Tucked away in the heart of the port city of Bristol, England, just off Horsefair and Broadmead, sits a small edifice of little known significance. From here, the Wesley brothers launched a movement that would change the course of human history. They called it, “The New Room.”

Almost three centuries later, a growing wave of men and women believe the time has come for the movement to return to its deepest roots.
The New Room Conference is a gathering of men and women ready to recapture the Wesleyan vision for the Church in the 21st century.
On September 17-19, 2014, we will gather in Franklin, Tennessee, for the first annual
New Room Conference
After much prayerful discernment, we’ve determined that this gathering - what we intend to become a true Annual Conference - will be a decisively, unapologetically, creatively, Wesleyan gathering.

It’s time to get outside our denominational houses for a few days and gather around the bigger ideas that bind us together.

We’re bringing together a phenomenal cast of characters; some you’ll recognize, others you will meet for the first time.

Let’s revivify the pre-denominational movement for the post-denominational 21st century.

So what are we going to talk about?
For starters we will be talking together. Expect a few structured conversations and lots more spontaneous ones. But we know - you want to know who is going to talk about what. O.K., down to brass tacks:

We’ve labored to put together a merry band of pastors, scholars, theologians and practitioners. And we will be mixing them together for maximum wisdom. If you are hoping for long lectures from talking heads, you will be disappointed.

Expect conversations, dialogues, round tables, short takes, keynotes, workshops and sidebars. In no particular order, what follows are just some of the possibilities we are considering. More voices will be added and more mash-ups are sure to be configured.

Timothy Tennent

From his work seeding dozens of churches on the Indian subcontinent to his global leadership role with the Lausanne movement to his leadership of one of the largest seminaries in the world, Timothy Tennent will mix it up on the themes of global Christianity, church planting and the strategy of church based theological education in the twenty-first century.

Alan hirsch

Alan is an Australian church planter, author, conference speaker, and missional movement catalyst, who will take us behind enemy lines and into missional strategy and creative forms of disciple making for revitalizing tired communities and launching fresh expressions of church.

phil meadows

In addition to his day job of teaching Wesleyan theology across the pond at Cliff College, Phil helps lead the Inspire Network, an international movement aspiring to recapture a deeper spirituality for mission through innovating around “Fellowship Bands.” Both Phil and Kevin will be talking about how we recover the relational/community genius of the Methodist movement.

Kim reisman

Scholar/Evangelist Kim Reisman, along with Large Church Pastors Ken Werlein and Brian Collier, will lead conversation on developing new models and next steps for evangelism in the “You Lost Me” age of the “nones.” Kim is director of the resourcing platform called Wesleyan Accent.

Phil Tallon

In a Post Christian culture, Student Ministry must become a church wide conversation. From catechesis and confirmation to lock-ins and bake sales, developing a robust Wesleyan framework matters more than ever. To help us with that we've invited Phil Tallon and Jeremy Steele, who serve students in the cities of Memphis, Tennessee, and Mobile, Alabama.

Matt leroy

From Sioux City, South Dakota, to Chapel Hill, North Carolina, Adam Weber and Matt LeRoy have planted two very different, unlikely and distinctively fruitful churches. They will take us inside the Wesleyan genetic codes of these burgeoning communities as we compare and contrast their strategies.


Kevin is a professor of Wesleyan theology at Seattle Pacific University who recently published two significant works (one academic and the other popular) on Classes and Bands in early Methodism. Both Kevin and Phil will be talking about how we recover the relational/community genius of the Methodist movement.

Andrew thomspon

Scholar/Pastor, Andrew Thompson, (and Senior Editor of Seedbed's John Wesley Collection) will cast a vision for our practice of discipleship around the means of grace, the logic of the general rules and inspire our collective devotional imagination to once again orient ourselves toward the north star of sanctification, the “grand depositum” of the people called Methodist.

Justin Wise

Justin Wise, the sharpest social media strategist serving today's church (and a theologian to boot in the line of Luther) will challenge the tribe to think digitally and act locally and get off our social media rear ends and get our house in order to seize on the possibilities ahead.

William Abraham

The New Room Conference's Chief Theologian in Residence, William J. Abraham, will bring a stirring keynote address on the death, burial and resurrection of the Wesleyan movement with a strong exhortation to shed the graveclothes.

Jessica Lagrone

Pastor and author, Jessica Lagrone, will bring proclamatory wisdom on restoring Scripture to scriptural holiness and depth of biblical richness to bible study in the church.

Joseph dongell

New Testament Professor, Joseph Dongell, is bringing a manifesto of a message on the three waves of the Wesleyan movement and why the best is yet to come. He will also be giving a preview of Seedbed's ground breaking OneBook Bible Study.

Deb Hirsch

Deb is a conference speaker, church leader, and writer. She leads Tribe of Los Angeles—a bunch of missional artists and vagabonds learning to live in the ways of Jesus. She is co-author (with Alan Hirsch) of Untamed: Reactivating a Missional Form of Discipleship and currently writing a book on sexuality with IVP. Deb has a heart for the poor and for those on the margins of both the church and broader society.

Marilyn Elliott

Marilyn has been a church leader in the Christian and Missionary Alliance denomination since 1979. She is the Vice President for Community Formation at Asbury Theological Seminary, where she helped pioneer the Spouse and Family Ministry. Her heart is for spiritual formation and helping leaders minister from a place of health and wholeness.

Jeremy Steele

Jeremy oversees children, youth, and college ministries at Christ United Methodist Church in Mobile, Al. He is passionate about reaching people with the message of Jesus in a way that engages them with the movement of God. Jeremy is the Editor in Chief of the Seedbed Youth Ministry Collective and the author of Reclaiming the Lost Soul of Youth Ministry.

Ed Stetzer

Ed Stetzer is the President of LifeWay Research Division, a prolific author, and well-known conference and seminar leader. Stetzer has planted, revitalized, and pastored churches, trained pastors and church planters on six continents, and has written dozens of articles and books. He is a well-known evangelical spokesperson, frequently interviewed in or cited in such outlets such as USA Today and CNN.

Ken Werlein

Ken Werlein is founding pastor of Faithbridge Church in Northwest Houston, TX. In addition to preaching God's Word, mentoring young leaders, and working to strengthen other Kingdom-minded ministries, Ken prioritizes family time with his wife, Suzanne, and their two sons, Wesley and William. His passion is for developing transformational communities.

And yes, there will be ample song.
Rising worship leader tri-laureates, Mark Swayze, Mark Benjamin & Drew Causey will stoke the fires of worship with melodies, new and old, keeping the conference punctuated with doxology. We'll also be working on a few music city surprises along the way.


Gracepointe Church, centrally located in the heart of Franklin, Tennessee, will serve as the site for the New Room Conference. The Church is located within a few miles of numerous hotels, restaurants, and other amenities.

In order to keep costs down we have reserved a block of rooms at a special discount at the Drury Plaza Hotel (at $145-149/night) in Franklin (3.6 miles from conference). To reserve your room with the New Room Conference rate, click here or call 1-800-325-0720 and refer to group number 2205740. The special rate expires Aug. 18, 2014.

We also have limited spaces available for tent camping on the grounds of the church (reserve a space now to guarantee availability). We will provide portable restrooms and maybe even a couple of showers.

Drury Plaza Hotel
1874 West McEwen Drive
Franklin, TN, 37067
P: 615-771-6778
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522 Franklin Rd,
Franklin, TN 37069
P: 615-371-1609
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We created the New Room Conference Schedule with two key values in mind: New Voices and New Conversations. Our team has carefully chosen a cadre of men and women who are coming not just to deliver a keynote address but to create conversations. This is not an academic conference but one aimed squarely at the local church. To that end, we have invited a range of top tier thinkers and leading practitioners to enrich our conferencing. We have also structured the schedule with a variety of formats and approaches including keynotes, round table conversations, panel discussions, world cafes, breakouts and so forth.


12:30-1PM Registration Opens
1:15  Welcome & Worship

1:30 Session 1: Ed Stetzer
Wesleyanism as a Missional Movement

3:00 Break

3:30  Session 2 & 3
Deb and Alan Hirsch

Incarnational Practices

7:30 Artists and Authors Night at Seedbed HQ in Downtown Franklin (415 Bridge St.)

Join us for this opportunity to meet some of our Seedbed authors and a free live concert! We'll have book signing, conference packets, and hors d'oeuvres. The Farm Team will be on hand to give nickel and dime tours of our shop. Feel free to take a stroll through the charming, historic downtown Franklin while you are at it and maybe grab a meal before or after.


8:00  Registration Opens at GracePointe
9:00  Welcome & Worship

9:15 Session 4 KEYNOTE
Joe Dongell

10:15 Break

10:30 Session 5 SEED Talks
- Kim Reisman
- Andrew Thompson
- Kevin Watson

12:00  Lunch

1:00  Worship
1:15 Session 6 KEYNOTE
Timothy Tennent

2:00 Break

2:15 Session 7 KEYNOTE
Justin Wise

SEED Talks
- Phil Tallon
- Jeremy Steele

3:45 Break


5:00 Dinner

7:30 Worship in Song

8:30 Session 8 KEYNOTE
William Abraham


9:00  Welcome & Worship
9:15 Session 9 KEYNOTE
Phil Meadows

10:15 BREAK

10:30 Session 10 SEED Talks
- Jessica Lagrone
Ken Werlein
Marilyn Elliott

12:00 Lunch

1:00 Worship
1:15 Session 11 PANEL Church Planting
-Ken Werlein
- Matt LeRoy
- Jacob Armstrong

2:00 Break

2:15 Session 12 KEYNOTE
Alan Hirsch

4:00 Dismiss

you come?
1. You are already planning to go to Catalyst.

OK - Sure, you can go to Catalyst. It will be an amazing, even better and more wowing version of what they did last year and the year before. But aren't you ready for something a little less famous, a little more risky, and a little less expensive?

2. You are concerned that the family fight afoot within United Methodism will swallow up the energy of the gathering.

This is a gathering for the Wesleyan Movement, with no focus on any particular denomination. There's sure to be a fair amount of scuttle butt in the hallways about the future of the United Methodist Church, but the main stage and conference hall is officially designated as a UM Angst No-Fly Zone.

3. You don't want to go to a conference where most of the presenters are not celebrities.

Ok, so we have a little bit of a chicken-egg challenge before us. We just don't have the pantheon of celebrities enjoyed by our Reformed brethren, BUT how are we ever going to establish new prominent voices unless we take some risks with our invitations and attention. And we will do well to remember, Jesus was not famous.

4. You can't afford it.

Because we know how much it costs to take a multi day road trip to even a close by land, we've made a few provisions. We are keeping the conference cost at a bargain basement price. We are doing the conference in a very accessible location - a 3 tour from just about anywhere in the south - and a low cost Southwest airlines flight away for the rest. We've negotiated a good hotel rate near the conference and we are opening up the grounds for some tent camping. We are covering a lot of the meals and all the snacks. And finally, if you still can't afford it, we have a few scholarships available. Let us know.

5. You aren't sure what a Wesleyan is and if you are or intend to be one.

A Wesleyan is nothing more nor less than a simple Scriptural Christian who joyfully affirms:

+I am a person of One Book. . . possessed of an infectious love for the Word of God with an unwavering confidence in its Divinely inspired truth, wisdom and authority.

+I follow Jesus Christ, my Savior, Lord and God. . . and I know he is able and willing to save anyone who will follow him from the law of sin and death at anytime in any place by any means of grace through faith.

+I depend on the Holy Spirit. . . to work through human relationships and faith communities to completely restore the image bearers of God to the mind of Christ, and to comprehensively remake us into the holy love of God for one another and the whole world.
"Join me at New Room Conference in Franklin, TN this September #NewRoom2014"    (TWEET THIS!)