Thanks to all our presenters and attendees for a great event!  

Check back soon for info on EQUIP 2.0

APRIL 27-28, 2018

We believe in the ongoing development of every leader in the church.  When we stop learning , we stop leading.  When stop learning, we stop living.  Equip Conference is designed to inspire you, train you, and give you a  vision for the future God has for his community.   Join us as we  learn to serve  and learn to live on the edge.  Equip will be held Friday evening from 6-8pm and Saturday from 8:30am- 3:30pm.  Childcare will be provided both Friday and Saturday.   

Conference Schedule

Friday, April 27th - 6:00 - 8:00 PM


6:00 - 6:30  - Registration/Check-In - Cafe

6:30 - 8:00 PM - General Session #1/Conference Opening - Worship Center


Saturday, April 28th - 8:30 AM - 3:30 PM

8:30 - 9:00 AM - Continental Breakfast  - Cafe

9:00  - 9:30 AM - Team Building  - Gym

9:30 - 9:45 AM - Break

9:45 AM - General Session #2/Worship Gathering - Worship Center

10:00 - Breakout #1 (Special Topics) - Various Locations

10:45 - Snack Break - Cafe

11:00 - Leadership Q & A Panel - Worship Center

12:00 - Lunch - Cafe/Foyer

12:45 - General Session #3  (Keynote) - Worship Center

1:30 & 2:15 - General Breakouts #2 & #3

3:00 - 3:30 - Closing Session -  Worship Center




Brian Hunt


Brian Hunt is the Lead Pastor at Crossroads Grace Community Church in Manteca.  His path to ministry was not the traditional one. Brian was an accomplished baseball player, playing professionally in the Northern League. In 2008, Brian became Campus Pastor at Parkview Christian Church leading the Lockport Campus for 7 years. In 2015, he become the Lead Pastor at Crossroads Grace Community Church.  In addition, he is singer-songwriter with one EP to his credit entitled “How Did I Get Here?”


Brian is married to his wife, of 15 years, Cherie and is the proud father of two children, Aniston and Easton.

Ellen Steward


Ellen Steward serves as the Next Gen Pastor at GatheringPoint Church of the Nazarene.  She graduated from Olivet Nazarene University in 1990 with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and completed a Master of Science in Child Development at the Erikson Institute of Chicago in 2015 and the Elder Course of Study through Northwest Nazarene University in 2017. 


Ellen grew up in a Nazarene Pastor’s home and has been married to Phil for 30 years. They are the parents of Allie & Caleb King, Lauren & Tyler Sauer,  Philip Steward and grandparents of Logan King,


Ellen’s passion is to see the church be what Jesus intended it to be in our world and for adults to invest in the next generation as if the future existence of the church depends on their investment…because it does.


Casey Tygrett


Casey Tygrett is the Theologian in Residence at Parkview  Christian Church in Orland Park, Illinois. He is also a  spiritual director and an adjunct seminary professor.    Casey's heart and passion is that writing is not just information, it can reveal the beauty of God as art.

Casey Tygrett loves to ask questions. He feels that curiosity is essential to growth.  When we make curiosity a spiritual practice, we open up to new ways of knowing God and knowing ourselves as well. A little curiosity, if focused on Jesus, will make us more like him.


Casey is the author of Becoming Curious (IVP, 2017) and The Jesus Rhythm (e-book). 

Cheryl Bentsen

Cheryl, together with her husband, Jason, are co-founders of a non-profit to serve foster & adoptive families called LoveMoves.Us.  She graduated from Judson University with a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education. After teaching in the public school system for 4 years, Cheryl stepped into full-time Children’s/Family ministry in a church plant in Raleigh, NC.   There she was able to use her gifts of teaching, leadership & music while equipping families in their faith journey.  Cheryl has served on the leadership of several church plants and eventually made her way back to Illinois to serve as the Elementary Director at Parkview Christian Church until 2015.  Music has always been an important part of Cheryl’s life & leading worship is one of her passions.  


Jason Bentsen

Jason grew up in the Chicago area & received his Bachelor of Arts in Youth Ministry & Adolescent Studies from Judson University.  Through a variety of ministry experiences including Youth for Christ, launching youth ministries in church plants & serving on the production team of a North Point Partnership church, Jason felt called to create a non-profit that partners with the local church to serve foster & adoptive families.  He believes that the church is a place where all people should be able to connect with God free from distraction & be equipped to serve.  Jason & Cheryl have been married for 17 years and are adoptive parents to Truett & Aliyah.