Electives


Elective A: Tuesday, 29th 4:15-5:45 p.m.

1. Building Communities of Prayer– Christian Andrews

Everyone experiences the impulse to pray. Yet faithful Christian prayer must be learned. In this elective, participants will review Scripture’s broad witness to prayer. Drawing from a full view of the practice of God’s people, steps toward faithful patterns of personal prayer will be developed. With these in hand, participants will consider how to equip young people to grow into communities of prayer.

2. Sustaining Christian Discipleship – Jeffrey Kaster 

The Lilly Endowment-initiated youth theology programs have employed a common pedagogical practice that is typically missing from most youth ministry. It is the theological engagement of youth in the Christian tradition. These programs have discovered that intellectually engaging youth within a holistic curriculum effectivelysustains Christian discipleship for the long haul. This workshop will explore how theological reflection can be incorporated into a holistic curriculum that fosters and sustains Christian discipleship.

3. Social Media as Testimony – Kenny Jahng

Social media is near-ubiquitous today. 70% of active internet users have Facebook accounts.  Don’t forget about Google+, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, etc.  Young people today don’t see social media as a new activity to learn; they view it as a part of life.  Being part megaphone and part tape recorder brings us new relationship dynamics to consider. This elective will reveal approaches that embrace the theology, holiness and testimony available for the church. Practical strategies for beginner and advanced users will be covered.

4. Jesus Told Me So: Developing Discernment Skills – Blair Bertrand

When someone tells us, “I think God called me to ….” or “I think God is leading me ….” what really happened? Did God speak to them? Did they hear, see, or feel Jesus? Young people (and if we are honest, adults as well) want to know how they can know God’s will. This seminar helps to develop much needed discernment skills grounded on a solid theological foundation.

5. And Jesus Gave Them a Story – Mike Baughman

Stories are gifts. A quick look at Facebook and Twitter reveals how much we hunger for the chance to hear and tell stories. This workshop will explore the power of more robust forms of story and storytelling in adolescent faith development, evangelism and pastoral care. Participants will walk away with practical ways to utilize, listen to and tell stories in their ministry settings, as well as a richer appreciation for the role the Bible can play in the adolescent life.


Elective B: Wednesday, 30th 1:30-3:00 p.m.

1. Children of God – Amy Peeler 

Testimony is not simply telling one’s own story, but telling how one’s story was enveloped by the great story of God. Hence, knowing the identity of God allows the believer to know their own true identity. This elective will specifically explore Scripture’s familial language for God and humanity, allowing us to explore the possibilities and challenges of confessing Father/Son/Holy Spirit and our status as children of God.

2. World-Changing 101 – David LaMotte

Pollster John Zogby reports that the current generation of young people don't just want to be successful, they want their lives to matter. They want to have a positive impact.  Drawing on his own experiences as well as stories from current and historical struggles for justice, David will lead a conversation about engaging youth on topics of social justice and prophetic ministry, and inviting them into critical examination of that holy work and their place within it. 

3. When My Story Becomes Our Story: Intergenerational Mentoring as a Form of Youth Ministry – Annie Lockhart-Gilroy 

Many youth ministries incorporate the practice of mentoring where an adult mentors a youth.  This elective argues for a mutual mentoring where youth and adults mentor each other.  This elective is based on the theological assumption that every believer, regardless of age, has the same access to the Holy Spirit and has holy insight worth sharing.  Together, we will explore ways to give youth space to share their story and insights on an ongoing basis.

4. Sustaining Christian Discipleship – Jeffrey Kaster 

The Lilly Endowment-initiated youth theology programs have employed a common pedagogical practice that is typically missing from most youth ministry. It is the theological engagement of youth in the Christian tradition. These programs have discovered that intellectually engaging youth within a holistic curriculum effectivelysustains Christian discipleship for the long haul. This workshop will explore how theological reflection can be incorporated into a holistic curriculum that fosters and sustains Christian discipleship.

5. Tell the Truth and Shame the Devil: Cultivating a Genuine Testimony – Maria Dixon-Hall

"I just want to talk to somebody who is real" is the sentiment that many of our youth and young adults feel when they want to talk about issues of faith, life, and God. How can we be genuine conversation partners that have clay feet, transformed hearts, and a relevant message?

6. The Theology of Games – Jeff Dunn-Rankin 

Do games have a place in youth ministry, or are they a distraction from the real purpose of our gathering?  You might have a gut reaction to that question, but your strategy needs to be based on a grounded theology.  Our understanding of God, and God's kingdom, needs to inform our decisions about the role of games.  Join in the discussion and develop a personal theology that drives how your youth ministry addresses its play time.


Elective C: Thursday, 1st 11:30-1:00 p.m.

1. Children of God – Amy Peeler 

Testimony is not simply telling one’s own story, but telling how one’s story was enveloped by the great story of God. Hence, knowing the identity of God allows the believer to know their own true identity. This elective will specifically explore Scripture’s familial language for God and humanity, allowing us to explore the possibilities and challenges of confessing Father/Son/Holy Spirit and our status as children of God.

2. And Jesus Gave Them a Story – Mike Baughman

Stories are gifts. A quick look at Facebook and Twitter reveals how much we hunger for the chance to hear and tell stories. This workshop will explore the power of more robust forms of story and storytelling in adolescent faith development, evangelism and pastoral care. Participants will walk away with practical ways to utilize, listen to and tell stories in their ministry settings, as well as a richer appreciation for the role the Bible can play in the adolescent life.

3. Jesus Told Me So: Developing Discernment Skills – Blair Bertrand

When someone tells us, “I think God called me to ….” or “I think God is leading me ….” what really happened? Did God speak to them? Did they hear, see, or feel Jesus? Young people (and if we are honest, adults as well) want to know how they can know God’s will. This seminar helps to develop much needed discernment skills grounded on a solid theological foundation.

4. World-Changing 101 – David LaMotte

Pollster John Zogby reports that the current generation of young people don't just want to be successful, they want their lives to matter. They want to have a positive impact.  Drawing on his own experiences as well as stories from current and historical struggles for justice, David will lead a conversation about engaging youth on topics of social justice and prophetic ministry, and inviting them into critical examination of that holy work and their place within it. 

5. Tell the Truth and Shame the Devil: Cultivating a Genuine Testimony – Maria Dixon-Hall

"I just want to talk to somebody who is real" is the sentiment that many of our youth and young adults feel when they want to talk about issues of faith, life, and God. How can we be genuine conversation partners that have clay feet, transformed hearts, and a relevant message?


Elective D: Thursday, 1st 2:30-4:00 p.m.

1. Social Media as Testimony – Kenny Jahng

Social media is near-ubiquitous today. 70% of active internet users have Facebook accounts.  Don’t forget about Google+, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, etc.  Young people today don’t see social media as a new activity to learn; they view it as a part of life.  Being part megaphone and part tape recorder brings us new relationship dynamics to consider. This elective will reveal approaches that embrace the theology, holiness and testimony available for the church. Practical strategies for beginner and advanced users will be covered.

2. When My Story Becomes Our Story: Intergenerational Mentoring as a Form of Youth Ministry – Annie Lockhart-Gilroy 

Many youth ministries incorporate the practice of mentoring where an adult mentors a youth.  This elective argues for a mutual mentoring where youth and adults mentor each other.  This elective is based on the theological assumption that every believer, regardless of age, has the same access to the Holy Spirit and has holy insight worth sharing.  Together, we will explore ways to give youth space to share their story and insights on an ongoing basis.

3. The Theology of Games – Jeff Dunn-Rankin 

Do games have a place in youth ministry, or are they a distraction from the real purpose of our gathering?  You might have a gut reaction to that question, but your strategy needs to be based on a grounded theology.  Our understanding of God, and God's kingdom, needs to inform our decisions about the role of games.  Join in the discussion and develop a personal theology that drives how your youth ministry addresses its play time.

4. Teaching Jesus – Reginald Blount

In the Gospels, we find Jesus asking his disciples an important question: “Who do you say I am?” This very weighty question is still an essential query today. Exactly who are we asking our young people to follow? “What Jesus will you teach?” will explore various models of Jesus expressed in Scripture and how these models can shape the spiritual life of 21st-century youth.

5. From Point A to Point B: Changing the Hard-Headed Teenager/Parent/Boss – Amanda Drury

Stubborn. Hard-headed. Clueless. These are often the kinds of words we use to describe teenagers who resist change, regardless of the fact that the change needed would make their lives infinitely better! This class is designed to look at what keeps people from making needed changes and what to do about it. We will intermingle our understanding of the Holy Spirit along with psychological factors of change in order to come up with a greater understanding of how to teach and preach towards spiritual change.