Keynote Archive

We were privileged to have had the following presenters LEAD us:
Leadership ~ Evangelism/Empowerment ~ Advocacy ~ Discipleship

2017

This conference was held at The Tops campsite, south coast NSW, and featured the following topics and speakers:

L: Leadership … Bill Brown … On being!

Personal growth, character and integrity:

Together we will be exploring a process for the week involving praise and thanksgiving, personal retreat, reflection and prayer. We will be bookending this journey with an opening celebration, culminating with a speaker on our final day. We look forward to announcing our guest presenter closer to the time. Come prepared to grow your leadership for the long haul and to be encouraged in your walk with Jesus.

E: Empowerment/Evangelism … Rob Reinow … Taking faith home

How do you shift the jurisdiction from the church to the home?

The journey of faith formation through the lenses of home plus church raises the important question of, “How you facilitate change so that it’s not church first with home as an afterthought? ”

God created the institution of the family and the institution of the local church with distinct purpose. Both exist for the Glory of God and the spreading of the Gospel. Tragically, todays world and todays church have confused and lost the clear purposes of the jurisdictions of the local church and the Christian family. As a result, neither our churches nor our homes are advancing the Gospel as God intended … let’s explore …

Note: Rob will be on a Skype video call from his home in the USA

A: Advocacy … Jill Kayser … Cultivating an intergenerational church

Despite our intergenerational origins the church persists in doing ministry in unhelpful silos.

How did we get here and how can we move and inspire our churches to reclaim their intergenerational roots and embed an ethos that encourages and facilitates all God’s people to worship, learn, pray, celebrate, serve and play together?

Culture change is what’s needed but how do we do it? Understanding our congregations’ resistance to change and motivators for embracing change is key to taking people on this much needed journey.

D: Discipleship … Claire Maddon … Understanding Gen Z and Gen Alpha

These are the generations we are called to minister with.

They are the early adopters, the brand influencers, the social media drivers, the pop-culture leaders.

They comprise nearly 2 billion people globally, and they don’t just represent the future, they’re creating it. In Australia they will have the most formal education, be the most globally connected and digitally native in history.

Claire will share some insights into these new generations, their families and how we can best communicate and connect with the children of this age.

2015

We were also joined by David Csinos (Canada) for workshops, reflections and comment.
This conference was held at The Tops campsite, south coast NSW, and featured the following topics and speakers:

L: Leadership … with Louise Bartlett and Julie Terry … Leading change when you are not in charge

Leading change when you are not in charge

Exploring helpful ways of working with those who are in leadership roles so that together we might bring about change, rather than only championing our own silos.

You are excited about the potential for your ministry area, but you can’t seem to build momentum with others? You feel like the key leaders in your church or organisation are oblivious to the issues facing your ministry? Maybe you feel powerless or uncertain about how to communicate what’s on your heart? This session will explore helpful ways of working with those who are in leadership roles so that together we might bring about change, rather than only championing our own silos.

E: Empowerment … with Phil Day, Tammy Tolman & Terry Williams … Empowering Family Faith

Empowering family faith

Looking at practical ways to empower families to take the leading role in discipleship of their children.

“Our family can play a part in forming faith in the generations!”

Yes, families often feel paralysed in this. Yes, it is complex. It is sometimes difficult in a busy digital world. Therefore it is key that we empower the ‘family/household’ for it’s role in being the life shaping, faith forming, missional centre for building God’s sovereign reign in the world. And we do this recognising that ‘Family’ is often messy … a group of people of varying ages, usually connected biologically; sometimes living together, sometimes separated … never the less a building block in the faith formation processes.

A: Advocacy … with Tammy Tolman and an expert panel … Advocacy with and for children

Advocacy with and for children

In a broken and hurting world how do we advocate for children and also help them to respond with compassion to the brokenness they see around them.

There is brokeness all around us. You only have to turn the news on, listen to the radio in the car or go online. It bombards our children from all angles. How do we help them navigate this? Along side celebrating all that is good in our world, how we are to respond to the pain and suffering that is all around us? Let’s journey this together as to how to respond to our children and how to empower our families to have these conversations. If we are not prepared to go on the journey with children and families, we are not helping to strengthen their faith. We want to look at some tools and scaffolds to have the ability to speak into these situations for our children and families.

D: Discipleship … with Terry Williams … Defining church for the next generation

Defining church for the next generation

Using the lenses of scripture, culture and history we will look at the important aspects of faith development and discipleship within the local gathered community of faith for a new generation.

Church in the 21st century is not expressed the way it’s always been or in the way it will always be. Together we will explore what the contours of the church in the future might be like. Using the lenses of scripture, culture and history we will look at the important aspects of faith development and discipleship within the local gathered community of faith for a new generation.

2013

This conference was held at The Tops campsite, south coast NSW, and featured the following topics and speakers:

L: Leadership … with Andrew Ball … Under the Microscope - The Ethos of Leadership

Would someone help me learn to be real without compromise!
There are so many pressures on leaders to perform to so many expectations. Our church world is full of pragmatic approaches or methods for leadership. But what if you were to simply model leadership from who you are called to “be”. Real leaders don’t pretend, don’t perform and don’t fudge – they simply function from a genuine foundation. Our nation has quite rightly critiqued the church, and we have been found wanting. A new era is emerging, where leaders must embody what it means to be a follower of Jesus for the cause of His kingdom. The real question is are you up for that?
Andrew is the Executive Ministry Director for Churches of Christ in NSW, Chairman of Churches of Christ in Australia, and Network Director of Southpoint Australia
For over twenty-two years, Andrew has been ministering in Churches of Christ across Australia. He is married to Wendy and has three awesome children, who enjoy family life exploring God’s creation together. Andrew trained initially in Chemistry and Pharmacology and has a degree in Divinity and is soon to finish a Doctorate in Ministry from Fuller Theological Seminary in the USA. His initial career was as a consultant to the Victorian Parliament and Health Department as well as working in the chemicals industry.  Andrew’s call to ministry was evidenced by his first love for youth ministry. In the late 80’s he pioneered Youth Vision across Churches of Christ and then went on into local church ministry for nearly 15 years. Andrew’s primary passion currently, is to see the movement of Churches of Christ resource the local church. In NSW he has led a dramatic turnaround in the financial viability of the movement and launched an initiative called the “synergy project” which has given away approximately $1 million to affiliated churches over a 5 year period. Implicit in this approach are new resources to help churches major on spiritual leadership rather than programmed or corporate approaches to ministry. Andrew launched the Southpoint network in 2011 which focuses on promoting God’s Agenda in the Australasia region. His doctoral thesis is exploring the notion of healthy spiritual leadership teams as it relates to ministers and elders working in teams.

E: Evangelism … with Mike Frost … Out of the Aquarium

Much youth and children’s ministry seems to be aimed at keeping kids “out of the world.” Our church-based programs for young people make the assumption we can create safe alternative “Christian spaces” that protect them from the dangers and influences of the world. It’s like raising fragile tropical fish in an aquarium where the water temperature and Ph balance are carefully monitored. We all know if tropical fish were released into the ocean they would die almost instantly. This presentation will question whether our ministries are like aquariums and whether we need to foster a more robust missional spirituality among our young people so we can release them into the world younger and stronger.
Mike is the Vice Principal of Morling College & founding Director of the Tinsley Institute, a mission study centre located at Morling College in Sydney, Australia
Dr Michael Frost is an internationally recognised Australian missiologist and one of the leading voices in the missional church movement. His books are required reading in colleges and seminaries around the world and he is much sought after as an international conference speaker.
He is the author or editor of twelve theological books, the most recent of which are the popular and award-winning, The Shaping of Things to Come (2003), Exiles (2006) and The Road to Missional (2012). These books explore a missional framework for the church in a postmodern era. Frost’s work has been translated into German, Korean and Spanish. Their popularity has seen him regularly speaking at conferences in the US, the UK and across Europe, and as far afield as Nairobi, Rio de Janeiro and Moscow.
He was one of the founders of the Forge Mission Training Network and the founder of the missional Christian community, smallboatbigsea, based in Manly in Sydney’s north. He is the weekly religion columnist for The Manly Daily and helped establish Action Against Poverty, a localised micro-financing agency, linking the cities of Manly and Manado, an impoverished Indonesian community. He was instrumental in launching Street Pastors Manly, a church-based initiative aimed at curbing alcohol-related violence.

He lives in Manly with his wife Carolyn, the director of an incarnational ministry among the poor, and their three daughters.

A: Advocacy … with Paul O’Rourke … Speaking up for the least, the lowest, the voiceless, broken and unseen children of Oz

This keynote contains several parts:

  • The harmful, evil and unhealthy forces at work against our children.
  • An overview of the issues affecting Australian children and families: These include abortion, abuse and negelct, poverty, family breakdown, the sexualisation of children and self esteem and mental health issues.
  • An understanding of what it means to be an advocate for children: Why should we care? How should we engage politically, practically?
  • Practical examples of how to advocate for children, as an individual, as a congregation and as the Church
  • The role played by agencies such as Forkidsake in educating and mobilising the Church

As part of our discussion, questions to be considered include:

  • How do we awaken the Church to the needs of children outside the Church?
  • What role should agencies such as Forkidsake play in this regard?
  • What are some practical ways our congregations can serve children and families?

Paul is the CEO of Emily’s Voice
Emily’s Voice id a ministry using social marketing, including television advertising, billboards, bus-backs, radio and direct mail to help Australians fall in love with the unborn and warn of the risks and dangers to women of abortion. It is a fresh and positive approach to the 80,000 annual abortions in Australia.
He chairs the inter-agency team, Forkidsake, established by the Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) to awaken, educate and mobile the Church to the many issues facing children and families. Forkidsake is also the name of an ACL-commissioned research report undertaken by Professor Patrick Parkinson from the University of Sydney.
He is the former CEO of child development and advocacy ministry Compassion Australia. Paul has a Master’s Degree in holistic child development and completed theological studies through C3 Victory’s School of Ministry. Before joining Compassion, Paul worked in print journalism, including as Editor-in-chief of the Newcastle Herald.
Paul has authored five books, incuding Why Satan Hates our Kids: How Children are Suffering and Why the Church should Care (2011), and The Spirit of Oz (2012), profiles on Australian Chrisitan leaders from among church leadership, sport, the arts and business.
He is a passionate advocate for children, having seen first-hand the effects of poverty, abuse and neglect and family breakdown on children in the developing and developed worlds, including in remote indigenous communities.
Paul and his wife of 31 years Janine attend Lift Church Newcastle. They have three adult children and four grandchildren.

D: Discipleship … with Terry Williams, Tammy Tolman & an expert panel … Lost in Transition

Strategies for helping children to stay with their faith &/or church and not leave it.
Our current ‘TGIF generation’ of young people (Twitter, Google, iDevice, FaceBook), which is more connected and more isolated than generations before them, is walking away from church and/or faith in their early adolescent years. “This drop out problem is, at its core, a disciple-making problem. The church is not adequately preparing the next generation to follow Christ faithfully in a rapidly changing culture.”(David Kinnaman in ‘You Lost Me’)
The Leaders To Go Conference is committed to reversing this trend. Join eminent speakers, intentional conversations and constructive collaborations to be part of the solution discerning God’s wisdom and direction for the future of our children.
Terry is the Children’s Ministry Specialist with SU International.
Terry trained and worked as a teacher in primary and secondary schools before joining the staff team of Scripture Union Queensland, Australia, where he has worked for 29 years as a specialist in children’s ministry. In 2008 Terry divided his time to join the SU International staff team in a part time capacity where part of his role is to serve on a small global training team helping to multiply trainers across the world. Terry is married to Margaret and they have three adult children and one grandson.

Tammy is the lead pastor of ICentral 3:16
Tammy is a a trained teacher, has a degree in Theology and is currently the lead Pastor of a Intergenerational Creative Arts Community in NSW, Australia. Tammy has been actively involved in Children’s Ministry for 24 years. She has been married for 24 years and has two children aged 15 and 12 years. Her programs and worship music, effectively reach children aged 8-12 years. Tammy speaks at Conferences throughout Australia, New Zealand and the world. She has written a children’s ministry resource book called “Piece By Piece”. Tammy, with her husband, David have just launched a new ministry called “Collide”, where they aim to create environments where the generations can collide.

2011

This conference was held Alexandra Park Conference Centre on the Sunshine Coast QLD and featured the following topics and speakers:

L: Leadership … with John Sweetman … Mentoring Leaders

Leadership involves investing in and developing leaders. The ability to develop leaders marks the difference between those who can run a ministry and those who can multiply a ministry. This session will tackle key issues in mentoring including developing the relationship, deciding on the approach, dealing with personal issues, and knowing when your job is complete.
John is the Principal and Director of the Leadership Centre, Malyon College
John has been involved in vocational pastoral ministry for over 30 years. He has been a youth pastor (at Kenmore Baptist) and a senior pastor (at Bracken Ridge Baptist). In 2002 he became Principal of Malyon College – the theological training college of Queensland Baptists. His doctoral thesis explored the development of leaders by mentoring and he has a strong commitment to investing in the next generation of Christian leaders through mentoring and facilitating networks. John also enjoys completing Sudoku puzzles, but he tries to keep this quiet.

E: Evangelism … with an expert panel … Connecting to and engaging with our nation's children.

“I had no idea as to the extent of the issues our children are dealing with everyday!” The young generation of today are being shaped by strong influences from the media, the instability of their family, fears about global issues, technology, social networking, educational settings, and the list goes on.
How accurately do we know the world of the children in our context in order to connect into their world?
How effective are we in engaging with the culture of an often lost and searching generation so as to seize the opportunities that exist for the exploration of the Gospel’s message of hope with children and their families?
Brief presentations by our panellists will be followed by questions from the floor and interaction with other panel members to explore this topic together and reflect in small groups on some of the implications.
Terry (panel leader) is the Children’s Ministry Specialist with Scritpure Union Queensland and Scripture Union International.

A: Advocacy … with Tim Hanna … Children are so often undervalued in terms of their place in the Kingdom of God.

This session will look at the biblical place of children and will explore issues of; children, church and worship, children and mission, children – the most vulnerable, and thus build a basis for a strong advocacy for children as not just “junior church” or the “church of the future” but intrinsic to kingdom ministry today.
Tim is the CEO of Compassion Australia
Tim has been in pastoral leadership in Australian churches, in a number of states, for 30 years – most recently as senior pastor of Gateway Baptist Church in Brisbane for 10 ½ years. He has also lectured with the Australian College of Ministries, and gained his Doctor of Ministry along the way. He has a love for the church and a passion to see it become all it can be, both relationally and in impact. Consequently he loves to be involved with the training and equipping of leaders to this end.    He also has a passion to make a difference in the lives of those who find themselves without resources, choices and hope, and thus his journey with Compassion. In 2008 he began a new role as National Director of Church and Mission with Compassion Australia and then moved into the role as CEO of Willow Creek Australia, a ministry committed to equipping, developing and resourcing Christian leaders throughout Australia and around the world.
Tim has now been in the CEO role at Compassion Australia, since mid June 2010. Compassion is a ministry whose mission is to release children from poverty and works in 26 under-resourced countries, in 3 continents.
Married to Chris,  they have nine children (yes you read correctly) and twelve grandchildren (so far!). He loves family times, travel, reading, visiting coffee shops, jogging and gym, and is a sports tragic, especially AFL, cricket and tennis.

D: Discipleship … with Margaret Spicer … Our kids can have everything, but if they don’t have a personal faith in Jesus they actually have nothing.

Discover opportunities that exist when home and church partner together to:

  • engage the heads and the hearts of our kids;
  • equip their parents;
  • inspire and motivate the local church.

Change for kids is not only possible … it should be natural.
Margaret is (as of late 2010) the Children’s and Families Pastor at Crossway Baptist Church
Margaret passionately believes that when Jesus said, “Let the children come to me” he meant everyone – without exception. “We must do all we can to ensure that we do not hinder children discovering Jesus for themselves.”   Over the past 30 years Margaret has been involved in leading children’s ministries, training volunteers and developing leaders; both in New Zealand and around the world. She is a consultant to churches, helping leaders and their teams to maximize their potential to impact kids and their families; seeing them connect with and become established in a local church.

Margaret, a registered Primary School Teacher, has served as a pastor in NZ and, more recently, as the Executive Director of The Willow Creek Association NZ. She has passionately pursed leadership development as a way of strengthening the impact of the local church. She is the author of the monthly children’s ministry training tool – JUMP. Margaret has now taken up the position of Children and Families Pastor at Crossway Baptist Church in Melbourne.

She is a wife to Brian and a mother to Rochelle (21), Janine (19) and Liam (18)

She loves going to kids movies, playing on roller coasters and even has her own bouncy castle!

2009

Held at Anglesea's Camp Wilkin in Victoria, this was our first residential conference allowing for a unique sense of community. This conference featured the following topics and speakers:

L: Leadership … with Duncan Brown

The greatest investment you can make for our kids is to invest in the people who invest in them.

Duncan will look at how you can shift your focus from running great kids’ programs to developing passionate kids’ leaders … starting with parents and families … for a more fruitful and sustainable ministry.

Duncan is the Senior Pastor at New Peninsula Baptist Church, Mornington Victoria
Duncan has journeyed a diverse path to full time ministry. From a farming background in Queensland, Duncan spent seven years as a journalist with the Fairfax and News Limited groups in Queensland and Victoria before completing a Bachelor of Ministry in Victoria. He then returned to Queensland where he spent five years as the CEO of SU Queensland, a non-denominational Christian youth and children’s organization now employing 500 chaplains. After his time at SU, Duncan and his wife started a Christian based consultancy supporting more than 30 organisations in the areas of strategic planning, marketing and fundraising. During 2008 Duncan took up the position of Senior Pastor at New Peninsula Baptist Church, Mornington Victoria.  Duncan is married to  Tricia have three children Emily 5, Jack 3 and Laura 1. His interests include footy (rugby – the real version), fishing and anything to do with horses, cattle and farming.

E: Evangelism … with an Dave Fuller

Idolisation or Neglect: Missional engagement with children in an age of extremes

Daniel Donahoo in his book ‘Idolising Children’ (2007) says of his work, “This book is a call for us to consider how we view children. It challenges us to examine all the different images we have about childhood and youth, and to question whether or not they are adequate.” In contrast to the ‘Idolisation of Children’ are the stories about the abuse and neglect of children. In an age of apparent extremes around our children, how do we as Christian workers engage with children  & their parents in a manner that is appropriate to the context and sensitive to the developmental stage of the child?”

Dave is the Director of the Chaplaincy Services Division for ACCESS Ministries
David Fuller was appointed to the role of the Director of the Chaplaincy Services Division for Access Ministries in February 2007.  He comes to the role with over twenty years of professional Christian Ministry experience behind him.  He has a Bachelor of Theology and a Master of Arts in Theology through the Australian College of Theology.  Dave, his wife and two children live in Melbourne’s inner north and worship at St Michael’s Anglican Church, North Carlton.  Other interests include enjoying family life, reading and motorcycles.  He is a life member of God’s Squad Christian Motorcycle Club.  David was ordained as an Anglican priest at the Cathedral Church of St Paul in November, 2005.

A: Advocacy … with Tania Watson

Hear Tanya’s story of how God led her into children’s ministry as an advocate for the status and place of children within the Australian Church. The purpose of taking this approach is to mirror the core challenge of engaging with Child Theology and to find the practical application of this way of doing theology. Child Theology challenges the Australian church to recognize that the way that it regards children, for the most part, deeply grieves the heart of God.

Tania’s roles include Minister-Ministry Integration at South Perth Church of Christ
Tania is the Minister-Ministry Integration at South Perth Church of Christ.  Tania is a lecturer in Children’s Ministry at Vose Seminary in WA and is Chair of Kids Vision WA, the Churches of Christ WA Children’s Ministry network.  For the past 10 years, Tania has been leading transformational change in the children’s ministry at South Perth and has been an advocate for the place of children in churches in the wider church in WA.  Tania is married to Neil and has 2 teenage children (Sebastian and Lucy).  She is an avid movie watcher, book glutton and fussy coffee drinker.

D: Discipleship … Wendy Strachan

Discipleship … if it’s so obvious, why does it seem so difficult?

Let’s take a fresh look at:
• what it means for a child to follow Jesus: to have the courage to choose differently in a world of conformity and risk-minimisation.
• how we as leaders can set in place the kind of discipleship where the adventure is not a formula, where faith is more than knowledge, where ‘response’ is more than good behaviour, where relationship is more than contact, and where our support is more than protection.

Wendy is the Children’s Ministries Coordinator for SU International
At the age of 15, Wendy started teaching Sunday School: 23 three and four year olds in the kitchen of a small church.  No training, no mentoring – but the experience ignited a commitment to children that has defined her journey since.   After 11 years teaching children with special needs in Queensland and 2 years teaching in a secondary school in Papua New Guinea, she joined Scripture Union Queensland for 6 years.Wendy works as the Children’s Ministries Coordinator for SU International, responsible (with terry Williams) for the training and resourcing of SU staff across the globe, as well as the development of global partnerships and initiatives for children.  Wendy is now based in Brisbane Australia, but previously worked for 12 ½ years in Kenya, first as SU field staff in the coastal city of Mombasa and later as Children’s Ministries Coordinator for SU Africa with its diverse ministries (from children’s camps and clubs, to work amongst street children, child soldiers and refugee families, and a biblically-based AIDS education program in schools).

Workshop Archive

This section is dedicated to the following workshop presenters.
We thank them for their passion, experience and generosity.

2017

Breakout Session A

Recruiting leaders is not just about running programs!

It is also, and importantly, about building people – investing in your young leaders to help them realise their potential and gifting for their service for the Kingdom. Come and explore key strategies for discipling your team and growing strong leaders.

Conversation: A little speaking/AV input then a facilitated discussion, perhaps in cycles.

Steve Hodgson … Steve is married to Merridy and has two kids, Averie 4 and Oliver 2. He has been working in Youth and Young Adults ministry for over a decade and has worked with Churches of Christ NSW as the state coordinator for Youth and young Adult ministries for the past 7 years. Steve and Merridy also lead a pioneering missional church expression in Parramatta reaching out to a highly multicultural and diverse city. Steve is passionate about making disciples and seeing every follower of Jesus trained and equipped to step into their calling to participate in Gods mission in the world.

Churches and parents each have their own ideas and understandings when it comes to faith formation. How can we work together more effectively?

Whilst we rightly celebrate what happens within the ministries of our faith communities, we have largely lost sight of the biblical injunction that sees our homes as the primary place of discipling and nurture.

What would ministry look like if we truly believed this? How can we encourage this? (Sending home take-home sheets as a first and only option doesn’t count!) Who sets the agenda? The home? The church? What needs to change and how? Big ships turn slowly. Take a moment to reflect on this question, “What am I doing to help parents nurture spiritual formation in their children?” Bring your ideas and your questions and join the conversation …

Conversation: A little speaking/AV input then a facilitated discussion, perhaps in cycles. Minimum 7

David Buxton … David is married to Kate with five children aged 4 to 14. He has been on staff at CoroUniting church in the Adelaide Hills for 10 years where he serves as Children & Families Pastor. He is passionate about seeing churches and homes partner together effectively and is always looking for new and helpful ways in which this bond can be strengthened. He loves good coffee, being with his family, making and fixing things and going camping.

What is the biblical role of a grandparent?
Can you summarize this in a sentence or even a word? Every grandparent is given a God-ordained role that is not interchangeable with any other member of the family. Come to this seminar to gain a laser-like focus on what a grandparent’s role is as well as learn twelve responsibilities grandparents are given by God from the Bible. The content of this seminar is the culmination of research from a Ph.D dissertation, but don’t worry, it will not be overly academic in presentation. If you are not a grandparent, this seminar will prove valuable as it will equip you to provide a clear and compelling vision to share with grandparents in your context.

Note: This session will be via Skype from the US

Josh Mulvihill (via Skype) … (@DrJoshMulvihill) is the Pastor to Children and Families at Grace Church, Minnesota and the Director of Resources for The Legacy Coalition. Josh has a PhD from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Josh is the author of Biblical Grandparenting and Preparing Children for Marriage. He is married to Jen and they have five children.

It’s time to relearn the lost art of conversation!

How do you have a respectful conversation with someone who views are diametrically opposed to yours? e.g. gender equality, same sex attraction, right/ left wing political views, etc what are some of the principles of engaging in the conversation. Let’s not get bogged down in a particular topic. Let’s keep it broad. Empathy and Respect are two platform pieces from which to launch.
Conversation: A little speaking/AV input then a facilitated discussion, perhaps in cycles. Minimum 10

Karina Kreminski … Karina is a Lecturer in Missional Studies. Before that she was the Senior Pastor of Community Life Church Cherrybrook and was ordained in 2002. She ministered there for 13 years. Karina has completed her doctorate in missional studies focusing on the formation of a missional church and missional Spirituality. She has also been involved in denominational leadership serving on the various councils and the vision committee. Karina blogs regularly for Missio Alliance and also preaches at churches, conferences and events. She also enjoys mentoring leaders for ministry. Karina belongs to a church in the inner city of Sydney and is in the early stages of planting a church there. Her book on urban spirituality will be out late 2017

13 Empowering children to have a voice in their family, church and globally

A conversation to explore empowerment strategies for children.

Explore … helping children to discover more about issues, becoming well informed on topics of concern to them; strategizing for meaningful expressions of concern; and safely expressing or acting upon them.

God has made it clear that His purposes for children are of immense Kingdom value, teaching, discipling, training and empowering them are all very important to the health and growth of the body of Christ. God promises in Isaiah 59:21 that children will have His Spirit and speak His truth, and Jesus affirms that children (not merely descendants) have that promise and role in Matthew 21:16. So children do need to be heard by others – in their own families; in their church families; in the wider world. As voices praising God, as voices reflecting or critiquing culture, as questioners, as voices who have received His Spirit; who may carry his answers. How can we help children to investigate today’s issues & see them through Jesus’ eyes? How can we empower them to respond in a way appropriate for them in their walk with Jesus? To join with God in what He is doing to bring Him glory?

Conversation: A little speaking/AV input then a facilitated discussion, perhaps in cycles. No minimum.

Libby Horton & Jane Dixon … Jane & Libby work for creative children’s ministry organisation Logosdor. Based in Sydney but working globally has meant Jane & Libby have helped produce resources, run training and writer’s workshops with the goal to see local children’s ministry leaders trained & equipped with useful resources written by them for their context. The team are also involved in helping global movements including the International Sports Coalition (ISC) and the Global Children’s Forum (GCF) producing resources, coordinating language translations and being part of the leadership team. Curriculum writing, video production, curation of resources, empowering locals and dreaming up new ideas for ministry are just some of what they do. Partnership with others has produced the following: www.max7.org … www.kidsgames.com … www.readysetgo.ec … www.aimlower.com … www.kidshubs.com … www.kidshubtv.com

Breakout Session B

How do you use the program and move beyond the program to help young lives connect with the creator of the universe? How do we lead children into genuine encounters with Jesus? What does this look like? Our challenge is to get out of the way and to create spaces where this vital connection can happen.
Conversation: A little speaking/AV input then a facilitated discussion, perhaps in cycles. No minimum

Rachel Sangster … Rachel is the Director of Unlimited Children’s Ministry Trust in Christchurch NZ. She mentors, encourages and resources leaders. She loves to see all ages connecting with God together and growing together … www.unlimited.org.nz

Blessings were a consistent and significant part of the history of God’s people as recorded in our Scriptures. Some current curriculum resource providers have incorporated this custom into their program materials. What could this look like in your context. Come and explore the possibilities and be inspired by the stories of others.
Conversation: A little speaking/AV input then a facilitated discussion, perhaps in cycles. No minimum

Brent Allred … Brent is Pastor to Children and Families at Mooroolbark Baptist Church in Melbourne. He has been involved in children and families ministry for over 25 years, including local church ministry, Scripture Union and missions. He is married to Glenda and has three adult children and seven grandchildren. He loves spending time with his family and enjoys travel, coffee, books and, most recently, birding.

Within the restraints of time and the limitations of our role statements, it is easy to default to a position of evaluating our ministry based on the events we run on the weekend and during the week. What does faith formation look like during the other days of the week? How are your children benefiting from the wisdom of the different generations in your church family? How many shared generational experiences form part of your discipling strategy? How am I providing a ‘village’ for my children and helping parents to provide the same experiences?

Tammy Tolman … Tammy has been leading ministry with children for close to 30 years. Tammy is invited to speak around the globe as well as here in Australia. Tammy is passionate about seeing the generations connect and encourage faith in one another and has been a key leader in the Here to Stay movement in Australia. Tammy has been instrumental in birthing an intergenerational faith community south of Sydney, that seeks to do life together across the ages, to serve and grow more like Him in their everyday.

Why do we need to re-imagine church and how can we do that for our secular nation? This workshop shares lots of stories of churches trying new ways of being church in different (but similar) contexts. Together we explore opportunities for worshiping with all ages in fresh ways. We will also share research and learnings from the Fresh Expressions movement and each other as we explore how to be “church” together.

Seminar/Conversation: A little speaking/AV video clip input with some facilitated discussion, perhaps in cycles. No minimum

Jill Kayser … is the national leader of Kids Friendly, the children’s ministry for the Presbyterian Church of Aoteroa New Zealand. Jill has a real passion of including all ages in every aspect of the faith community. She is also a keen follower of the Fresh Expressions movement and an advocate and facilitator for churches wanting to try new ways of being church for the 21st century.

Breakout Session C

Thinking a little further about creating safe spaces.

While we have been busy filling in forms and checklists to implement Child Safe Standards, the question needs to be asked have we been missing something? Join a panel of people working to create safe churches as we explore some ideas around the underlying principles, using some common sense and giving children a voice.

Collaboration: A little speaking/AV input and then a sharing of ideas and resources or the workshopping of an idea. Minimum 12

Forum … Louise Bartlett, Jonathan Bradford, Daron Pratt and Sonia Jeffery … working in roles helping churches implement best practice child safe environments.

We apologise for the withdrawal of this breakout session topic.

One in seven 4-17 year olds (14%) were assessed as having mental health disorders in 2013. 20% of the 4000+ calls to KidsHelpLine each week were about mental health concerns in 2015. How do we deal with and cope with the presenting issues from these statistics in our children? Let’s explore together some of the implications together including the hidden and not so hidden affects of anxiety in chidlren. Awareness of the stats is one thing … So what do I do?? Practical steps to help a child … naming & containing emotions …
Conversation: A little speaking/AV input then a facilitated discussion, perhaps in cycles. Minimum 5

Meikle Bennett … Meikle is a mum, wife, grandmother, Pastor and teacher. Meikle has worked with kids in many context for over 30 years. She is passionate about seeing broken kids healed and able to reach their God given potential by owning their identity and outworking their gifts. The way kids think about themselves dictates the choices the make. Meikle has a wealth of experience working with kids with behavioural and emotional disorders and is keen to share her knowledge and experience. Meikle is a Director of Southern Cross Kids Camps and is currently on staff at Urban Life Church Menai as the Children and Community Pastor.

How do we help children and families navigate a safe space in a digital world. With more and more children carrying a smart phone, how do we help them to set their own agreed boundaries and how do we help families to journey with them into this space? Come and explore the vital role a Digital Family Covenant can have in a home context.
Seminar: Mainly speaking/AV input from the speaker with a question time &/or some discussion. Minimum 5

James & Simone Boswell … James & Simone have been married 26 years and have six children. The eldest three are now adults, studying at university, with one daughter married and one son living interstate. The youngest three are in high school.
James has worked in IT for more than 30 years, as a lecturer in computer systems engineering, hardware designer, software developer, researcher, inventor, architect, and IT strategist. He has worked for a range of organisations including “Young and Well CRC” who were exploring the role of technology in relation to youth mental health.
Simone has a bachelor of Music Education and worked as a High School music teacher for eight years, before choosing to be at home full time with the children. She has homeschooled our six children for most of their school years, with the oldest ones going to school for years 11 & 12 (HSC). Simone still teaches piano students which she has been doing for thirty years, and is currently teaching as a casual at local Christian schools.
Simone has run Playgroups when the kids were little, and for ten years GEMs (Godly Encouragement for Mums). She is currently a Scripture teacher, Girls Brigade Leader, and plays piano at a church plant for international students. For many years she was the National Contact Mum co-ordinator for Growing Families Australia and still spends a good deal of time helping young mothers with their newborn babies.
Simone is the author of Calm Baby Confident Mum, a practical guide to managing your baby.
James is a worship leader at Figtree Anglican Church, and is part of the leadership of the creative arts ministry team. He also co-ordinates the church’s Faithful Daily Read blog.
Together they still run parenting classes and speak at conferences and churches about many parenting topics, including Cyber Parenting.
websites: cyberparentingbok.com, calmbabyconfidentmum.com

So your a Family Ministry Worker. That’s rather exclusive, isn’t it? What about the single people in your church family? While a biblical understanding of the word ‘family’ clearly reveals that rather than being exclusive, it is completely inclusive, this example highlights the challenge of using words to communicate. So many of the words that we use every day in our ministry talk can easily be misunderstood because we deal with people of differing perspectives.

How do we communicate in a way where words do not become a barrier to understanding and inclusion? What a great conversation! “As a Family Minister, I run a Children’s Church program every Sunday as part of our church mission, helping to make disciples.” …. any loaded words in there?

Tammy Tolman … Tammy Tolman has been leading ministry with children for close to 30 years. Tammy is invited to speak around the globe as well as here in Australia. Tammy is passionate about seeing the generations connect and encourage faith in one another and has been a key leader in the Here to Stay movement in Australia. Tammy has been instrumental in birthing an intergenerational faith community south of Sydney, that seeks to do life together across the ages, to serve and grow more like Him in their everyday.

This topic is in the media every week, in some form or another. This world intersects with the world of your children. There are strongly held views within the Christian spectrum on this matter. While debates may rage, children and families are trying to find their understanding on this and appropriate it into their day to day lives. This is not an easy topic with which to engage but as a group of adults, passionate about following Jesus, we want to create a space for an open discussion.

This is about learning from others’ perspectives … not be persuaded in that space … but to be influenced to think, read and pray further about the topic, believing what we believe for even deeper reasons or perhaps even changing our stance. It is about being honest about your own understanding and questions. It is about listening, with empathy and respect, to each other and to God.

Terry Williams … Terry trained and worked as a teacher in primary and secondary schools before joining the staff team of Scripture Union Queensland, Australia, where he has worked for 29 years as a specialist in children’s ministry. In 2008 Terry divided his time to join the SU International staff team in a part time capacity where part of his role is to serve on a small global training team helping to multiply trainers across the world. Terry is married to Margaret and they have three adult children and four grandchildren.

2015

Workshop A

• A1  Implementing 10 pillars of Here2Stay in your local faith community … Tammy Tolman
The Discipleship journey is meant to be lifelong and healthy.
We are meant to do this in community with each other. As leaders, how can we create environments in the local faith community where we challenge our families and communities members (children and adults together) to walk together, grow together, worship together and learn together.
[Conversation: A little speaking/AV input then a facilitated discussion, perhaps in cycles.] [Minimum of 3 to proceed]
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• A2  Have your say! Round #1 … Phil Day & Sean Renwick

We video YOU presenting a TED-style talk!

We are taking the opportunity to collect as many 7 minute videos with you, as a leader of leaders, talking about an aspect of ministry or mission that you are already passionately engaged with. We have contracted Sean to bring along all the equipment required to help us to do this. Come and present OR choose this elective to come and engage with a pot-luck smorgasbord of passionate speakers. Time will be given between each presenter to engage in a facilitated discussion. See further notes about this in Round #2 below. (A minimum 3 speakers is needed for this workshop to proceed.)
[Conversation: Cycles of speaking input (video) with a short facilitated discussion on each topic raised.] [Minimum of 3 presenters to proceed]
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• A3  Nurturing a spirit of interculturalism in children’s ministry … Dave Csinos
Let’s value diversity and cultivate relationships across lines of difference.
We live and minister at a time of incredible cultural diversity. But too often this diversity is not represented in congregations and children’s ministry initiatives. In this workshop, participants will imagine how children’s and family ministry can become a catalyst for nurturing a spirit of intercultural respect and mutuality among young people. Whether teaching a Sunday school class of only a few kids or leading a children’s program that’s bursting at the seams, whether ministering at a church that’s monocultural or one that’s incredibly diverse, participants will be challenged and inspired to engage in thoughtful ministry that helps children value diversity and cultivate relationships across lines of difference.
[Conversation: A little speaking/AV input then a facilitated discussion, perhaps in cycles.] [Minimum of 5 to proceed]
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• A4  Building and maintaining a healthy ministry team … Jackie Walz
What are the 10 top ten tips for recruiting ministry workers to your team & keeping them?
Learning how to identify potential people, to tap into their ability and attract them to serve is pivotal if you desire to grow a vibrant & thriving ministry. In fact this is an essential skill for every leader to take hold of!I Learn the keys to building and maintaining a healthy team of volunteers who want to serve shoulder to shoulder in your ministry.
Jackie will be offering her top ten tips from over 30 years experience, for drawing in volunteers and strategically building a team ministry.
[Conversation: A little speaking/AV input then a facilitated discussion, perhaps in cycles.] [Minimum of 5 to proceed]
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• A5  Mentors to Go … Darren Pratt
Is it really the silver bullet?
Mentoring of children has been identified in recent research as possibly the silver bullet when it comes to raising children of faith and keeping them in the body of faith as they grow and mature. It is also the greatest need of chiksreb today. What does this look like in the lives of the children in your sphere of influence. this presentation will examine the recent research on spiritual mentoring and we will then discuss ways of making this practical in the church/home/school contexts.
[Collaboration: A little speaking/AV input and then a sharing of ideas and resources or the workshopping of an idea] [Minimum of 10 to proceed]
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• A6  Multi/Cross/Inter-generational Faith – sorting it out! … Chris Barnett
Exploring and clarifying the terms and ideas of faithing together
In the past decade the notion of integrating age groups for a healthier approach to being a faith community has blossomed. Along with an explosion of thinking and resources, a plethora of terms and labels have emerged –
All-age, Multi-age, Multi-generational, Cross-generational, Inter-generational – and these have been applied to ‘worship’, ‘faith-formation’, ‘discipleship’.
Are we all talking about the same thing? Not exactly – there are a range of different ideas and methods represented, that share some common thinking.
This workshop will help to sort through the terms and ideas, will offer some frameworks to help us locate where our ministry and mission is heading. It aims to help leaders and advocates express more clearly to others the key distinctives, both strengths and weaknesses of how the community is operating, and ultimately, listen for God’s next word in calling us forward.
[Conversation: A little speaking/AV input then a facilitated discussion, perhaps in cycles.] [Minimum of 2 to proceed]

Workshop B

• B1  Balance with passion on the ministry tightrope … Sally Smith
Explore factors influencing your longterm vitality and effectiveness in ministry.
Are you passionate about what you’re doing but secretly wonder how if you can keep up the pace? Is your enthusiasm for God’s work in danger of waning? This workshop explores keeping a balance, lasting the distance, maintaining your spiritual, emotional, physical health, avoiding burnout. In the spirit of modelling what we want to teach, it will be interactive with activities, sharing, and space for reflection.
[Collaboration: A little speaking/AV input and then a sharing of ideas and resources or the workshopping of an idea.] [Minimum of 2 to proceed]
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• B2  Have your say! Round #2 … Phil Day & Sean Renwick

We video YOU presenting a TED-style talk!

Another round of 7 minute videos to to add to our collection of leaders of leaders talking about their passion or an idea that excites them. (See Round #1 notes above.) Come and present OR listen and participate in discussion. Learn how to present a TED talk along the way. Engage in this vision of presenting your idea in order to share it widely with others. (A minimum 3 speakers is needed for this workshop to proceed.
[Conversation: Cycles of speaking input (videod) with a short facilitated discussion on each topic raised.] [Minimum of 3 presenters to proceed]

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• B3  Blended families … Jo (Joan) Koskela
Wisdom from a different perspective
Even though this whole subject is huge in itself there are some basic principles which in general will hold true for nearly every situation. Blended families are now making up a large proportion of our society so this issue cannot go un-addressed when we are talking about parenting our children today. There is a need to be very sure that all involved have worked through the grief of ending the first marriage before contemplating another, or overreactions will create insurmountable mountains out of molehills. Other’s that know us can often judge more objectively than we can. We must remember that when we marry a single parent we are also marrying their dependent children as well. Relationships are difficult enough but the dynamics, both conscious and subconscious with blended families makes it twice as difficult to navigate. Jo teaches from first hand experience as well as from the invaluable concepts of the Living Wisdom Manual for Life.
[Seminar: Mainly speaking/AV input from the speaker with a question time &/or some discussion.] [Minimum of 2 to proceed]
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• B4  Men, women, girls, boys … and Jesus … Beth Barnett
Negotiating gender issues in children & families ministry
Gender is a hot topic in lots of areas of society, including the church. We hear about the ‘feminisation’ or the church, the battle ground between complementarian and egalitarian models rages on, females are over represented among children and families pastors, but underrepresented among the ordained generally. In children and families ministry the topic of gender is relevant in our decisions about programming, in learning styles, in safety and care/code of conduct issues, in parenting groups, in responding to the surrounding culture, in sexualisation of children and the key roles of modelling and mentoring.
This workshop will host a facilitated conversation opening and exploring the gender issue matrix for children and families ministries with respect to the range of theological perspectives we work among across many denominations and states. The intention is to learn and be strengthened by one another in a robust and honest, but gentle and healing conversation.
[Conversation: A little speaking/AV input then a facilitated discussion, perhaps in cycles.] [Minimum of 2 to proceed]
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• B5  Loving kids with special needs at Church … Annie Hewetson
Kid’s come in all shapes and sizes, and they all have special needs!
But how do we make church a loving place for kids with “identified” or “diagnosed” special needs.
Join us to discuss how we can most effectively engage and support these kids and their families in our programs.
[Collaboration: A little speaking/AV input and then a sharing of ideas and resources or the workshopping of an idea] [Minimum of 3 to proceed]
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• B6  Children and grief … David Goodwin
Helping children in times of change or loss.
Christians have not been encouraged to grieve, many have never seen a dead body and death is still a subject to be avoided.  Tears are perceived to be a sign that the person is lacking in faith.  The Bible does not teach it is wrong to grieve or to weep, quite the reverse.  The Bible gives many examples of weeping and mourning over death of a loved one.  Childhood is a time of great change due to normal and abnormal events.   In this workshop we talk about how to recognise symptoms of grief and how to help children through difficult times in their life.
[Seminar: Mainly speaking/AV input from the speaker with a question time &/or some discussion.] [Minimum of 5 to proceed]

2013

Workshop A

• A1  Creating environments where the generations can collide … Tammy Tolman
Discover the benefits and the hard work, the joys and the heartache of working, playing, praying, worshipping, learning, celebrating and growing together.
We need to be open to re-think what it means to truly do life together. When Jesus said go and make disciples, he had modelled for three years how this was to be done. He lived with, ate with, laughed with, taught and stretched his disciples very intentially during the time of his ministry. What could that look like in 2013, in Australia, today ? Come to this workshop open to re-think what that might mean for your church community today. Einstein said the definition of insanity is to do the same thing again and expect a different result. If we are really serious about the transformation of this next generation we need to be open to looking at discipleship and church life through a different lens.
[Seminar: Mainly speaking/AV input from the speaker with a question time &/or some discussion.]

• A2  Child Theology: Enriching our thinking, not dumbing us down … Beth Barnett
“If you can’t preach it to a 9 year old with cancer … it’s probably not good theology”
Is life without Jesus really like a donut? Is the Cross really like a bridge?
Many of our classic understandings of theology have been developed by adults for adults, living in an exclusivley adult world, ignoring the richness and nuances that thinking about all of life, including childhood, can bring. Further to this, adults have been prone to take the limited theologies of other adults and then simplify them again into a cliche or a gimmick in order to communicate with young people and children.
Jesus, on the other hand, taught in vivid but complex images to all ages, with children in the midst of his crowds and his disciples.
In this workshop we’ll examine some of the classic teachings that have been dumbed down for adults, and then passed on to children – like the bridge illustration, the Trinity, the atonement, or suffering.
Following Jesus’ example, the ‘Child Theology’ movement recognises that doing our theological thinking with children in view and even in the conversation is ‘best practice, both for ourselves, our children and our theology! Children in our midst provoke us to rethink our theology and doctrine, not to make it ‘simpler’ but to find clearer, finer, truer words and images for our faith.
Bring a theological concept that you find either difficult to understand yourself, or to explain to children.
We will workshop a range of tools and resources for thinking, speaking and imaging our faith clearly and richly for all ages and faith stages.
[Conversation: A little speaking/AV input then a facilitated discussion, perhaps in cycles.]

• A3 Courageous Conversations … Yvette Wynne
A great program also means great connections with the mums and dads.
Often we have been told how to create an environment, in order to present people with the gospel message. In our Aussie culture and Y-generation talking about faith can raise some hackles. Instead, why don’t we just get alongside people? Get to know them, where they are at, emotionally, spiritually, by asking questions.  Let’s start the conversations that can be destiny changing by being clever as serpents and gentle as doves.
[Conversation: A little speaking/AV input then a facilitated discussion, perhaps in cycles.]

• A4  Under the Microscope – The Ethos of Leadership … Andrew Ball
Would someone help me learn to be real without compromise!
There are so many pressures on leaders to perform to so many expectations. Our church world is full of pragmatic approaches or methods for leadership. But what if you were to simply model leadership from who you are called to “be”. Real leaders don’t pretend, don’t perform and don’t fudge – they simply function from a genuine foundation. Our nation has quite rightly critiqued the church, and we have been found wanting. A new era is emerging, where leaders must embody what it means to be a follower of Jesus for the cause of His kingdom. The real question is are you up for that?
[Conversation: A little speaking/AV input then a facilitated discussion, perhaps in cycles.]

• A5  Covered with the dust of Jesus’ feet … Jenny Cowley
Discipling children to be like Jesus.
Disciples of Jesus spent years following in the dust of the feet of their master. Most of the time our focus is on preparing for the week to come. Take the time to consider what it means to disciple children, preparing them for the years to come. An opportunity to share your own ideas.
[Collaboration: A little speaking/AV input and then a sharing of ideas and resources or the workshopping of an idea]

• A6  Connecting with and Protecting our CyberKids … Terry Williams
The place of ‘FaceMail’ in a ‘FaceBook’ world.
We live in a digital age with a TGIF generation (Twitter, Google, iDevice, FaceBook) that is consumed with communication. How do we journey with our cyberkids, helping them to enjoy the benefits while helping them to be protected from the insidious side of cyberspace? Come and explore practical tips for cyber-users, parents, schools, churches and the community.
[Seminar: Mainly speaking/AV input from the speaker with a question time &/or some discussion.]

• A7  Helping Children become World-Changers! … Susy Lee
How to build a Godly self-identity
Young children can be astoundingly compassionate and generous, but if they are not given opportunities to act on this, their self-image becomes shaped by other factors. How can we help kids define themselves as advocates, rather than have their identities constructed by advertising? We’ll consider the responsibility that comes with privilege, but also some practical resources available to help us provide response options.
[Conversation: A little speaking/AV input then a facilitated discussion, perhaps in cycles.]

Workshop B

• B1  Surviving and Thriving in Ministry … Terry Williams
We hope to see you around at these conferences for decades to come!!
Paul’s urging to Timothy, “that we may live peaceful and quiet lives” is a constant challenge in our frenetic, modern world. How do we maintain balance in our lives as we cope with the demands of ministry so as to maintain our effectiveness for the mission to which God has called us?
Our area of ministry needs the benefits of wisdom and learning of those who have been there and done that! We will be exploring topics such as stress management and self care that will maximise your effectiveness for ministry while protecting you from the scent of smoke form the ‘burn-out’ fires. After 28 years in full time ministry with children and families some principles have come into clearer focus and have a higher priority.
[Seminar: Mainly speaking/AV input from the speaker with a question time &/or some discussion.]

• B2  Theologies of Childhood … Beth Barnett
How God-Jesus-The-Bible-Christians-Love sees children/childhood.
In Child Theology (above workshop) we ask, ‘what does the child in our midst reveal to us about God and the Kingdom, who we are and what God calls us to?’ In Theologies of Childhood, we turn the question around and ask ‘What does the Bible and Christian doctrine or thought reveal to us about children and childhood?
Our world presents many theories and models of who and what children and childhood should be – developmental milestones, child prodigies, accelerated, gifted, free play, medicalised, discovery learning, Naplan standardised results, nuclear families, blended families, safety and care, child protection, bubble wrapped, self directed, growing up fast, highly educated, staying in school, gender stereo-types…the list of ‘shoulds’ for childhood goes on and on.
Together we explore the ways the Bible can help us make sense of these different agendas for children, and find a way forward pursuing the ways of Jesus in all kinds of childhoods.
[Seminar: Mainly speaking/AV input from the speaker with a question time &/or some discussion.]

• B3  Welcoming Children to Worship God … Judyth Roberts
Exploring the history and possibilities of worship with children.
The Child Theology movement has been asking “What does it look like to put a child in the midst, as Jesus did?” When we do this with worship, it might have interesting outcomes. How do we define worship? This workshop will explore how the Christian community has welcomed children over 2000 years and the recent history of excluding children from community worship.
What are the implications of this for children and their spiritual growth? What are the implications for adults and their spiritual growth? What does the Bible show us about children and worship? Can we do things differently in ways that value people of all ages and encourage age-inclusive faith practices and worship?
[Conversation: A little speaking/AV input then a facilitated discussion, perhaps in cycles.]

• B4  When our Christian worldview meets our context … Susy Lee
Teaching contentment in a world obsessed with happiness.
Sometimes we spend our time trying to make current systems work, rather than asking what Biblical environment we’re supposed to be founding our work on.
As a case study, we’ll consider the Biblical theme of ‘Enough’ in the context of consumerism.
[Seminar: Mainly speaking/AV input from the speaker with a question time &/or some discussion.]

• B5  The Bigger View … Julie Westlake
Fired Up and Fuelled for Ministry.
Children and family ministry is the most strategic and important ministry that exists. Every church needs to give it top priority. This seminar is about why we value children and why families are so important. It is about why we need to keep our passion strong and our vision authentic, relevant and dynamic.
We are inspired by and informed through all the excellent research and writings on spiritual formation, child theology, advocacy and mission. How do we absorb the details and complexities and form a vision that is simple enough to be communicated easily, yet deep enough to keep drivng us and motivating us?
We may not believe that we are able to change the world, but with our lives in step with God’s call, we can impact and improve the thinking and practices of many children and families.
[Seminar: Mainly speaking/AV input from the speaker with a question time &/or some discussion.]

• B6  Faith-incubating Homes … Mary Jo Zwar
In recent generations, many churches have overlooked the role of parents in passing on faith. Relying entirely on church programs and expert personnel to do this job has been a mistake. We are now faced with handing back the mantle to parents who are reluctant and ill prepared. Old models have been lost and no longer seem appropriate. What can churches do to help parents create faith-incubating homes?
In this workshop we will share experiences and consider some possible strategies and look at some resources.
[Conversation: A little speaking/AV input then a facilitated discussion, perhaps in cycles.]

• B7  Lost in Transition – Or Not … David Goodwin
Transitioning Children to youth; youth to young adults.
It is not an easy thing for one generation to pass on their faith or values to the next generation. It would make church life and the task of being a parent so much easier if it were. Nor are there any guarantees that what may work in one church will work equally well in another. There are just too many factors involved. This workshop discusses the major findings of research into why as many as 50% of children raised in Christian families drop out of church during their transition from primary school to high school, or from children’s ministries to adult church. It brings seven recommendations to help churches assist their pre and early adolescents remain connected to their church. It is based on research David has just completed for his M.Min.
[Seminar: Mainly speaking/AV input from the speaker with a question time &/or some discussion.]