
  • Panel - Building Bridges for Success in Multi-Generational Worship
  • Nino Gonzalez - I Have a Multi-Cultural, Multi-Generational Church… Help! (Reaching Millennials & Gen Zers)
    Tengo una iglesia multi-cultural, multi-generacional… ¡Ayúdame! (Alcanzando millenials y Generación Z)
  • Donna Barrett - How Should the Church Engage with Global Missions?
  • E. Scott & Crystal Martin - Side by Side: Ministering as a Husband and Wife Team
  • Mark Entzminger - Multicultural Children’s Ministry Dynamics
  • Greg Ford - Effective Communication (Preaching)
  • Scott Wilson - Creating a Culture of Leadership Development

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

  • Raymond Hudson, Doug Heisel, John Davidson - Preparing Your Church for Multiplication
  • Alton Garrison - 10 Questions Every Church Needs to Answer
  • Jon Catron – Interview w/Practitioners - We Don’t Do Sunday School… Now What?
  • Team of Musicians - Improvisational Techniques for Worship Bands
  • Panel - Do More with Less (Financial Realities in the Hispanic Church)
    Hacer más con menos (Realidades financieras en la iglesia hispana) Panel de líderes.
  • Justin Mack - Strategically Investing in God’s Kingdom around the World
  • Beth Backes - Mentoring and Commissioning Ministers
  • Josh Wellborn - Youth
  • Heath Adamson - Culture, Change, and Biblical Literacy
  • Jim and Jennifer Wilkes - How to Build a Leadership Pipeline - Part 1

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

  • Preston Ulmer - Reaching GenX & Millennials
  • Ron McManus - Acts 2 Growth Track
  • Ryan Horn and Team of Practitioners - Stop Letting the Blind Lead the Blind (Strategies and Ideas for Training Teachers in the Local Church)
  • Tom Matrone and Panel - Authenticity On and Off the Platform
  • Saul Gonzalez - Growing and Developing your Team (Using the Team your Already Have)
    Creciendo y desarrollando tu equipo. (Usando el equipo que ya tienes)
  • Rick Ross - Influencing a Generation Towards Missio Dei
  • Jim Bradford - Influence of Women in Ministry on Local Church Health
  • Rick Allen and Kay Burnett - Adult
  • Chris Beard and Associate Pastor - Creating a Multi-Ethnic Church
  • Jim and Jennifer Wilkes - How to Build a Leadership Pipeline – Part 2

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

  • Robert Madu
  • John Lindell
  • River Valley Worship

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

  • Jeremy DeWeerdt
  • Al Toledo
  • Q&A with Donna Barrett (General Secretary)
  • River Valley Worship
About

 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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