Advisory Team

Daren and Laura Carstens

Enjoy Church

Alton, IL

Daren Carstens is the senior pastor of Enjoy Church, a multi-campus church in the greater St. Louis area. With a passion for life and a desire to help people reach their full potential, Daren mixes humor, encouragement, and a practical life-changing message of hope.  Through his weekly television program and books The Blended Family Makeover and Overcoming: Overwhelmed, Daren reaches multiplied thousands through his love of people.

Tim and Donna Chambers

Fresh Start Church

Egg Harbor Township, NJ

Tim has a simple approach to teaching and life that has served him well for 30 plus years of ministry. He has developed a passion for taking the cookies off the top shelf and putting them on the bottom shelf where everyone can get their hands on them.  He has led the charge to grow the church and change the culture of church in one of the most unreached regions of the United States, the North East. With his wife Donna and his 3 sons, Justin, Jordan, & Jon (the tre' J's) by his side, he has led Fresh Start Church for 17 yrs in their mission to, Connect the love of Jesus to the heart of their community.

Eric and Kelly Dykstra

The Crossing

Elk River, MN

Eric & Kelly Dykstra are Lead Pastors of The Crossing Church, a multi-site church north of Minneapolis, that they founded in 2004. Their goal is to help as many people as they can cross the line of faith and follow Jesus. Eric is the author of Grace on Tap and Unhooked & Untangled: A Guide to Finding Freedom from your Vices, Addictions, and Bad Habits. Kelly's books include The People Mover and How to Twirl: A Lovely Way To Live. They also launched The Crossing College, making biblical studies and ministry training inexpensive and accessible to average people, and they are passionate about mentoring and supporting church planters and pastors across the country. They've been married for over twenty years and have three children.

Dr. Chris and Michele Stephens

Faith Promise Church

Knoxville, TN

Dr. Chris Stephens is the Senior Pastor at Faith Promise Church in Knoxville, Tennessee. He holds a Doctor of Ministry degree in Evangelistic Church Growth from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and has a fervent dedication to reaching the lost. Dr. Stephens has a genuine passion to encourage, inspire and equip others to discover and use their God-given gifts, finding and fulfilling their life purpose in the process. He is the author of two books: The Climb of Your Life-Reaching the Peak of Your Potential and The Plan of Your Life-Managing What Matters Most.

Called into the ministry over 30 years ago, Dr. Stephens’ journey has taken him from a life in the projects to leading one of the fastest growing churches in America. Using his life experiences and unique, relevant communication style, he easily connects with others and has had the opportunity to speak all over the world impacting thousands of lives. Since joining Faith Promise Church as its first and only Senior Pastor in July 1996, Dr. Stephens has been instrumental in facilitating the church’s growth from 250 to 5,500 in attendance and a staff that has grown from 5 to 60. During this time the church has expanded to include six campuses located across East Tennessee, plus a global Internet Campus.

Dr. Stephens and Michele, his wife of thirty years, have three grown children and welcomed their first grandchild in December 2013. They reside in Knoxville.

Brandon and Susan Thomas

Keystone Church

Keller, TX

Brandon and his wife, Susan, founded Keystone Church in the fall of 2004. They began meeting in their home and quickly ran out of room. After just four weeks in their home, they moved to Hillwood Middle School. After experiencing rapid growth in the school, Brandon led Keystone to Think BIG and signed a lease on a furniture store that had gone out of business. The entire church joined together and gave generously of their time, hard work, and resources to prepare a place that anyone could experience the life-changing connection with God.

Brandon takes complex issues and presents them with unique insight. He shares the life-changing message of the Bible in creative, practical ways with humor and relevance. Brandon is a young visionary leader who creates an atmosphere that makes you feel at home. He is constantly dreaming of ways Keystone can create environments that inspire, celebrate life, and prepare us for each day. Brandon envisioned Camp Keystone, and is busy dreaming of the new environments we will offer in the near future. He earned his doctorate in church growth in 2004 with his project: Connecting Postmodern People in Gated Communities to the Local Church. He loves sporting events, movies, trout fishing, golf, and family time.

Brandon is married to Susan. She also loves to communicate God's truths and is a Licensed Professional Counselor, specializing in Marriage and Women's Counseling. Brandon and Susan have three daughters and a son.

Clay and Kim NeSmith

Barefoot Church

North Myrtle Beach, SC

Pastor Clay and Kim NeSmith began their journey with 12 people in their living room and have since witnessed God grow their ministry exponentially. Today, they lead Barefoot Church—a multi-venue ministry that puts God's heart for hospitality and excellence on display, on a mission to reach people. The NeSmiths, along with their son Cole, are passionate about sharing the message of hope in Christ locally, and around the world.

Pastor Clay is a dynamic, high-energy speaker, with an audacious, compelling vision, and a heart for people to discover that their life has significant meaning. Through his teachings, he encourages, motivates, and inspires others to fulfill their unique, God-given purpose. Pastor Clay is known for his ability to captivate his audience by delivering the Word of God in a way that is relevant to our world today. In 2016, Pastor Clay released his first book, "Hope Is Here," that is spurring readers to build their lives on a solid foundation and experience unshakable hope.

Shannon and Cindy O'Dell

Brand New Church

Bergman, Arkansas

Shannon O’Dell is a devoted husband and father of four. People know him as innovative, inspiring and committed to reaching out to struggling rural churches and churches with a rural state of mind. He has served Brand New Church as senior pastor for over seven years in Bergman, Arkansas, a small community of just over 400 people.

Brand New Church has grown from 31 to 2000 members with 7 campuses, network churches, and an online campus under Shannon’s leadership. He is the author of “Transforming Church in Rural America" and “At The Table”.