A conference for church leaders

May 8–10, 2017

A conference for church leaders

May 8–10, 2017

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Drive Conference is for church leaders who are continually shifting gears to keep up with the demands of ministry. At Drive 2017, you’ll attend four main sessions, in which Andy Stanley will share his latest thoughts on leadership and ministry.

There will also be a variety of breakout sessions led by key communicators from North Point Ministries. These breakouts offer an opportunity to dive deep into ministry areas that interest you.

New this year, we’re offering an Early Experience ticket that includes an opportunity to attend two Early Sessions on Monday afternoon. Tickets for the Early Sessions are limited, so be sure to grab yours before all the spots are filled.

The staff at North Point Ministries is excited to host you at Drive! We look forward to networking, having fun, and worshiping with you and over 2,000 other church leaders from around the world. We hope you'll leave Drive feeling refueled and knowing you aren't alone on the road.

DRIVE . . . because we're not there yet!


Print Version

Excellerate One-Day Conference (For Missions Leaders)
9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
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Excellerate is a one-day missions conference specifically designed for church leadership and global missions leaders who feel that it’s time to rethink, retool, and reengage how our churches impact the world. You will learn about innovative solutions and practical systems that can transform your paradigm of effective missions, especially as they relate to working with the poor.

Visit our website to register!

Early Experience Check-in
2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Early Experience Session One
3:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
A Walk Through UpStreet (K–5th) (Part 1)

Join us as we take you step by step through a Sunday experience in our elementary environment. Starting with a new family's experience at Guest Services and moving all the way through to parent pick-up, we'll discuss the hows and whys behind our systems and programming and how we use a filter called The Rules of Engagement to help us design irresistible environments.

A Walk Through Waumba Land (Birth–4 years) (Part 1)

Join us as we take you step by step through a Sunday experience in our preschool environment. As we move from a family's VIP experience in the parking lot all the way to parent pick-up, we'll discuss the hows and whys behind our systems and programming and how we use a filter called The Rules of Engagement to help us design irresistible environments.

Creating a Starting Point for Seekers, Starters, and Returners

Do you have an environment in your church where attendees that are exploring Christianity, are new in their faith, or are simply giving church another shot can safely ask their questions and express their doubts? Come learn about the environment we have created where people can explore faith and experience community.

Rules of Engagement

Through trial, error, and consistent evaluation, we’ve been able to devise a formula that enables us to intentionally create an engaging experience for our audiences week after week. In this breakout, we’ll discuss the “Rules of Engagement” for creating purposeful environments.

Student Groups Model

In this breakout, we’ll share the purpose and the strategy for establishing successful student small groups. We will also talk about the significant role of the leaders who connect with our students in our small groups.

4:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Early Experience Session Two
4:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.
A Walk Through UpStreet (K–5th) (Part 2)

Join us as we take you step by step through a Sunday experience in our elementary environment. Starting with a new family's experience at Guest Services and moving all the way through to parent pick-up, we'll discuss the hows and whys behind our systems and programming and how we use a filter called The Rules of Engagement to help us design irresistible environments.

A Walk Through Waumba Land (Birth–4 years) (Part 2)

Join us as we take you step by step through a Sunday experience in our preschool environment. As we move from a family's VIP experience in the parking lot all the way to parent pick-up, we'll discuss the hows and whys behind our systems and programming and how we use a filter called The Rules of Engagement to help us design irresistible environments.

Engaging Singles to Grow Your Church

Two years ago, single adults began to outnumber married adults in the United States. What are you doing to reach them? These single adults have unique felt needs that, if addressed, can draw them to your community. Come discover how to engage singles and leverage a Singles ministry to grow your church.

How to Have a Difficult Conversation

Every leader faces difficult conversations, and most do anything to avoid them. Whether they are with co-workers, volunteers, or church attendees, these conversations are an unavoidable reality of leadership. In this session, we will examine the anatomy of difficult conversations and discover the variables that are key to handling them effectively. In addition, we'll share the practical tools and approaches we use.

Developing a Spiritual Growth Strategy

We all want to be part of ministries that are facilitating authentic growth for adult attendees. To do that, we need strategies that are easily transferable so they can be passed along to staff, group leaders, and group members. That kind of strategy requires clarity around four key questions. Join us as we unpack those questions and provide you with a filter to think through your own growth strategy.

Main Check-in
6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
Main Session One
7:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.
Main Session Two
9:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.
10:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
Breakout Session A
11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Busting the Bubble: Strategies to Engage the Community

The unfortunate tendency of most churches is to create programs and events, open the doors, and simply hope new people come. When they don't, we scratch our heads and wonder what happened. Yet the problem isn’t typically what they didn’t do; it’s what we didn’t do. This breakout will offer some practical ideas our churches are using to get outside our walls to engage the community and to build bridges between church and community . . . plus a few reminders of what to do when the community shows up!

Defining Staff Values that Strengthen Your Culture

A few years ago, the North Point leadership team embarked on a long journey to recast the values that define successful staff members and key volunteers. In this session, we will discuss how your ministry can benefit from a similar process. We'll also highlight the values we chose and share some clarifying questions that make each value personal.

Digital Curb Appeal

In an ever-increasing digital world, how churches leverage social media, websites, and apps to engage their communities has never been more important. Learn how we try to emulate the apostle Paul by using the technology of our day to reach people and lead them into a growing relationship with Jesus.

Engaging Culture

We live in a culture. We want to engage it. How do we do so and keep our beliefs and reputations intact? How can we have influence with unchurched people without compromising relationships or our positions in the church? In this breakout, we'll share some thoughts on managing the tensions created when we step out and engage our culture.

Navigating Difficult Conversations with Volunteers

A sensitive conversation with a volunteer has the potential to drive someone closer to or further away from God. We all want to get it right. From time to time, we have tough conversations that can result in asking someone to step away from volunteering for a season or discouraging him or her from volunteering in a particular environment all together. We’ll talk through ways we approach these conversations and things we’ve learned along the way.

Parent Strategy for Student Ministry

All too often, student pastors underestimate the value of partnering with parents to achieve goals with students. We sure did! In this breakout, we will discuss what we have learned through defeats and victories as we begin to truly understand the power of a student/parent strategy.

Reaching Unbelievers in the Workplace

Many Christians in the workplace find the idea of talking to their co-workers about God awkward and intimidating. What if there was a simple way to equip your leaders to make a spiritual impact in the lives of their friends at work? In this breakout, we’ll talk about how we've created a nonthreatening workplace environment for people outside the faith to discover their best next steps in their spiritual journeys.

The Comeback Effect

Like most growing, thriving churches, we have always placed a high value on our guest experience. We want every one of our guests to come back each Sunday. In this breakout, our Guest Services team will share fun, helpful, and practical ideas that create guest experiences that are worth coming back for.

Round-Table Discussion: Administrative Assistants
Round-Table Discussion: Care Network
Round-Table Discussion: Fostering Together
Round-Table Discussion: KidMin
Round-Table Discussion: NP World Missions Model
12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Breakout Session B
1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
An “Invest and Invite” Strategy for KidMin

We love to challenge our kids and their families to invite their unchurched friends to our environments. And we believe the idea of investing in relationships and inviting friends is big enough to deserve a strategy of its own. We’ll discuss a few of the events we have developed and the strategies behind them that give kids and parents an “easy ask” to invite their unchurched friends and neighbors.

Attracting a Generation That’s Leaving the Church

Millennials are leaving the church at an increasing rate. This breakout looks at our newest service, NP/NIGHTS, and how we’re reengaging the millennial generation with community, authenticity, and simplicity.

Cultivating a Sunday Morning Culture

A Sunday morning can be a pressure cooker for your service programming team—and with tensions high, culture can take a backseat. This breakout is a practical guide on how to create and value a Sunday morning culture for both volunteers and staff while producing an excellent environment.

Developing a Small Group Strategy

Why did you create a groups ministry? It’s an important question to consider. Whatever your reasons, they influence several key principles for developing a groups strategy. In this breakout, we’ll show you how to leverage those principles regardless of the size or specifics of your groups ministry.

Long-Term Planning for Student Ministry

Sunday’s coming! That makes it difficult to step back and think about the big picture of your student ministry. In this breakout, we’ve created a spot for you to do just that! Join the student ministry teams as they present some big ideas about long-term planning and then sit down with you to look at your current ministry plans. Bring your dreams and we’ll help each other strategize for the long-run in student ministry.

Portable Church Principles

In this breakout, we will share the vision, guiding principles, and strategy that helped us design our newest portable church system. You will leave with principles that will help you design a more sustainable and excellent portable church system.

The Role of a Campus Pastor

Each multi-site strategy will dictate the expectations for the campus pastor, but regardless of the model, there are some common principles that all campus pastors must understand in order to succeed. In this breakout, we will talk about the role of a campus pastor, define success both globally and locally, and provide practical application for both the senior pastor of a multi-site church and the campus pastor leading within the multi-site church.

The Volunteer Experience

Every week, incredible people show up at all of our churches to create the environments that impact the lives of the people in our communities. We know we couldn't survive without them. In this breakout, we’ll explore how to create the best possible volunteer experience that not only equips volunteers, but also fuels their passion to make a difference in the lives of others.

Round-Table Discussion: KidMin
Round-Table Discussion: Media and Design
Round-Table Discussion: Music
Round-Table Discussion: Production
2:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Breakout Session C
3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Campus Pastor Panel
Creating a Worship Culture in Your Church

Other than the lead pastor, no one has more influence than the worship leaders. How are they leveraging this influence? How can they leverage it more? In this breakout, we’ll discuss the role of the musician in the local church and how to engage musicians fully into your mission and vision. This breakout will address how to lead both on and off-stage, how to engage production and worship into a unified front, and how to infect a worship culture into your entire church's DNA.

Developing Leaders Who Lead Well

Finding effective leaders is an ongoing challenge for most groups ministries. Simple, clear systems in which leaders are trusted and encouraged go a long way toward building a healthy leadership culture. In this breakout, we’ll explore how that kind of culture produces more leaders than traditional recruiting methods.

Developing Quality Communicators

How do we create a culture where young leaders have opportunities to develop into quality communicators? In this breakout, we’ll talk about what we’re learning as we empower young leaders from a variety of ministry areas to develop their communication skills.

Leadership Development Program

The Leadership Development Program at Athens Church was created to give young leaders both opportunities and influence. This program has successfully launched many gifted leaders into full-time ministry, while providing much-needed support to a young church with limited resources. In this breakout, we’ll hear from the lead pastor of Athens Church on the strategy and systems behind the program.

Recruiting and Developing Confident Volunteers

Our KidMin environments run on volunteers and we imagine yours do too. We all want the right volunteers in the right positions. When volunteers are confident in their roles, the kids they influence thrive. We’ll talk through our process for recruiting and training new volunteers and our strategy for developing and appreciating the volunteers that serve our kids and families each week.

The Fully Funded Church

In this breakout, we’ll provide a practical plan for integrating giving into every arena of your organization and engaging your staff in the process. Discussion points include: how to leverage your family ministry environments, Sunday adult services, social media, and communication to promote giving (how to cast vision for giving every day of the year and how to keep giving a part of everyone’s staff role). In addition, we’ll share things we’ve learned about fundraising, capital campaigns, and donor appreciation.


Seniors are not the same students they were as freshmen, and we need a plan to guide and challenge them through their fast-paced development. In this simple but effective breakout, we’ll discuss our latest strategy for keeping our volunteers laser-focused on effectively leading students through four years of high school. Volunteers have been enthused and enlightened by this simple idea that keeps us focused on one thing at a time.

Round-Table Discussion: Administration (Accounting, HR, IT, Resources, Web)
Round-Table Discussion: Guest Services
Round-Table Discussion: Intersect
Round-Table Discussion: KidMin
Dinner Break
4:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Main Session Three
7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Breakout Session D
9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.
Big Events, Small Details

Our team loves to dream big about special events and ways we can fill the gaps between Sunday programming. Starting with a concept and a creative board, there are some strategies we’ve adopted for tackling both the big picture and the small details of these events. In this breakout, we’ll share some of our best practices in managing everything from registration logistics to creative planning.

Creating a Healthy Staff Culture

What attracts exceptional leaders to your team? Better yet, what makes them want to stay? Join us as we discuss the fun-loving, creative, and mission-oriented work environment at North Point. We will share what we’ve learned about creating a healthy and productive staff culture.

Creating the “Best Night of the Week” for Students

How do you build a ministry that students are excited about? Something that they look forward to all week? Something that they text, snap, Instagram, and tweet about? Something that they want to invite their friends to? In this breakout, we’ll share a few things we’ve learned about how to make your student environment the “Best Night of the Week.”

Developing Dynamic Onstage Volunteers for KidMin

We’ve learned that there are good people all around us who love to write scripts, stories, and songs that engage our kids, and they can’t wait to be asked. We’ll share some of the specific things we look for when auditioning potential large group volunteers and how we train and develop new and existing volunteers to continue pursuing excellence.

Exploring the North Point Creative Process

Have you ever seen a great production and wondered, How did they do that? Or have you ever had a great idea and wondered, How do I make it happen? The secret to moving from a great idea to a purposeful end result lies within the creative process. Walk with us through the nuts and bolts of brainstorming creative ideas, determining content, and designing a presentation that captures the attention of the audience.

Getting the Right People on Your Team

Creating a thriving ministry organization begins with finding great leaders. So, how do you do it? How do you determine if someone is right for your team? In this breakout, we’ll share the characteristics we look for, as well as our process for interviewing and assessing potential team members.

Measuring Your Ministry's Progress

Measuring your ministry’s effectiveness is the only way to know if you’re making progress. But how do you know if you’re asking the right questions and gathering the right data? In this breakout, we’ll show you what our ministry dashboards look like and how the information we gather reflects and influences our progress.

Transitioning to a New Church Model

It is no small undertaking to transition an established church—to lead through the changes necessary to reach people in your community. If you’re leading through such a transition, you are not alone! In this breakout, you will hear from two pastors with very different stories of reinventing established churches.

Round-Table Discussion: Small Groups
Round-Table Discussion: Baptism
Round-Table Discussion: KidMin
Round-Table Discussion: Singles Ministry
10:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.
Main Session Four
10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Worship at Drive


Can't make it to DRIVE? Stream the experience from your location. Registration for Drive Online 2017 is OPEN.

Drive Online Schedule PDF

Drive Online

Location & Travel




A missions conference for church leaders.