ReFRESH® is not just another conference. It’s unique among the “preaching and preacher” conferences I see constantly advertised. I have nothing against those conferences, but when we started this conference seven years ago, I wanted to do something others weren’t doing.
My heart for ReFRESH® is to see revival—in pastors, in people, in churches, across denominational lines. I can attend a number of conferences that will make me a better preacher or give me a better understanding of a particular book of the Bible, etc. But I’ve yet to find an abundance of conferences focused on the Spirit-filled life, abiding in Christ, dying to self, and seeking God for revival.
Our intent with ReFRESH® is to keep it small. It is intentional. We don’t want to be the “great American preach-off” where guys come in and preach sugar stick sermons and work up the crowd. We want to run to the cross in desperation for the “much more” of the Christian life.
ReFRESH® is designed to encourage pastors to stop walking in the flesh, looking to methods, and begin the process of believing God for personal and corporate revival.
Many of us have been seminary trained. We learned how to “preach,” but no one taught us that we must have “power” if our ministry is going to be effective. We can be efficient and not be effective. We can be homiletically sound and lack Holy Spirit power. It’s not enough to have methods—methods are a dime a dozen. What we need is a message, the only message that will change the church. The message is this: we need revival!
ReFRESH® is intimate in nature. We don’t want the conference to be so big that those attending can’t meet or talk to the speakers. We design the conference to be intense when we are meeting, but then to give down time in the afternoon to reflect on what God has been saying.
In these seven years, we’ve had pastors attend from over 20 states. They’ve come from Maine to Texas, from Michigan to Florida. Many are repeat attenders and tell us they always look forward to the conference. This year, we had 100 first-time attendees.
The men who speak have the message of revival on their hearts. They understand desperation. They’ve walked through hell and seen a glimpse of glory in the midst of their trials. They are not perfect. They are willing to admit their struggles and their need to depend on Christ. They are the real deal.
You can visit the ReFRESH® website and get the dates for upcoming conferences. We are continuing to pray about expanding this conference to other areas of the country, but God will have to provide the resources to do so. We eventually want to do a conference out West to encourage our church planters and pastors in areas where most conferences refuse to go. We also hope to one day host a conference in the Northeast, where the fires of revival once burned hot, and see if we might stir the coals and see a rekindling of fire in those 13 original colonies. All of this is in God’s time and by God’s resources.
Pray for us as you think of us. We long to see God move among a growing army of pastors who are “sick and tired of being sick and tired” of ministry as usual. What we offer is not a method, program, promotion, or watered-down preaching to “reach” the world. It’s simple—we are calling pastors and lay people back to the cross, back to dependence on the Holy Spirit, and back to a hunger for God. Pray for us. Join us next year.
4 thoughts on “What Makes ReFRESH® So Special?”
Michael, thank you for keeping a focus on the “much more” of salvation. – WB
There’s no place like Sherwood and there’s no conference like ReFRESH. Thank you Michael for your vision and for allowing God to work through you and in you to help bring about a change in the world from Albany GA. What an outstanding group of speakers that have a heart for Revival in our churches. I’d travel all day just to hear you, Tom Elliff, Bill Stafford, Ed Litton, Daniel Simmons or Ken Jenkins. It’s wonderful to have an economically feasible conference with all of them at one time. The speakers seem to enjoy the conference as much as the attendees and even some of the attendees could easily jump up and lead us through a study of revival. I got hooked on ReFRESH in 2008 and have been blessed to “Come Back Thirsty” three times since then. Hopefully, I’ll never go more than a year without being “ReFRESHed”.
Thank you so much for this ministry. I have attended ReFRESH In the Smokies each year for the last 3 years and is is always either exactly what I need at the time, what I will need soon or, both…usually both. I order the DVDs and CDs each year for myself and those who come with me so we can review what we heard and learned. I am always a little amazed at how much I got out of it initially and then more amazed after the DVDs come in to see how much I missed the first time around!
Thanks Pastor your heart it comes through so bright, praying God open a door in the West.