Church starting & strengthening conference
The world isn’t what it was meant to be. Not even close. How can we look around and not feel brokenhearted? Frustrated? Wrecked? Maintaining the status quo isn’t working. We’re losing ground. It’s time to unleash a church movement that changes the world. It’s time to take ground. Together. At the Converge Unleash conference, we’ll help you unleash the gospel by giving you strategies, tools and new ways to strengthen your church and plant healthy, life-giving churches that will impact generations for eternity.




Arbor Road Church

5336 E Arbor Rd

Long Beach, CA 90808


Bryan Loritts

Author & Lead Pastor of Abundant Life Christian Fellowship

Before serving as the lead pastor, Bryan co-founded Fellowship Memphis and the Kainos Movement – an organization committed to seeing the multi-ethnic church become the new normal in our world. He is an award-winning author and serves on the board of trustees for Biola University and Pine Cove Christian Camps.

Scott Ridout

President, Converge

Before becoming President of Converge, Scott was lead pastor of Sun Valley Community Church in Arizona. He also served six years as a Converge overseer, co-led the Vision Arizona church planting team and led Converge Generosity. President Ridout is also a church leadership mentor and coach.

Diana Mescher

Speaker & Group Director at Cornerstone Christian Fellowship

Diana is a Bible teacher, facilitator and encourager. She serves on staff at Cornerstone Christian Fellowship in Chandler, Arizona, as the Groups Director. Diana delivers messages with knowledge, levity and relatability that engage audiences of all ages as she helps them better understand the heart of God. Learn more >


Jan 29

7 – 8:45 a.m.

Main Session
8:45 – 9:30 a.m.

Workshop Session 1
9:45 – 11 a.m.

Workshop Session 2
11:15 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

(provided by Converge)
12:30 – 2 p.m.

Workshop Session 3
2 – 3:15 p.m.

Workshop Session 4
3:45 – 5 p.m.

(provided by Converge)
5 – 6:30 p.m.

Main Session
(Keynote: Scott Ridout)
6:30 – 8 p.m.

Jan 30

Peer-to-peer Groups
9 a.m. – 12 p.m.

12 – 1:30 p.m.

Peer-to-peer Groups
1:30 – 4:30 p.m.

Free time &
dinner on your own

Jan 31

Closing Main Session
(Keynote: Bryan Loritts)
10:15 – 11:45 a.m.

Workshops // January 29

Starting a Healthy Church Plant
Lee Stephenson, Converge Church Planting
Did you know that the mistakes made in the first six months of a church plant can take up to six years to unravel? Join me as we discuss five foundational truths in starting a healthy church.
Biblical Diversity 101: Laying the Ground Work for Diversity Dialogue
Dr. Harold Lewis, Converge Biblical Diversity
The purpose of this workshop is to create safe space to encourage us to explore and experience conversations that deal with diversity and racism as well as help us to discover our own truths and a few dynamics that feed those truths. As a bonus, we would look at a strategic map to become cultural competent.
Pastoring and Multi-Streams of Income
Charles Whitaker, River of Life Church
Learn important principles and practical applications on developing multiple streams of income for your personal finances and your church while maintaining your responsibilities at home and church.
Church planting Lessons from 25 years
Ed Marcelle, Terra Nova Church
Experience gives perspective. Having planting first in 1996 in Albany County, NY, twice more in the last 15 years, running church planting in the Northeast for Acts29 for 10 years and now for Converge, Pastor Ed Marcelle has seen a lot of church planting, planters, and culture shift. This workshop will focus on practical experience to aid churches and planters and shed light on trends in church planting.
Urban Church Planting
Bernard Emerson, Tapestry Church
This workshop will explore the "ins and outs" of planting an Urban church.
Impacting Your Small Community
Glenn Hershberger, Converge Great Lakes
Identify the small town cultural context. How to enter your small community well, plus insights to help you avoid making mistakes in that first couple of years. You will learn ways to better service and impact your community with the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Peer-to-peer // January 30

Peer-to-peer groups are designed to connect pastors and church leaders facing similar challenges in ministry. Groups will meet throughout the day to discuss topics that matter to you, while building strong relationships that will help move your ministry forward.


Small church

125 – 250

251 – 500

501 – 800

801 – 1500


Prelaunch – 5 years



Pastors of African Descent



Less than 500

501 – 1500



Campus pastors

Women in ministry


Leading teams



Arbor Road Church

5336 E Arbor Rd

Long Beach, CA 90808

General Admission
Price per person.
Group 5+
Price per person. Price increases on 1/1/20.
Invite your spouse to attend with you and enjoy a discounted admission rate for your spouse.
Converge Missionaries
If you are a Converge missionary, contact the Converge office for your discount code.
Please call 630.890.3981 if you need assistance registering.