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First Conference

As we trust in the Lord, our strength is renewed. Be refreshed this new year with hope-filled messages at First Conference. Each of our guest speakers is bringing an awesome message you won’t want to miss. Whatever your goals, dreams, and hopes are for this year, take some time to be refreshed and encouraged for your steps ahead!

January 7–11

Weekend Services | Samuel Rodriguez
Samuel Rodriguez is the lead pastor of New Season Church in California and president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference. Samuel is recognized by CNN, FOX News, Univision, and Telemundo as America’s most influential Latino/Hispanic faith leader; he was named among the “Top 100 Christian Leaders in America” (Newsmax 2018) and nominated as one of the “100 most influential people in the world” (TIME 2013); and he is the recipient of the Martin Luther King Jr. Leadership Award presented by the Congress of Racial Equality. Samuel advised Presidents Bush, Obama, and Trump and frequently consults with members of Congress to advance life, religious liberty, and biblical justice initiatives. He is the bestselling author of Be Light and executive producer of three films including Breakthrough.

Sunday Evening | Michael Todd
Michael Todd and his wife, Natalie, are the lead pastors of Transformation Church in Oklahoma. Since becoming lead pastors, they have helped grow the reach of Transformation Church to over 5,000 in physical attendance and 50,000 people online. They are passionate about reaching their community, city, and world with the gospel by placing Christ in the middle of culture. Michael is the author of New York Times #1 bestseller Relationship Goals and New York Times bestseller Crazy Faith. Michael and Natalie are highly sought-after speakers and leaders who have ministered at many churches and events globally. They live in Tulsa with four beautiful children—Isabella, Michael Jr., Ava, and Gia.

Monday Evening | Jentezen Franklin
Jentezen Franklin is the senior pastor of Free Chapel, a multicampus church with a global reach. His messages influence generations through modern day technology and digital media; his televised broadcast, Kingdom Connection; and outreaches that put God’s love and compassion into action. Jentezen is also a New York Times bestselling author who speaks at conferences worldwide. He and his wife, Cherise, live in Gainesville, Georgia, and have five children and four grandchildren. Learn more about his ministry at

Tuesday Evening | Lisa Bevere
Lisa Bevere has spent over three decades empowering women of all ages to find their identity and purpose. She is a New York Times bestselling author and internationally known minister. Her books, which include Without Rival, Godmothers, Girls with Swords, Lioness Arising, Strong, and her recent devotional, Fiercely Loved, are in the hands of millions worldwide. Lisa and her husband, John, co-founded Messenger International, an organization committed to developing uncompromising followers of Christ who transform their world. Messenger International has given away nearly 50 million resources in 116 languages.

Wednesday Evening | Derwin Gray
Derwin L. Gray is the cofounding and lead pastor of Transformation Church, a multiethnic, multigenerational, mission-shaped community in South Carolina. After completing his career in the NFL, he pursued ministry and graduated with a Master of Divinity from Southern Evangelical Seminary and a Doctor of Ministry in the New Testament in Context from Northern Seminary. He is the bestselling author of several Christian titles, including his most recent books, God, Do You Hear Me?; Building a Multiethnic Church; and How to Heal the Racial Divide. Derwin and his wife, Vicki, have two adult children.

Join us for First Conference live at the Southlake Campus, simulcast at another campus, or online! Children’s ministry will be available.

Find times and locations for your campus >

But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:31 (NLT)

Prayer and Fasting

Start off the new year by dedicating the first fruits of your year and investing time in your relationship with the Lord. Spending time in prayer or fasting are practical ways you can set aside distractions and invite God into 2023!

Visit to find resources on prayer or if you’d like someone to agree with you in prayer leading into the new year. Check your campus events page to see if they are hosting a special opportunity to join together in prayer with your church family.

If you’re considering fasting at the beginning of the year, read “You Might Be Fasting If …” for some fun encouragement! Participating in a fast is an outward demonstration of giving something up—food,* technology, or an activity—and replacing it with time dedicated to the Lord. This discipline gives the Lord space to take the place of something else we frequently engage with. Prepare your heart to receive whatever God may want to speak to you during your fast; when we silence distractions, we are able to hear His voice more clearly.

*If you plan to fast from food for any length of time, we encourage you to consult with your doctor.

Gateway Devotional

Dive deeper into God’s Word this new year with one of Gateway’s churchwide devotionals written for you by our pastors and leaders!

Gateway’s 2023 devotional, Sprout: 21 Days for the Fruit of the Spirit to Bloom in Your Life, will be released December 17 and 18 at your campus and online at