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Thursday, November 16
 

1:00pm

Building a Successful Marriage and Youth Ministry
Marriage isn't easy, and ministry is tough. And when the two are combined, it can make both even more difficult. Doug and Cathy Fields have spent their entire marriage in youth ministry and have lived to tell about it! This intensive will offer practical ideas for how to keep your marriage growing—even during times of ministry stress.

Speakers
avatar for Cathy Fields

Cathy Fields

Cathy Fields has been a volunteer youth worker for more than 25 years. She’s also served in practically every role in youth ministry, from camp speaker to bus driver. She disciples a small group of high school girls and is currently writing a workbook for parents.
avatar for Doug Fields

Doug Fields

Doug Fields is a communicator, author, and consultant. He’s the executive director of HomeWord’s Center for Youth and Family at Azusa Pacific University, the cofounder of Downloadyouthministry.com, and the author of more than 50 books.


Thursday November 16, 2017 1:00pm - 6:00pm
Ballroom E

1:00pm

Growing Young: Helping Young People Discover and Love Your Church
Like most ministry leaders, you’ve probably heard ominous reports of the demise of faith: the disillusionment of young people, the aging of the church, the rise of the “nones” ... the list goes on. But what if there are bright spots breaking through the clouds and revealing energized churches brimming with young people? The good news is that those bright-spot churches exist. The Fuller Youth Institute team spent the past three years studying congregations who were effectively capturing the imaginations and hearts of young people ages 15 to 29. Through this landmark investigation of more than 250 diverse congregations, FYI uncovered six core commitments that the most effective churches held in common. This intensive seminar will plumb the depths of those findings. You’ll leave with a host of doable ideas to help your church right now. Don’t give in to growing old — come discover new ways to grow young!

Speakers
avatar for Brad Griffin

Brad Griffin

Brad Griffin is the director of the Fuller Youth Institute, where he develops research-based training for youth workers and parents. A speaker, blogger and volunteer youth pastor, Brad is also the coauthor of “Growing Young,” “Right Click,” the Can I Ask That? series and several... Read More →
avatar for Kara Powell

Kara Powell

Kara Powell, Ph.D., is the executive director of the Fuller Youth Institute (FYI) and a faculty member at Fuller Theological Seminary (fulleryouthinstitute.org). Named by Christianity Today as one of “50 Women to Watch,” Kara serves as a youth and family strategist for Orange and also regularly speaks at parenting and leadership conferences. Kara is the author or coauthor of a number of books, including... Read More →


Thursday November 16, 2017 1:00pm - 6:00pm
Ballroom C

1:00pm

LGBTQ Youth: Ministry Beneath the Surface
This intensive will examine ministry to LGBTQ students in terms of an iceberg metaphor. Most efforts at ministry focus on what is above the surface, while effective ministry to LGBTQ youth occurs beneath the surface. In this intensive we’ll identify common mistakes and ineffective behaviors and responses, and we’ll look at concrete and specific strategies for taking your ministry into areas of greater significance for LGBTQ youth.

Speakers
avatar for Julie Rodgers

Julie Rodgers

Julie Rodgers is a writer, speaker and advocate for LGBTQ people in the church.
avatar for Mark Yarhouse

Mark Yarhouse

Dr. Mark A. Yarhouse is the Hughes Endowed Chair and professor of psychology at Regent University in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Dr. Yarhouse promotes dialogue between people who view the topic of sexual identity differently. He's currently the chair of the task force on LGBT issue... Read More →


Thursday November 16, 2017 1:00pm - 6:00pm
Ballroom D

1:00pm

Racial Reconciliation Experience
The Racial Reconciliation Experience presents NYWC attendees with opportunities to learn about and engage in conversation around current, historical and systemic issues of race and how these impact adolescents and their communities, as well as youth leaders. The RRE has two parts: • Learning Experiences include the National Civil Rights Museum; Stax Museum of American Soul Music; the NO JOKE PROJECT, a roundtable discussion between an imam, rabbi and evangelical pastor; and conversations with congregations pursuing social justice. • Sharing Experiences involve small-group gatherings allowing for intentional discussions around practical ideas between fellow youth workers.  

Speakers
avatar for Jacob Eckeberger

Jacob Eckeberger

Jacob Eckeberger is the director of content development for Youth Specialties, and he has spent the last 12 years as a hybrid youth worker and worship leader. He and his partner, Katie, lead worship itinerantly as the duo My Anchor Holds and serve at Hope Church in Bloomington, I... Read More →
avatar for Fred Oduyoye

Fred Oduyoye

Fred Oduyoye began in full-time youth ministry 18 years ago, and his experiences led him to become the national training director for Urban Youth Workers Institute. Today, Fred is the director of networking for Youth Specialties and oversees the YS UnConference. Fred helps manage... Read More →


Thursday November 16, 2017 1:00pm - 6:00pm
TBA

1:00pm

Taking Einstein to Youth Ministry: Faith, Science and the Faith Formation of Young People
For many, the scientific story about a massively expanding, 14-billion-year-old universe with black holes and supernovas has made belief in a personal God difficult. Science seems to engage with what we can see, touch and measure, while the Christian faith asks us to believe in what ancient texts tell us about an immeasurable spiritual experience. How should Christians engage the relationship between faith and science? What does youth ministry have to do with Einstein and Darwin? In this seminar, Andrew Root and Carrie Olson Baalson, chair of youth and family ministry at Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minn., will lead an important conversation about the relationship between youth ministry, faith and scientific theories.

Speakers
avatar for Andrew Root

Andrew Root

Andrew Root, Ph.D., is the Carrie Olson Baalson associate professor of youth and family ministry at Luther Seminary. He’s most recently the author of “The Grace of Dogs” and “Faith Formation in a Secular Age.” He’s also written “Bonhoeffer as Youth Worker” and a four-book series... Read More →


Thursday November 16, 2017 1:00pm - 6:00pm
L1

1:00pm

Middle School Ministry
Whether you're brand new in middle school ministry or a seasoned veteran, it's easy to see that middle school ministry doesn't work quite like other ministries in the church. Together, we'll look at how the minds of young teens work, and we’ll discuss the keys to building an incredible middle school ministry.

Speakers
avatar for Heather Flies

Heather Flies

Heather Flies has been active in youth ministry since 1992 and has been serving as the junior high pastor at Wooddale Church in Minnesota for 20 years. Heather is the author of “I Want to Talk With My Teen About Girl Stuff” for parents and “That's What She Said/That's What He... Read More →
avatar for Sean Meade

Sean Meade

Sean Meade is an 18-year student ministry veteran and the founder and president of Stuck in the Middle, an organization that hosts events for middle school students and provides resources and consulting for middle school ministries. Sean also serves as the middle school pastor at... Read More →


Thursday November 16, 2017 1:00pm - 6:00pm
L3

1:00pm

YS 101 Bootcamp: Core Training for Your Ministry
The 101 Bootcamp is ideal for those who are either new to ministry or looking to firm up the core foundational elements of youth ministry. This intensive will focus on core how-to’s regarding relationships (students, parents, leaders, congregation); events (outreach, discipleship, service/mission); communication (talks, studies, administration); and soul care/self-care. Participants will leave with key systems and strategies for long-term ministry success. 

Speakers
avatar for Brian Aaby

Brian Aaby

Brian Aaby is the director of YS Search and YS Coaching at Youth Specialties, where he assists churches with personnel placement and provides coaching guidance for youth leaders. He served for 17 years as a youth pastor before founding Youthmark in 2008. Brian speaks nationally a... Read More →
avatar for Kurt Johnston

Kurt Johnston

Kurt Johnston has been in youth ministry since 1988. He currently leads the student ministry teams at Saddleback Church, which includes 15 California and four international campuses. He loves to encourage youth pastors, and has written and created a ton of resources with that in mind. When not doing church stuff, Kurt likes to surf and sit around campfires with his family and... Read More →


Thursday November 16, 2017 1:00pm - 6:00pm
L2

6:15pm

Scripture Like Jazz
Join us as we interact with Scripture in a creative way. As a group, we’ll "play" the Scriptures in the way of jazz musicians, improvising as we go. This communal approach to reading and hearing Scripture will breathe life into your soul. As your voice finds its place among many others, you’ll be reminded of the beauty of our sacred text and discover afresh how you belong in this story.

Speakers
avatar for Mike King

Mike King

Mike King has been in youth ministry for 42 years. He currently serves as president/CEO of Youthfront, which provides youth ministry programs, services, resources and training. Mike is an adjunct professor at Nazarene Theological Seminary in Kansas City, Missouri, and he’s a senior advisor for Museum of the Bible, opening in Washington D.C. in November 2017... Read More →
avatar for Jamie Roach

Jamie Roach

Jamie Roach has served on the staff of Youthfront for 30 years, working with students, parents and youth workers. His passion is seeing people formed into the image of Jesus Christ. Jamie is an author, communicator and spiritual director as well as the pastor of Redemption Table, a church in Lee's Summit. He earned his Master of Divinity from Nazarene Theological Seminary. Jamie and his wife, Lea Ann, have four children: Megan, Haley, Logan and... Read More →


Thursday November 16, 2017 6:15pm - 7:15pm
Mississippi

7:30pm

Big Room Thursday—P.M.
Speakers
avatar for Fred Lynch

Fred Lynch

Fred Lynch is a dynamic communicator who takes the expressions of this generation and uses them to glorify God through relevant, relatable, and radical truth. He speaks in schools for Rachel’s Challenge, inspiring students to resist bullying and live a life of care and compassion. Fred helped found P.I.D. (Preachers in Disguise), and... Read More →
avatar for Mark Yaconelli

Mark Yaconelli

Mark Yaconelli is an author, storyteller, speaker and community activist. He’s the executive director of The Hearth: Real Stories by Regular Folks — a nonprofit that uses personal stories to build community, eradicate shame and address suffering. He helped to start many creative ministry projects, including the Center for Engaged Compassion at Claremont School of Theology... Read More →

Artists
avatar for Brandon Grissom Band

Brandon Grissom Band

Brandon Grissom is a singer/songwriter from Denver, Colorado. Although he was raised in the dusty backwoods of Oklahoma, he spent more than a decade leading worship at Willow Creek Community Church in Chicago. Brandon now regularly plays at Cherry Hills Church in Denver as well as at various conferences, churches and events around the country... Read More →
avatar for DJ Bobbito

DJ Bobbito

DJ Bobbito is one of the most active deejays in Los Angeles, California. He’s been a deejay for more 14 years, touring nationally and internationally with PAX217. You can find him in any environment, from corporate events to private parties to national conferences. He can also be... Read More →
avatar for Sharon Irving

Sharon Irving

“I take a deep breath and step out on faith.” Those words have been a mantra for Sharon Irving — songstress, songwriter, spoken-word artist, worship leader and actress. Sharon has been a part of the worship team at Willow Creek Community Church in Barrington, Illinois, for several years and was a participant on... Read More →


Thursday November 16, 2017 7:30pm - 9:30pm
East Hall

9:30pm

Compline (evening prayer)
“Compline” comes from a Latin word that means “completion.” This peaceful and beautiful 20-minute service is the liturgical equivalent of being tucked into bed. During this time, we’ll confess, listen to God through Scripture and silence, and ask God to watch over us as we sleep. On Saturday, Communion will be offered during compline for those who desire to partake in the holy feast.

Speakers
avatar for Micah Thomas

Micah Thomas

Micah Thomas has worked for Youthfront in Kansas City for nine years. He helped to form LaCygne, an intentional community centered on prayer, service, and the recognition of Christ's presence in all areas of life. He serves as a worship leader at Jacob's Well Church in Kansas Cit... Read More →


Thursday November 16, 2017 9:30pm - 9:50pm
Mississippi

9:30pm

Exhibit Hall Opening Reception
Artists
avatar for DJ Bobbito

DJ Bobbito

DJ Bobbito is one of the most active deejays in Los Angeles, California. He’s been a deejay for more 14 years, touring nationally and internationally with PAX217. You can find him in any environment, from corporate events to private parties to national conferences. He can also be... Read More →


Thursday November 16, 2017 9:30pm - 11:00pm
NW/SW Hall
 
Friday, November 17
 

7:45am

Lauds (morning prayer)
Lauds is a prayer practice that can be traced back to apostolic times. During this time of prayer, we offer praise to God for the break of a new day and we celebrate the reality that our Lord has indeed risen from the dead. This 15-minute service is a simple liturgy of Scripture, silence and spoken prayer.

Speakers
avatar for Micah Thomas

Micah Thomas

Micah Thomas has worked for Youthfront in Kansas City for nine years. He helped to form LaCygne, an intentional community centered on prayer, service, and the recognition of Christ's presence in all areas of life. He serves as a worship leader at Jacob's Well Church in Kansas Cit... Read More →


Friday November 17, 2017 7:45am - 8:00am
Mississippi

8:00am

Morning Bible Study
Speakers
avatar for Tic Long

Tic Long

After 34 years of leadership at Youth Specialties, Tic Long is now the executive pastor at Journey Community Church in La Mesa, California. He's a proud grandpa of two awesome grandsons, and his sessions will be sponsored by the Hair Club for Men.


Friday November 17, 2017 8:00am - 8:45am
TBA

8:10am

Singing Scripture as Prayer

Our brains connect content with sounds, and our minds mull over words and melodies even when we’re unaware. Come learn about the practice of singing Scripture as a way to connect with the Lord and internalize God's Word. Learn about faith communities that do this regularly, and maybe even become inspired to create your own! No musical expertise is required.


Speakers
avatar for Micah Thomas

Micah Thomas

Micah Thomas has worked for Youthfront in Kansas City for nine years. He helped to form LaCygne, an intentional community centered on prayer, service, and the recognition of Christ's presence in all areas of life. He serves as a worship leader at Jacob's Well Church in Kansas Cit... Read More →


Friday November 17, 2017 8:10am - 8:50am
Mississippi

9:00am

Big Room Friday A.M.—Inspiring Teens

Hear from adults who have seen firsthand the impact that teenagers are making in the world today and from teens themselves who are making a difference. You'll be inspired about how to get your teenagers to do the same.


Speakers
avatar for Fred Lynch

Fred Lynch

Fred Lynch is a dynamic communicator who takes the expressions of this generation and uses them to glorify God through relevant, relatable, and radical truth. He speaks in schools for Rachel’s Challenge, inspiring students to resist bullying and live a life of care and compassion. Fred helped found P.I.D. (Preachers in Disguise), and... Read More →

Artists
avatar for Brandon Grissom Band

Brandon Grissom Band

Brandon Grissom is a singer/songwriter from Denver, Colorado. Although he was raised in the dusty backwoods of Oklahoma, he spent more than a decade leading worship at Willow Creek Community Church in Chicago. Brandon now regularly plays at Cherry Hills Church in Denver as well as at various conferences, churches and events around the country... Read More →
avatar for DJ Bobbito

DJ Bobbito

DJ Bobbito is one of the most active deejays in Los Angeles, California. He’s been a deejay for more 14 years, touring nationally and internationally with PAX217. You can find him in any environment, from corporate events to private parties to national conferences. He can also be... Read More →
avatar for Sharon Irving

Sharon Irving

“I take a deep breath and step out on faith.” Those words have been a mantra for Sharon Irving — songstress, songwriter, spoken-word artist, worship leader and actress. Sharon has been a part of the worship team at Willow Creek Community Church in Barrington, Illinois, for several years and was a participant on... Read More →


Friday November 17, 2017 9:00am - 10:30am
East Hall

10:45am

Finding Your Thinplace

In the movie “Chariots of Fire,” Eric Liddell says, “God made me fast. And when I run, I feel his pleasure.” Where do you feel God’s pleasure? Where do you feel God’s presence in your life? That’s your thinplace. The word “thinplace” is a Celtic term for a place where the veil between heaven and earth is thin — a place where heaven and earth seem to touch. It’s the place you experience God and feel God’s presence most easily. Everyone has experienced thinplace. It might be on the beach or in the mountains. It might be when you’re watching a sunset. It might be when you create something or when you run or ride your bike. The Celtic Christians believed there were specific physical places that were thinplaces, and these became places of prayer. We’ll begin to discover where we feel God’s pleasure, and we’ll build personal and corporate practices to continue the discovery after the NYWC.


Speakers
avatar for Lilly Lewin

Lilly Lewin

Lilly Lewin is worship curator of ThinplaceNashville and freerangeworship.com. She takes worship outside the box and beyond singing through multisensory prayer, experiential worship, and art. Lilly leads workshops and creates sacred-space experiences in the US and abroad. She’s t... Read More →


Friday November 17, 2017 10:45am - 11:30am
Mississippi

11:00am

Growing Young: Helping Young People Discover and Love Your Church
In the midst of discouraging reports about the aging and decline of churches today, how can you help young people discover and embrace your church? Through a landmark investigation of more than 250 diverse congregations, the Fuller Youth Institute uncovered six core commitments that are key to reaching and retaining young people. This seminar explores those findings as well as stories of real-life churches that are thriving. You’ll leave with a host of ideas to help your church change young people as well as ideas to help young people change your church.

Speakers
avatar for Kara Powell

Kara Powell

Kara Powell, Ph.D., is the executive director of the Fuller Youth Institute (FYI) and a faculty member at Fuller Theological Seminary (fulleryouthinstitute.org). Named by Christianity Today as one of “50 Women to Watch,” Kara serves as a youth and family strategist for Orange and also regularly speaks at parenting and leadership conferences. Kara is the author or coauthor of a number of books, including... Read More →


Friday November 17, 2017 11:00am - 12:30pm
Ballroom C

11:00am

Ministry to Transgender and Gender-Diverse Youth
This is an introductory workshop on the experiences of transgender and gender-diverse youth. We’ll share key terms and discuss how to meet young people where they are while maintaining a balanced approach to ministry.

Speakers
avatar for Mark Yarhouse

Mark Yarhouse

Dr. Mark A. Yarhouse is the Hughes Endowed Chair and professor of psychology at Regent University in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Dr. Yarhouse promotes dialogue between people who view the topic of sexual identity differently. He's currently the chair of the task force on LGBT issue... Read More →


Friday November 17, 2017 11:00am - 12:30pm
Ballroom E

11:00am

Ministering to Middle Schoolers: Waffles, Spaghetti or Both?
It’s been said that guys are like waffles and girls are like spaghetti — two foods that sound terrible together. Many youth ministers feel overwhelmed when they look out at a room filled with middle school girls and guys. How do you keep the guys engaged without frustrating the girls? How do you talk about feelings without the guys resorting to armpit noises? How do you honor both genders when they’re so different? Drawing from 20 years of experience with middle schoolers, Heather Flies will offer practical ideas on middle school programming, teaching, activities and relationships.

Speakers
avatar for Heather Flies

Heather Flies

Heather Flies has been active in youth ministry since 1992 and has been serving as the junior high pastor at Wooddale Church in Minnesota for 20 years. Heather is the author of “I Want to Talk With My Teen About Girl Stuff” for parents and “That's What She Said/That's What He... Read More →


Friday November 17, 2017 11:00am - 12:30pm
L3

11:00am

Pursing the Middle: Outreach Ministry for the Sake of the Kingdom
Throughout the Gospels, we see how Jesus pursued the middle. He worked in spaces and places that stretched the comfort of those around him. He did ministry between saints and sinners — he did ministry between Jews and Gentiles. He was crucified between two thieves. As a group, we’ll explore what it means to “pursue the middle” in order to do outreach ministry for the sake of the kingdom.

Speakers
avatar for Cesar Castillejos

Cesar Castillejos

Cesar Castillejos is currently serving students and families in Richfield, Minnesota, through collaboration with Young Life and Hope Church. He serves as the Young Life area director and lead teaching pastor of The Well, a faith community that started in a nightclub. Cesar is als... Read More →


Friday November 17, 2017 11:00am - 12:30pm
L8

11:00am

Launching a Sticky Faith Youth Ministry From the Ground
Designed especially for leaders starting (or restarting) a youth ministry from scratch, this seminar will explore practical ways to build innovative and contextual ministry models around Sticky Faith philosophy and best practices without wading through entrenched, tired traditions. Based on real church experiments in church plants and start-over youth ministries, this seminar will offer lessons from the success and stumbling of leaders who are in your shoes so you can gain ground-level ideas to chart your own course forward.

Speakers
avatar for Brad Griffin

Brad Griffin

Brad Griffin is the director of the Fuller Youth Institute, where he develops research-based training for youth workers and parents. A speaker, blogger and volunteer youth pastor, Brad is also the coauthor of “Growing Young,” “Right Click,” the Can I Ask That? series and several... Read More →


Friday November 17, 2017 11:00am - 12:30pm
L10

11:00am

Teaching Jesus
Jesus is the cornerstone of the Christian faith. As youth workers we know this, yet teaching students to love and follow Jesus often feels daunting or trite. Where do we even begin with such a big, important task? And don't church kids already know the Jesus story? In this seminar we'll explore seven aspects of Christology every youth worker needs to address, and we’ll wrestle with how we can more effectively and creatively teach students to love and follow Jesus.

Speakers
avatar for Jen Bradbury

Jen Bradbury

Jen Bradbury serves as the director of youth ministry at Faith Lutheran Church in Glen Ellyn, Illinois. A veteran youth worker, Jen is the author of “Unleashing the Hidden Potential of Your Student Leaders,” “The Real Jesus” and “The Jesus Gap: What Teens Actually Believe About... Read More →


Friday November 17, 2017 11:00am - 12:30pm
L11

11:00am

Who Is Today's Small Church?
Small churches are the norm and are here to stay! The advantages are great — the disadvantages are conquerable. In this seminar, you’ll learn practical tips that will make being a small church youth ministry something to celebrate.

Speakers
avatar for Stephanie Caro

Stephanie Caro

Stephanie Caro has been involved in ministry for … a long time. Her humorous, straightforward style makes her a popular speaker at conferences, training events, camps, retreats and churches. Stephanie is a senior consultant for Ministry Architects and the author of several books, including... Read More →
avatar for Brad Fiscus

Brad Fiscus

Brad Fiscus has been in ministry with teenagers since 1985. He’s been a leadership development consultant, teacher, coach and youth minister. Since 2009, he’s been serving as the director of next gen discipleship in the Tennessee Conference of the United Methodist Church. Brad is also a staff consultant with Ministry Architects. With Stephanie Caro, Brad co-wrote the book... Read More →


Friday November 17, 2017 11:00am - 12:30pm
L13

11:00am

What Is the Theological Turn in Youth Ministry?
What does it mean to make a theological turn in youth ministry? It is turning away from a technological perspective that sees youth ministry as a means to an end, but it doesn't necessarily mean turning to theology. Rather, it is a shift to the theological. It seeks for the act of God in the lives and concrete experiences of young people. In this seminar we’ll explore why and how this turn matters immensely.

Speakers
avatar for Andrew Root

Andrew Root

Andrew Root, Ph.D., is the Carrie Olson Baalson associate professor of youth and family ministry at Luther Seminary. He’s most recently the author of “The Grace of Dogs” and “Faith Formation in a Secular Age.” He’s also written “Bonhoeffer as Youth Worker” and a four-book series... Read More →


Friday November 17, 2017 11:00am - 12:30pm
L4

11:00am

Coaching and Mentoring Female Youth Leaders
There are two ways to effectively develop women on your youth ministry team: coaching and mentoring. This workshop reviews both methods to grow and empower the core competencies in women on your leadership team.

Speakers
avatar for Virginia Ward

Virginia Ward

Virginia Ward integrates leadership and motivational skills with knowledge of multigenerational urban youth ministry to inspire, enlighten and help individuals and organizations equip the next generation of leaders. Virginia is the director of Leadership/Mentored Ministry Initiat... Read More →


Friday November 17, 2017 11:00am - 12:30pm
L12

11:00am

Positive Discipline: How to Love and Work With Rude, Obnoxious and Apathetic Students
Don't let discipline problems drive you out of youth ministry! Take a positive approach instead. Learn why teens get rowdy, how to set rules and consequences, and how to praise teens. Get dozens of proven, specific ideas you can use to feel confident when you deal with those particular students who drive you up the wall. You'll leave this seminar with a new appreciation for all the teens in your ministry.

Speakers
avatar for Les Christie

Les Christie

Les Christie has been in paid youth ministry for 50 years. He chairs the youth ministry department at William Jessup University and has spoken at each YS National Youth Workers Convention for 37 years. He’s the author of 17 books, including “Best-Ever Games for Youth Ministry.” L... Read More →


Friday November 17, 2017 11:00am - 12:30pm
Ballroom D

11:00am

Supervise Like a Boss Without Acting Like a Boss
No one talks about supervision, but all youth workers do it. The truth is that we won't reach our ministry goals without becoming effective supervisors. We’re put in positions where we oversee volunteers, student leaders and even other paid staff members. Terry Linhart, author of “The Self-Aware Leader,” provides the insights, tips and forms you need to be an amazing supervisor without it getting weird. This interactive workshop will help you grow your youth ministry as you grow your people.

Speakers
avatar for Terry Linhart

Terry Linhart

Terry Linhart is the author of “The Self-Aware Leader” and editor of “Teaching the Next Generations.” After 16 years in full-time youth ministry, he now teaches Christian ministries and worship arts at Bethel College and consults with various Christian ministries across the globe... Read More →


Friday November 17, 2017 11:00am - 12:30pm
L2

11:00am

Your First Two Years of Youth Ministry
Taught by 30-year youth ministry veteran Doug Fields, this seminar is designed to help both veteran and newbie youth workers be effective leaders. Doug will share his own successes and failures, and he’ll teach you how to think about your teenage audience and their families. He’ll talk about how to develop a healthy youth ministry that's built on more than fun and games; recruit, develop, and empower volunteers; lead students towards spiritual maturity; and balance your professional and personal life.

Speakers
avatar for Doug Fields

Doug Fields

Doug Fields is a communicator, author, and consultant. He’s the executive director of HomeWord’s Center for Youth and Family at Azusa Pacific University, the cofounder of Downloadyouthministry.com, and the author of more than 50 books.


Friday November 17, 2017 11:00am - 12:30pm
Steamboat

11:45am

Midday (prayer at midday)

This 15-minute service is designed to briefly interrupt us in the middle of the day in order that we might refocus our attention on God as the center of our lives and worthy of our praise.


Speakers
avatar for Micah Thomas

Micah Thomas

Micah Thomas has worked for Youthfront in Kansas City for nine years. He helped to form LaCygne, an intentional community centered on prayer, service, and the recognition of Christ's presence in all areas of life. He serves as a worship leader at Jacob's Well Church in Kansas Cit... Read More →


Friday November 17, 2017 11:45am - 12:00pm
Mississippi

12:00pm

Exhibit Hall Open
Friday November 17, 2017 12:00pm - 2:00pm
NW/SW Hall

1:30pm

Pray as You Can, Not as You Can't

If you ever struggle with prayer, you’re in good company. Trusted Christians — C.S. Lewis and Henri Nouwen as well as many others — talk about times when prayer is a challenge. We'll spend this session looking at ways to meet these struggles, and we’ll receive guidance from those who have walked this path before.


Speakers
avatar for Libbie Patterson

Libbie Patterson

Libbie Patterson has served for many years as a spiritual director for NYWC and as a member of the Soulshapers advisory group for Youth Specialties. Her background is as a faculty member and administrator in theological education at Fuller Seminary, where she taught in the spirit... Read More →


Friday November 17, 2017 1:30pm - 2:00pm
Mississippi

2:00pm

Big Room Friday—Midday
Artists
avatar for Brandon Grissom Band

Brandon Grissom Band

Brandon Grissom is a singer/songwriter from Denver, Colorado. Although he was raised in the dusty backwoods of Oklahoma, he spent more than a decade leading worship at Willow Creek Community Church in Chicago. Brandon now regularly plays at Cherry Hills Church in Denver as well as at various conferences, churches and events around the country... Read More →
avatar for DJ Bobbito

DJ Bobbito

DJ Bobbito is one of the most active deejays in Los Angeles, California. He’s been a deejay for more 14 years, touring nationally and internationally with PAX217. You can find him in any environment, from corporate events to private parties to national conferences. He can also be... Read More →
avatar for Sharon Irving

Sharon Irving

“I take a deep breath and step out on faith.” Those words have been a mantra for Sharon Irving — songstress, songwriter, spoken-word artist, worship leader and actress. Sharon has been a part of the worship team at Willow Creek Community Church in Barrington, Illinois, for several years and was a participant on... Read More →


Friday November 17, 2017 2:00pm - 3:30pm
East Hall

2:15pm

Creating Art as Prayer
We were created in the “imago dei,” the “image of God.” We were designed to create and to be imaginative people who cooperate with God, the source of beauty and creativity. To celebrate that, we’ll create art in response to Scripture readings.

Speakers
avatar for Lilly Lewin

Lilly Lewin

Lilly Lewin is worship curator of ThinplaceNashville and freerangeworship.com. She takes worship outside the box and beyond singing through multisensory prayer, experiential worship, and art. Lilly leads workshops and creates sacred-space experiences in the US and abroad. She’s t... Read More →


Friday November 17, 2017 2:15pm - 3:15pm
Mississippi

4:00pm

Prayer for the Nation
Step out of the noise, division and politics and settle into a holy pause of quiet, focus and perspective. This session in the Sanctuary is a place to bring your longings, fears and concerns. Spend some time lifting up the needs of our country and finding hope.

Speakers
avatar for Kara Root

Kara Root

Kara Root is the pastor of Lake Nokomis Presbyterian Church in Minneapolis, a Christian community where life is shaped around worship, hospitality, and Sabbath rest. She’s also a trained spiritual director, a certified Christian educator, the mom of two clever kids and a spoiled dog, and the wife and proofreader of a wily theologian. She blogs about ministry and motherhood at... Read More →


Friday November 17, 2017 4:00pm - 5:00pm
Mississippi

4:00pm

When Life Sucks: Ministering to Kids in Life’s Darkest Moments
How do we help teenagers think theologically and practically about the suffering, loss and pain they experience in life? How do we demonstrate that Christianity works, when the ache of their hearts is bigger than anything they’ve faced before? Where is the hope of the gospel in the face of great pain? It takes more than a Bible verse and bumper-sticker answers to deeply care for teens in the midst of suffering. This seminar offers practical ways to walk with teens and their families through dark days when God seems far away.

Speakers
avatar for Kerry Loescher

Kerry Loescher

Kerry Loescher has more than 20 years of professional youth ministry experience and currently serves as an instructor at Oral Roberts University, teaching youth ministry, outreach and leadership. Kerry’s passion is equipping leaders to help kids and families connect the dots betw... Read More →


Friday November 17, 2017 4:00pm - 5:30pm
L12

4:00pm

Foundational Youth Ministry in Ethnic Churches
This workshop will focus on the building blocks of effective youth ministry for leaders who serve African-American congregations. How do you bridge the traditional and contemporary elements of the church? How do you find good curriculum written with your students in mind? What practices in youth ministry have been proven to lead to lasting faith? In addition to developing teenagers’ faith, what role do you play in preserving cultural practices?

Speakers
avatar for Edrin Williams

Edrin Williams

Edrin C. Williams is the pastor of equipping and formation at Sanctuary Covenant Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He came to the Sanctuary to lead MOSAIC, a community of youth and college students. Edrin is a graduate of the University of South Carolina, and he holds a master’s degree in preaching and communication. He was also a contributor to... Read More →


Friday November 17, 2017 4:00pm - 5:30pm
L14

4:00pm

Ministry to LGBTQ Youth That Goes Beneath the Surface
In order to effectively minister to LGBTQ youth, you must go beneath the surface. In this workshop you’ll learn to recognize and avoid common mistakes in ministry to LGBTQ youth, and you’ll hear about how to incorporate helpful strategies to take your ministry into areas of greater significance.

Speakers
avatar for Julie Rodgers

Julie Rodgers

Julie Rodgers is a writer, speaker and advocate for LGBTQ people in the church.
avatar for Mark Yarhouse

Mark Yarhouse

Dr. Mark A. Yarhouse is the Hughes Endowed Chair and professor of psychology at Regent University in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Dr. Yarhouse promotes dialogue between people who view the topic of sexual identity differently. He's currently the chair of the task force on LGBT issue... Read More →


Friday November 17, 2017 4:00pm - 5:30pm
L 5, 6, 7

4:00pm

Understanding and Serving Teenagers and Families of Immigrants
We all know America is changing, including its demographics. Whether you’re in a suburban, rural or urban setting, you may encounter teenagers of different ethnicities in your youth group. Some of them may be from immigrant families. If you have one or two teenagers from immigrant families or if your church serves many immigrant families, this seminar will help you consider how to be aware of, sensitive to, and care for families of immigrants.

Speakers
avatar for Danny Kwon

Danny Kwon

Danny Kwon, Ph.D., has been leading youth and family ministry at Yuong Sang Church near Philadelphia for 24 years. He’s a speaker/trainer for various organizations as well as a professor in practical theology. He completed his Ph.D. on the topic of innovation in the local church. Along with his love for watching sports, eating and making people laugh, Danny loves his wife, Monica, and their three teenagers... Read More →


Friday November 17, 2017 4:00pm - 5:30pm
L4

4:00pm

Helping Parents Navigate Their Kids’ Digital Worlds
Whether they consider themselves digital natives, immigrants or lost in transit, the parents of teenagers in your ministry are desperate for direction when it comes to their kids’ online worlds. Parents’ ongoing questions about technology give you a chance to help them win, and your ministry will benefit in the process. Come explore ways we can help parents practically apply grounded and faithful principles to the daily realities of Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram and whatever platforms your students face next.

Speakers
avatar for Brad Griffin

Brad Griffin

Brad Griffin is the director of the Fuller Youth Institute, where he develops research-based training for youth workers and parents. A speaker, blogger and volunteer youth pastor, Brad is also the coauthor of “Growing Young,” “Right Click,” the Can I Ask That? series and several... Read More →


Friday November 17, 2017 4:00pm - 5:30pm
Ballroom C

4:00pm

Narnia, Middle Earth and Youth Ministry: What Lewis, Tolkien, Aslan and Gandalf Can Teach Us About Building Long-Lasting and Fruitful Ministries to Teens
At their core, the worlds and writings of C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien are about much more than Narnia and Middle Earth. These works consistently point to deeper principles about how to live fully and minister effectively. In this seminar we’ll discuss nine foundational principles for living and ministering in ways that are meaningful, effective, deep and long-lasting. (Sneak preview: Principle #3 — Expect Dragons.) 

Speakers
avatar for Crystal Kirgiss

Crystal Kirgiss

Crystal Kirgiss, Ph.D., has worked with students for 30 years. She writes for YouthWalk magazine, has written for many specialty Bible editions and is the author or coauthor of many books, including “In Search of Adolescence: A New Look at an Old Idea.” Crystal lectures at Purdue University on the history of adolescence, and... Read More →


Friday November 17, 2017 4:00pm - 5:30pm
L10

4:00pm

Mentoring Matters — The Basics of Discipleship
In this seminar we’ll explore foundational elements and strategies for effectively making disciples in student ministry. We’ll cover winning people to Christ, walking with maturing teens, and equipping students to reach and teach others.

Speakers
avatar for Brian Aaby

Brian Aaby

Brian Aaby is the director of YS Search and YS Coaching at Youth Specialties, where he assists churches with personnel placement and provides coaching guidance for youth leaders. He served for 17 years as a youth pastor before founding Youthmark in 2008. Brian speaks nationally a... Read More →
avatar for David Fraze

David Fraze

David Fraze is special assistant to the president of Lubbock Christian University and manager of Dallas-Ft. Worth character coaches for Fellowship of Christian Athletes. He received his Doctor of Ministry from Fuller Theological Seminary and has been a student minister for more t... Read More →
avatar for Summer Sipes

Summer Sipes

Summer Sipes is a student ministry director in Frisco, Texas. There, she lives out her passion to train, disciple and walk alongside staff, parents, students and volunteers. She has a master’s degree with a youth emphasis and has served in church ministry for more than a decade... Read More →


Friday November 17, 2017 4:00pm - 5:30pm
L3

4:00pm

Living Your Calling — Paying Your Bills: How to Financially Thrive in Ministry

Ministry can be joyful and rewarding — and it can also be hard. Managing ministry and personal finances brings an additional set of challenges to navigate. “I’m called to ministry — how do I do this and pay all my bills?” Or “How can I keep doing ministry now that I have a family?” If you’re asking these or any other questions about finance, you’re not alone. Join us! You’ll leave this seminar with specific methods and immediate access to tools to manage your personal finances. In addition, you’ll learn to hone your focus, increase your impact and strengthen your income. By the end of our time together, you’ll have a new way of looking at money that will shape your decisions and provide healthy financial boundaries while you engage in life-changing ministry.


Speakers
avatar for Andy Langenfeld

Andy Langenfeld

Andy Langenfeld is a Christ-following, dream-chasing husband and father who equips people to live the grand vision God has for their lives. He currently works with The Love & Money Project, where he empowers couples to get on the same page and take meaningful action together. Wit... Read More →


Friday November 17, 2017 4:00pm - 5:30pm
L2

4:00pm

Leading Up: When you Differ from your Leadership
The relationship between leader and led can be either healthy and lasting or fragile and short-lived. It can be a struggle to carry a vision that isn’t yours. How do you strengthen your relationship with your leader? How do you demonstrate loyalty by being a public advocate for your leader? This seminar will show you how to honor the person who is leading you so that you can faithfully carry their vision.

Speakers
avatar for Karl Romeus

Karl Romeus

Karl Romeus is the student ministry director at Bayside Church in Granite Bay, California. Bayside is a vibrant church with five campuses and 17,000 people in weekly attendance. Karl has been in ministry for the past 15 years and studied Christian leadership and biblical theology... Read More →


Friday November 17, 2017 4:00pm - 5:30pm
L11

4:00pm

Unleashing the Imagination of Teenagers
Come learn a process for creating time and space to allow teenagers to turn empathy into action. We'll explore human-centered design principles that can help students take leadership through creating and implementing their own ideas for ministry in your church and community.

Speakers
avatar for Mark Matlock

Mark Matlock

Mark Matlock has been working with youth pastors, students and parents for more than two decades. He’s currently the president of WisdomWorks, a consulting firm dedicated to helping individuals, churches and faith-centered organizations leverage the transforming power of wisdom t... Read More →


Friday November 17, 2017 4:00pm - 5:30pm
Ballroom E

4:00pm

What Your Students Need to Hear About Service (and How You Can Help Them Hear It)
If you had 30 minutes to help teenagers think more deeply about the service opportunities they’re about to step into, what would you say? What would you do? And how will students remember? Mission trips are popular, and service experiences can be meaningful, but students can easily misunderstand their roles in these opportunities. How will you help your youth avoid an I-don’t-care apathy and also escape an I-will-save-you paternalism? How will your mission trip remain meaningful six months later? Come participate in this interactive workshop—you’ll get creative ideas and ready-made tools for delivering better messaging around mission trips. Gain access to some of our favorite resources for helping students think more deeply about service before, during, and after the experience.

Speakers
avatar for Erica Schimelpfenig

Erica Schimelpfenig

Erica Shimelpfenig began at YouthWorks in 2000 as summer site staff. Since then, she’s worked there in a variety of roles, including recruiting associate, regional director, and director of recruiting. She’s currently the director of missions for YouthWorks. Erica and her husband... Read More →


Friday November 17, 2017 4:00pm - 5:30pm
L8

4:00pm

Sticky Faith Family Ministry
Why is it that the only glimpse you get of some of your students’ parents is their taillights on their way out of your church parking lot? How come parents say they want resources and training from you but they don’t show up for seminars or even open your emails? What can you do in every grade of middle school and high school to help families develop faith that lasts? This seminar takes a practical look at Sticky Faith research conducted by the Fuller Youth Institute. Thanks to case studies of churches like yours and interviews we’ve conducted with amazing families nationwide, you’ll leave with plenty of practical ideas you can use to partner with parents and equip them to point their kids to Jesus.

Speakers
avatar for Kara Powell

Kara Powell

Kara Powell, Ph.D., is the executive director of the Fuller Youth Institute (FYI) and a faculty member at Fuller Theological Seminary (fulleryouthinstitute.org). Named by Christianity Today as one of “50 Women to Watch,” Kara serves as a youth and family strategist for Orange and also regularly speaks at parenting and leadership conferences. Kara is the author or coauthor of a number of books, including... Read More →


Friday November 17, 2017 4:00pm - 5:30pm
Cotton Row

4:00pm

Giving a Talk: From Mouth to Ear to Mind to Heart
If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound? Every week, thousands of youth workers ask a very similar question: “If a youth pastor gives a talk to his youth group and nobody actually hears it, did he speak at all?” It doesn’t take long in youth ministry before you realize that giving a talk is not the same as being given a hearing. This seminar will outline the three basic components of a spoken message and help you to understand the why and how of inductive communication. You’ll walk away with a better sense of how to prepare and deliver an effective youth talk.

Speakers
avatar for Duffy Robbins

Duffy Robbins

Dr. Duffy Robbins, professor of youth ministry at Eastern University, is a youth ministry veteran with more than 40 years of experience. He speaks around the world to teenagers and people who care about teenagers. Duffy serves as a teaching pastor at Faithbridge, and his conversational style has made him a popular speaker... Read More →


Friday November 17, 2017 4:00pm - 5:30pm
Ballroom D

4:00pm

Volunteer Development in Smaller Settings
Volunteer development in smaller settings can be done and can be done well! In this seminar, discover tips for recruiting, maintaining and retiring volunteers. For example, you’ll hear about ways you can utilize the graying portion of your membership as a vital tool.

Speakers
avatar for Stephanie Caro

Stephanie Caro

Stephanie Caro has been involved in ministry for … a long time. Her humorous, straightforward style makes her a popular speaker at conferences, training events, camps, retreats and churches. Stephanie is a senior consultant for Ministry Architects and the author of several books, including... Read More →
avatar for Brad Fiscus

Brad Fiscus

Brad Fiscus has been in ministry with teenagers since 1985. He’s been a leadership development consultant, teacher, coach and youth minister. Since 2009, he’s been serving as the director of next gen discipleship in the Tennessee Conference of the United Methodist Church. Brad is also a staff consultant with Ministry Architects. With Stephanie Caro, Brad co-wrote the book... Read More →


Friday November 17, 2017 4:00pm - 5:30pm
L13

4:00pm

Eutheology: Youth Ministry as Contextual Theology
Back in the era of colonization, “evangelism” largely meant converting pre-Christian cultures into Western Christian cultures. When this happened, the dominant culture lost the theologically rich insights of the non-dominant cultures. Similarly, when we merely want to make youth into little adults, we lose their theologically rich insights. What if we instead saw youth as inhabiting their own culture filled with unique perspectives and meanings? What if we considered adolescents as people the Holy Spirit already interacts with? In this way, youth ministry becomes a project of contextual theology called “eutheology” or “new” theology. Youth have unique theological insights the rest of the church needs. For instance, youth can playfully imagine new realities and point out cultural barnacles, youth can remind us of the centrality of identity to discipleship, and youth can lead us back toward childlike faith.

Speakers
avatar for Mike Langford

Mike Langford

Mike Langford is a teacher, thinker, writer and speaker who desires to help the church bring rich theology, good ministry and deep spirituality into discipleship living. He’s the associate professor of Theology, Discipleship and Ministry at Seattle Pacific University and the exec... Read More →


Friday November 17, 2017 4:00pm - 5:30pm
L1

4:00pm

Movie Screening: I Can Only Imagine
Based on the incredible true-life story that inspired the beloved, chart-topping song, I Can Only Imagine is a powerful reminder of how God can soften the hardest of hearts, offer forgiveness to the unforgivable, and mend broken relationships. 

Friday November 17, 2017 4:00pm - 6:00pm
Ballroom A

5:00pm

Praying with Vincent van Gogh
Vincent van Gogh wanted art to guide religious life into a life-giving spirituality, and his biographically inspired art offers a unique allegory of an interior life. His life was an integration of art and spirituality and a paradox of the human and divine. He lived and died contemplating his true self. Reflect on his extraordinary art, interact with his writing, and learn about a way of praying that might open you to new possibilities.

Speakers
avatar for Archie Honrado

Archie Honrado

Archie Honrado is a missionary, youth worker, spiritual director, retreat guide, prayer-space curator/architect and worship leader. He serves with Urban Youth Workers Institute, Youth Specialties, Youth for Christ, American Baptist Churches of Los Angeles and DeVos Urban Youth Le... Read More →


Friday November 17, 2017 5:00pm - 6:00pm
Mississippi

5:00pm

Exhibit Hall Open
Friday November 17, 2017 5:00pm - 7:30pm
NW/SW Hall

7:30pm

Big Room Friday—P.M.
Speakers
avatar for Fred Lynch

Fred Lynch

Fred Lynch is a dynamic communicator who takes the expressions of this generation and uses them to glorify God through relevant, relatable, and radical truth. He speaks in schools for Rachel’s Challenge, inspiring students to resist bullying and live a life of care and compassion. Fred helped found P.I.D. (Preachers in Disguise), and... Read More →

Artists
avatar for Brandon Grissom Band

Brandon Grissom Band

Brandon Grissom is a singer/songwriter from Denver, Colorado. Although he was raised in the dusty backwoods of Oklahoma, he spent more than a decade leading worship at Willow Creek Community Church in Chicago. Brandon now regularly plays at Cherry Hills Church in Denver as well as at various conferences, churches and events around the country... Read More →
avatar for Crowder

Crowder

Crowder and his wife, Toni, live in a neighborhood in Atlanta, Georgia, called Cabbagetown, a quaint mill town that happens to be the place where country music was born. Crowder believes we’re all a lot more the same than we are different — we’re all just dirt and water and the breath of God. Grace, love and freedom work on us all... Read More →
avatar for DJ Bobbito

DJ Bobbito

DJ Bobbito is one of the most active deejays in Los Angeles, California. He’s been a deejay for more 14 years, touring nationally and internationally with PAX217. You can find him in any environment, from corporate events to private parties to national conferences. He can also be... Read More →
avatar for Propaganda

Propaganda

Propaganda is a poet, political activist, husband, father, academic and emcee with Los Angeles flowing through his veins. Armed with a bold message, Propaganda has assembled a body of work that challenges his listeners and reaches across the spectrum of pop culture. From aggressive battle raps to smooth introspective rhythms... Read More →
avatar for Sharon Irving

Sharon Irving

“I take a deep breath and step out on faith.” Those words have been a mantra for Sharon Irving — songstress, songwriter, spoken-word artist, worship leader and actress. Sharon has been a part of the worship team at Willow Creek Community Church in Barrington, Illinois, for several years and was a participant on... Read More →


Friday November 17, 2017 7:30pm - 9:30pm
East Hall

10:00pm

Compline (evening prayer)
“Compline” comes from a Latin word that means “completion.” This peaceful and beautiful 20-minute service is the liturgical equivalent of being tucked into bed. During this time, we’ll confess, listen to God through Scripture and silence, and ask God to watch over us as we sleep. On Saturday, Communion will be offered during compline for those who desire to partake in the holy feast.

Speakers
avatar for Micah Thomas

Micah Thomas

Micah Thomas has worked for Youthfront in Kansas City for nine years. He helped to form LaCygne, an intentional community centered on prayer, service, and the recognition of Christ's presence in all areas of life. He serves as a worship leader at Jacob's Well Church in Kansas Cit... Read More →


Friday November 17, 2017 10:00pm - 10:20pm
Mississippi

10:30pm

Propaganda

Come to this late night and see Propaganda perform an extended concert.


Artists
avatar for Propaganda

Propaganda

Propaganda is a poet, political activist, husband, father, academic and emcee with Los Angeles flowing through his veins. Armed with a bold message, Propaganda has assembled a body of work that challenges his listeners and reaches across the spectrum of pop culture. From aggressive battle raps to smooth introspective rhythms... Read More →


Friday November 17, 2017 10:30pm - 11:30pm
Ballroom A

10:30pm

The Youth Ministry/Science Resource You’ve Been Awaiting For

Come to this late night and see (and take) an exciting new resource to help you discuss issue of science in your youth ministry.  This video resource will help your kids wrestle with the size of universe, evolution, and more.  This new resource is created for youth workers by the Science for Youth Ministry grant.  Come for a thoughtful conversation on wrestling with these issues, and stay for free stuff.


Speakers
avatar for Andrew Root

Andrew Root

Andrew Root, Ph.D., is the Carrie Olson Baalson associate professor of youth and family ministry at Luther Seminary. He’s most recently the author of “The Grace of Dogs” and “Faith Formation in a Secular Age.” He’s also written “Bonhoeffer as Youth Worker” and a four-book series... Read More →


Friday November 17, 2017 10:30pm - 11:30pm
Ballroom A
 
Saturday, November 18
 

7:45am

Lauds (morning prayer)
Lauds is a prayer practice that can be traced back to apostolic times. During this time of prayer, we offer praise to God for the break of a new day and we celebrate the reality that our Lord has indeed risen from the dead. This 15-minute service is a simple liturgy of Scripture, silence and spoken prayer.

Speakers
avatar for Micah Thomas

Micah Thomas

Micah Thomas has worked for Youthfront in Kansas City for nine years. He helped to form LaCygne, an intentional community centered on prayer, service, and the recognition of Christ's presence in all areas of life. He serves as a worship leader at Jacob's Well Church in Kansas Cit... Read More →


Saturday November 18, 2017 7:45am - 8:00am
Mississippi

8:00am

Morning Bible Study
Speakers
avatar for Tic Long

Tic Long

After 34 years of leadership at Youth Specialties, Tic Long is now the executive pastor at Journey Community Church in La Mesa, California. He's a proud grandpa of two awesome grandsons, and his sessions will be sponsored by the Hair Club for Men.


Saturday November 18, 2017 8:00am - 8:45am
TBA

8:00am

Everyday Ways to Pray
“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-17). How do we pray without ceasing? Is that even possible in 2017? The Celtic Christians had prayers they prayed each day as part of their regular lives. They prayed as they started their fires in the morning. They prayed as they went to work, and they prayed in the fields as they worked. In this workshop, we’ll practice ways we can pray without ceasing in our everyday lives.

Speakers
avatar for Lilly Lewin

Lilly Lewin

Lilly Lewin is worship curator of ThinplaceNashville and freerangeworship.com. She takes worship outside the box and beyond singing through multisensory prayer, experiential worship, and art. Lilly leads workshops and creates sacred-space experiences in the US and abroad. She’s t... Read More →


Saturday November 18, 2017 8:00am - 8:45am
Mississippi

8:00am

Guided City Prayer Walk
Turn your tourist jaunts into experiential prayer walks. Leave the convention center and your hotel behind and enter into a prayerful journey through the neighborhood — labyrinth fashion. We’ll practice opening our eyes and hearts to the presence of Christ through the historical landmarks, public arts, and other sights, sounds, and smells of the city. Meet outside the Sanctuary room.

Speakers
avatar for Archie Honrado

Archie Honrado

Archie Honrado is a missionary, youth worker, spiritual director, retreat guide, prayer-space curator/architect and worship leader. He serves with Urban Youth Workers Institute, Youth Specialties, Youth for Christ, American Baptist Churches of Los Angeles and DeVos Urban Youth Le... Read More →


Saturday November 18, 2017 8:00am - 10:00am
Mississippi

9:00am

Big Room Saturday—A.M.
Speakers
avatar for Bob Goff

Bob Goff

Bob Goff is an attorney, the author of the New York Times best-seller “Love Does: Discover a Secretly Incredible Life in an Ordinary World” and the founder of Love Does (formerly Restore International), a nonprofit human-rights organization operating in Uganda, India, Nepal, Iraq and Somalia. Bob is a sought-after speaker who connects to audiences in a powerfully inspirational yet down-to-earth manner. Bob is also a professor at Pepperdine Law School and Point Loma Nazarene University, and most importantly... Read More →
avatar for Fred Lynch

Fred Lynch

Fred Lynch is a dynamic communicator who takes the expressions of this generation and uses them to glorify God through relevant, relatable, and radical truth. He speaks in schools for Rachel’s Challenge, inspiring students to resist bullying and live a life of care and compassion. Fred helped found P.I.D. (Preachers in Disguise), and... Read More →

Artists
avatar for Brandon Grissom Band

Brandon Grissom Band

Brandon Grissom is a singer/songwriter from Denver, Colorado. Although he was raised in the dusty backwoods of Oklahoma, he spent more than a decade leading worship at Willow Creek Community Church in Chicago. Brandon now regularly plays at Cherry Hills Church in Denver as well as at various conferences, churches and events around the country... Read More →
avatar for DJ Bobbito

DJ Bobbito

DJ Bobbito is one of the most active deejays in Los Angeles, California. He’s been a deejay for more 14 years, touring nationally and internationally with PAX217. You can find him in any environment, from corporate events to private parties to national conferences. He can also be... Read More →
avatar for Sharon Irving

Sharon Irving

“I take a deep breath and step out on faith.” Those words have been a mantra for Sharon Irving — songstress, songwriter, spoken-word artist, worship leader and actress. Sharon has been a part of the worship team at Willow Creek Community Church in Barrington, Illinois, for several years and was a participant on... Read More →


Saturday November 18, 2017 9:00am - 10:30am
East Hall

10:30am

Putting on the New Self: Living From Our Identity in Christ
In a culture that exalts self-constructed identities, the false narrative that “what we do determines who we are” is strongly reinforced. But in Christ we have a new identity. How do we live in such a way that our identity in Christ informs our behavior? We’ll look to Scripture and invite the Holy Spirit to renew our minds as we soak in the truth of our identity as those Christ dwells and delights in.

Speakers
avatar for Carissa Reynolds

Carissa Reynolds

Carissa Reynolds is the Recruiting Coordinator for Apprentice Institute. She graduated from Friends University with a B.S. in Psychology & Human Services and Christian Spiritual Formation. Carissa has served in worship ministry for over five years and currently serves as the wors... Read More →


Saturday November 18, 2017 10:30am - 11:10am
Mississippi

11:00am

Understanding Teenage Brains
In what ways might teenagers uniquely reflect the Imago Dei, the doctrine that asserts humans are made in the image of God? Understanding the uniqueness of adolescent development (which really means understanding teenage brains) is critical to effective youth ministry. In this seminar we’ll look at how teenagers’ brains work and what that means for your youth ministry.

Speakers
avatar for Mark Oestreicher

Mark Oestreicher

Mark “Marko” Oestreicher is a veteran youth worker and founding partner in The Youth Cartel, providing resources, training and coaching for church youth workers. The author of dozens of books, including “Youth Ministry 3.0” and “Hopecasting: Finding, Keeping and Sharing the Things... Read More →


Saturday November 18, 2017 11:00am - 12:30pm
L12

11:00am

Multi-Site Youth Ministry

The multi-site model of church planting and growth seems to be here to stay! Because of this, more and more youth ministries are faced with new challenges and opportunities as they inherit this strategy. In this workshop, Kurt Johnston, who leads Saddleback Church's youth ministry, will lead a discussion that explores this exciting and constantly evolving approach to youth ministry.


Speakers
avatar for Kurt Johnston

Kurt Johnston

Kurt Johnston has been in youth ministry since 1988. He currently leads the student ministry teams at Saddleback Church, which includes 15 California and four international campuses. He loves to encourage youth pastors, and has written and created a ton of resources with that in mind. When not doing church stuff, Kurt likes to surf and sit around campfires with his family and... Read More →


Saturday November 18, 2017 11:00am - 12:30pm
Ballroom E

11:00am

Youth Culture Flyover: Megatrends Every Youth Worker Must Know and Address
What are the cultural forces shaping the values, attitudes and behaviors of students in today’s world? In this practical and hope-filled seminar, veteran youth-culture analyst Walt Mueller will overview and critique several of the most powerful cultural realities. Walt will also detail strategies for guiding students through these forces so that they might realize their created purposes and live life to the glory of God.

Speakers
avatar for Walt Mueller

Walt Mueller

Dr. Walt Mueller has been working with young people and families for more than 35 years. He’s the founder and president of the Center for Parent/Youth Understanding, a nonprofit organization that serves schools, churches and community organizations worldwide. Walt writes on youth... Read More →


Saturday November 18, 2017 11:00am - 12:30pm
Ballroom C

11:00am

Taking Einstein to Youth Ministry: Faith, Science and the Faith Formation of Young People
For many, the scientific story about a massively expanding, 14-billion-year-old universe with black holes and supernovas has made belief in a personal God difficult. Science seems to engage with what we can see, touch and measure, while the Christian faith asks us to believe in what ancient texts tell us about an immeasurable spiritual experience. How should Christians engage the relationship between faith and science? What does youth ministry have to do with Einstein and Darwin? In this seminar, Andrew Root and Carrie Olson Baalson, chair of youth and family ministry at Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minn., will lead an important conversation about the relationship between youth ministry, faith and scientific theories.

Speakers
avatar for Andrew Root

Andrew Root

Andrew Root, Ph.D., is the Carrie Olson Baalson associate professor of youth and family ministry at Luther Seminary. He’s most recently the author of “The Grace of Dogs” and “Faith Formation in a Secular Age.” He’s also written “Bonhoeffer as Youth Worker” and a four-book series... Read More →


Saturday November 18, 2017 11:00am - 12:30pm
L3

11:00am

10 Ways to Bring out the Best in Other Leaders — Paid or Volunteer

Being a leader is multidimensional and complex. In order to become a great leader, you must consider the people you’re leading. How do you bring out the best in them? How do you make them more effective? How do you give them what they need in order to help you accomplish your daunting tasks? Doug Fields has worked with hundreds of leaders in the church for more than 30 years. In this seminar, he’ll present some ideas on how to bring out the best in those you lead — whether they’re paid leaders or volunteers.


Speakers
avatar for Doug Fields

Doug Fields

Doug Fields is a communicator, author, and consultant. He’s the executive director of HomeWord’s Center for Youth and Family at Azusa Pacific University, the cofounder of Downloadyouthministry.com, and the author of more than 50 books.


Saturday November 18, 2017 11:00am - 12:30pm
Ballroom D

11:00am

Mission Trip(ping) Overseas: Some Practical Tips to Go There and Back Again
Taking a group of teenagers overseas on a mission trip presents unique joys and challenges. From choosing a location, considering costs, traveling, dealing with your church mission department, getting back home and much more, these trips can be great fun . . . or they can create great headaches. This seminar will outline some practical tips and advice for youth workers who are considering overseas mission trips or preparing to travel abroad. 

Speakers
avatar for Danny Kwon

Danny Kwon

Danny Kwon, Ph.D., has been leading youth and family ministry at Yuong Sang Church near Philadelphia for 24 years. He’s a speaker/trainer for various organizations as well as a professor in practical theology. He completed his Ph.D. on the topic of innovation in the local church. Along with his love for watching sports, eating and making people laugh, Danny loves his wife, Monica, and their three teenagers... Read More →


Saturday November 18, 2017 11:00am - 12:30pm
L11

11:00am

Secret Service Agents
An increasing number of ministry opportunities with youth won't take place in a church. For youth ministers, real ministry may take place on school campuses, in neighborhoods, at ball games or at fast-food restaurants. Learn to be proactive with innovative ways to share the gospel with teenagers who’ve never opened a Bible and may never come to your church.

Speakers
avatar for Michelle Reynolds

Michelle Reynolds

Michelle Reynolds is the cofounder of JnM Purpose and executive director of Every Kid Outreach (EKO), a nonprofit ministry devoted to empowering teenagers to reach their brightest futures. Since 2003, she has been involved in responding to the challenges faced by youth in underse... Read More →


Saturday November 18, 2017 11:00am - 12:30pm
L8

11:00am

Involving and Caring for Parents — The Most Important Youth Workers in Your Community
The parents of our students can be the biggest pains in the neck, or they can be our best partners as we seek to meet our students’ diverse and complex needs. With more than 40 years of next-generation ministry experience, Marv Penner has developed a practical model that turns parents into allies. This seminar goes beyond suggesting that you ask parents to drive the van and bring cookies to the next lock-in. Here you’ll learn practical ways to involve parents in the critical role of providing spiritual nurture for their own children. We’ll talk about the diversity of contemporary family structures that must be taken into account, and we’ll offer encouragement to younger youth workers who may feel that their age disqualifies them from working effectively with parents.

Speakers
avatar for Marv Penner

Marv Penner

Marv Penner is an internationally known author, professor, speaker and youth ministry veteran who has spent more than 40 years working with students and families. He’s the author of six books on youth ministry, including “The Youth Worker’s Guide to Parent Ministry,” “Hope and Healing for Kids Who... Read More →


Saturday November 18, 2017 11:00am - 12:30pm
L 5, 6, 7

11:00am

Redemptive Social Networks: How to Create Communities That Feel Like Family
In our wired world, students have no shortage of entertainment. They don't come to youth group for more stimulation — they come to find community. This seminar will help youth workers reimagine a concept of community so as to meet the deeper relational needs of students. We’ll discuss practical changes youth workers can make to create communities that feel like families for lonely students in a wired society.

Speakers
avatar for Julie Rodgers

Julie Rodgers

Julie Rodgers is a writer, speaker and advocate for LGBTQ people in the church.


Saturday November 18, 2017 11:00am - 12:30pm
L10

11:00am

Teaching the Next Generation: How You Can Unlock Your Students' Curiosity and Jumpstart Your Teaching
Many of us have asked questions such as "How do I get my youth to be interested in what I'm teaching?" or "Why don't my teens seem to care about the Bible?" Sometimes teaching in a youth ministry context feels daunting, and it just seems as if it doesn't make much of a difference. In this seminar Terry Linhart, editor of “Teaching the Next Generations” will explain how to unlock the natural curiosity that young people have. He’ll also provide nine proven methods you can immediately use to ignite your teaching.

Speakers
avatar for Terry Linhart

Terry Linhart

Terry Linhart is the author of “The Self-Aware Leader” and editor of “Teaching the Next Generations.” After 16 years in full-time youth ministry, he now teaches Christian ministries and worship arts at Bethel College and consults with various Christian ministries across the globe... Read More →


Saturday November 18, 2017 11:00am - 12:30pm
L2

11:00am

Small is the New Big: Youth Ministry in Small Churches
Youth ministry in small, urban churches can be done with excellence. Developing a strategy, training leaders, engaging parents and developing youth as leaders can be contextualized and scaled for any environment. Taught by a youth leader from a mid-sized urban church, this workshop is for leaders seeking tools to strengthen their youth ministries.

Speakers
avatar for Virginia Ward

Virginia Ward

Virginia Ward integrates leadership and motivational skills with knowledge of multigenerational urban youth ministry to inspire, enlighten and help individuals and organizations equip the next generation of leaders. Virginia is the director of Leadership/Mentored Ministry Initiat... Read More →


Saturday November 18, 2017 11:00am - 12:30pm
L13

11:00am

Disabling Youth: Thinking Theologically About Youth Ministry
One way of thinking about disability is that it’s a biological problem that needs to be ameliorated by a professional. This is also how people often think of adolescents — as people with a problem (perhaps immaturity) that can be fixed by a professional (perhaps a youth minister). What if there were a new way to think about disability? What if some people simply have different bodies or different ways of interacting with the world? In that sense, they don’t have a disability — society disables them. In the same way, adults run the risk of disabling youth. There are four things we must remember: First, disabled individuals and teenagers are God’s creations, and they’re good creations. Second, they’re loved just as they are. Third, God has equipped them to uniquely contribute to his kingdom. Fourth, they can interact with God in their own ways.

Speakers
avatar for Mike Langford

Mike Langford

Mike Langford is a teacher, thinker, writer and speaker who desires to help the church bring rich theology, good ministry and deep spirituality into discipleship living. He’s the associate professor of Theology, Discipleship and Ministry at Seattle Pacific University and the exec... Read More →


Saturday November 18, 2017 11:00am - 12:30pm
L1

11:00am

Building Strong Volunteer Teams
Ask any youth ministry veteran how to excel in ministry for the long haul, and they’ll give you one universal truth: you’ve got to have a great team! In this interactive workshop we’ll discuss recruiting, training and engaging leaders — specifically, where to find them, how to help them grow and how to unleash them in ministry.

Speakers
avatar for Sean Meade

Sean Meade

Sean Meade is an 18-year student ministry veteran and the founder and president of Stuck in the Middle, an organization that hosts events for middle school students and provides resources and consulting for middle school ministries. Sean also serves as the middle school pastor at... Read More →


Saturday November 18, 2017 11:00am - 12:30pm
L4

11:00am

Creative and Engaging Worship for Any Size Youth Group
Leading worship for youth groups can be tricky, regardless of the size of your ministry. This seminar is an opportunity for musicians and creatives to connect over practical examples and ideas that will strengthen how you lead worship and what you use to lead worship in your youth group.  

Speakers
avatar for Jacob Eckeberger

Jacob Eckeberger

Jacob Eckeberger is the director of content development for Youth Specialties, and he has spent the last 12 years as a hybrid youth worker and worship leader. He and his partner, Katie, lead worship itinerantly as the duo My Anchor Holds and serve at Hope Church in Bloomington, I... Read More →


Saturday November 18, 2017 11:00am - 12:30pm
L14

11:15am

Praying with Victor Hugo and Les Miserables

In Victor Hugo’s “Les Miserables,” we can see Jean Valjean and Inspector Javert as representations of law versus grace. In this workshop, we’ll contemplate Hugo’s life, discuss what drove him to write this novel, and learn about how this book affected society when it was written. We’ll read from the book and watch clips from various film representations. As we reflect on this war between law and grace, we’ll learn how it relates to our own journeys with God.


Speakers
avatar for Mickey Cox

Mickey Cox

Mickey Cox is a spiritual director in Denver, Colorado, and is on the Spiritual Direction Colorado Board. He’s also a member of St. Dunstan’s Benedictine Community and an ordained youth minister in the Church of the Nazarene. He’s written several articles for leaders and students as well as two books to guide students in spiritual formation: No Limits Discipleship and Sacred Life... Read More →
avatar for Archie Honrado

Archie Honrado

Archie Honrado is a missionary, youth worker, spiritual director, retreat guide, prayer-space curator/architect and worship leader. He serves with Urban Youth Workers Institute, Youth Specialties, Youth for Christ, American Baptist Churches of Los Angeles and DeVos Urban Youth Le... Read More →


Saturday November 18, 2017 11:15am - 12:00pm
Mississippi

12:00pm

Midday (prayer at midday)

This 15-minute service is designed to briefly interrupt us in the middle of the day in order that we might refocus our attention on God as the center of our lives and worthy of our praise.


Speakers
avatar for Micah Thomas

Micah Thomas

Micah Thomas has worked for Youthfront in Kansas City for nine years. He helped to form LaCygne, an intentional community centered on prayer, service, and the recognition of Christ's presence in all areas of life. He serves as a worship leader at Jacob's Well Church in Kansas Cit... Read More →


Saturday November 18, 2017 12:00pm - 12:15pm
Mississippi

12:00pm

Exhibit Hall Open
Saturday November 18, 2017 12:00pm - 2:00pm
NW/SW Hall

12:30pm

Centering Prayer
With roots dating back to the fourth century, centering prayer invites us to cultivate interior silence. Learn about the history and practice of centering prayer and try it out for yourself in this guided session.

Speakers
avatar for Beth Slevcove

Beth Slevcove

Beth Slevcove is a spiritual director, hospital chaplain, writer, mother and surfer who loves books, good waves, the Tijuana surf monkey and traveling with her family in their VW camper van. She served as the director of spiritual formation for Youth Specialties and holds advanced degrees in theology and education... Read More →


Saturday November 18, 2017 12:30pm - 1:15pm
Mississippi

1:15pm

The Spirituality of Napping
Perhaps the most spiritual thing you could do during the NYWC is take a nap. Youth workers are not exempt from the sleep-deprived condition of our culture. We read in Scripture that sleeping was an essential step back to spiritual and physical health for Elijah when he became overwhelmed and asked God to take his life. Rest is important, so the Sanctuary will provide a peaceful and quiet place for you to nap. 

Speakers
avatar for Micah Thomas

Micah Thomas

Micah Thomas has worked for Youthfront in Kansas City for nine years. He helped to form LaCygne, an intentional community centered on prayer, service, and the recognition of Christ's presence in all areas of life. He serves as a worship leader at Jacob's Well Church in Kansas Cit... Read More →


Saturday November 18, 2017 1:15pm - 2:00pm
Mississippi

2:00pm

Classic Prayer through Lectio Divina
“Lectio divina” is the spiritual practice of divine reading. This classic practice of meditating on Scripture was historically embraced by all Christians and is being rediscovered as a transformative way to engage with sacred text.

Speakers
avatar for Maggie Robbins

Maggie Robbins

Maggie Robbins earned her certification as a spiritual director through KAIROS: School of Spiritual Formation, and she currently serves on the faculty of Renovaré. With her husband, Duffy Robbins, she coauthored “Enjoy the Silence,” and she has provided spiritual direction and fa... Read More →


Saturday November 18, 2017 2:00pm - 3:00pm
Mississippi

2:00pm

Discipling the Busy Teen
According to “The State of Youth Ministry” by Barna, 75 percent of youth workers identify their students' busyness as the number one obstacle to discipleship. Join us as we explore ways to overcome this challenge, using this busyness to our advantage. 

Speakers
avatar for Heather Campbell

Heather Campbell

Heather Campbell is a middle school youth director in Indianapolis, Indiana. She works with a talented and diverse team of staff and volunteers to create environments where tweens can thrive. Heather has the privilege of writing on various youth ministry platforms, and you can fi... Read More →
avatar for William Cumby

William Cumby

William Cumby is the minister of youth for The Fountain of Praise, a 25,000-member nondenominational church in Houston, Texas. He’s a summa cum laude graduate of Oral Roberts University and has completed the DEVOS urban leadership initiative. William has served in youth ministry for more than 12 years and is a frequent blogger, ghostwriter, health enthusiast and fan of taco Tuesday... Read More →
avatar for Sabrena Klausman

Sabrena Klausman

Sabrena Klausman is an author, speaker and teacher. She earned her bachelor’s degree in history and philosophy from Palm Beach Atlantic University in 1997, and she will graduate with her master’s degree in biblical studies from Newburgh Theological Seminary in December 2017. Her first book... Read More →
avatar for Matt Larkin

Matt Larkin

Matt Larkin serves as the director of student and family ministries for the Advent Christian General Conference. In that role, he serves those involved with leading student, family, children, camp and educational ministries, and he serves as a resource to college students. He holds a... Read More →
avatar for Jason Matthews

Jason Matthews

Jason Matthews is a youth pastor in the state of Washington, where he’s been serving students for more than 20 years. When he doesn’t have to be in the office, he loves to be outside with his family, hiking and exploring the Pacific Northwest. He also enjoys networking with other... Read More →
avatar for Ash SanFIlippo

Ash SanFIlippo

Ash SanFilippo has served in youth ministry in a variety of locations, including the streets of Chicago, a small church on a secluded island and the suburbs of Minneapolis. He currently works for TreeHouse (www.treehouseyouth.org), leading a team that creates online training content designed to help people minister to at-risk teens. Ash lives in Minneapolis with his wife and 1-year-old... Read More →
avatar for Paul Turner

Paul Turner

Paul Turner is a longtime youth worker, speaker and blogger of all things youth ministry. He’s the youth pastor at Pleasant Grove Assembly in Birmingham, Alabama, and he regularly writes at thediscipleproject.net.


Saturday November 18, 2017 2:00pm - 3:30pm
L13

2:00pm

Communicating to Nones and Post-Christians: Communicating the Gospel to a Generation that Doesn’t Believe in Much
The “nones” are most commonly found in the generation born between the ‘80s and the 2000s. They are those who have chosen to walk away from their faith because they don’t like organized religion or they consider the church hypocritical. So how do we reach this generation? This seminar offers direction on how to reach the nones through open conversation, authentic relationships and a willingness to dive into the difficult topics they’re facing in today’s culture.

Speakers
avatar for Karl Romeus

Karl Romeus

Karl Romeus is the student ministry director at Bayside Church in Granite Bay, California. Bayside is a vibrant church with five campuses and 17,000 people in weekly attendance. Karl has been in ministry for the past 15 years and studied Christian leadership and biblical theology... Read More →


Saturday November 18, 2017 2:00pm - 3:30pm
L11

2:00pm

Eat, Drink, Play: Reaching Gamers With the Gospel
We live in a culture of gamers — there are 155 million Americans who regularly play video games. But few churches do anything to reach them. Enter Gamechurch. Since 2011, Gamechurch has been bridging the gap between the gospel and the gamer by bringing the message of Jesus to gaming and nerd conventions all over the world. In this session, Drew Dixon, editor of Explore the Bible: Students and editor-in-chief of Gamechurch.com, will share his unique approach to missions. We’ll explore how our Savior met people on their level, and leaders will be challenged to connect with students, learn to speak their language, and engage their interests and hobbies missionally.

Speakers
avatar for Drew Dixon

Drew Dixon

Drew Dixon is the editor-in-chief of Gamechurch.com and the lead editor for Explore the Bible: Students at LifeWay Christian Resources. He also hosts the Christ and Pop Culture Digest and writes about video games for WORLD magazine and Paste magazine. He has written extensively a... Read More →


Saturday November 18, 2017 2:00pm - 3:30pm
L14

2:00pm

Five Hundred Years of Youth Ministry: What Preachers of the Past Said About Teenagers of the Past and Why It Matters for Today
Have you ever heard the following myths? Adolescence is a new phenomenon. In the olden days, people were adulting by the time they reached their mid-teens. Today’s adolescents are navigating an unnatural stage of life. The foundational worries of today’s parents of adolescents are new. The church has only recently begun focusing on adolescence/adolescents. The reality is that adolescence (the life stage) and adolescents (the people) have been discussed, depicted and decried for centuries. In this seminar we’ll take a rousing romp through what society, parents and preachers have been saying about teenagers for the past five hundred years, and we’ll discuss why this is important for us to know today.

Speakers
avatar for Crystal Kirgiss

Crystal Kirgiss

Crystal Kirgiss, Ph.D., has worked with students for 30 years. She writes for YouthWalk magazine, has written for many specialty Bible editions and is the author or coauthor of many books, including “In Search of Adolescence: A New Look at an Old Idea.” Crystal lectures at Purdue University on the history of adolescence, and... Read More →


Saturday November 18, 2017 2:00pm - 3:30pm
L10

2:00pm

What Research Is Telling Us About Flourishing in Ministry
Millions of dollars have been spent researching how ministers flourish, but do you know what the findings are and how to implement them in your life? We'll look at cutting-edge research from Notre Dame's Flourishing in Ministry project along with recent research from Barna and practices recommended by Full Strength Network to help you thrive. 

Speakers
avatar for Mark Matlock

Mark Matlock

Mark Matlock has been working with youth pastors, students and parents for more than two decades. He’s currently the president of WisdomWorks, a consulting firm dedicated to helping individuals, churches and faith-centered organizations leverage the transforming power of wisdom t... Read More →


Saturday November 18, 2017 2:00pm - 3:30pm
Ballroom E

2:00pm

Developing Leaders
It can feel daunting to intentionally cultivate student and adult leaders, but leaders are the backbone of youth ministries. In this seminar we'll explore how to recruit and develop leaders, how to nurture and form community between leaders that extends to the rest of your youth ministry, and how to unleash leaders' hidden potential so they can positively impact your ministry, congregation and community. 

Speakers
avatar for Jen Bradbury

Jen Bradbury

Jen Bradbury serves as the director of youth ministry at Faith Lutheran Church in Glen Ellyn, Illinois. A veteran youth worker, Jen is the author of “Unleashing the Hidden Potential of Your Student Leaders,” “The Real Jesus” and “The Jesus Gap: What Teens Actually Believe About... Read More →


Saturday November 18, 2017 2:00pm - 3:30pm
L3

2:00pm

How to Effectively Minister to Middle School Parents
Newsflash: Middle schoolers come equipped with parents! This truth can create complications and even heartache for your ministry, but when parents are respected and ministered to, they can be your greatest partners. Join an honest dialogue of how to inform, involve and inspire the parents of your middle schoolers.

Speakers
avatar for Heather Flies

Heather Flies

Heather Flies has been active in youth ministry since 1992 and has been serving as the junior high pastor at Wooddale Church in Minnesota for 20 years. Heather is the author of “I Want to Talk With My Teen About Girl Stuff” for parents and “That's What She Said/That's What He... Read More →


Saturday November 18, 2017 2:00pm - 3:30pm
Ballroom D

2:00pm

Daddy Discipleship
The participation of fathers is the missing ingredient in most youth ministries. Youth leaders often struggle to engage fathers in the discipleship of their children and other youth in the church. In this seminar, we’ll highlight the unique potential dads have as disciplers, and we’ll share practical tips for getting them in the game!

Speakers
avatar for Edrin Williams

Edrin Williams

Edrin C. Williams is the pastor of equipping and formation at Sanctuary Covenant Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He came to the Sanctuary to lead MOSAIC, a community of youth and college students. Edrin is a graduate of the University of South Carolina, and he holds a master’s degree in preaching and communication. He was also a contributor to... Read More →


Saturday November 18, 2017 2:00pm - 3:30pm
TBA

2:00pm

Doing Youth Ministry with Dads
Speakers
avatar for Edrin Williams

Edrin Williams

Edrin C. Williams is the pastor of equipping and formation at Sanctuary Covenant Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He came to the Sanctuary to lead MOSAIC, a community of youth and college students. Edrin is a graduate of the University of South Carolina, and he holds a master’s degree in preaching and communication. He was also a contributor to... Read More →


Saturday November 18, 2017 2:00pm - 3:30pm
L12

2:00pm

Evaluating and Adapting Curriculum
Good curriculum is hard to find — especially for youth ministry. Any curriculum will most likely need to be adjusted to meet your group’s personality and needs. But how? Together we’ll explore what to look for in a good curriculum and how best to adapt it to fit your context.

Speakers
avatar for Michael Novelli

Michael Novelli

For more than two decades, Michael Novelli’s passion has been to explore the intersection of spiritual formation and experiential learning. This drive continues to fuel his work as a content designer, youth leader and community advocate. Michael has a M.Ed. in Integrated Learning... Read More →


Saturday November 18, 2017 2:00pm - 3:30pm
L2

2:00pm

Sister to Sister
Sometimes women in ministry just need the shoulders, ears, arms and spirits of other women in ministry. A little encouragement from a “sister” can go a long way. This seminar is for ladies only! We’ll be encouraged by stories of women in faith, and we’ll build each other up by sharing the practices and disciplines that have helped us along the way. We’ll talk to other women in ministry, listen and offer guidance to the women in the room. Participants will leave this seminar feeling strengthened, connected, empowered and encouraged for the journey ahead.

Saturday November 18, 2017 2:00pm - 3:30pm
L4

2:00pm

For Millennials: An Open Conversation About Your Spiritual and Ministry Journey
This seminar is for those who are 35 years old and younger. Through research and conversations with Millennials, college students, grad students and emerging ministry leaders, Steve Argue has discovered that many feel misunderstood and wish to escape the Millennial label. These individuals often struggle to navigate the religious scripts placed upon them as they seek to live faithfully into their callings as students, professionals and ministry leaders. In this seminar Steve will share some of his findings, and you’ll have an opportunity to talk about your spiritual journeys, missional hopes and leadership hurdles. Together we’ll discover new ways of supporting each other in ministry as you, the new leadership generation, come of age.

Speakers
avatar for Steve Argue

Steve Argue

Steven Argue, Ph.D., is the applied research strategist for the Fuller Youth Institute and assistant professor of Youth, Family and Culture at Fuller Theological Seminary. Steve researches, speaks and writes on adolescent and emerging adult spirituality. He has served as a pastor... Read More →


Saturday November 18, 2017 2:00pm - 3:30pm
Ballroom C

2:00pm

The Art of the Ministry Side Hustle
What would it look like to start a side business in the midst of your ministry? We’ve each been given unique gifts and passions that make us who we are. When we flourish, we’re able to help those around us experience the fullness of life. Don’t bury your talents because your job description doesn’t ask for them — discover ways to steward these talents and build the kingdom within and beyond your ministry position.

Speakers
avatar for Cesar Castillejos

Cesar Castillejos

Cesar Castillejos is currently serving students and families in Richfield, Minnesota, through collaboration with Young Life and Hope Church. He serves as the Young Life area director and lead teaching pastor of The Well, a faith community that started in a nightclub. Cesar is als... Read More →


Saturday November 18, 2017 2:00pm - 3:30pm
L9

2:00pm

Incredibly Hot Games and Community Builders for Teens
And you'll have fun, fun, fun until Les Christie ends this seminar in prayer. If your mind is on overload and you need an exciting break, this seminar promises no heavy theology or philosophy. See, hear and play a bunch of fast-paced, unbelievably fun games. Explore crowd breakers, indoor and outdoor games, quiet and wild games, and games for large and small groups.

Speakers
avatar for Les Christie

Les Christie

Les Christie has been in paid youth ministry for 50 years. He chairs the youth ministry department at William Jessup University and has spoken at each YS National Youth Workers Convention for 37 years. He’s the author of 17 books, including “Best-Ever Games for Youth Ministry.” L... Read More →


Saturday November 18, 2017 2:00pm - 3:30pm
Ballroom B

2:00pm

From Academics to Actuality
Preparing for the transition out of the classroom and into youth ministry can feel as if you’re randomly throwing darts and hoping to hit a bull’s-eye. You can best determine where God wants you when you have insight into the current realities of ministry. In this seminar, you’ll learn what are the successful roles in youth ministry and who you need to connect with. You’ll also hear responses to your questions about what’s next.

Speakers
avatar for Fred Oduyoye

Fred Oduyoye

Fred Oduyoye began in full-time youth ministry 18 years ago, and his experiences led him to become the national training director for Urban Youth Workers Institute. Today, Fred is the director of networking for Youth Specialties and oversees the YS UnConference. Fred helps manage... Read More →


Saturday November 18, 2017 2:00pm - 3:30pm
L 5, 6, 7

3:15pm

Broken Hallelujahs: Opening Our Journeys of Grief and Loss to God
We all experience loss and so do our students. Loss comes in many forms, such as a job change, graduation, a move, marriage, the death of someone we love, or when our health, finances, or relationships fail. We can go the way of the world and ignore, minimize or numb out to the things that hurt us — or we can find ways to grieve honestly, openly and creatively. Loss can harden us, or it can connect us more deeply with God, others and even with ourselves. We’ll explore spiritual practices that will help us trust God in all that life brings.

Speakers
avatar for Beth Slevcove

Beth Slevcove

Beth Slevcove is a spiritual director, hospital chaplain, writer, mother and surfer who loves books, good waves, the Tijuana surf monkey and traveling with her family in their VW camper van. She served as the director of spiritual formation for Youth Specialties and holds advanced degrees in theology and education... Read More →


Saturday November 18, 2017 3:15pm - 4:15pm
Mississippi

4:00pm

Stressed Out: Pushing Back on the Epidemic of Teen Anxiety
Jesus told his followers, “Do not be anxious.” Is that even possible in today’s world? Anxiety has reached epidemic proportions among our kids — it’s now the number one health-care concern on college campuses. Even preschoolers are feeling more pressure than that experienced by previous generations. What is anxiety, and how is it affecting today’s children and teens? What are its causes? And how can we stand in the gap to provide ministry responses that ease the pressure, calming kids for the sake of the gospel. In this practical and hope-filled seminar, Walt Mueller will lead you through an introduction to this destructive cultural force, and he’ll offer practical ministry responses.

Speakers
avatar for Walt Mueller

Walt Mueller

Dr. Walt Mueller has been working with young people and families for more than 35 years. He’s the founder and president of the Center for Parent/Youth Understanding, a nonprofit organization that serves schools, churches and community organizations worldwide. Walt writes on youth... Read More →


Saturday November 18, 2017 4:00pm - 5:30pm
L10

4:00pm

Z Isn’t for Zombie: Practical Methods for Working With Generation Z
Generation Z has entered our youth groups through the back doors, and they’re vastly different than their Millennial predecessors. They’ve never known life without touch screens, and they don’t know a world without 9/11 and the fear of terrorism. They’re driven, fearful perfectionists. Our youth ministries need to shift to learn who this new generation is and how to connect with them. In this seminar we’ll explore what makes Generation Z unique and the best practices to reach them. 

Speakers
avatar for Leneita Fix

Leneita Fix

Leneita Fix has spent more than two decades passionate about youth and family ministry, serving in many capacities, demographics and areas. She loves to speak, empower, equip and write for adolescents and those who support them. "The Beautiful Chaos of Parenting Teens” is her most recent project... Read More →


Saturday November 18, 2017 4:00pm - 5:30pm
L2

4:00pm

Beyond Doubting Alone: Guiding Youth Through a Dangerous Grace
Research shows that a majority of Christian youth doubt their faith, but few youth workers ever talk about it, leaving teenagers to doubt alone. In this seminar we'll consider practical ways to journey alongside youth who are doubting. Using both theology and research, we’ll explore various kinds of adolescent doubt, while learning to engage doubts and questions as a “dangerous grace” that can lead to more robust faith if youth are guided well.

Speakers
avatar for Andrew Zirschky

Andrew Zirschky

Andrew Zirschky, Ph.D., serves as academic director at the Center for Youth Ministry Training and is associate professor of practical theology and youth ministry at Memphis Theological Seminary. Andrew is the author of “Beyond the Screen: Youth Ministry for the Connected but Alone... Read More →


Saturday November 18, 2017 4:00pm - 5:30pm
L3

4:00pm

Creative Programming for Middle School Ministry
In this seminar we’ll start with the development of an overall scope and sequence for middle school ministry. From there, we’ll talk about creative teaching series, events, camps and service opportunities, and we’ll look at how to tie it all together. We'll also stretch our creative muscles as we talk about fun and exciting ways to give your middle school ministry a wow factor that will engage students in a powerful way. Come ready not only to receive lots of great ideas but also to share your best ideas with the group!

Speakers
avatar for Sean Meade

Sean Meade

Sean Meade is an 18-year student ministry veteran and the founder and president of Stuck in the Middle, an organization that hosts events for middle school students and provides resources and consulting for middle school ministries. Sean also serves as the middle school pastor at... Read More →


Saturday November 18, 2017 4:00pm - 5:30pm
L4

4:00pm

What Your Students Need to Hear About Service (and How You Can Help Them Hear It)
If you had 30 minutes to help teenagers think more deeply about the service opportunities they’re about to step into, what would you say? What would you do? And how will students remember? Mission trips are popular, and service experiences can be meaningful, but students can easily misunderstand their roles in these opportunities. How will you help your youth avoid an I-don’t-care apathy and also escape an I-will-save-you paternalism? How will your mission trip remain meaningful six months later? Come participate in this interactive workshop—you’ll get creative ideas and ready-made tools for delivering better messaging around mission trips. Gain access to some of our favorite resources for helping students think more deeply about service before, during, and after the experience.

Speakers
avatar for Erica Schimelpfenig

Erica Schimelpfenig

Erica Shimelpfenig began at YouthWorks in 2000 as summer site staff. Since then, she’s worked there in a variety of roles, including recruiting associate, regional director, and director of recruiting. She’s currently the director of missions for YouthWorks. Erica and her husband... Read More →


Saturday November 18, 2017 4:00pm - 5:30pm
L1

4:00pm

When Numbers Do/Don't Matter
Small churches don't need to get bigger, but getting better doesn't hurt. Numbers tell a story in both great and not-so-great small church ministries. In this seminar, we'll chat about what counts, what doesn't and how to tell the difference.

Speakers
avatar for Stephanie Caro

Stephanie Caro

Stephanie Caro has been involved in ministry for … a long time. Her humorous, straightforward style makes her a popular speaker at conferences, training events, camps, retreats and churches. Stephanie is a senior consultant for Ministry Architects and the author of several books, including... Read More →
avatar for Brad Fiscus

Brad Fiscus

Brad Fiscus has been in ministry with teenagers since 1985. He’s been a leadership development consultant, teacher, coach and youth minister. Since 2009, he’s been serving as the director of next gen discipleship in the Tennessee Conference of the United Methodist Church. Brad is also a staff consultant with Ministry Architects. With Stephanie Caro, Brad co-wrote the book... Read More →


Saturday November 18, 2017 4:00pm - 5:30pm
L13

4:00pm

You, Parents and Your Post High School Students
These days, it takes longer for young people to “adult.” This phenomenon is raising new questions for ministry leaders and parents as they reimagine parenting for emerging adults. These parents are seeking advice, resources and support as they forge new relationships with their children. In this seminar we’ll highlight key topics pertaining to emerging adults and offer helpful insights for parents. We’ll address the questions parents are asking: Is taking a gap year a good idea? Christian college or secular college? Is college a hostile place for Christian students? What do I do when they come back home? If you’re a leader seeking resources for your students’ parents or a parent of an emerging adult, this seminar is for you.

Speakers
avatar for Steve Argue

Steve Argue

Steven Argue, Ph.D., is the applied research strategist for the Fuller Youth Institute and assistant professor of Youth, Family and Culture at Fuller Theological Seminary. Steve researches, speaks and writes on adolescent and emerging adult spirituality. He has served as a pastor... Read More →


Saturday November 18, 2017 4:00pm - 5:30pm
Ballroom C

4:00pm

An Apple a Day: Youth Life Planning Through the Eyes of Steve Jobs, Adam and the Apostle Paul
An apple a day keeps the doctor away! This timeless phrase finds its origins in the thought that apples have certain properties that prevent illness. But what if there were a little more power in the concept of an apple? How did fruit empower and alter the lives of some of the most notable pop culture and biblical characters? What if by helping students discover their “apples,” we could help prevent school drop out, youth depression and more? This seminar will explore how to help youth answer the question "What's your apple?” Empower youth to find their passions, understand their identities in Christ, and pursue their purposes. We’ll talk about practical tips and resources to help youth engage in goal setting and life planning by examining a connection between the stories of Steve Jobs, Adam in Genesis, and the Apostle Paul. 

Speakers
avatar for Tolton Pace

Tolton Pace

Tolton R. Pace is the Project G.R.A.D. scholarship coordinator at South Atlanta High School; assistant producer of the nationally syndicated inspirational radio show “CoCo Brother Live” and its associated ministry, the STAND Campaign; program director at the Agape Community Cente... Read More →


Saturday November 18, 2017 4:00pm - 5:30pm
L8

4:00pm

Built for Boldness
A bold vision for any ministry starts with leaders who have the humility to come face-to-face with their calling and allow God to direct them. In this seminar, you’ll learn how God has built you for boldness and what that means for your youth ministry.

Speakers
avatar for Greg Steir

Greg Steir

Greg Stier founded Dare 2 Share Ministries in 1991 with one mission: to equip teenagers to relationally and relentlessly share the gospel of Christ with their generation. Through true-life stories and humor, Greg has impacted hundreds of thousands of teenagers. His ministry is al... Read More →


Saturday November 18, 2017 4:00pm - 5:30pm
Ballroom D

4:00pm

People Can Suck — How to Handle Conflict and Still Lead Well
Let’s face it: conflict is going to happen, especially in churches. Whether it’s between you and your senior pastor, a volunteer and the parent of “that kid,” or the elders and the church secretary, conflict can happen, will happen and is happening in our churches. This seminar is designed to look at proactive and healthy ways to handle church conflict, how to prevent conflict and how to lead well in the midst of conflict. 

Speakers
avatar for Chandler Bailey

Chandler Bailey

A powerful voice for today's youth, Chandler Scotland Bailey serves as youth pastor for Right Direction Church International’s EPIC Student Ministries. He’s committed to seeing the lives of young people changed through the power of Jesus Christ. He masterfully uses his love for the hip-hop culture to share the Word of God with young people. He earned a... Read More →
avatar for Kent Bjurstrom

Kent Bjurstrom

Kent Bjurstrom is the pastor of student ministries at Northview Church in Carmel, Indiana. With more than 10 years of student ministry experience, his desire is to see middle school and high school students enter into life-changing relationships with Jesus Christ. Kent and his wi... Read More →
avatar for Heather Campbell

Heather Campbell

Heather Campbell is a middle school youth director in Indianapolis, Indiana. She works with a talented and diverse team of staff and volunteers to create environments where tweens can thrive. Heather has the privilege of writing on various youth ministry platforms, and you can fi... Read More →
avatar for Sara Galyon

Sara Galyon

Sara Galyon is the senior youth director for Messiah Lutheran Church (ELCA) in Madison, Alabama. She has been working with youth for 15 years and has a master’s degree in youth ministry from Memphis Theological Seminary. She’s a wife to a fellow youth minister, a mom to three boy... Read More →
avatar for Andy Juvinall

Andy Juvinall

Andy Juvinall is the director of junior high ministry at Second Presbyterian Church in Bloomington, Illinois. He’s husband to Melissa and father to a baby girl named Magdalene, and he’s been working in middle school youth ministry for 12 years.
avatar for Nick Mance

Nick Mance

Nick Mance has served in various ministry capacities, from volunteer positions to senior pastor to youth work around the country. He has experience in running nonprofit organizations, writing curriculum, discipling, leadership training, speaking at various venues, and planning and hosting events. Nick and his wife are passionate about leading and training students and leaders to be disciple-makers. Nick is currently pursuing a... Read More →
avatar for Ash SanFIlippo

Ash SanFIlippo

Ash SanFilippo has served in youth ministry in a variety of locations, including the streets of Chicago, a small church on a secluded island and the suburbs of Minneapolis. He currently works for TreeHouse (www.treehouseyouth.org), leading a team that creates online training content designed to help people minister to at-risk teens. Ash lives in Minneapolis with his wife and 1-year-old... Read More →
avatar for Ryan Schmall

Ryan Schmall

Ryan Schmall is the student ministries pastor at Redding First Church of the Nazarene in Northern California. He and his wife, Jeanette, have three amazing girls. Ryan is passionate about creating experiences and environments for people to encounter God in new and unique ways. Yo... Read More →


Saturday November 18, 2017 4:00pm - 5:30pm
L12

4:00pm

Teaching That Sticks Instead of Teaching That Stinks: Making the Bible Come Alive
Most of us know the frustration of walking into a room full of teenagers thinking you have the gift of teaching and walking out an hour later wondering why God didn’t give any of your students the gift of listening. This seminar will explore some of the basic principles of effective and creative teaching. You’ll hear some great ideas to stimulate you with new strategies for communicating the Word of God.

Speakers
avatar for Duffy Robbins

Duffy Robbins

Dr. Duffy Robbins, professor of youth ministry at Eastern University, is a youth ministry veteran with more than 40 years of experience. He speaks around the world to teenagers and people who care about teenagers. Duffy serves as a teaching pastor at Faithbridge, and his conversational style has made him a popular speaker... Read More →


Saturday November 18, 2017 4:00pm - 5:30pm
Ballroom E

4:15pm

Becoming the Beloved
We’re all loved and accepted exactly as we are, yet most of us live as if we still have something to prove. This need to prove ourselves over and over again leaves us exhausted and anxious, which leads to judgmental attitudes and irritability. Come to the Sanctuary and spend time with God — you are beloved. We’ll participate in the practice of “visio divina,” or “divine seeing,” as we meditate and reflect on Rembrandt's “The Return of the Prodigal Son.” We invite you to come and recover your life.

Speakers
avatar for Jamie Roach

Jamie Roach

Jamie Roach has served on the staff of Youthfront for 30 years, working with students, parents and youth workers. His passion is seeing people formed into the image of Jesus Christ. Jamie is an author, communicator and spiritual director as well as the pastor of Redemption Table, a church in Lee's Summit. He earned his Master of Divinity from Nazarene Theological Seminary. Jamie and his wife, Lea Ann, have four children: Megan, Haley, Logan and... Read More →


Saturday November 18, 2017 4:15pm - 5:15pm
Mississippi

5:00pm

Exhibit Hall Open
Saturday November 18, 2017 5:00pm - 7:30pm
NW/SW Hall

5:15pm

Spiritual Journaling
Our lives are the sacred ground on which we meet God, make meaning, and experience this world. Journaling is a way to pay attention to our lives and watch for God’s presence and guidance. It can help us sift through experiences and find significance in everyday life, and it can allow us to listen to God during times of transition. Whether you regularly journal or have never tried it before, this workshop will explore journaling as a meaningful tool for prayer, self-discovery, and connection with God and the world around you.

Speakers
avatar for Kara Root

Kara Root

Kara Root is the pastor of Lake Nokomis Presbyterian Church in Minneapolis, a Christian community where life is shaped around worship, hospitality, and Sabbath rest. She’s also a trained spiritual director, a certified Christian educator, the mom of two clever kids and a spoiled dog, and the wife and proofreader of a wily theologian. She blogs about ministry and motherhood at... Read More →


Saturday November 18, 2017 5:15pm - 6:15pm
Mississippi

6:15pm

The Sacred Dance

How does your understanding of God inform the shape and flow of your ministry? We’ll spend time with Rublev’s Holy Trinity icon and together consider how our views of God shape our ministries. If God is relationship, life and love, then inclusion, communion, grace and love must mark our ministry to students.


Speakers
avatar for Jamie Roach

Jamie Roach

Jamie Roach has served on the staff of Youthfront for 30 years, working with students, parents and youth workers. His passion is seeing people formed into the image of Jesus Christ. Jamie is an author, communicator and spiritual director as well as the pastor of Redemption Table, a church in Lee's Summit. He earned his Master of Divinity from Nazarene Theological Seminary. Jamie and his wife, Lea Ann, have four children: Megan, Haley, Logan and... Read More →


Saturday November 18, 2017 6:15pm - 7:15pm
Mississippi

7:30pm

Big Room Saturday—P.M.
Speakers
avatar for Fred Lynch

Fred Lynch

Fred Lynch is a dynamic communicator who takes the expressions of this generation and uses them to glorify God through relevant, relatable, and radical truth. He speaks in schools for Rachel’s Challenge, inspiring students to resist bullying and live a life of care and compassion. Fred helped found P.I.D. (Preachers in Disguise), and... Read More →

Artists
avatar for Brandon Grissom Band

Brandon Grissom Band

Brandon Grissom is a singer/songwriter from Denver, Colorado. Although he was raised in the dusty backwoods of Oklahoma, he spent more than a decade leading worship at Willow Creek Community Church in Chicago. Brandon now regularly plays at Cherry Hills Church in Denver as well as at various conferences, churches and events around the country... Read More →
avatar for DJ Bobbito

DJ Bobbito

DJ Bobbito is one of the most active deejays in Los Angeles, California. He’s been a deejay for more 14 years, touring nationally and internationally with PAX217. You can find him in any environment, from corporate events to private parties to national conferences. He can also be... Read More →
avatar for Sharon Irving

Sharon Irving

“I take a deep breath and step out on faith.” Those words have been a mantra for Sharon Irving — songstress, songwriter, spoken-word artist, worship leader and actress. Sharon has been a part of the worship team at Willow Creek Community Church in Barrington, Illinois, for several years and was a participant on... Read More →
avatar for The Skit Guys

The Skit Guys

Tommy Woodard and Eddie James are the Skit Guys. They’ve been best friends since high school. Think of them as the wise guys in class who had everyone laughing — and they managed to make a career out of it! For more than 20 years, they've been teaching God's Word, using comedy, d... Read More →


Saturday November 18, 2017 7:30pm - 9:30pm
East Hall

10:00pm

Compline (evening prayer)
“Compline” comes from a Latin word that means “completion.” This peaceful and beautiful 20-minute service is the liturgical equivalent of being tucked into bed. During this time, we’ll confess, listen to God through Scripture and silence, and ask God to watch over us as we sleep. On Saturday, Communion will be offered during compline for those who desire to partake in the holy feast.

Speakers
avatar for Micah Thomas

Micah Thomas

Micah Thomas has worked for Youthfront in Kansas City for nine years. He helped to form LaCygne, an intentional community centered on prayer, service, and the recognition of Christ's presence in all areas of life. He serves as a worship leader at Jacob's Well Church in Kansas Cit... Read More →


Saturday November 18, 2017 10:00pm - 10:20pm
Mississippi

10:30pm

The Skit Guys
The Skit Guys will be performing some of their best and funniest skits during the late night. Tommy and Eddie are sure to make you laugh and look at God's Word in a different way.

Artists
avatar for The Skit Guys

The Skit Guys

Tommy Woodard and Eddie James are the Skit Guys. They’ve been best friends since high school. Think of them as the wise guys in class who had everyone laughing — and they managed to make a career out of it! For more than 20 years, they've been teaching God's Word, using comedy, d... Read More →


Saturday November 18, 2017 10:30pm - 11:30pm
Ballroom A
 
Sunday, November 19
 

7:15am

Morning Bible Study
Speakers
avatar for Tic Long

Tic Long

After 34 years of leadership at Youth Specialties, Tic Long is now the executive pastor at Journey Community Church in La Mesa, California. He's a proud grandpa of two awesome grandsons, and his sessions will be sponsored by the Hair Club for Men.


Sunday November 19, 2017 7:15am - 8:00am
TBA

8:00am

Lauds (morning prayer)
Lauds is a prayer practice that can be traced back to apostolic times. During this time of prayer, we offer praise to God for the break of a new day and we celebrate the reality that our Lord has indeed risen from the dead. This 15-minute service is a simple liturgy of Scripture, silence and spoken prayer.

Speakers
avatar for Micah Thomas

Micah Thomas

Micah Thomas has worked for Youthfront in Kansas City for nine years. He helped to form LaCygne, an intentional community centered on prayer, service, and the recognition of Christ's presence in all areas of life. He serves as a worship leader at Jacob's Well Church in Kansas Cit... Read More →


Sunday November 19, 2017 8:00am - 8:15am
Mississippi

8:00am

The Gift of Sabbath
We live in a world that moves nonstop and in a church that keeps up with it. When are you allowed to stop? What about Sabbath? Can you set aside time for being instead of doing? How would that even work? We’ll learn about Sabbath and imagine how intentionally stopping and resting can be incorporated into our lives, families and ministries.

Speakers
avatar for Kara Root

Kara Root

Kara Root is the pastor of Lake Nokomis Presbyterian Church in Minneapolis, a Christian community where life is shaped around worship, hospitality, and Sabbath rest. She’s also a trained spiritual director, a certified Christian educator, the mom of two clever kids and a spoiled dog, and the wife and proofreader of a wily theologian. She blogs about ministry and motherhood at... Read More →


Sunday November 19, 2017 8:00am - 9:00am
Mississippi

8:00am

Dealing With Difficult Girls
Sugar and spice and everything nice — that’s what girls are made of? Then why do you sometimes feel as if you need a flow chart to keep up with who said what and who is mad at whom? Some days there just isn’t enough Kleenex or chocolate to keep up with the drama. Yet God has a tender heart and a specific plan for his daughters. Gain insights into the “chick network” through honest discussion of the relationships of young women. Discover practical ways to not only deal with but also disciple young women through the not-so-sugar-and-spice moments.

Speakers
avatar for Kerry Loescher

Kerry Loescher

Kerry Loescher has more than 20 years of professional youth ministry experience and currently serves as an instructor at Oral Roberts University, teaching youth ministry, outreach and leadership. Kerry’s passion is equipping leaders to help kids and families connect the dots betw... Read More →


Sunday November 19, 2017 8:00am - 9:30am
L12

8:00am

Hope and Healing for Kids Who Have Been Sexually Abused
The depth of betrayal of sexual molestation or exploitation is almost incomprehensible to people who have never experienced it. When this abuse happens during childhood or adolescence, it becomes a crucial factor in a person’s identity-formation process. In this workshop we’ll look at how hurting teenagers manage these deep wounds, and we’ll talk about immediate and appropriate responses. We’ll clarify the responsibility to report abuse when it is disclosed and talk about what healing looks like for a young person who shares his or her story with a trusted adult. Research tells us that this issue is likely present for one or more students in every youth group. Hope and healing are possible — especially when there is a safe place for youth to talk. Let’s learn what it means to be that safe place.

Speakers
avatar for Marv Penner

Marv Penner

Marv Penner is an internationally known author, professor, speaker and youth ministry veteran who has spent more than 40 years working with students and families. He’s the author of six books on youth ministry, including “The Youth Worker’s Guide to Parent Ministry,” “Hope and Healing for Kids Who... Read More →


Sunday November 19, 2017 8:00am - 9:30am
L10

8:00am

Leading Change
We live in a constantly changing culture, and we work with a constantly changing group of people (teenagers)! It only makes sense that healthy and thriving youth ministries lean into and embrace change. In this seminar we’ll look at the health of our ministries, present a model for evaluation and consider multiple pathways for reinvention.

Speakers
avatar for Mark Oestreicher

Mark Oestreicher

Mark “Marko” Oestreicher is a veteran youth worker and founding partner in The Youth Cartel, providing resources, training and coaching for church youth workers. The author of dozens of books, including “Youth Ministry 3.0” and “Hopecasting: Finding, Keeping and Sharing the Things... Read More →


Sunday November 19, 2017 8:00am - 9:30am
Ballroom E

8:00am

Inside the Brain of the Modern Parent
Let’s face it: we can’t minister to teens without engaging their parents in some way. No matter how much time they might spend with us, at some point they all go home. The modern-day parent can be hard to understand, and the family dynamic has changed drastically in the last decade with divorced parents, cohabiting parents, same-sex relationships and grandparents raising grandchildren. Do you struggle with how to really walk alongside these parents and support their family situations? Do you ever wonder why your students are so overinvolved and what parents are thinking as they drive their children to do more? This seminar will explore who the modern parent is, how and why parents think the way they do, and how to genuinely partner with them.

Speakers
avatar for Leneita Fix

Leneita Fix

Leneita Fix has spent more than two decades passionate about youth and family ministry, serving in many capacities, demographics and areas. She loves to speak, empower, equip and write for adolescents and those who support them. "The Beautiful Chaos of Parenting Teens” is her most recent project... Read More →


Sunday November 19, 2017 8:00am - 9:30am
L2

8:00am

The Blended Family
Statistics show that approximately one-third of all weddings in America today form blended families. We’ve all either experienced or heard stories of the rewards and challenges of the blended family. But have you ever realized that we're all part of blended families? As ministers, we share our lives and many times our homes with teenagers in need of our love — they become our other families. And many of us struggle to balance our ministries and our family lives. In this interactive and reflective workshop, we’ll examine the results of a lack of balance, and we’ll look at suggestions for harmonizing our blended families.

Speakers
avatar for Michelle Reynolds

Michelle Reynolds

Michelle Reynolds is the cofounder of JnM Purpose and executive director of Every Kid Outreach (EKO), a nonprofit ministry devoted to empowering teenagers to reach their brightest futures. Since 2003, she has been involved in responding to the challenges faced by youth in underse... Read More →


Sunday November 19, 2017 8:00am - 9:30am
L1

8:00am

From Body Odor to Diploma: Effectively Reaching Both Middle School and High School Students
A lot happens to people between the ages of 13 and18. Middle school and high school students have vastly different needs, so how do you structure your ministry to effectively reach both? If you serve in a small church, designing programming for both middle school and high school students can be very difficult. If you serve in a larger church, creating unique programming for your youth can be just as difficult. This seminar will offer tools that will help you to use your gifts and valuable resources to effectively reach middle school and high school students in small, medium and large church contexts. 

Speakers
avatar for Rob Gillen

Rob Gillen

Rob Gillen is the high school pastor at Christian Life Assembly in Camp Hill, Pennsylvania, and he has served in student ministries for 10 years. He has his bachelor’s degree in pastoral ministry and his master’s degree in theological studies from the University of Valley Forge... Read More →
avatar for Dan Istvanik

Dan Istvanik

Dan Istvanik is a 22-year youth ministry veteran. He currently serves as a middle years pastor, working with fifth- through eighth-graders at Victory Church in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. He’s a lead writer for Parent Ministry and Youthworker. He also contributes to Group, D6, ICMC and Download Youth Ministry, and... Read More →
avatar for Todd Jones

Todd Jones

Todd Jones has been in youth ministry for 10 years. He has a passion for reaching lost students and training youth workers to do the same. He’s a speaker, author, pastor and the founder of stokedonyouthministry.com. When Todd isn’t writing or speaking, he enjoys surfing, playing... Read More →
avatar for Frank Newburn

Frank Newburn

Frank Newburn is a husband, father of three and youth director for Wesley United Methodist Church in Bloomington, Illinois. His ministry focuses include mentoring and discipleship, student leadership, and missions. He has more than 27 years of youth ministry experience. You can c... Read More →
avatar for Scott Talley

Scott Talley

Scott Talley has been doing youth ministry for 13 years. He serves at Ebenezer Baptist in Hillsborough, North Carolina, as the pastor of students. Scott has studied and written on youth ministry, and he received his doctorate in global mobilization at Southeastern Baptist Theolog... Read More →


Sunday November 19, 2017 8:00am - 9:30am
L4

8:00am

Herding Cats: Leading Youth With Minimal Chaos & Maximum Effect
Corralling a room full of teenagers can sometimes feel like herding cats! In this workshop we’ll discuss tips, tricks and hacks for bringing order to the chaos of group meetings. We’ll consider positive strategies for dealing with the various types of students you’re likely to encounter so you can cultivate an environment conducive to learning and discussion.

Speakers
avatar for Andrew Zirschky

Andrew Zirschky

Andrew Zirschky, Ph.D., serves as academic director at the Center for Youth Ministry Training and is associate professor of practical theology and youth ministry at Memphis Theological Seminary. Andrew is the author of “Beyond the Screen: Youth Ministry for the Connected but Alone... Read More →


Sunday November 19, 2017 8:00am - 9:30am
L3

8:00am

How to Give a Talk That Rocks
Greg Steir has spent more than thirty years teaching and training teenagers. In this seminar he’ll share several key principles that are proven to inspire, equip and unleash teens to live the cause of Christ. 

Speakers
avatar for Greg Steir

Greg Steir

Greg Stier founded Dare 2 Share Ministries in 1991 with one mission: to equip teenagers to relationally and relentlessly share the gospel of Christ with their generation. Through true-life stories and humor, Greg has impacted hundreds of thousands of teenagers. His ministry is al... Read More →


Sunday November 19, 2017 8:00am - 9:30am
Ballroom D

8:00am

The Art of Bible Storying
Experience Bible storying: an imaginative way to engage in the Scriptures through storytelling, creative reflection, and lively dialogue. During this interactive workshop you’ll explore how this learner-centered approach sparks participants to discover meaning and identity in biblical narrative. You’ll also explore how to develop Bible storying for varied contexts. 

Speakers
avatar for Michael Novelli

Michael Novelli

For more than two decades, Michael Novelli’s passion has been to explore the intersection of spiritual formation and experiential learning. This drive continues to fuel his work as a content designer, youth leader and community advocate. Michael has a M.Ed. in Integrated Learning... Read More →


Sunday November 19, 2017 8:00am - 9:30am
L8

8:00am

Healthy Boundaries in the Small Church Setting
This seminar is more than just another Safe Sanctuary training! Move past the mindset of "We're a small church, and we know everybody — we don't need boundaries." Instead, do ministry that creates and teaches optimal parameters in emotionally healthy ministries.

Speakers
avatar for Stephanie Caro

Stephanie Caro

Stephanie Caro has been involved in ministry for … a long time. Her humorous, straightforward style makes her a popular speaker at conferences, training events, camps, retreats and churches. Stephanie is a senior consultant for Ministry Architects and the author of several books, including... Read More →
avatar for Brad Fiscus

Brad Fiscus

Brad Fiscus has been in ministry with teenagers since 1985. He’s been a leadership development consultant, teacher, coach and youth minister. Since 2009, he’s been serving as the director of next gen discipleship in the Tennessee Conference of the United Methodist Church. Brad is also a staff consultant with Ministry Architects. With Stephanie Caro, Brad co-wrote the book... Read More →


Sunday November 19, 2017 8:00am - 9:30am
L13

8:00am

Sabbath Sabotage
Do you tell yourself every week that this is the week you’ll really take your day off? Do you begin every new year with a promise to start fresh and relax more? Often when we break down and burn out, we feel guilty for not taking those resolutions more seriously. But we also feel guilty when we actually take time off. It’s a strange and uncomfortable tension between wanting to take better care of ourselves and needing to do all the other things that seem to get in the way. God calls us as people of faith to “remember the Sabbath,” “be still” and “not be anxious.” We preach these things and know them, so why can’t we do them? In this seminar we’ll talk about practical ways to remember the Sabbath and find time to be still and listen for God.

Speakers
avatar for Aqueelah Ligonde

Aqueelah Ligonde

Reverend Aqueelah Ligonde is an enthusiastic speaker, preacher and leader with a passion for today’s generation. She’s currently a staff consultant with Ministry Architects and parish associate for One Hope at Jan Hus Presbyterian Church. She’s also pursuing a Doctor of Ministry... Read More →
avatar for Tolton Pace

Tolton Pace

Tolton R. Pace is the Project G.R.A.D. scholarship coordinator at South Atlanta High School; assistant producer of the nationally syndicated inspirational radio show “CoCo Brother Live” and its associated ministry, the STAND Campaign; program director at the Agape Community Cente... Read More →


Sunday November 19, 2017 8:00am - 9:30am
L11

8:00am

Avoiding Chaos: Simple Organizational Tools and Tactics for Vocational and Volunteer Youth Leaders
There’s an unfortunate stereotype that youth leaders and youth pastors are not organized. In this seminar, you’ll receive systems and strategies that will help you avoid chaos in ministry and garner support from staff, parents and students. Calendars, communication and consistency will lead to long-term success.

Speakers
avatar for Brian Aaby

Brian Aaby

Brian Aaby is the director of YS Search and YS Coaching at Youth Specialties, where he assists churches with personnel placement and provides coaching guidance for youth leaders. He served for 17 years as a youth pastor before founding Youthmark in 2008. Brian speaks nationally a... Read More →


Sunday November 19, 2017 8:00am - 9:30am
L14

9:00am

Exhibit Hall Open
Sunday November 19, 2017 9:00am - 11:00am
NW/SW Hall

9:15am

Breath Prayer and Yoga
Meditative breath prayer combined with yoga incorporates our bodies in a holistic focus on Christ. The practice of yoga connects our breath with the movement of our bodies, while breath prayer connects our minds and bodies to our spirits. After instruction on breath prayer, we’ll put it to practice in a beginner/intermediate-level yoga routine. No mats needed.

Speakers
avatar for Carissa Reynolds

Carissa Reynolds

Carissa Reynolds is the Recruiting Coordinator for Apprentice Institute. She graduated from Friends University with a B.S. in Psychology & Human Services and Christian Spiritual Formation. Carissa has served in worship ministry for over five years and currently serves as the wors... Read More →


Sunday November 19, 2017 9:15am - 10:00am
Mississippi

10:15am

Lifestyle of a Youth Worker Contemplative
This workshop is inspired by Victor Hugo’s “Les Miserables” and Thomas Merton and distilled for today’s spirituality. The contemplative life is not just for the monastics — it’s for ordinary people, such as Victor Hugo’s Jean Valjean, whose encounter with the bishop furthered his spiritual formation journey. We’ll explore ways to reduce our need for pleasure, comfort, prestige and success in order to pursue union with Christ, as Merton suggested in “The Inner Experience.”

Speakers
avatar for Mickey Cox

Mickey Cox

Mickey Cox is a spiritual director in Denver, Colorado, and is on the Spiritual Direction Colorado Board. He’s also a member of St. Dunstan’s Benedictine Community and an ordained youth minister in the Church of the Nazarene. He’s written several articles for leaders and students as well as two books to guide students in spiritual formation: No Limits Discipleship and Sacred Life... Read More →
avatar for Archie Honrado

Archie Honrado

Archie Honrado is a missionary, youth worker, spiritual director, retreat guide, prayer-space curator/architect and worship leader. He serves with Urban Youth Workers Institute, Youth Specialties, Youth for Christ, American Baptist Churches of Los Angeles and DeVos Urban Youth Le... Read More →


Sunday November 19, 2017 10:15am - 11:00am
Mississippi

11:00am

Big Room Sunday—A.M.
Speakers
avatar for Fred Lynch

Fred Lynch

Fred Lynch is a dynamic communicator who takes the expressions of this generation and uses them to glorify God through relevant, relatable, and radical truth. He speaks in schools for Rachel’s Challenge, inspiring students to resist bullying and live a life of care and compassion. Fred helped found P.I.D. (Preachers in Disguise), and... Read More →
avatar for Jo Saxton

Jo Saxton

Born to Nigerian parents and raised in London, Jo Saxton has served as a pastor in Sheffield, England, as well as in a number of churches in the United States. Since 2009, Jo has been serving with 3DM. She’s the author of “More than Enchanting: Breaking Through Barriers to Influence Your... Read More →

Artists
avatar for Brandon Grissom Band

Brandon Grissom Band

Brandon Grissom is a singer/songwriter from Denver, Colorado. Although he was raised in the dusty backwoods of Oklahoma, he spent more than a decade leading worship at Willow Creek Community Church in Chicago. Brandon now regularly plays at Cherry Hills Church in Denver as well as at various conferences, churches and events around the country... Read More →
avatar for DJ Bobbito

DJ Bobbito

DJ Bobbito is one of the most active deejays in Los Angeles, California. He’s been a deejay for more 14 years, touring nationally and internationally with PAX217. You can find him in any environment, from corporate events to private parties to national conferences. He can also be... Read More →
avatar for OneVoice

OneVoice

Under the direction of J.D. Frizzell, OneVoice has become a high-profile musical entity at Briarcrest Christian School, throughout the Mid-South, and around the United States. OneVoice incorporates blues, jazz, rock, rhythm and blues, pop and more into their repertoire. They have performed with Grammy Award-winning vocal group New York Voices and professional a cappella group Overboard. The Recorded A Cappella Review Board called their debut album... Read More →
avatar for Sharon Irving

Sharon Irving

“I take a deep breath and step out on faith.” Those words have been a mantra for Sharon Irving — songstress, songwriter, spoken-word artist, worship leader and actress. Sharon has been a part of the worship team at Willow Creek Community Church in Barrington, Illinois, for several years and was a participant on... Read More →


Sunday November 19, 2017 11:00am - 12:30pm
East Hall