Climb Conference September 2023, Highlights

Conference Theme: WE DO NOT LOSE HEART

Theme Scripture: 2 Corinthians 4:13-18

From Shawn Wooten, Bucharest Church of Christ

  • He moves every 3-6 months to strengthen an eastern european church
  • Lives out of 1.5 suitcases
  • Founder of REVIVE-asks empty nesters or new college grads to come with him and move to an eastern european church to strengthen and encourage the disciples there for 10 months

Read Matthew 16:15-9

  • Peter knew Jesus was the Son of God because God revealed it to him
  • Jesus informed Peter that he was going to build his church
  • Building his church was the way Jesus would save souls
  • The Gates of Hades will not overcome Jesus’s church
  • Jesus’s church will pull people out of satan’s kingdom and nothing will be able to stop us from pulling them out, unless they do not want to be pulled out of course
  • Jesus’s church is a rescue boat, not a cruise ship, we don’t need all the bell’s and whistles
  • Once you are on a rescue boat, you are safe. You don’t care who you are sitting next to, right?
  • Peter was given the keys on how to enter Jesus’s church
  • In Acts 2, Peter told everyone how to enter into Jesus’s church, they needed to repent and be baptized
  • Jesus’s church is the most significant “organization” on this planet
  • When someone dies they are either lost or saved no in betweens
  • We are not wasting our time helping the lost to be saved. Helping to build God’s church is the most important work going on in any city at any time. 

Read Hebrews 10: 24-25

  • We need to encourage each other to keep on loving and doing good deeds
  • God loves me and every human being
  • We need to understand how much God loves us then we can convince others that God loves them too.
  • In the church we are commanded to love God and to love each other
  • We were chosen to know God  and God has given us everything we need to love him and to love others and to lead others to Him
  • Some Practicals: organize into small groups of 3-5 people and encourage each other to live as a Christian- we should be praying daily, encouraging people daily, just saying hello; grow in our relationship with God weekly and meet new people daily. Practice having temple courts, ie. going to the same cafe or public place and bringing God’s word there to reach the lost.

Read Hebrews 10:32-39

  • Keep moving, don’t get stuck
  • Keep getting up despite the storms
  • We have places to go to in order to build Jesus’s church
  • One day the sky will open and we will see the angels and Jesus coming down and he will claim his people
  • When you  see Jesus for the first time eye to eye he will be proud of you for not giving up
  • This is why we are here and why we do what we do in order to spend eternity with Jesus


From Jeanie Shaw

“Filling up on GOD”

  • As a leader in the  church it can be difficult to receive from God
  • We can feel like we are never enough so we keep working harder and harder
  • It is important to remember God loves you for you, not for your activities
  • How do you remember God loves you? For Jeanie- it’s by spending time in nature
  • Take time to stop and spend time receiving from GOD

Read Psalm 36:8 and Ephesians 3:15-19

  • The way we view God can impact the way we live
  • If we view God as “judicial” we can feel like he is here to judge us and we have to keep working harder and harder to please him
  • If we view God as “relational” we can feel his presence in our lives and that he is loving and delights to be with us
  • We can only give to others out of an abundance. If we feel God’s love in abundance we will give abundant love to others. The opposite is true, if we do not feel the abundance of God’s love in our life we will not be able to give to others. 
  • Spend time praying to God and dwelling in his presence and being in touch with the Holy Spirit; Feast on God
  • Make space to BE instead of just doing
  • Sayings to remember: Happy Cows make lots of milk and Happy Chickens lay a lot of eggs. You can't squeeze blood out of a turnip.

READ Psalm 46:10


  • Be Still
  • Spend 30 minutes a day in silence and receive from GOD, do not pray or work, just be still
  • God gave sabbath rest so we can be still
  • Jesus was in the desert 40 days before he started his ministry so that he could be still 
  • Paul spent years alone before he went out to preach
  • BE STILL and experience the presence of GOD instead of running around busy. Jesus’s ministry walked at his pace about 3 miles per hour. How fast is your life going, do you outpace Jesus?
  • Take time to consider the lilies and notice the rivers that God made. Being in nature helps you to be in his presence and receive from him. 
  • We can receive comfort and guidance from being in the presence of GOd. Consider Hannah when she was praying and God heard her. She was in his presence pouring out her heart to Him and he heard her prayers. 
  • The more we enter the space of God the more we will receive from God and get closer to the spiritual world of God.

READ Matthew 11: 28-30

  • How do you feel after reading this passage?
  • Reading God’s word should fill us with contentment
  • God’s word keeps us from drying up

We can be filled up with God by using our senses

  1. Sense of Imagination: spend time imagining with God
  2. Sense of Speech: we can learn from hearing words spoken by God’s spirit (1COR 2:13)
  3. Sense of Seeing: Exodus 34:33-35, when Moses saw God he became radiant. When we study God, we can explain who He is to people in detail like an artist. When astronauts experience outer space, they return home and are more kind and are more dissatisfied with the affairs of the world. When we experience God with our eyes, we begin to realize we are part of a bigger picture
  4. Sense of Listening: creating space in order to listen to God’s word will help us to experience Him in a new way. Try doing a listening prayer: pray, stop and listen for what God is telling you. 
  5. Sense of Smelling God: Revelation 8: the smoke of incense, prayers, imagine smelling prayers to God
  6. Sense of Touching God: remembering God made items you are touching
  7. Sense of Tasting God: remembering God made the food you are eating and enjoying it

From Pam Skinner

2 COR 4:7-12

As leaders we need to persevere in our marriages.

  • We should be devoted to our relationship with God and to our spouses
  • Remember to renew your marriage and your friendship with your spouse instead of being isolated and feeling forgotten in a small church
  • Don’t just feel sorry for yourself, find another couple to get with to help encourage you in your marriage


  • Be his biggest fan. Our husbands need us
  • Criticism and Negativity can destroy your marriage
  • We worship Jesus not our husbands
  • Have humility toward your husband, don’t take him for granted
  • They need to hear what a great job they are doing with leading church, leading your family, etc
  • Make a habit of taking time to build up your husband
  • If there is a tough item to talk about, call it a friendly challenge
  • Call other brothers in the church and ask them  to call and encourage your husband
  • Let him lead you even if he makes some mistakes
  • Make your marriage a priority: GOD, HUSBAND, KIDS, MINISTRY-in that order
  • Have date nights and keep courting or he will be distant and resentful
  • Know what your husband likes and participate in things he likes to do


  • Read  SAM 22:1-2
  • Find your group, don’t go at it alone
  • Dream for your women to do great things
  • Pray for your women 
  • 1 SAM 23:16- Get best female friendships, including friendships outside your small church to help you find strength in GOD
  • Be intentional about your friendships, don’t neglect them



Joel and Christy Peed and Dr. Sean St. Jean

  • Ministry Growth does not always equal ministry health
  • We should desire to have healthy ministries, lead by healthy leaders

READ 2 COR 4:6-18

  • As ministry leaders, we are highly vulnerable to mental fatigue
  • We can combat some of this with being highly spiritual and highly structured
      • Ministry leaders are helping professionals and are therefore subject to personal stress and burnout
      • Burnout occurs when someone feels ineffective, overwhelmed, stressed and feels like what they are doing has lost meaning
      • Comparing yourself to others can also worsen burnout
      • Hearing negative issues daily can lead to a darkening and cynicism of your world view. Cynicism is heart damage that can lead us away from God. Little lies from Satan can rot our hearts and cause us to turn away from God.
      • Compassion Fatigue: compassion  should be action oriented, which does not lead to burnout. We can show compassion and have healthy boundaries; we get fatigued when we have poor boundaries. 
      • 1COR 3: 6-7: God makes things grow, we water and plant. Stop doing tasks that you were not called to do, this leads to burnout.  We should focus on enjoying the planting and watering. God does the growing. 
      • The Apostle Paul led his ministry by following the Holy Spirit
      • He did not put confidence in his flesh or eloquent speeches, but in God alone
      • Paul taught about the Holy Spirit 160 times in his letters. Is your ministry spirit lead or duty lead?
      • You have to stop talking, stop being afraid, stop the distractions, stop listening to other voices, stop the disbelief, stop the busyness: in order to hear the voice of God.
      • A loud, overcrowded, hyperactive life is the opposite of a spirit led life.
      • Read 1 COR 14:33
        • God is orderly and full of peace
        • Paul was a fool for Christ but he was not foolish
        • He instructed all leaders should lead a peaceful and quiet life, not a chaotic and overscheduled life
        • It’s unsustainable to live a chaotic life, ie. always running behind, never caught up, always late to things, this is damaging to your mental health and well being
        • Is your life showing chaos or encouragement to others?
        • As God was creating, he created a daily rhythm to life: night and day, seasons, weeks, sabbath rests. He also provided food, water, work and times to rest. God created weekly sabbaths, sabbaths every 7 years and even a 49th year rest. He created rest for the human kind. Do you rest in God? Humans tend to lean toward greed, chaos, and avoiding God’s boundaries. This leads to busyness and chaos in our lives.
        • What rule of life do you live by? 
        • Stop overfunctioning, work only the hours you are supposed to work, take all your vacation days, take a weekly sabbath day, take a monthly solitude day. Stop doing too much with too many people. Go on nature retreats to spend time with God. Spend special times with your children, spouse and take time to build some friendships outside of your small church.
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