Neil Cole is an experienced church planter, author, artist and pastor, as well as a former Ocean Lifeguard for Los Angeles County Beaches. He is credited as a key catalyst in the organic church movement and is founder of Church Multiplication Associates (CMA), which has helped to start thousands of churches in 50 states and 50+ nations in only 13 years.
Neil is also an international speaker and has authored Organic Church, Cultivating a Life For God, TruthQuest, Search and Rescue, Organic Leadership, Church 3.0, Journeys to Significance, Primal Fire, and co-authored Church Transfusion, with Phil Helfer, Raising Leaders for the Harvest, and Beyond Church Planting with Dr. Robert Logan and Organic Church Planters’ Greenhouse with Paul Kaak.
Neil has a Bachelors degree in fine art from California State University Long Beach (’84) and a MDiv degree from Grace Theological Seminary (’89). His wife, Dana is an elementary school teacher in Los Angeles.
Neil has been making several trips every year into Europe, training people to start organic churches as well as equipping indigenous leaders in how to do training themselves. There are a few nations that no longer need Neil's training as the work has spread indigenously and local nationals are not only doing the work, but multiplying themselves.
He is hoping to catalyze an international missions work called Starling Initiatives, which is a fresh approach to missions that costs a fraction of the money and yet produces tenfold the fruitfulness over more traditional practices.
Neil and Dana live in Long Beach, California and have three grown children Heather, Erin and Zach.
Ed Stetzer is the President of LifeWay Research, 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, holds two masters degrees and two doctorates, and has written dozens of articles and books.
Stetzer is a contributing editor for Christianity Today, a columnist for Outreach Magazine, and is frequently cited or interviewed in news outlets such as USAToday and CNN. He is also the Executive Editor of The Gospel Project, which is used by over 500,000 individuals each week. Stetzer is Executive Editor of Facts & Trends Magazine, a Christian leadership magazine with a circulation of 70,000 readers.
Stetzer serves as Visiting Professor of Research and Missiology at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and Visiting Research Professor at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, and has taught at many other colleges and seminaries.
He also serves as Lead Pastor of Grace Church in Hendersonville, Tennessee, a congregation he planted in 2011.
Stetzer just finished leading a research on the state of groups in North America. The research was done by LifeWay Research. As a result of the research he has coauthored a book with Eric Geiger entitled "Transformational Groups" that helps define healthy, effective groups and charts a path forward for churches that want to strengthen their groups.
He has written the following books: Planting New Churches in a Postmodern Age; Perimeters of Light: Biblical Boundaries for the Emerging Church with Elmer Towns; Breaking the Missional Code: Your Church Can Be a Missionary in Your Community with David Putman; Planting Missional Churches; Comeback Churches: How 234 Churches Turned around and Yours Can Too with Mike Dodson; 11 Innovations in the Local Church with Elmer Towns and Warren Bird; Compelled by Love: The Most Excellent Way to Missional Living with Philip Nation; Lost and Found: The Younger Unchurched and Churches that Reach Them with Richie Stanley and Jason Hayes; Viral Churches: How Church Planters Can Become Movement Makers with Warren Bird; Spiritual Warfare & Mission with Jerry Rankin; Transformational Church with Thom Rainer; MissonShift: Mission Issues in the Third Millenium with David J. Hesselgrave; Compelled: Living the Mission of God with Philip Nation; The Mission of God Study Bible with Philip Nation; Subversive Kingdom: Becoming Agents of Gospel Transformation