Creating a Culture of Inclusion: Where Do We Start? How do we Plan?: Shellie Power The Body of Christ is a beautiful picture and yet if we look closely, we recognize that it is incomplete. This session looks at the biblical model of inclusion and presents activities that are intended to teach ways to recognize that inclusion is necessary for the strength of the body. In addition to looking at 'WHY' including people with disabilities is important, we will also look at 'HOW' we can do this. This session will outline a step by step process for inclusion. We will begin with general inclusion ideas to try in a variety of church settings and will learn how to move beyond idea sharing to developing action plans. This process is not about ministry 'to' people with disabilities but rather 'with' people as it highlights faith community as an interdependent community, the body of Christ.
Pause: Gaining Clarity for Your Life and Work: Cathy Dyck PAUSE is back from last year’s conference in a longer format. Life in ministry demands your best. This is no small task given how fast the spaces on the calendar fill up with responsibilities, obligations and opportunities. How can you maintain your vision? How can you keep your heart from shrinking amidst all the demands? How can you ensure that you’re spending your time on what matters most and where you make your best contribution? This leadership lab will give you practical tools for establishing healthy consistent practices which will allow you to live and lead out of the best of who you are in your work, and in your personal life.
Stop Using Volunteers and Start Developing Leaders: A Strategy for Getting it All Done: Dan Doerksen There are an endless number of good things we can do in ministry, but we just don’t have the capacity to do it all. Often, it can feel like we’re struggling to meet the constant expectations to do more and to do it better. But what if we didn’t have to do it all ourselves? What if we could lead beyond our capacity and tap into the leadership potential of our volunteers and others in our churches? In this learning lab, we’ll walk through a step-by-step process for identifying and developing leaders, building teams, and learning how to manage our time to accomplish more with and through others.
The Changing Landscape of Gender and Sexuality in this Generation: Reg Froese Pastors and ministry leaders can often feel overwhelmed or under equipped in ministry in the areas of sexuality, gender, and identity. This session will bring greater knowledge, clarity, and hope to these sensitive, controversial, and often confusing topics. After describing the current state of the culture's belief system on sexuality, this session will lay out a strong and relevant Christian message about sexuality and identity. It will then provide fresh frameworks through which to engage more effectively and lovingly with people in the areas of sexuality and identity. It will also practically demonstrate how pastors and leaders can both engage in relationship and minister well to people affected by broken sexuality, gender, and identity.
An Introduction to understanding trauma and it’s impact on the children we serve: Beth Guckenberger Learn practical tools that you can implement when serving children who come from hard places.
Beyond Classroom Management: Lori Myers Attentive, well-behaved children sound like a teacher’s dream. But could this goal fall short of achieving something more important— training in righteousness? Let’s consider effective correction that connects heart attitudes with behavior. Our goal is not simply well-behaved children but children who joyfully submit to God.
Leading Children in God-Centered Worship: Lori Myers Leading worship, or just singing songs? This seminar reviews what Scripture says about worshiping "in spirit and in truth," involving both a child’s heart and head, and invites audience participation as it addresses topics related to leading children in worship: structuring and planning age-appropriate worship times, selecting songs, using instruments and movement, encouraging leadership in children, and more.
Building Relationships That Last: Enaka Melanson Enaka has a solid conviction that the relationship that small group leaders and Sunday school teachers build with their kids is crucial. But how do you build relationships if you can’t even get the kids to sit still for 5 minutes, let alone listen to a word you, or anyone else, is saying? Join Enaka in chatting about real life challenges and come away with practical tools that will help you develop solid relationships with the kids in your care as you help them discover the God who loves them.
Christmas and Easter Celebration Brainstorm Session: Cathy Rempel + Lisa Schau Does the thought of planning your church’s Christmas concert fill you dread? Have you avoided doing an Easter Play because it seems impossible to do with children? Or perhaps your church has celebrated the Holy days of the Christian calendar in some novel way that you would like to share with others? While Cathy (from a big Church) and Lisa (from a small Church) will share some of their experiences of celebrating Easter and Christmas with Sunday School children, this breakout session is intended to provide you with opportunities to brainstorm with others about ideas that might work in your particular context. You might be surprised to find that it’s not such an impossible task after all!
Church and Community: A Good Engagement: Sherryl Koop Do you want ideas on how to reach out to your community? Will hearing about what some other churches are doing to engage with their community be helpful in your ministry? Then this is the workshop for you. Sherryl Koop will share some ideas of how to intersect with your community in new ways.
Creating Environments Where Every Child Can Succeed: Lorraine Kehler Developing a classroom that encourages Christ-like character, a sense of safety and belonging are crucial foundations to bringing God’s Word and truths to the hearts of the children you work with each week. In this session Lorraine will provide opportunities to share, learn and support each other through the challenge of managing behaviour, motivating learners and working at creating meaningful connections with the children that come across your path in Children’s Ministry.
KidUnique: Cathy Dyck What gives us the most traction in the lives of the kids we care about is the relationship we build with them, because when we have relationship we have influence, and when we have influence we can have positive impact. Regardless of our role we all have a kid in our life that we care about. Toddler or teenager, each one of them has gifts and talents and strengths that need to be discovered and lived into. Whether you are looking at kids through the eyes of a ministry leader/volunteer or a parent, this workshop will both encourage and challenge you to bring your best to your relationship with them. Along the way you’ll get practical tools to help them figure out who they are and who they are meant to be.
Making the Curriculum Connection: Chris Laing In this session, Chris will be presenting several different curricula as well as offering a time of question and answer to help you in your “How To’s” for Children’s Ministry. With Children and Pre-teen ministry experience, a husband and father of 2 children, Chris has a heart for the spiritual growth of children.
Ministry with Shy, Introverted, and Anxious Children/Youth: Chantal Wiebe For an increasing number of children/youth, engaging in sports, classes, and church programs is affected by significant worry and fear. While many ministry ideas meet the needs of extroverted and outgoing youth, some environmental and social demands can interrupt the intended experience for apprehensive attenders. This session will help equip leaders to recognize and adapt to the needs of reluctant children and adolescents in meeting God together.
Plan to Protect® 101: The Standard of Protection: Victoria Bissell Over, 10,000 clients have chosen Plan to Protect® as the standard of protection and abuse prevention they are striving to achieve. This seminar introduces you to the recommended standard and covers the basics of setting up an abuse prevention program, along with some of the key best practices of Plan to Protect®. We will include an overview of the insurance requirements and how to position your ministry of safety to reduce the risk of predators.
Plan to Protect® 102: Implementation of the Standard of Protection: Melodie Bissell Policies, screening, training and supervision are all important aspects of child protection. In this seminar we will unpack an outline for child protection policies and procedures, components of screening, and content for orientation and refresher training. We will provide a formula for how to maintain a strong abuse prevention program over a number of years and overcome challenges that you will face.
Preschool Ministry 101: Tina Kauste and Bob Fewings Our smallest friends have minds filled with wonder and lots of energy! Our job is to engage them with God’s message of love at their level, with lots of fun and interaction. We’ll look at some best practices of Preschool Ministry by outlining a typical morning in our environment. We’ll discuss safe place policies, physical space, program planning and implementing, as well as equipping communicators and volunteers. Whew! That’s a lots of ground to cover, but these precious ones are totally worth it!
Reading the Bible for Yourself: Linda Unruh We all have days, and even seasons in life when we need to hear from God. This was Linda Unruh’s experience when she was challenged to a fresh way to engage in God’s Word. It was more than just gaining Bible knowledge. The cumulative effect over time was life-changing. Do you find it hard to pick up your Bible? Learn simple tools that will bring Scriptures to life. Experience how Jesus can transform you daily. This simple approach has the potential to change your life, and the people in your circle of influence!
Sustainable Children's Ministry – Developing Leaders at Every Level: Dan Doerksen Recruiting new leaders every year is exhausting, isn’t it? We signed up to do something significant in the lives of children, but it can feel like we are constantly attending to this revolving door of volunteers instead. What if our volunteers didn’t get drained by being in our ministry, but got filled up instead? What if leading children also helped them be better leaders in their home and workplace as well? In this breakout, we will learn how to invest in our leaders through coaching and create a culture of leadership development in our teams.
Small Church Sunday School - Steadfast AND Fluid: Lisa Schau If your Sunday School/Midweek program student list has less than 50 students, you will not likely find any pre-packaged, perfect strategy for your ministry. Your church is 100% unique in budget, space, volunteers and the peculiar mix ages and personalities of the children who come. So what do you do? The aim of this session is to encourage and equip you to be STEADFAST in your Purpose for your ministry, AND FLUID in the working out of that purpose. You will have opportunity to share with other small church workers, and get solid strategies and wise advice from real-life leaders in small church ministries.
Talk Good: How to Teach Kids Effectively: Brian Kauste When it comes to teaching, how you communicate is almost as important as what you are teaching. God’s Word is full of truth and hope, action and adventure. Our challenge is to make it memorable and relevant. This session will give you practical ways to communicate effectively with kids and yes, flannel boards can STILL be an option!
The Church Partnering With Parents: Kent Martens “Just drop your kids off at church and we’ll fix them!” [said no children’s worker ever.] Most Kid Ministry personnel knows that the family is an important context for faith development. We also experience that working effectively with families is challenging! How do we best partner with parents as we propose to see kids walk as fully devoted followers of Jesus In this interactive session, participants will explore how our ministry efforts are part of the big picture of a kids’ life. We will look at a Biblical foundation for the family and church’s role in faith development. We will discover and discuss how these two powerful, disciple-making entities can be aligned and combined to help kids follow Jesus.
Understanding the Learner: How to Engage Children with Multiple Learning Styles: Heather Karr + Jennifer Schraml: By learning about the stages of faith and comparing it to the developmental stages and learning styles of children, we will explore how to best meet the diverse needs of children/tweens within your Children’s ministry. This session will give you practical ideas that are developmentally appropriate for maximum engagement and understanding.
Understanding ADHD/LD: Shellie Power The label of ADHD/LD is used to describe a medical condition. This label can help children's ministries teams better learn about a child's gifts in order to meet that child's needs. This workshop will help participants better understand what it feels like to live with ADHD/LD in order to accommodate and develop strategies that nurture inclusion and foster belonging.
Understanding Autism: Autism has evolved from an unfamiliar term to an everyday reality for millions of people. This workshop will give participants tools for understanding what autism is and some specific strategies for including people with autism in the church setting.
Who's My Neighbour: Francine Wiebe + Panel The ethnic and cultural landscape of our communities has been evolving and continues to do so. Our church communities as well as the neighbourhoods we are ministering and serving in are becoming more and more culturally diverse. What is our response? How do we engage in this new landscape in a way that allows us to live in rich community with our neighbours. What do we need to understand in order to make our church communities welcoming spaces to learn and grow and worship Jesus together. What can we do to help new comers come through our doors? What are we doing that hinders them from doing so? This workshop will help you get to know those who are moving into our neighbourhoods and joining us in our faith communities.