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Classroom Training

Topics include: Teacher training; Lesson preparation; Age-specific ministry from nursery to youth; Small group leading; Missions; Worship
Sessions(s) Title / Presenter / Description
Elementary Lesson Preparation and Presentation
Liz Stein
Teaching children is a privilege from God. Teaching them well is dependent on heart preparation, studying the lesson beforehand, and effective presentation. In this seminar you will discover new ideas to organize your preparation, structure your teaching time, and encourage student interaction and understanding. Both new and seasoned teachers and volunteers will benefit from this seminar.
God-Centered Worship
Pam Grano
This seminar explores the biblical foundations for worshiping “in spirit and in truth”, which involves both a child's head and heart. You will be invited to participate as we address the following topics related to leading children in worship: 1) Structuring and planning age-appropriate worship times (including song selection); 2) Using instruments and movement; 3) Encouraging leadership in children. This seminar is geared for those working with preschool through elementary-aged children.
Laying Foundations in the Nursery for Infants and Toddlers to Know a Holy God
Joyce Heinrich
This seminar will teach you the essentials of a nursery and toddler ministry that ensures biblical truth is communicated, even to very young children. You will be equipped to begin a nursery and toddler ministry that is Christ-centered and provides a foundation of truth on which our children can securely stand.
D-03 Leading Students to Feast on God's Word
Jon Nowlin
Oh, that we as parents and youth leaders—along with the students we shepherd—would delight in the law of the Lord and meditate on it day and night! Come, increase your appetite for the Word, and learn how to help young people take in its rich nourishment. You will develop a vision along with action steps so that, by God's grace, our time in the Word will be increasingly grounded in biblical doctrine, propelled by prayer, marked by a right handling of the Scriptures, and aimed at seeing and savoring the person and Gospel of Jesus Christ, culminating in humble reception of truth and real-life application.
Loving like Jesus: Children with Special Needs in the Classroom
Mary Horning
Many children's ministry teams are seeing an increase in the enrollment of students with special needs. Are you ready and equipped to include these children? Christ’s example teaches us to move toward those who are hurting with a desire to love them. We will explore how this applies to children with special needs and look at the challenges, approaches and joys of loving like Jesus.
B-04 Missions in the Classroom: Building Hearts that Love God's Work Among the Nations
Julie Varno
God is always at work calling a people to Himself. It is an exciting work and it is our joy as believers to be a part of it. In this seminar, you will learn practical, creative, and compelling ways to share what God is doing in the world with the students in your classroom, from preschool to high school.
Preschool Lesson Preparation and Presentation
Caroline Jones
Teaching preschoolers in a unique privilege and sometimes a challenge! Can these little ones really understand deep truth and grasp what God is saying in his Word? The answer is a heartfelt "yes", but your preparation for teaching them is vital. If you prepare your heart faithfully and trust God to give you the words to speak, you will be blessed beyond belief. This seminar will teach you techniques for your personal preparation and give you fresh ideas for teaching the Bible to little ones.
Reaching the Heart: The Importance of Application
Sally Michael
Teaching the Bible to children goes beyond imparting knowledge to leading children to “taste and see that the LORD is good!” How can we teach in such a way that children understand how to act on the Word of God? This seminar will emphasize practical strategies for reaching the heart when teaching children. Though only God can open blind eyes and soften hard hearts, we can be His means of grace to the children that we teach so that they might say with Job, “I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you.” (Job 42:5)
Teaching the Whole Counsel of God
Jill Nelson
What is the "whole counsel of God" and how can we be sure to include it in our children's spiritual education? This seminar will identify six key elements of the whole counsel of God and suggest ways that you can intentionally and practically incorporate these elements into your children's ministry.
What's New About All-New Curriculum from CDG?
Brian Eaton
This seminar will be your first opportunity to learn about All-New curriculum from Children Desiring God. Although the curriculum still includes deep biblical truth, practical teaching, and essential application, we've taken extra steps to better equip teachers, engage students and impact families. You'll receive an overview of the updated components: teacher helps, revised lessons, stunning full-color visuals, targeted Bible skills development in student workbooks and activities, and Growing in Faith Together (GIFT) pages.
Youth Lesson Preparation and Presentation
Kevin Dau
Using the CDG curriculum, Teach Me Your Way as a model, this seminar will explain how to prepare to teach, structure your teaching time, prepare your small group leaders, and encourage student understanding and personal application. Special attention will be paid to the student journal, which is an integral part of teaching the curriculum. Although it is primarily for those who teach young people, elements will be included that are beneficial for all those who assist in youth classrooms. A question and answer time will follow.

Conference Theme

Topics include: Holiness; The fear of the Lord; Purity
Sessions(s) Title / Presenter / Description
God and His Creation: His Holiness and Splendor Displayed in Disability
John Knight
Sometimes when we refer to God as being holy, we think of him as being entirely other than we are in his perfection. People with disabilities are also seen as ‘other than’ those who live without disabilities, but usually in negative, even demeaning, ways. What if God created those with disabilities to help the church understand more about who he is in his splendor and holiness? What if God’s purposes in disability were more than just the church serving the supposedly ‘weaker member’ but also being served? Through Biblical texts and application in the local church, we will explore God’s design in his creation with disabilities, especially those with cognitive disabilities, to magnify him in his holiness and provide help to his church.
Holiness is for Hard Times: How the Holiness of Christ Sustains Children and Youth Workers over the Long Haul
Kempton Turner
How did God sustain His servant, Isaiah, in the midst of one of the hardest and darkest times in history? What did God do to prepare him for years of faithful ministry, although fruitfulness in ministry would be almost non-existent? Answer? God unveiled to him the highness and holiness of Jesus Christ! Whether you feel it or not, you too are ministering in hard, dark times. In this seminar you will gain a fresh vision of Christ from Isaiah 6 to strengthen and equip you to faithfully minister to children and youth—for your joy!—regardless of the results.
D-08 How Can a Young Person Keep Their Way Pure? Helps for Encouraging Teens in Godliness
Ian Fry
It's never been harder growing up as a young believer. Transitioning from the influences of a godly home or church environment into adulthood in a hostile world is both demanding and often scary for the teen. Pressures abound whether from friends, media, or schooling. This seminar will identify some of those pressures and provide practical, biblical helps for all involved with adolescents, whether parents or youth pastors.
Teaching Children the Fear of the Lord
Sally Michael
Psalm 111:10 says "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom". But what is the fear of the Lord? Why is it so important? Can it be taught to children and youth and if so, how? This seminar will include a survey of the Scriptures to better understand the fear of the Lord and what you can do to encourage the children you teach to fear the Lord.
Training Children Toward Holiness
Jill Nelson
God commands us to be holy. Yet apart from Christ's redeeming work, and the Holy Spirit's sanctifying power, this is an impossible command. So how can we possibly "train up" our children—even children not yet saved—toward holy living? This seminar will carefully explore our responsibility in presenting our children with the goodness of God's moral commands with a view toward Gospel-empowered holiness.


Topics include: Helping parents shepherd their children spiritually; Bible memory; Church and home partnership; Events and programs
Sessions(s) Title / Presenter / Description
By Design: Youth Ministry in the Local Church
Jon Nowlin
Is there a biblical foundation for doing youth ministry in the local church? How has God designed the church and the home to function in the discipleship of the next generation? What seems to be lacking for many in the present church/home youth ministry discussion is a biblically robust theology of the church. This seminar is a call for the church to act in accordance with biblical teaching, holding their ministry up to the mirror of God's word in order to move their people closer to God's design for discipleship. The purpose of this seminar is to help parents, youth leaders, and pastors explore key Scriptures on this issue, and wrestle with their implications. It will also provide practical ideas for church-home partnership in ministry to young people.
Involving Parents in the Classroom
Connie Oman
While the primary responsibility of nurturing the faith of children rests on believing parents, the church should come alongside them to support them in their role. How do we inform parents about classroom ministry? This seminar will equip you with practical ideas of how to partner with parents and involve them in the classroom.
Linking Church and Home for Discipleship
David Michael
One of the greatest challenges of being a church, and not simply a club, is doing the kind of shepherding mentioned in Acts 20:28, and the kind of discipling mentioned in Matthew 28:20, Colossians 1:28, and 2 Timothy 2:2. Watching over all the sheep and building disciples is what leaders are accountable for to the Lord (Hebrews 13:17). Has the church missed a tremendous asset for discipleship by overlooking the way God designed and “staffed” the household for discipleship? From this seminar you will glean biblical insights from Pastor David Michael with action steps to help you bring church and home together for discipleship.
Planning Truth-Saturated Events and Retreats
Kevin Dau
Church events, camps, and retreats for families, youth, and young adults can be saturated by Gospel truth, involve parents, and seek to raise up youth into godly maturity, while also enjoying biblical fellowship and God-honoring recreation. You will discover ideas for how to transform your events or create new ones that reinforce your vision for ministry and walk away with key strategies to make it happen! Time for discussion will allow you to consider how to apply these ideas in your ministry context.
The Power of the Memorized Word in the Fight of Faith
Kathi Westlund
Believers have access to the most powerful weapon to fight the fight of faith—the Word of God. Come and learn how you can wield the sword of the Spirit through the discipline of Bible memorization. You will hear testimony of God's goodness through His Word and leave with tools to help you, your family and your church begin and sustain a Bible memory program.
C-11 Prayer: Utter Dependence upon God in Children's Ministry
Bud Burk
We can do so much in our lives and ministry without God, can’t we? Don’t we? How long would it take us to notice if the Spirit has left us on our own? Has He? We are utterly dependent upon God in every circumstance, in every relationship, and in all ministries for all good and for the ability to honor His great name in them. There is a necessary connection between our felt dependency upon God and our pursuit of God in prayer. This bleeds over into our ministries. We are either modeling before people (children and adults) how to serve with God, or without Him. Either one is always happening always. This seminar is intended to cultivate your thirst for a felt dependency upon God, and to express that thirst in prayer as you meditate upon Scripture. It is also intended to cultivate creative thought in how to lead your ministry teams and children/youth in prayer in the context of the ministry program as you corporately meditate upon Scripture. This seminar is about seeking God with all of our hearts through prayer.
Praying Steadfastly: A Call to Parents
Kathi Westlund
Family life is the perfect training ground for prayer. As God appoints the delights and difficulties of family life, so He develops in us a steady, hope-filled prayer life to equip us to minister to our families and to others. You will receive biblical encouragement, real-life inspiration, practical helps, and creative tools to renew your prayer life and to invite your children, and others, to join you in prayer.
Preparing Children for Marriage
Josh Mulvihill
Culture has contaminated our view of marriage by making it a self-serving, romance-intoxicated, Christ-neglecting thing. Pastors can help parents prepare their children for marriage. Children can learn biblical principles about marriage at an early age. Knowing God's design for marriage will help them prepare for one of the most important decisions in their lives. In this seminar we will answer the following questions: What is the culture teaching children about marriage? What is marriage according to the Bible? What is the church's role and the parent’s role in marriage training? What key biblical principles can be taught to 5-, 10-, 15-year-olds?
Preparing Youth for Marriage
Josh Mulvihill
What is your church doing to equip parents to train their young people on the topics of dating and marriage? Too often, the church ignores the subject altogether, or discusses it without including the parent in any significant way. In this seminar we will examine some things the church can do together with parents to prepare young people for the path to marriage, and for the responsibilities of marriage and family life.
Reinforcing the Vision with Events and Programs
Betty Dodge
Can a father teach his daughter lessons in biblical womanhood at a church-sponsored High Tea? Can a weekend with Dad at a men's retreat help a son embrace biblical manhood? In this seminar, you will learn how to purposefully plan events that will reinforce the vision of raising the next generation to find their joy and satisfaction in Christ, love His word, and embrace biblical roles for men and women.
B-12 Teaching Children to Know and Love God by Knowing and Loving Theology
Bruce A. Ware
Christian parents naturally want to engender in their children a real, deep, and growing knowledge of and love for God. What many do not realize is that for this to happen, those children need to learn theology! Theology, really? Yes, since theology provides them with the rich truths about God that the Spirit of God can use not only to inform their minds, but also to enflame their hearts. You'll gain insight and practical knowledge about how to work with children so that they grow to know and love God, in part, by knowing and loving theology.

Vision & Leadership

Topics include: Sharing a God-centered vision; Counseling; Curriculum overview; Practical tools to recruit and encourage ministry teams
Sessions(s) Title / Presenter / Description
The Generations in the Worship Service
Bud Burk
Consider these four questions that might stimulate your thinking concerning this session. 1) What place do you think your children are more likely to sense the fear of the LORD? 2) What place do you think your children are more likely to sense your fear of the LORD and your love for Him in Jesus? 3) What place do you think your children are more likely to see your joy, earnestness, silent attention and tears? 4) If your answer to the first three questions is the same, here is the final question: what spiritual impact would be kept from your children’s hearts if they did not consistently visit that place with you? This seminar is designed to cast a vision for the importance of children and adults participating together in corporate worship. It will also provide you with practical application to teach families how to engage together in all elements of the worship service.
Glorifying God and Loving Your Children's Ministry Team Through Affirmation
Aaron Davitch
Those of us in leadership have front row seats to watch God at work in the lives of our children’s ministry team. Are we seeing evidence of his grace? Do our teams feel loved and encouraged? We fulfill the Great Commandment to love God and love our neighbor when we see God at work in and through volunteers and celebrate it with God-centered affirmation and encouragement.This seminar will help you to grow as an encourager of your team so that those around you will be blessed in their ministry.
Great Expectations: Embracing a Massive, Christ-Exalting Vision for the Young People that You Serve
Kempton Turner
What radical, risky things are you expecting Almighty God to do in and through the young people you serve? The Living God has unimaginable plans for them!! The Bible, church history and the present day reveal that God is gloriously notorious for using young people to accomplish great things for His fame! From 8-year-old boys in the past like Josiah to 18-year-old young women in the present like Katie Davis, this has been God's magnificent way! Come, catch this God-magnifying vision and be equipped to spread it among the young people who you serve for Christ's kingdom-advancing glory!
The Importance of Sharing and Spreading the Vision
Ian & Nina Fry
This seminar lays out God's vision for the next generation. It will explore why this vision is essential for the whole church community. We intend to demonstrate that this vision is essential for (but is not limited to) those working amongst or parenting the young but is also for Senior Pastors, Elders, other ministry leaders—indeed all within the structure of church leadership, as well as the congregation at large. The negative impact of ignoring God's vision for the next generation will also be considered.
Introduction to Children Desiring God Curriculum and Sequence
Holly Urbanski
Are you puzzled by the components of CDG curriculum and how all the pieces fit together? Come to this session to learn how the CDG curriculum sequence intentionally builds towards theological understanding and spiritual growth. Explore how the curriculum methodology and components work together for greater student understanding through effective implementation. This seminar is beneficial for the entire children's ministry team and will include an overview of all the CDG curriculum: Nursery & Toddler, Preschool, Elementary, Midweek, Youth, Intergenerational, and Backyard Bible Club.
B-14 The Realities of Ministering to Youth and Children
Ian Fry
You've read the books - maybe! You've spoken to those experienced in children's ministry - definitely! But what is the reality actually like? Paul recognises that all ministry can sometimes feel overwhelming and discouraging as he reminds the church at Corinth that their labour in the Lord is not in vain. This seminar will explore the realities of working amongst children in the local church and will provide practical helps and suggestions for serving the next generation with full and glad hearts.
Recruiting and Training Volunteers
Connie Oman
How can we turn recruiting from a burden to a joy? Is recruiting a necessary part of our ministry or is it ministry in and of itself? How can we train volunteers and so inspire them to serve for years? What does the Bible say about recruiting? We will explore biblical guidelines and time-tested strategies for recruiting, retaining, and training volunteers. You will be introduced to effective tools to recruit, train, and sustain ministry volunteers.
When Children and Families Need Help: God-Centered Counseling
Luis Mendez
Biblical family counseling focuses heart and soul solutions, not simply external solutions. A gifted counselor or pastor can assist families to understand and live out God's design for healthy family living. This seminar will help you understand the fundamentals of God-centered counseling and determine when it would be beneficial for a family.