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 ConversationsYvette 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 2013

• 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 GodJudyth 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.]