Listed below are the breakout sessions that will be available during the National Gathering. What? You didn’t register yet? Well, get on it!
A Faithful Vision For Education Reform: Helping Low-Income Schools – Nicole Fulgham (FS # 1 & 2)
A high quality education is the most direct path to helping a child overcome poverty. But the United States’ public school system is not yet delivering on that promise. Children who need the most from their education continue to lag behind their wealthier peers. More than 15 million children are growing in poverty in the United States. Only half of these children will ever graduate from high school. Only 1 in 10 will graduate from college. By the time children in low-income communities are in the fourth grade, they’re already three grade levels behind students in wealthier neighborhoods.
The academic achievement gap is a national epidemic with profound moral dimensions. What role can the church and people of faith play to help ensure all children receive a high quality education? How can we help all children, regardless of their background, achieve their God-given potential? This workshop explores a Biblical framework for public education reform and provides church leaders with concrete strategies to help improve public schools.
Advanced Coaching For Ministry Leaders – Brian Hopper (FS # 4)
Grow in your coaching and leading skills. This hands on, participative session will help you further develop two essential skills of coaching: Active Listening and Asking (Good) Questions. Most coaches rely on their natural inclination to ‘tell’ and lead with their ‘own agenda’ when trying to help someone. But effective coaching moves beyond telling to listening/asking. This enables those you are leading/coaching to discover the solutions and pathways the Lord is leading them, rather than relying solely on what you tell them.
How could you better help those you are currently leading/coaching by relying more on these essential coaching skills? Join us, as we help equip you to be more effective in your coaching relationships.
Church-Based Community Development – Aaron Graham (FS # 2)
What does it look like for the church to take responsibility for the welfare of the community and not just leave it up to others? Too often the work of God is disconnected from the church of God. How can we development ministries and nonprofits that are supported by rather than disconnected from the local church? What are some of the key social issues we can address in our community that help make the Kingdom visible and tangible to an unbelieving world?
Coaching In Missional Congregations – Brian Hopper (FS # 1)
One key ingredient to fruitful church planting/pastoring is frequently underused, or completely missing from the process. That ingredient is the opportunity to work with an objective person who can journey with you and assist you in your church-planting endeavor. This breakout is an introductory session to the practice of coaching.
Creating A Missional Culture Through Christ’s Gifts To The Church – JR Woodward (FS # 2)
Why does the church lack mature disciples who live in the world for the sake of the world, without being of the world? It is because we fail to recognize the life-shaping power of culture and how our approach to leadership shapes the culture of the congregations we serve. As leaders understand the power of culture in shaping the life of the congregation, and learn the basic elements of culture, they will understand their role as cultural architects in creating a missional culture through Christ’s gifts to the church.
In this session you will learn how to create a thriving, liberating, welcoming, healing and learning environment which helps the church live in the world for the sake of the world.
Evangelism For The Rest Of Us: Recognizing People Of Peace – Ben Sternke (FS # 2 & 3)
What does it looks like to proclaim the good news of Jesus in a post-Christendom world? How can we learn to stop advancing a pre-packaged agenda and simply learn to cooperate with what God is already doing? What would it look like to both embody AND proclaim the good news of Jesus as a community? We’ll be exploring these questions and more through the lens of the “Person of Peace” that Jesus seems to lay out in Luke 10
From Event To Impact – Aaron Graham (FS # 4)
Too often events come and go with little sustained impact. The reality is that we all have to plan events in some form or another. The question is whether these events are strategically placed so that they advance your mission and the engagement of your leaders. A well-planned event can be a powerful way to launch a church, start a new ministry, or even celebrate what God has already done. Don’t let the event be the enemy when the real enemy is poor planning!
The Actually Acts 2 Church: Towards A Missional Discipleship Framework – Todd Hiestand (FS # 3)
Most of us have lost all expectations of being the “Acts 2 Church”. We know that we live in a different culture and, let’s be honest, the Acts 2 church wasn’t all daises and people sitting a circle singing kum-bya. But, what if we didn’t take Acts 2 prescriptively and instead read it descriptively? What if Acts 2 actually did set forward a helpful over-arching framework for discipleship and mission? We’ll explore that “what if” together as we look at a hopefully healthier perspective on Acts 2 and how it works out cross-culturally.
The Missional Family – Joe & Lisa Racek (FS # 3)
Raising kids is tough (why didn’t anyone tell us?) and raising kids who love Jesus and want to tell the world about Him is even tougher (most days we’re just glad they didn’t kill each other on the way to school). The simple truth is that God has a mission for our kids just like he does for us- and as we make it our mission to help our kids discover theirs, the pieces start falling into place. Joe and Lisa had 4 kids in 4 years while on a church plant (it’s all about organic church growth, right?!) and now they are reaping the blessings and challenges of being a family on mission together.
The F Word. Finances. – Winn Collier (FS # 3 & 4)
The love of money may be the root of all evil, but the disregard of money is the root of much trouble. Most of us are financially stretched, but ignoring our finances will multiply stress. How do we talk together about money? Are we making wise choices about retirement and insurance? Are we maximizing our income by using available tax advantages? Are we using the federal grants available for offsetting our church’s health insurance costs?
The Go-Between God: God’s Spirit In The Ecology Of Life – AJ Swoboda (FS # 1 & 4)
In the Scriptures, the Spirit is between all things. Between humans. Between the Father and the Spirit as love of the two. And in the middle of creation. The Spirit, in this way, vivifies all of life. Long ago, Karl Barth mentioned that the future of Christian theology would be a return to the Third Article, the Spirit, and that it was the last undiscovered realm of theology. Today, the Spirit plays a key role in understanding the life of creation. In this break-out, we will explore this dynamic relationship between God’s Spirit and the realm of ecology and creation.
The Role Of The Family In The Spiritual Formation Of Children – Ivy Beckwith (FS # 2 & 4)
Children spend more time in their families than anywhere else. Therefore, the home can’t help but be the center of spiritual formation for children. This workshop will deal with ways in which families can creatively accept this God given responsibility.
The Spiritual Formation Of New Millennium Children – Ivy Beckwith (FS # 1 & 3)
This workshop will deal with the generational characteristics of the Millenials and the generation following them. Special emphasis is given to how these characteristics effect their spiritual formation and those who participate in forming them spiritually.