If you want both variety and some deeper learning experiences, the Half-Track is the way to go. You get four total hours of training with depth and breadth, with sessions that are either Saturday morning and afternoon OR Sunday
morning and afternoon.
- You’ll be able to get to know other children’s ministers and the presenter on a more personal level, along with practical, meaty takeaways.
- You can choose from a list of fascinating, relevant topics.
- You can attend both Half-Track sessions for the full experience, or mix and match with other sessions
Balancing Life With Ministry: PERSONAL GROWTH
Craig & Mary Jutila
Session 1: Leading When Life Gets Busy
Session 2: Moving From Hectic to Healthy
Are you leading a healthy ministry from a hectic soul? We all know life doesn’t stop when our calendars fill up. Busyness can be a sickness, season, or part of your self-esteem; perhaps you identify with one or all three of these things. So…let’s talk. Discover how to choose good stress over bad stress and hard work instead of overwork. You’ll walk away with a practical plan to help you lead when life gets busy.
The Bottomless Cookie Jar—Never Run Out of Creative Ideas: TOOLS
Session 1: The First Bite— Keeping Ministry Fresh
Session 2: More to Chew On—A Biblical Approach to Creativity
This fun yet practical session will teach you a simple but highly effective method for turning average ideas into spectacular ideas for children’s ministry. Through a variety of unique, hands-on activities, we’ll explore how to expect the unexpected, how to outdo yourself every day, how creativity can transform your ministry and kids’ lives, and the surprising emphasis the Bible places on creativity.
Early Childhood Ministry: AGES & STAGES
Session 1: Preschool Ministry Ideas That Work
Session 2: Partnering With Preschoolers’ Parents
Learn how to connect with every preschooler physically, intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually. Get fun, messy, and doable ideas that are grounded in faith and rooted in Scripture. Explore the key ingredients of family faith growth—worship, prayer, Bible, and faith talks. You’ll get practical, simple ideas to equip parents to influence their preschoolers’ faith.
Family Ministry in a Kidmin World: FAMILY & PARENTS
Session 1: Designing Kidmin With the Family in Mind
Session 2: What a Kidmin Leader Can Teach Parents—and How
To help kids become adults who love God and people, we must invest in the primary faith influence in any child’s life: family. How would your kidmin world change if parents became a key part of your strategy? Together we’ll discover what family ministry looks like in a kidmin world. You’ll find this half-track revolutionary for children’s ministry and personally transforming as a children’s pastor (and maybe even as a parent or grandparent).
The Future Tech of Kidmin Is Personal: TOOLS
Session 1: Ministry and Today’s Technology
Session 2: Ministry and Tomorrow’s Technology
Interactive touch screens, take-home apps, 3D objects produced by pens, and discipleship in the cloud. These technologies may sound far-fetched but may soon be coming to a ministry near you. In this half-track, we’ll look at how we can leverage cutting-edge technology that exists today and look at what’s coming in the near future. You’ll discover how technology can help your ministry be personal every day of the week.
Helping Kids Experience God: UNDERSTANDING KIDS
Session 1: Multisensory Worship Experiences
Session 2: Creating “Sacred Space” in Your Ministry
Discover how to create places, spaces, and times where kids and families can express their faith in unscripted ways. Get practical ideas for interactive experiences that’ll help kids of all ages encounter God in creative ways. Experience creative worship stations that engage kids’ multisensory learning styles. Discover an easy method to develop your own worship stations and receive tons of powerful, proven experiences to use at church and at home.
Session 1: IdeaSparker: That’s You! Being a Creative Leader
Session 2: IdeaSparked: Your Kidmin Infused with Creative Ideas
It just takes a spark—an ideaspark—to spread creativity throughout your kidmin. In this idea-infused session, we’ll identify your creative strengths, practice creative experiences, and discover the difference between a creative project and the creative process. We’ll pack your creative toolkit with instant ideas and practical tips and tools you can use in a flash to ignite kids’ and volunteers’ passion for Christ.
Large Church Kidmin: PHILOSOPHY
Session 1: Bigger Doesn’t Always Mean Better
Session 2: Go Big or Go Home
A change or shift in a small church is easier to navigate. Bigger ships are harder to turn, and you need a bigger oar. We’ll row together to figure this out. The bigger the staff, the more potential for conflict. But it’s not a given. We’ll help you learn to navigate staff relationships well. Preparing for growth is the biggest nemesis. You’ll learn practical ways to track and project growth and how to create a mindset for systems that support growth.
Preteen Ministry: AGES & STAGES
Session 1: Understanding Preteens
Session 2: Grabbing Preteens’ Attention
The more you understand preteens, the better you can point them to Jesus. Take an in-depth look at preteens’ developmental changes and how you can design a ministry with them in mind. You’ll get an overview of teaching methods that are effective with preteens. We’ll also explore other important aspects of preteen programming such as events, worship, small groups, and more.
Programming and Practices for Elementary Ministry: TOOLS
Session 1: Creating a Kid-Friendly Church
Session 2: Putting Together a Powerful Program
Learn how to make the best possible first impression when children and their parents visit your church. You’ll discover how to make the most of your property, create a welcoming church, and allow God’s presence to impress. You’ll learn how to develop a program with impact potential for the church or secular audience. And you’ll gain surprising insight into what motivates elementary children and how to apply that in program preparation and presentation.
Real Discipline for Real Teachers With Real Kids: TOOLS
Gordon & Becki West
Session 1: Discipline: God’s Design for God’s Kids
Session 2: Discipline: What We “Do” So Kids “Don’t”
Explore what’s true about children and discipline based on how they are made according to Scripture, and discover insights from the world of psychology. Discuss practical do’s and don’ts of discipline that’ll help you help kids be their best. You’ll gain deep understanding into what makes real kids tick in the real world.
R.E.A.L. Learning Lab: PHILOSOPHY
Session 1: Make It REAL— How Kids Learn Best
Session 2: Keep It REAL—How to Amplify Your Curriculum and Ministry
Want the secret formula to move your teaching from information to transformation? Join us to discover how to harness the power of emotion to create long-term learning. Explore how to create life-changing experiences in your ministry using Group’s proven learning philosophy— R.E.A.L. Learning (Relational, Experiential, Applicable, Learner-based). Get practical tools to create your own engaging, relevant Bible experiences that involve kids and transform lives.
Reinventing Ministry: LEADERSHIP
Session 1: Ministry Assessment: Discovering What Needs New Life
Session 2: Implementing Change: How to Transition to Something New
Timeless truths never change, but how we carry out ministry is always up for grabs. Many people would agree with this statement, yet most people shy away from change. We must hold ministry tactics with open hands. Change isn’t just inevitable; change is the path to greater impact. Let’s take a good, hard look at our programs, events, and methods. Perhaps it’s time for a ministry reinvention.
Special Needs—A Church For Every Child: PHILOSOPHY
Session 1: Understanding Special Needs
Session 2: Strategies for Including Families With Special Needs
Families affected by special needs are significantly less likely to attend church on a regular basis. This half-track will help you turn that around. Discover how common disabilities affect faith development and cause obstacles for church attendance. Delve into family dynamics and discuss ways to communicate effectively with parents of children with special needs. Practice easy-to-implement strategies for welcoming and teaching kids with special needs; behavior management; classroom culture; and modifying curriculum.
Thriving Children’s Ministry in a Small Church: LEADERSHIP
Session 1: Mustard Seed Ministry: Why Smaller Is Taller!
Session 2: Roots and Fruits: Nurturing a Children’s Ministry That Produces Results
Smaller is taller! This half-track will inspire and equip smaller churches (with less than 300 active members) to go from merely “surviving” to “thriving!” You’ll explore the obstacles unique to smaller church ministry and why each problem is loaded with possibility. Finally, you’ll discover what your kids really need to grow deep roots in the faith, contaminants that poison spiritual development, and why smaller contexts are often the perfect soil for fruitful ministry.
Transitioning Children to Youth Ministry: AGES & STAGES
Session 1: Sharing the Journey
Session 2: “You Say Goodbye, and I’ll Say Hello”
Discover how to develop a strong bond between you and your youth ministry leader that’ll encourage a successful hand-off for kids from children’s to youth. The gap between the two ministries can be extreme; the key is in how we bridge it. Learn how to extend your ministry experience so your impact lasts long into a student’s high school career.
Unconventional Wisdom for Leading Volunteers: VOLUNTEER LEADERSHIP
Session 1: Unconventional Methods
Session 2: Why People Won’t Volunteer for You
“How do I get more volunteer leaders?” We’ve been asking that question for years; perhaps it’s time for a different question. How about these: “How does a virus reproduce?” “What keeps a riot going?” or “What makes Velcro work?” In this half-track, we’ll explore unconventional wisdom to a common opportunity. You’ll learn uncommon steps to volunteer success and leave with a strategy and tools to help you lead your volunteer team with success.
The Worship Leader You-Can-Do-It Guide: TOOLS
Session 1: The Power of Music and How to Lead Kids in Worship Music
Session 2: Specific Age-Level Tips and How to Build a Worship Team
There’s a lot more to leading worship than just the music. Being a worship leader is as much about your leadership ability as it is about having catchy songs your kids will enjoy singing. Get behind the scenes to focus on the details that make a great worship leader and worship ministry. You’ll learn from Yancy’s years of experience of how to lead kids, a worship team, band, and ministry.