Church Planting in Hard Places

Speakers: Mez McConnell, Mike McKinley Year: 2014 Session: Breakout Session

What does it look like for churches to reach out and evangelize among the poor? Whose responsibility is this within the church and what does Scripture say about it? In this breakout, pastors Mike McKinley and Mez McConnell discuss what church planting in difficult contexts means for the local church’s evangelism.

Mike McKinley is the lead pastor of Sterling Park Baptist Church in Sterling, VA. He is the author of several books, including “Am I Really a Christian?” and “Passion: How Christ’s Final Day Changes Your Every Day”. Mike and his wife Karen have five children.

Mez McConnell, is the Senior Pastor of Niddrie Community Church, Edinburgh, Scotland. He is the founder of 20schemes and has been involved in full time pastoral ministry, both church planting and revitalisation since 1999. He has worked in inner city areas in England, Scotland and Brazil and has a passion for training men and women for ministry in this context. He has written 2 books: Preparing for Baptism: A Personal Diary (Grace Publications Trust), and Is There Anybody Out There? (Christian Focus).

Mez studied Missiology at Moorland Bible College, England and Pastoral Theology at Bryntirion Bible College, Wales. He has been married to Miriam for 15 years and has two lovely daughters, Keziah & Lydia.


Mez McConnell

Mez McConnell is the senior pastor of Niddrie Community Church in Edinburgh, Scotland. He is the director of 20schemes, a church planting and revitalization initiative in Scotland. He is also co-director of the Acts 29 initiative Church in Hard Places and a worldwide conference speaker. Books by Mez McConnell include The Creaking on the Stairs: Finding Faith & Forgiveness from Childhood Abuse, Preparing for Baptism: A Personal Diary, Is There Anybody Out There?: A Journey from Despair to Hope, Church in Hard Places (with Mike McKinley), as well as the following books from the 9marks Urban Series: God- Is He Out There? and War- Why Did Life Just Get Harder? He also contributes articles to Ligonier, Acts29, and 20schemes blogs as well as being the host of the 20schemes podcast. Mez is married to Miriam and they have two teenage daughters.

Mike McKinley

Mike McKinley was raised in suburban Philadelphia. He received a B.A. in Religion and Classics from The George Washington University in Washington, D.C., and an M.Div from Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia. In 2004, Mike was brought onto the pastoral staff at Capitol Hill Baptist Church as a church planter. In 2005, he brought a small group of people from CHBC to Guilford Baptist Church in order to help revitalize the church’s ministry. He served as Guilford’s pastor until 2013, when Guilford merged with Sterling Park Baptist Church, where he now serves as Senior Pastor. Mike has been married to Karen since 1997, and they have five beautiful children: Kendall, Knox, Phineas, Ebenezer, and Harper. In his free time, Mike loves to spend time with his family, reading all kinds of books, and daydreaming about the New York Yankees and the Philadelphia Eagles.