Workshop Descriptions

The Art of Bible Storying – Join Michael Novelli for a Bible storying experience–an imaginative way to engage in the scriptures through storytelling, creative reflection, and lively dialogue. During this interactive workshop you will explore how this learner-centered approach inspires participants to discover meaning and identity in the biblical narrative. Presenter: Michael Novelli

Children’s Ministry in the Way of Jesus - For too long, children’s ministry has focused primarily on programs for children rather than ways of nurturing children as followers of Jesus. In this workshop, we will dig deep into assumptions about what it means to do ministry with children and explore our goals for forming children in faith in light of our contemporary contexts. We will uncover challenges, reflect on our own ministry contexts, and forge a new kind of ecclesial culture in which children are valued as co-pilgrims on the journey of faith. Presenter: Dave Csinos

Sustainable Children’s and Youth Ministry - In the worlds of childrens and youth ministry, there are a handful of constant factors that thrive over the long haul.  This seminar introduces participants to those factors and offers a strategic design for instilling these foundational patterns into the fabric of any ministry, regardless of its model. Presenter: Jen Dejong

Generation to Generation: Planting Oak Trees
Deuteronomy 6:4-9 and Hebrews 12:1-2 Investing in the next generation is not an assignment only for people who were hired for the job or even just for people who have “gifts with kids.”  Investing in the next generation is a responsibility that belongs to the whole congregation.  Dt. 6 is not a command to parents only.  It is a command that belongs to all of God’s people for all of God’s children. Presenter: Jen Dejong

The Ins & Outs of Preschool Ministry - Do you have questions about what is involved with starting or growing a preschool ministry at your church? Have you wondered how to fund this endeavor? Come and learn the ins and outs of children’s center ministries, grant writing, and hiring and working with children’s center staff. You will leave this workshop with tools, a plan, and motivation to start or enhance your own preschool or other children’s ministry. Presenter: Jen Huff

Working with Super-Busy Teenagers - Today’s teenagers are the most scheduled, stressed out, exhausted generation in our history. Aaron Helman, from will be sharing information that you need to know about today’s teenagers and brainstorming practical advice to help you engage with students who aren’t making time for traditional youth ministry the way they did five and ten years ago. Presenter: Aaron Helman

Popular Culture and Extended Adolescence - Kids growing up today are living in a world that is fundamentally different from previous generations.  This poses challenges to even the most adept adult.  In this workshop, you will discover the systemic cultural changes that are creating a completely new developmental experience for our kids. We have known intuitively for years of the impact popular culture has on developing teens.  This workshop explores the current cultural landscape and ways to “flip the script” and use culture to our advantage when trying to reach kids.  Presenter: Chris Schaffner

Keeping Your Cup Full While You Pour Out to Others - Do you feel like you give and give and give but are running on empty most days?  Do you feel like people take advantage of you and now you resent those you serve?  Is your spiritual life buried under the demands of ministry?  Are you overwhelmed with the amount of hurt and tragedy you see every day?  If so, you may be in need of Soul Care.  Learn how to “keep your cup full while you pour out to others” through the practice of spiritual disciplines.  We need healthy youth workers so they can remain engaged in the kingdom work for the long haul. Presenter: Chris Schaffner

Working with Super-Busy Teenagers - Today’s teenagers are the most scheduled, stressed out, exhausted generation in our history. Aaron Helman, from will be sharing information that you need to know about today’s teenagers and brainstorming practical advice to help you engage with students who aren’t making time for traditional youth ministry the way they did five and ten years ago. Presenter: Aaron Helman

Communication Tips for Family Ministry - The world is a fast moving, busy place and our ministries and families are smack dab in the middle of it! This session will give you tools for creating an effective and meaningful communication model between your ministry and the families you are serving. Presenter: Stephanie Riebe

Keeping Kids Engaged in the Story - We’re going to take a look at a ton of ways to keep kids engaged! From the space in which a lesson is taught to creative ways to capture the attention of different age groups. We need to be strategic in not only how we tell kids a Bible story with words but how we bring the story to life so that it’s remembered after they walk out of the church doors. With a few simple things in our tool belt, we can all create an environment that is packed with punch! and helps children grasp a better understanding of God. Presenter: Karen Grant

Thriving YM in Smaller Churches – You’ll learn what makes a thriving, sustainable small church ministry. Discover ways to maximize your small church assets while minimizing the challenges. What you’ll discover? Your small church youth ministry has WAY more going for it than you may think! Presenter: Stephanie Caro

Developing a Solid Volunteer Team - Discover best practices for how to recruit, who to ask (and who NOT to ask), ways to develop your team, and how to ask a volunteer to step away. Presenter: Stephanie Caro

Ministering to Young Adults and College Students - What does it look like for local churches to be passionate about the identity and faith formation of 18-25 year olds in and outside of their congregation? Join Sarah Sparks-Franklin and Travis Jeffords, co-leaders of Jubilee, the United Methodist College Ministry for Indiana University and the Bloomington area, as they discuss why they believe college students have such a deep hunger for the Gospel (even if they don’t know it!), share from their own ministry context, and give practical ways that any congregation can stay in touch with, and minister to young adults. Presenters: Travis Jeffords and Sarah Sparks-Franklin

Building Community in Rural Ministry - In this workshop we will explore some of the unique ways that rural youth workers can partner together to impact whole communities with the Gospel. We’ll look at teaming up, building relationships, developing strategies, making an impact, and reaping a harvest. Presenter: Brent Lacy

Strategies for Rural Youth Ministry If you’re a youth worker in a rural setting, join me as we explore what we can do to make a huge impact in what some call “the sticks.” We’ll look at how to navigate the unique politics and power structures that we all encounter in rural churches. We’ll experiment with ways we can reach our communities and campuses in creative ways. We’ll also discuss how we can squeeze useful technologies into budgets that are stretched. Presenter: Brent Lacy

No Parent Pushed Aside – Partnering with parents is messy business. This becomes especially more difficult in a world where grandparents, foster parents, cohabiting but unmarried parents and single parents are raising children. How do we navigate parents who are overly afraid or those who seem entirely disengaged? This seminar explores that different types of “challenging” parents and families we might encounter in our ministries and some practical ways to engage them and truly walk with them. Presenter: Leneita Fix

When Their Baby Becomes A Zombie: Helping Parents of Tweens Navigate the Journey to The Teen Years – Heading into the teen years can be complicated. In one day a parent of tweens may navigate their child struggling with: insecurity, school, bullies, drama, emotions, media influence, over scheduling and did we mention insecurity? One day they had a cute baby and the next it feels like another creature is living in their home. This time can be overwhelming for parents and can cause them to say, “Oh well, I guess I have to endure these zombie years.” This workshop explores practical ways to help parents who have just entered the “tween” years (from around 4th through 7th grade) not give up and press in to actually learn to understand their children. Presenter: Leneita Fix

Partnering with your Community This workshop will focus on how to form strategic partnerships, and some on innovation, especially the innovative spirit that finds ways to partner with our communities. Our time together will focus on how to leverage existing relationships and partnerships within our communities, and also we’ll strategize on how to make new connections. Finally, we will spend some time reframing evangelism, as we explore how we can get to know the God stories already being written in people’s lives, and not just prepackage God up in what we perceive people need. Presenter: Matthew Phipps

How to Transform the KidMin Mentality in an Aging Congregation - What does it look like for churches to partner with all age demographics in the context of family ministry? Wondering how you can demonstrate to older generations in your church that the craziness in children and youth ministry is actually valid in sharing the love of Jesus with kids and families? Join Alexandra Lamb, director of Children’s Ministries at First United Methodist Church in Bloomington, as she explores some of the difficulties presented by the segregation of age groups in the church and guides participants to work together to find some opportunities that could work in their ministries. Real life examples, lots of encouragement and a fresh look at how to start on this path of intergenerational ministry even when your church doesn’t like the sound of crying babies and children and youth are relegated to the basement. Presenter: Alex Lamb

Connecting Ministry Silos While we want to have great ministries for each member of a family, we don’t really want families always splitting up as they enter the front door of the church, only reconnecting as they gather at the door to leave. How can we effectively minister to each family member while building relationships and interactions between generations? This workshop is filled with practical ideas to get children, youth, parents, grandparents and everyone else out of “their” ministry long enough to interact, get to know each other and forge great relationships in the process.  Presenter: Danita Brick

Decorating Spaces – Props & Scenery Workshop for VBS and Kids Church
This is an interactive workshop of presentation of material and sharing/brainstorming ideas. We will discuss and share ideas on Themes, Ideas, Resources, and Need vs Want. Presenter: Nancy Bellinger

Be an Uncommon Leader –  If you want to be as effective as possible as a leader, then this workshop is for you. All of us start out with the best of intentions and a desire to make a difference in the world, but too often we find that it’s not going as well as we had hoped. In fact, it’s common that being a leader exposes us to new challenges and even a few personal problems. This super practical workshop will help identify some of those common problems that have tripped up so many others and provide clear steps for stepping over them and becoming the uncommonly effective leader that God desires. Presenter: Terry Linhart

Living Healthy – Mark Cornelison found himself at 43 years old and 300 pounds, Mark suffered from high blood pressure, high cholesterol and acid reflux. As a pastor, Mark enjoys doing volunteer work and going on mission trips, both of which were being significantly effected due to his weight. He knew it was time to make a life change when he began taking an anti-anxiety medication in efforts to deal with the side effects of his other prescriptions. After Mark left for the show, The Biggest Loser , his wife Cathy decided to make changes for herself so that the two of them could share this journey together. She began researching all she could about nutrition and healthy eating as well as developing a consistent exercise routine. By the time Mark returned, Cathy had lost 40 lbs. on her own and had created a home where healthy living was the norm. Mark returned over 100lbs lighter with a new life. He continues to have no medical conditions to be monitored and has been removed from all of the medications he was taking before this experience. Since the show ended, the two have traveled across the US to encourage others. In 2012, they founded SweatCor and now work to communicate hope and encouragement with students and adults alike in regards to ministry and health. This experience has deeply changed them and their family… and this is still only the beginning. Their workshop on living healthy is about much more than just losing weight. They will discuss important principles about your health that will enable each of you to be a better fit vessel to be used in ministry for the Kingdom. Join them as they share the value of being foodfit, bodyfit, and soul fit! Presenters: Mark and Cathy Cornelison


  1. how do we sign up for the individual workshops?

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