3 Ways the Classic City Conference Will Help You Recalibrate for 2021 Blog Feature
Evan McBroom

By: Evan McBroom on December 17, 2020

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3 Ways the Classic City Conference Will Help You Recalibrate for 2021

Leadership | Ministry | Relaunch Church | Rapid Relaunch

Recently, I spoke with Pastor Ricardo Smith, also known as Pastor Ricky, the founder of Classic City Conference, and Josh Gregoire, Aspen's Church Relations Coordinator, to discuss this sold-out in-person event, still open to virtual attendees. Designed to reach pastors, ministers, church leadership teams, and community leaders around the country, the Classic City Conference features top-level speakers that will challenge, encourage, and equip attendees.


Based in Athens, Georgia, the idea for the Classic City Conference was sparked by Pastor Ricky’s passion for the local church and his desire to see leaders equipped and able to take tangible next steps in their ministries. His wife, Rhondolyn, was a great encouragement to him in making the conference vision become a reality.


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Now in its third year, Classic City Conference will feature a top-notch lineup of speakers focused on the conference’s theme of “The New Normal: Church Post Pandemic.” This January's conference will host fewer attendees in-person to allow for safety and social distancing. Though the in-person experience is sold out, the virtual option is still open and features added value for attendees.

Keynote Speakers Include:

The conference will bring resources and relationships to leaders to help build the local church and community. “I'm a believer that the stronger our churches are, the stronger our communities are. Our communities cannot be strong and have the impact they need to have if they're devoid of the church,” says Pastor Ricky.

As you get set to move into a new ministry season, Classic City Conference can help you recalibrate in three critical ways:


As Pastor Ricky pointed out, people are anxious for 2020 to come to a close. We are ready. But, when that date flips, it’s going to take some intentionality to bring progress, to move forward with hope and promise. Even to leave some things behind.

“In 2021, our goal is not to take a whole lot of that baggage into the new year,” says Pastor Ricky. “But, everybody knows, the New Year is just another date on the calendar, right? We're going to take a mindset. It’s going to take a shift of culture in order to be able to maximize some of the things that are going to be shared. At the top of the year, we want to help pastors who have been lulled to sleep in the midst of the pandemic, to see what creativity and innovation we can implement in our ministries.”


2020 has taught us we all need things to look forward to, whether it’s a vacation or a call with a friend who encourages us. We need to know we’re not alone in whatever we’re facing. As we think about looking forward to and recharging for a new year, leaders need to find fresh energy and momentum. Leaders who are recharged are leaders who are ready to move and take new ground.

“We don't want to continue to do what we've been doing. In some cases, it has been effective. But, in other cases, we know there's a need to shift. There are other pastors and leaders across the country in the same space that you are in, having the same questions and the same concerns of ministry. We want to offer hope, uplift people, and recharge them at the start of the year,” says Pastor Ricky.”


So much has transpired in the pandemic. So, how should the church adjust? What pivots are yet to be made? As leaders, we are called to respond to needs and opportunities through innovation. While 2020 may have felt more like daily crisis response, now is the time to take the lessons learned, along with lingering questions, and shape intentional responses.

The Classic City Conference will tackle topics like how leaders can keep building their teams, do more with less, help their congregations move through the grief of 2020, as well as respond amid social injustices and difficult church conflicts.

Bishop Walter Scott Thomas will guide leaders to consider what it looks like to train and send leaders in the midst of this new normal. Nona Jones, author of the recent book From Social Media to Social Ministry: A Guide to Digital Discipleship, will help attendees think creatively about the importance of technology and innovation in ministry, specifically as it relates to discipleship.

One thread running through all ministry right now is the idea of a hybrid, or phygital, ministry approach as leaders seek to integrate physical space with a digital presence in a more cohesive way. Josh Gregoire will discuss what it looks like to create physical and digital ministry space for discipleship impact.

“We will also be talking about creating a phygital strategy in your church. So, there is your physical space and the digital space–how do those things work together to help you have a greater impact?” says Josh.

Added Value for Virtual Attendees:

It’s hard to beat the value of being at a conference in person, but the Classic City Conference team has risen to the challenge. Knowing they wouldn’t be able to host as many people in-person, they have added a few bonuses for the virtual audience, including:

      • One-year access to 20+ presentations to watch and/or share with your team
      • Bonus virtual presentations for the online audience
      • Virtual booths hosted by conference partners, including the same resources and discounts that in-person attendees receive
      • Online bookstore with discounts for all attendees
      • Registration pack, including all resources shipped to virtual attendees free of charge

If you’d like to learn more or register for the Classic City Conference on January 6-9, 2021, visit classiccityconference.com. Those who enter the promo code “friend” will receive a registration discount.


About Evan McBroom

Evan McBroom is former Vice President of Marketing and Business Development for Aspen Group. He lives with his wife, Debbie, in Lebanon, Tennessee.