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Digital Package – Electives

 

CHILDREN & FAMILIES

Enabling fringe families to spiritually parent

Speaker – Rachel Turner

All parents spiritually disciple their children, even if they have little or no faith. How can we as the church wade into those conversations with families on the fringes of our churches and encourage them in their spiritual role in the lives of their children? This session will cover key truths parents and carers need, how to position ourselves well to support them, and some practical steps to enable every family to nurture the spiritual lives of their children.

Equipping families for difficult times

Speaker – Rachel Turner

Sometimes families struggle with anxiety, fear, and uncertainty. Drawing on her experience of working with families, and principles from her books Comfort in the Darkness and the upcoming book Comfort in Times of Uncertainty, Rachel will discuss some key principles in empowering parents and carers to coach their children spiritually through the common difficulties families face.

Parenting as a church leader

Speaker – Rachel Turner

If you have children (no matter how old they are), you know that there are some unique dynamics when it comes to trying to parent at the same time as leading in a church. How can hold both these callings well, and help our families not just survive, but thrive as part of a ministry family? The session will serve as a taster for the resources available in the book and course Parenting as a Church Leader.

Systems versus personnel

Speaker – Andy Kirk

What can be Systemized and what MUST remain Personalized??
In this elective Andy Kirk unpacks how we can created incredible processes and systems to release us to be more effective Pastors.

Making the most of memory verses and music (RI applicable)

Speaker – Matt Gorton

Whether a Professional muso or someone who can’t hold a tune, using and teaching memory verses and music are 2 of the most effective ways of teaching kids God’s truth. How do you do it well?
This is relevant for any children’s ministry, including Religious Instruction in schools, Kids Church, Kids Clubs, Church services, etc…

Active learning: crafts that points to Jesus (RI applicable)

Speaker – Fiona Millar

Messy, frustrating and a waste of time – while some love craft, for many children their inability to reproduce the item that has been modelled simply reinforces a sense of failure. For leaders, it can seem to be a high risk, chaotic lesson experience with heaps of preparation and little value to the children. So why bother with craft at all? The process of ‘doing/making’ encourages children to listen and interact in different ways and facilitates great opportunities for reflection that we miss in faster paced didactic teaching and learning.

Practical Engagement in RI for students with special needs (RI applicable)

Speaker – Cheryl Clendinning

 

Getting the most out of Connect (RI applicable)

Speaker – Tim Beilharz

This engaging seminar will introduce you to the many opportunities provided in the Connect curriculum for engaging and effective lessons. With examples from all three cycles, this seminar will give you a well-rounded understanding of how to use this excellent curriculum to its best potential, with lots of teaching tips and good advice included.

How to ask questions where the answers are not always Jesus (RI applicable)

Speaker – Adam Jolliffe

This exciting session will help you think through how you can ask questions in a way that encourages students to think more deeply about what they are learning, and give more reflective answers as they engage with God’s word.

How to teach the new GodSpace Green 2022 (RI applicable)

Speaker – Christine Chin

 

Managing Classroom & Child Behaviour (offered at 2021 conference) (RI applicable)

Speaker – Terry Williams

Understanding some of the factors that cause behaviour is a beginning step in shaping appropriate response strategies for helping children to manage their behaviour and keep you in control. Practical components of the session include some first step strategies, preparatory checklists and a 10 Point Discipline Plan to help you help a child to navigate through their challenging behaviours to bring positive results.

Using children's literature in ministry for all ages

Speaker – Jillian Ross

Children’s literature is full of messages that speak to all ages and are relevant to our faith. This elective will explore what we can learn about faith from children’s literature and how we can use children’s literature in ministry. This includes ministry with children, youth and all ages. This will be a practical, interactive session. Bring a favourite children’s picture book to use in the session.

Engaging kids in God's big story

Speaker – Leanne Palmer

The Bible is God’s Big Story! A story of love, failure, rescue, redemption, grace and promise. It’s a story that goes before us, includes and invite us, and a story that goes beyond us. In the Bible we see lives transformed through encountering God and following Jesus. However, the world of our kids can be so different to the places, the experiences and the contexts of the stories we share. How do we engage our 21st century kids with the Bible in real, relevant and life-changing ways?

Ministry resources that help to cultivate lifelong faith

Speakers – Jodi Brook & Christine Matthias

Grow Disciples is a resource developed by Grow Ministries designed to help cultivate lifelong faith. While it has been specifically created for teaching young people, it can be used in a variety of settings, including adult discipleship. Come and learn how to help your congregation implement a ministry that understands the importance of developing lifelong, intergenerational relationships between young people and adults that build a sense of belonging to your faith community. These resources also encourage the development of home and congregation partnership.

Relevant kids ministry in 2022

Speaker – Tracy Valentine

Several recent studies reveal why some kids become disengaged from the church or why faith doesn’t seem relevant for them. We will delve into some solutions which are adaptable for every church context. Everyone can make a difference in a church community to help kids feel engaged. This elective is designed for all kids ministry volunteers as well as those who lead the ministry. You will leave with very practical ideas to help you increase the impact of your ministry.
Tracy is passionate about ensuring we create thriving church communities where children feel loved and feel they belong as they grow in their faith. She has been a Kids and Families Pastor for 15 years and Lectures in Kids Ministry for the Queensland Baptist Theological College, Malyon.

Child safeguarding: making it simple, effective and easy

Speaker – Aleisha Reader-White

Whilst there are many critics, churches have enhanced children’s safety within ministry settings since the Royal Commission into Institutionalised Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. However, the need to continuously increase capability and capacity to identify, engage and appropriately respond to child safety issues remains ever present. This presentation will significantly help Pastors and their teams protect our children, appropriately respond in times of crisis, protect themselves, their organisations, and enhance compliance with complex legislation. We will also address key factors to creating gold standard child safe organisations specifically for church and faith-based environments. Ensuring that leaders can practically implement learnings directly into their Ministries. Child safeguarding, whilst not the most interesting nor fun topic, is arguably one of THE most important parts of today’s child and youth ministry.

Raising children in an age of screens

Speaker – Terry Williams

The world is changing at an exponential pace. Technology is not going away. Denial is not a strategy that is going to work! While the challenge seems huge, come and explore some basic principles that undergird any strategy to help young people and parents to navigate through a digital world in a healthy way. Being informed is the start of the journey.

Creative ideas for Prayer (offered at 2021 conference)

Speaker – Judy Wharton

Visual, creative, exciting ideas to encourage your children to pray. Fun and effective ideas for families, church, RE, camps, bringing an understanding and acceptance of prayer into their everyday experience.

Working with 0-5s (offered at 2021 conference)

Speaker – Bethany McGibbon

Arguably, your early years ministry is the most foundational and critical ministry in the life of your church. Join us as we unpack the ‘why’ we provide a ministry space for young children and explore how to create an engaging and exciting space/program that will see preschoolers’ hearts set on fire for Jesus.

Unpacking a Sunday (offered at 2021 conference)

Speaker – Andy Kirk

‘Unpacking a Sunday’ is a session where we walk through each part of a Sunday from Team meeting – set up – Check in – Hang time – Praise and worship – Big and small group teaching time – games and the atmospheres.

The Power of Story (offered at 2021 conference)

Speaker – Terry Williams

How can you hold an audience without a rope? Come and discover the key elements in the art of storytelling that will help to connect with your audience, maintain their attention and create a special space for God to touch people’s hearts and minds. Such is the power of story and it is as easy as A, B, C & D.

YOUTH & YOUNG ADULTS


Managing critical incidents

Speaker – Andrew Beavers

How do effectively manage incidents that arise on our programs and keep all participants and volunteers safe? This session will look at how do we process information coming in during and incident and how do we set up clear processes beforehand to provide the best possible outcomes in any situation that could arise.

Engaging spiritual conversations with youth

Speaker – Steve Forward

When it comes to spiritual conversations, Jesus was a true master. In this session, we will explore 7 tools that Jesus used to amazing effect in his conversations and apply them to the issues and concerns facing today’s young people.

Ministry at the margins: theological and practical paradigms

Speaker – Jim Schirmer

This elective is for anyone who is called – or even curious – about doing their ministry at the margins of church and society. In every generation there is a need for disciples of Jesus to go, live, learn from and bless those people in our community who would never walk through the doors of our churches. In this elective, Jim will draw on over a decade of ministry in this area to share the theological imagination and practical steps of ministry at the margins.

Developing Young Leaders (offered at 2021 conference)

Speaker – Brad Case

So you find yourself with a young but passionate bunch volunteers. How do you develop them into more competent and more capable leaders that will support and then out-lead you? How do you make them into a team that is humming along and kicking goals? In this session we’ll discover some way to intentionally develop your team in a Christ-like way.

Leading Teams of Volunteers (offered at 2021 conference)

Speaker – Tom Schmidt

he success of any ministry relies heavily on the health of the leadership team. There are many challenges to maintaining a healthy team. Everything from taking the right steps to form a team through to keeping a team focused, motivated and passionate over the long run. This elective will give you practical insight and tips into starting a team well and maintaining the health of a team over many years so that your ministry will last and have true kingdom impact.

The Power of Mentoring (offered at 2021 conference)

Speaker – Jim Schirmer

 

Including youth with neurodiveristy (offered at 2021 conference)

Speaker – Stuart Conkie

Neurodiverse people think and operate a little differently. This term is used when describing people with autistic spectrum disorders, attention deficit hyperactive disorder, oppositional defiant disorder, and others. Neurodiverse youth often struggle fitting in at church and school. This session will provide some practical ideas on how to help them.

When Faith Flounders - Helping Amidst Doubt, Questions and Crisis

Speaker – Rowan Lewis

With so many young people losing their faith and leaving the church a crucial leadership skill is helping young people when they have doubts and questions concerning their faith. Too often we are quick to talk and slow to listen. This workshop will unpack a really helpful framework to help you to feel confident working with young people as they navigate the hard times in their faith.

Identity Matters - Nurturing Young People’s Spiritual AND Personal Identity

Speaker – Rowan Lewis

Helping young people discover their identity in Christ is a key goal of youth ministry. However, while we might know a lot about what it means to be ‘in Christ’ we often know very little about identity.
What is identity?
How does identity form?
How does our personal identity relate to our spiritual identity?
This workshop will help you to understand the science of identity development and how a youth ministry can help young people thrive as human beings as well as members of God’s family.

Leaving the Nest: Transitioning Young Adults

Speaker – Erica Skerman

Leaving school and embarking on the next stage of life is a big transition for everyone involved, including the church communities they are part of. This session explores this transition and how we can help build healthy young adult communities that support this next stage of life and faith formation.

LEADERSHIP, CULTURE & OTHER MINISTRY TOPICS


Why is reading the Bible so hard sometimes?

Speaker – Josh Bartlett

So you think the Bible’s important. Most of your volunteers do too, and maybe even the people you’re ministering to. But how good are you at reading it regularly? The stats say most of us aren’t as good at it as we’d like. So what’s stopping us? In this elective Josh will outline some common obstacles to Bible engagement, and we’ll explore how we can overcome them. Josh has had many years of experience volunteering on Scripture Union camps, and now works as Bible engagement facilitator with Wycliffe Bible Translators Australia. In his role he helps people overcome whatever obstacles get in the way of them engaging with God through the Bible.

Leading in a multigenerational society

Speaker – Andy Kirk

We are currently living in a Dynamic, Diverse and Disconnected time in History with 6 Generations all wrestling with life and Faith. In this elective Andy explores all these aspects and how we can lead and connect the generations together.

A Fresh look at Leadership (offered at 2021 conference)

Speaker – Phillip Day

In summing up, it’s the constitution, it’s Mabo, it’s justice, it’s law, it’s the vibe, and … no, that’s it … it’s the vibe. I rest my case.” The Castle, 1997 Often the emphasis of leadership is recruiting & training a team, and setting strategies & goals towards a vision of ministry & mission. As important as that is, that’s only part of the picture. This session will emphasise the need to attend to ‘the culture’ or ‘the vibe’ of your ministry or mission team. There are at least nine aspects to this and we will set ourselves a direction to explore them all!

Rethinking Discipleship (Double elective over 2 sessions) (offered at 2021 conference)

Speaker – Terry Williams

With current data telling us that the Western church has been losing more than 50% of young people every year from the church and the Christian faith, there is an urgent need to rethink how we are outworking Jesus’ final command to ‘go and make disciples’. Come and explore 2 foundational principles and 8 key pillars that will help to shape a long term discipling strategy for the children and young people in your context.

21st-century living – anxiety, uncertainty and constant change

Speaker – Kerry Moss

Humanity has been grappling with an invasion of mind. Fear and anxiety have moved in and whilst it is understandable when the world does not feel stable, we know we are made for greater things. This session aims firstly to help understand what is happening in anxious moments for individuals and its effect on relationships. We were designed and created for relationship and anxiety can often dent and damage the ways we connect with others and with God. The pandemic and other world issues have generally intensified feelings of anxiety, confusion and uncertainty. With that in mind, we will also explore lifestyle strategies to inspire thinking around positive connections for improved mental health and support for ourselves and our families as we continue to turn away from fear, uncertainty and constant change and turn towards the Father for His guidance in all circumstances, even when the world continues to show instability.

Second chair leadership – exercising influence when you lack authority

Speaker – Leanne Palmer

I am a leader in my movement, but I’m not THE leader. I lead a team, so I have some authority – but not complete authority. Most leadership books are written for the small number of people at the top of teams, churches or organisations, however the majority of leaders sit in the same space that I occupy, being a leader but not THE leader. What does it look like to lead when I’m not in charge? How can I serve as a second chair leader? How can I leverage influence, add value and make a difference across the organisation. What does it mean to lead with influence? What are the keys to success? How do we thrive and be leaders of influence where we are right now?

An African, an Asian and an Australian walk into a Church

Speaker – Tim Fawssett

A facilitated discussion between three Christians, of African, Indian and First Australian decent, about their experience in life and ministry in Australia. God made all people in his image, and sees us all as beautifully made, equally in need of a Saviour and saved by grace, and each with unique gifts, perspectives and resources needed in his body, the church. In this session we will laugh and maybe cry at some of the stories that our minority-culture brothers and sisters find in our Aussie churches, and explore the challenges and opportunities that lie before us in our increasingly multicultural country.

Life is Intergenerational (offered at 2021 conference)

Speaker – Michael Stalley

“Life is Intergenerational; anyone telling you different is selling you something!” I am sure this is what the Dread Pirate Roberts said to Buttercup. Come and ask the question “Why Intergenerational?” Is this just another ministry fad that will be short lived? Or just come and find out who the Dread Pirate Roberts is!

Transforming a declining older congregation through missional intergenerational faith practices

Speaker – Beth Barnett

Often ministry practitioners who are enthusiastic about intergenerational faith formation become discouraged by the sense that an older traditional congregation will not embrace intergenerational practices. “That would never work in my older congregation…” is a common cry. This workshop explores some of the cultural and spiritual dynamics that block or welcome intergenerational faith. It addresses what is needed in leadership, in resourcing, in healing the past and in developing the theological vision of the community. The presentation with use Australian case studies; research; practical resource samples and key discussion questions to help participants consider the dynamics at work in their own context and find some steps forwards – walking the intergenerational path in peace and joy. Especially suitable for Ministers and Pastors, worship leaders and intergenerational advocates.

Intergenerational "preaching" – making Scripture more nourishing than sermons

Speaker – Beth Barnett

Sermons – exegetical and practical application monologues are a recent addiction of the modern church. For many seasons of christian history, the nourishment of souls was not met by the individualist, verbal, rhetorical art of preaching. ‘Preaching’ in the New Testament is not simply a verbal practice but a whole of life witness of the gospel. For many congregations that seek intergenerational community, many parts of gathered worship are easily adaptable to inclusive practices – music, prayers, responses and offerings – but the sermon lacks accessible engagement. This workshop explores several practical intergenerational ways that engaging with scripture can be deeper, richer, more nourishing and more challenging than a 30 minute exegetical sermon. The resistance to intergenerational gatherings has often relied on the claim that ‘we need to keep feeding mature christians’ or ‘we don’t want to dumb down the teaching’. However, there is good evidence for accessible biblical exegetical material that will stretch everyone fits in intergenerational faith community wonderfully. Concrete examples, principles and methodologies.

Engaging spiritual conversations about diverse gender and sexuality

Speaker – Steve Forward

Diverse gender and sexuality is a hot topic at the moment, particularly in Christian circles. In this session, we will be exploring 7 tools that Jesus used in his spiritual conversations with people and applying them to conversations around diverse gender and sexuality.

Pastoral care among sexual and gender diversity

Speaker – Chris Helm

Sexual and gender diversity and identity diversity continues to grow and become more complex, and historically, some Christian individuals and faith communities have found this difficult to navigate. This workshop will provide the opportunity to compassionately explore this as a personal and societal matter, give some insight to language often used in the dialogue, and explore ways that Jesus engaged with people around contentious topics, so that people who want to follow in the way of Jesus can implement similar principles and seek to love ourselves and our neighbours with integrity.

JUNIOR LEADERS’ STREAM (still enrolled at school)


KickStart: Foundations for Junior Leaders' - Elective runs over 3 sessions (offered at 2021 conference)

Speaker – Jane Dixon

These 3 sessions will give insight into the value of their role as a leader with children and youth as well as practical strategies to use immediately! • How children and young people learn: Switching young people on to learning using Jesus’ simple methods. • Teachable Moments: Together we will identify and learn how to use those precious times when young people are open, willing, and ready to discover: matching teachable moments with our understanding of the Bible and our journey as a disciple. • Learning through games: Fun ways to raise curiosity and awareness, a practical session of game and debrief design!

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