Childhood Trauma; Causes, Effects and Healing - Tim Fletcher This Leadership Lab is for leaders and volunteers with an interest and need to recognize complex trauma and the long term effects it can have in the lives of children. Tim will guide us to greater understanding of the hidden dangers of complex trauma, what causes it, how prevalent it is even in Christian homes and how it impacts the developing brain. You will come away with a wealth of information as well as the tools to recognize signs of complex trauma and to effectively help children who have been or are experiencing it. Tim will also provide you with foundation blocks for healthy parenting that you can use as you serve not only children, but the families God brings to your ministry.
Communicating in the Digital Age - Rachel Price Technology is everywhere. It is changing the way we shop, learn, interact and communicate. During this lab we will discover ways to use technology to communicate more effectively with kids, parents and team members. In Session One we will discuss communication tools for sharing our message with kids in a way they will receive and respond. They are receiving tons of information across multiple forms of media all day long, so how do we, as leaders, teachers and parents get our message into their hands in a way they will remember? From the youngest kids to the pre-teens, our communication should be relevant and reflective. In Session Two we will dive deeper into communication as we look at how technology is changing the way we interact with parents and team members. Between school, work and volunteer opportunities, parents and team members are overwhelmed with notifications and emails. Attendees will learn tools for communicating in a way that will not be overlooked and will open the door for more engagement.
Foundational Leadership: Building and Empowering a Team that Reproduces Teams - Megan Kropp As kids ministry leaders, or ministry leaders in general, we have a need and desire to produce effective teams to work with us to carry out the vision of our church and reach people for the kingdom of heaven. We want a team of dedicated volunteers, but we often struggle to capture a long term commitment from our people or struggle to recruit. Why is that? In this leadership lab we will dive into three foundational core values needed to successfully grow and empower people who carry the heart of your organization and develop teams themselves! We will unpack the impact of vision casting, why building relationships is crucial and the importance of how our teams perceive our leadership.
Wholehearted Leadership: Love Thy Neighbour as Thyself - Carolyn Klassen Ministry is a pouring out to others—and, if we are not careful, our internal resources can drain out faster than they are being restored. This leadership lab will look at some of the underlying internal dynamics that predispose a person to operating in a way that sets one up for discouragement, disillusionment, and a sense of failure. Maintaining/Restoring joy in one’s spirit is the longing of God’s heart for yours. Each participant will: 1. Gain a working knowledge of shame and vulnerability and understand their impact on ministry 2. Understand how the stories we tell ourselves shape the world we live in and the way we operate in the world 3. Gain an understanding of ineffective strategies that are used to deal with ministry uncertainty, challenges and disappointments that are so present in our broken world 4. Gain an understanding of the worthwhile strategies God calls us to use to maintain our wholehearted well being
Autism and Your Church - Shellie Power Autism has evolved from an unfamiliar term to an everyday reality for millions of people. But what about the church? What about your church? How can it become a welcoming place for individuals and families affected by ASD? Using the resource, “Autism and Your Church”, by Barbara J Newman and some simulation activities, we will learn about autism and some specific strategies for including people with autism in the life of your faith community.
Beyond Being Good: Sharing the Gospel with Children - Kelly Rempel & Melanie Mushaluk Have you ever struggled with what to say when it comes to sharing the salvation message with children in your ministry? Do you sometimes wonder if you even should? Learn to make the most of your incredible opportunity to share the good news of Jesus, and become confident in explaining how to begin a personal relationship with Christ. Tailored for those working with elementary-age children, this session will take a look at the need for Gospel-centered teaching, and offer practical tips to help you effectively share the Gospel and lead a child to Christ.
Bringing the Bible to Life - Brad Klassen Hebrews 4:12 tells us that the Word of God is 'alive and active'. As teachers of God's Word we have the important job of introducing kids to it in living and active ways. In this interactive session, we will explore together our own experiences of seeing the Bible come alive, and practice together how to come up with new ideas on how to bring a specific story to life.
Engaging Preschoolers in Worship - Paige Bergman If you teach Sunday school to kiddos ages 5 and below, this breakout is for you! Every child is so unique, so how can we encourage excitement, unity, and fun all at once? We will be discussing this question, as well as the joys and difficulties of engaging young children in worship, and will brainstorm ways to help create space for them to connect with Jesus.
Feeling God's Smile - Carolyn Klassen Amidst the intensity and challenges of ministry, we can lose sight of the joy of basking in God’s love as we go about our tasks. The temptation to perform, please and perfect can hijack any/all of us at some point of ministry. This workshop will help each participant to: 1. Understand the impact of shame and vulnerability on ministry 2. Learn and understand the 3 components of self-compassion 3. Be reminded of the identity we each have as children of God as a way of maintaining/restoring joy for ministry
It's Just a Phase - Pam Friesen Kids are important people and do they ever change! Kids in different stages listen to different voices at different volumes. We want to make sure we can connect with them at every age and every stage they go through. This workshop will unpack those ages and stages, helping you both engage with your children and teach them in effective, age appropriate ways so that what they learn about Jesus and His love sticks.
Herding Cats: Making a Difference in Middle School Ministry Middle school (gr. 5-7) is my favourite age group. They have the best questions. They express the most honest doubts. It is hard to keep their attention. There may not be enough Timbits in the world to satisfy them. And they are at a crucial point in their faith journey. In this session I will share strategies I have learned to keep Middle schoolers engaged at church, and the principles that direct my attitude towards them and my prayers on their behalf. Terry Doerksen Bio
Leading a Small Group: What Exactly am I Supposed to be Doing? - Dan Doerksen As a small group leader, you signed up to do something significant in the lives of children. But then you actually started and realized that not every week feels very significant, does it? You may even feel lost at times and wonder, “What am I supposed to be doing here?” Do I need to get through every question and activity on this list? How do I handle that one kid that seems to be disrupting everyone else? Can I really tell the Easter story with marshmallow peeps? Let’s try to clear up the confusion and identify some clear wins for you as a small group leader so that you can head back to your group this weekend with greater confidence.
Let the Little Ones Come to Jesus - Lorelle Perry Believing the early years to be the optimal age for children to embrace that they are loved and valued by God, Lorelle will highlight some key thoughts for communicators to keep at the front of their minds when ministering to preschoolers. Offering practical techniques for delivering God's truth in ways little ones can understand, this workshop will equip you to capture the imaginations of little ones-- so that God can capture theirs!
Making Every Minute Count - Melissa MacDonald We have so few minutes at church with kids right now. We as leaders and teachers need to make sure that every minute we have we use. This seminar will help you prep for teaching, give you some practical teaching ideas, and keep you focused on what is most important: pointing kids to Jesus.
Never Too Young to Worship - Naomi Warkentin Jesus said we should become like little children. In this workshop, we will discuss what Jesus means by this, specifically with regard to worship. What is worship for a child and how do they experience a connection with Jesus through music? Sunday School teachers, leaders and anyone who works with kids in some way are invited to come explore together how to make worship a meaningful experience in the Sunday school setting. And, of course, do some singing!
Personal Ministry in Nursery: Making our Personal God Visible to Our 0-2s and Their Families - Rhonda Braun Even the youngest child in your church is made in the “image of God”. When we, as nursery workers, step in and intentionally build relationships with God, with each other and with the littlest ones and their families, we are doing the work of nurturing authentic faith in them. A Bible story, an activity, some music and you, the volunteer, are vitally important in this ministry. Come be encouraged that what you do matters, and learn practical ways to make the most of the time you have each week to share God's love with the little ones in your church family.
Relationships in Leadership: A Key to Developing a Sustainable Kids Team - Megan Kropp We encounter the need for relationship in every aspect of our lives. We have friends, family and people we lead each week! As leaders it can be challenging to lead our volunteers by enforcing our position or title to create change or motivate them. So why is building relationships in ministry so important? The answer is influence! This breakout is available to help leaders understand that a position is just the beginning. How we connect with our volunteers creates influence, a genuine desire for growth and closes the back door so we can keep the teams we build.
Serving Parents Well - Kent Martens Everyone has some kind of family! Partnering with parents in ministry is a noble desire. When we find ways to increase our connections, understanding, and encouragement we address and minimize fears and become true allies with parents. This interactive breakout will see you collaborating and sharing ideas with like minded people committed to connecting with and partnering in effective ways with parents.
The BIBLE for Every-Day Life - Linda Unruh Do you find it hard to pick up your Bible? Have you ever prayed the Scriptures for a child, a family member or friend? We all have days, and even seasons in life when we feel desperate for God’s Word to come alive. This was Linda’s experience when she was challenged with a fresh way to engage in the Bible. In this session you will learn simple tools and ideas that will bring the Bible to life and enrich how you talk to God. 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!
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 current tensions between cultural and biblical perspectives, this session will lay out a strong and relevant Christian message about sexuality. It will then provide fresh frameworks to help pastors and ministry leaders think well and act compassionately around issues of relationships and sexuality. The session will also practically demonstrate how to both engage in relationship and minister well to people affected by broken sexuality, gender, and identity. Reg Froese Bio
The Power of Effective Time Management - Rachel Price Have you ever felt like there were just not enough hours in the day? The Five P’s of effective time management are a vital tool to help us make the most of every minute God has gifted us. Whether you are a leader, volunteer, ministry director, or parent, this time management tool will help you to maximize your efficiency.
Understanding the Culture of Our Indigenous Kids - Heidi Driedger The body of Christ is multicultural. This session takes a look at creating a welcoming space in the church for kids with a focus on Indigenous people groups in our communities. This includes fostering as a form of ministry (and how to support the parents that support the kids, because fostering is one of the primary ways First Nations kids get to church), as well as sensitivity training regarding the culture that Indiginenous kids come from.
VBS Matters: Running a Godly, Kid-Friendly Summer Vacation Bible School Program - Darlene Wall Whether your church is planning to host their first VBS or looking forward to their 30th, this session is designed to help directors and volunteers get prepared for an excellent summer ministry to the children of your church and your community. In addition to making the case for why VBS is a valuable ministry to invest in, Darlene will walk you through practical strategies to assist in the planning of the many facets of VBS, including recruiting tips, budgeting ideas, boundary setting, dealing with unexpected challenges and more! Bring your imagination and let’s envision a successful VBS this summer at a church near you.
When the Kid in Your Small Group is Your "Neighbour" - Rose Neufeld Is she acting out? Is he mis-behaving? Are you feeling unhinged? Frustrated? You’ve heard it said: “love your neighbour as yourself.” How do you love the mis-behaving, the distracting kid (aka, neighbour) in your children’s ministry? How do you engage in a way that they, as well as the other kids have a positive experience? In this breakout we will take a look at what’s behind the misbehaving and what influences our response. Having done that work, we will then consider strategies that can guide kids and support you as a leader.
Winning Over that Difficult Child: Because "Kicking Them Out" is not an Option - Jeffrey Schau Have you found connecting with some children easier than others? Do you have a “difficult” child that frustrates you and you can’t figure them out? In this session we will cover basic behavioral analysis to see how God has uniquely wired each of us. With a better understanding of behavioral styles, you will be able to tap into the strengths of the children you work with, even those challenging ones. Note: these principles are applicable beyond the classroom to other “difficult” people in your life!
KidMin Q&A Breakout Session - Emily Friesen (moderator), Beth Braun and TBA (Panel) Whether we are new to our role or consider ourselves a veteran, we still can find ourselves with questions and challenges. The questions could be practical or philosophical, related to a big issue or a small one. As leaders, we know that it always helps to talk things over with someone who “gets” it, someone who has been in our shoes and can relate to our experiences. No question will be too big or too small. If you have a question and looking for someone who knows where you’re coming from, or feel you would benefit from listening in on open dialogue on KidMin ‘stuff’, this is the breakout for you. Our panel of children’s ministry veterans not only has knowledge and wisdom that comes from experience, but they also have a passion to come alongside and support you. Bring YOUR most burning question or challenge and we’ll get the conversation started…
Panel Discussion [Saturday]
Curriculum Show-and-Tell Researching curriculum options is an enormous task. Don’t you wish you could talk to someone who has been through this already? Come and meet a panel of fellow Sunday School leaders, who will show-and-tell about the curriculum they have selected for their Sunday Schools, and why they love it. The remainder of the hour will be for you to visit the exhibit tables to see samples of the resources, and to ask questions, or to share with others your frustrations and your hopes regarding finding curriculum for your ministry. Our goal is that you will leave the session with a helpful resource handout and hope!
Presenters: JoAnn Enns from Westside Community in Morden (DigIn by Group), Candace Friesen from Christian Life Church in Steinbach (Jesus Storybook/What's in the Bible/Action Bible.)