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Each church represented will receive a free copy of Children’s Ministry 101, which gives a covenantal approach to next-generation ministry.

GROW Alabama

Valley Presbyterian Church

Madison, AL • January 28-29, 2022

GROW…so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.  (Ephesians 4:14-16)

Designed to equip church leadership, teachers, and parents in the task of leading our children to Christ.

Workshops providing a Biblical lens to look at:

• The Culture • The Church • The Children • The Call to Make Disciples

Pre-Conference Training and Individual Appointments on Friday Afternoon:

CM 101 Children’s Ministry Training – Friday 3-6 pm. – This 3-hour workshop is designed to review the entire CM101 resource book with an emphasis on how to start, develop and maintain a vibrant children’s ministry. Everything from parental support, recruiting and keeping volunteers to teacher training and community outreach will be included. There will be time to ask questions as you are directed to people and resources that will help strengthen your local church’s ministry to children.

You’ll also have an opportunity to check out the latest resources for parents and children!

Individual Appointments – You will have the opportunity to register for a one-hour appointment with one of the following team members. These will be on a first-registered basis and we will let you know the time of your appointment between 3-6 pm.

  • Ashley Belknap, Engaging Disability With The Gospel
  • Steve Collins, Adults Protecting Children
  • Stephen Estock, CDM Discipleship Ministries Coordinator
  • B.A. Snider, Great Commission Publications

Register Now!

Conference Details


  • Early Registration (deadline is January 15, 2022):  $150 $60 each (reduced by the generosity of donors) includes Friday dinner and Saturday lunch
  • Registration (deadline is January 25, 2022): $150  $75 (reduced by the generosity of donors) includes Friday dinner and Saturday lunch
  • Pre-Conference: $15/person
  • If there are 5 or more attending from the same church, the 6th person is free. Please contact Kathy Wargo for a code to register the 6th person.

When registering, you will indicate:

  • If you will be attending the Pre-Conference training on Friday afternoon, GROW, Children’s Ministry 101
  • If you would like to schedule a 1-hour individual appointment with one of our team members. [Register early for one of these appointments to be held between 3-6 pm on Friday. We will let you know the time of your appointment.]

If you have registration questions, please contact Kathy at or 678-825-1132.


Scott Barber and his wife, Leesa, are both from the beautiful town of Carrollton, Georgia. After practicing law for more than 10 years, Scott was called by God into full-time ministry, a call which led him to Covenant Theological Seminary in St. Louis, Missouri. He graduated from seminary in 2008 and moved with his family to Florence to serve as Pastor of Redeemer Church. Because he spent much of his life as a church member and not a pastor, Scott knows first hand what it is like to sit in a service and listen to a pastor. He also knows what it is like to live your life as a Christian in a secular workplace. Scott is a gifted teacher, a faithful shepherd, and a loving husband and father.

Ashley Belknap serves as the Executive Director of Engaging Disability (the Disability Ministry of the PCA). A gifted communicator with a Master of Arts in Theological Studies from Reformed Theological Seminary, Ashley has the ability to tackle challenging issues with creative and practical ministry applications. She served for four years as Director of Women’s Ministries at First Presbyterian Church in Jackson MS, where she led a wide variety of ministry initiatives. As the mother of children with unique needs, Ashley has a personal passion to see families touched by disability discipled and enfolded into their church. Ashley and her husband, John, have three children and reside in Brandon, MS.

Mary Elizabeth Burton grew up in Alabama and graduated from Auburn University in 2013 (WAR EAGLE!) After graduating, she served on staff with RUF at TCU before moving to Chattanooga in the summer of 2016. Mary Elizabeth and her husband, Davis, love to travel, love tacos, love good stories and love any and all Tom Hanks films. They just welcomed their first pup to the family. His name is Hanks and he’s perfect.

Steve Collins is the Founder and Executive Director of Adults Protecting Children, which trains adults in how to prevent, recognize and react responsibly to child sexual abuse. Steve has comprehensive experience training adults and working with organizations in how to prevent the sexual abuse of children. His experience includes developing and implementing child protection policies. He has expertise in how communities can create child protection initiatives that can train enough adults in that community that the culture of the community is changed and becomes a safer place to raise children.

Stephen Estock is Coordinator for the PCA Committee on Discipleship Ministries (CDM). A former USAF officer, he has been in pastoral ministry for 20 years, serving churches in Montgomery, AL and St. Louis, MO. Stephen has also been an adjunct professor at Birmingham Theological and Covenant Theological Seminaries. His Ph.D. is in education, with an emphasis on competency-based learning and leadership training. He and his wife, Susan, have three children and live in Atlanta, GA.

Tammy Hall serves as the Director of Nursery Family Ministries at Valley Presbyterian Church in Madison, AL. The Lord has given her heart a desire to partner with parents and provide a safe and fun place for our little ones to be discipled and loved. Tammy and her husband, Tim, have been married for 22 years and blessed with two sons, Gavin (12) and Porter (9).

Matt Luchenbill serves as the Youth Ministry Consultant for CDM and is the Pastor of Student and Family Ministries at New City Presbyterian Church in Royal Oak, MI. It was after a Mission Trip to Mexico that he had the first idea of becoming a Youth Pastor. His desire was to see students impacted in the same way he was impacted on that trip. As the CDM Youth Ministry Consultant, Matt works to promote discipleship ministry among youth in the PCA. He leads CDM’s Youth Ministry Team, provides advice and support to the staff of CDM in the area of youth ministry, and serves local churches through training and consulting on youth ministry. Matt and his wife, Michelle, have 4 children: Andrew is serving in Student Ministry in Birmingham, AL, Ashley is a 5th Grade school teacher in Michigan, Sarah is at Michigan Tech University, and Emily is in High School.

Thomas Newman is the Director of Youth and Family Ministry at Valley Presbyterian Church in Madison, AL. Some formative experiences in his life are: working at a Christian summer camp, attending Covenant College, and teaching Bible at a Christian School. When Thomas is not studying or connecting with the youth at Valley, you can find him at home playing with his three children or on a date with his lovely wife, Megan. 

Betsy Palm has been working as the Director of Childrens Family Ministries since 2000 and has been at Valley Presbyterian since 2014. Her ministry is to nurture our kids in their faith, encourage & support volunteers, and equip & assist parents and families. Betsy and Kevin, her husband of 38 years, have three daughters, two sons-in-law, and two adorable grandsons:  Hank and James. 

William Plott has served as Valley Presbyterian Church’s Senior Pastor and Church Planter since its inception. While at Valley, William has also served on the MNA (Mission to North America) committee of Providence Presbytery and the state committee for ACPN (Alabama Church Planting Network). Both William and his wife, Lauren, grew up in the Huntsville/Madison area and call it home. They were married in 1992 and have three children.

B.A. Snider has more than 20 years’ experience as a children’s director in churches ranging in size from 200 to 4,000 but finds her passion is the same no matter how many children she’s serving. Show the children Jesus. Teach the kids all of the Bible so they see that the stories from the Old Testament point to Jesus and that the New Testament shows how Jesus fulfilled God’s promises—yesterday, today, and forever. B.A. began her formal ministry as a children’s director and consultant in 1993, but she has taught and led music for children since she was in junior high school. She earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Tennessee and taught college until the Lord called her to seminary and full-time ministry. She graduated with a master’s degree in Christian Education from Columbia International University. Speaking at conferences, consulting with leadership, and training teachers brought her to Great Commission Publications ( in 2014 as the Children’s Ministry Consultant and Marketing Director.

Laney Stayton – In one way or another, children’s ministry has been a part of Laney’s life, starting as the child of a pastor and missionary, then through volunteering at her local church as a young adult, and now as a mom of three. After taking a quick detour as a certified shorthand reporter in Texas, the Lord called her to serve as the children’s ministry director of North Shore Fellowship in Chattanooga, TN. She has always had a love for children and desire to help them grow in their understanding of God through His Word, and she loves the opportunity her current role gives to welcome multi-generations to do the same.

Workshop Session #1

Recruit, Recognize and Retain! Enjoy Success in Staffing Your Ministry (Betsy Palm)

Do you struggle with recruiting volunteers for your ministries to families and children? You are not alone! In this session we will break down the challenges of recruiting and retaining volunteer teams and share creative solutions, suggest ways to recognize service, and offer encouragement for this vital aspect of your ministry. (L)

Covenant: Know What That Means? (Scott Barber)

How does Reformed and Covenantal theology define our ministry to children? From foundational principles to basic teaching methods, let’s compare typical children’s ministries to what we should be expecting as we seek to make Covenant-keeping disciples.

13 Going on 30 (Mary Elizabeth Burton)

One day, our 13 year-olds are going to be 30 year-olds. Will they still love Jesus and His church? Research shows that over 65% of young people will walk away from the church and their faith by the age of 25. But what is it that marks the roughly 35% that are remaining connected to the church, flourishing in their faith? During our time together, we’ll answer these questions and look at ways to minister to the youth in our church with the long view in mind.

Better Together: Teaching the Bible to all Abilities and Learning Styles (Ashley Belknap)

We want all our children to learn God’s Word and grow in their understanding of who God is and what He has done for us through the gospel. How can teachers simultaneously and effectively address a wide range of learning needs in the classroom? Not only is it possible, but we will also discuss how all benefit from the presence of differing abilities and learning styles. This workshop will focus on strategies for the whole classroom. You will walk away with the tools you need to figure out how your children learn and how to teach the Bible to students of all levels of ability. (Teachers of young children – young teens)

Letting Go: Partnering with and Preparing Parents (William Plott)

Partnering with parents preparing their children to be on their own. The goal for every child is that they will leave the nest one day. How do we support the parents and children through the process? (L/P)

Workshop Session #2

Talk to My Parents: Parenting with only the Gospel for Help (Stephen Estock)

A deeper understanding of the freedom and power found in the gospel shapes the way parents raise their children in the Lord. This workshop explores how the good news of what Christ has done (and IS doing in the lives of parents and children) gives you freedom from the chains of parenting according to the shifting sands of contemporary culture. (P)

Effective Youth Ministry from a Parent’s Perspective (Matt Luchenbill)

How does youth ministry become a strong support for the difficult task of parenting teenagers? (L/T)

From Diapers to Diplomas – Have a Plan! (BA Snider)

A scope and sequence for what, why and when to teach Bible, theology, Christian living is a great idea for a successful next generation discipleship ministry. (P/T)

Child Protection: The Relentless Duty (Steve Collins)

There is growing intolerance in the court of law and in the court of public opinion for organizations that are not intentional and proactive in creating safe places for the children they serve. This is especially true for churches. It is not enough to just have a child protection policy. In fact, if you have a policy that is not current, thorough, and being enforced, you increase your liability and leave children vulnerable. And how does a children’s ministry director find the time to continually address this duty with vigilance? In this workshop, we will look at what goes into creating and maintaining thorough and current child protection policies and procedures. Attendees will receive valuable information they can use to evaluate their current documents or create new ones. (CP/L/T)

Calming Their Fearful Hearts: Dealing with Childhood Anxiety Biblically (Laney Stayton)

Anxiety is currently thought to be the number one mental/emotional problem experienced by our children and youth–and that was before Covid-19 changed our world! So, it is vital that we train our parents to understand and respond to this disorder of the heart and mind from a Christ-centered and Gospel-driven mindset. This workshop is intended to help parents and ministry leaders help their children deal with their fearful hearts Biblically. (P/T)

Workshop Session #3

Teach Me to Worship (Betsy Palm)

God calls us to worship Him in all that we do. How do we include children in that practice both at home and at church? What are practical ways the church can train children for worship while equipping parents to lead family worship in their homes? (L/P0

Talking About Sex with Kids (Matt Luchenbill)

Sex is talked about all the time. Pop music, YouTube, and peers are the primary voices educating our children. Parents as well as the church are often hesitant to discuss sexuality, puberty, pornography, and gender expression and identity. These are complex topics that have gospel implications and distinct social ramifications. This seminar will address many topics including: how and when to have conversations about sex and sexuality. (L/P/T)

Creating a Nursery to Shepherd Little Hearts (Tammy Hall)

Church nursery is not merely childcare; it is so much more! When parents bring their precious little ones to the nursery, we have the opportunity to partner with them in nurturing the tender hearts of our covenant children. The way we welcome babies into the classroom, the toys and books, the activities and structure, even the policies and procedures, are tools to point our children to Jesus. (L/T)

Social Media and Technology: Understanding our children’s world (Thomas Newman)

Media is saturating our world and affecting our brains and actions. What are some God-honoring ways of moving forward in a digital world? How does the story of God’s grace help us find ways to understand our children as they relate to this world of technology, and how can we challenge them to walk in truth with the gospel? (L/P)

Engaging Disability: Learning To Serve The Whole Family (Ashley Belknap)

We will explore ways to foster spiritual, emotional, and relational growth for every child. We will also focus on ways to help parents and siblings be able to worship and grow through various ministries of the church. We’ll look not only at how families living with disability need the church, but also how the church needs them. (All interested members of the congregation)

CP = Child Protection / L = Ministry Leaders / P = Parent / SN = Special Needs / T = Teachers / Th = Theology

Location: Madison, AL

Valley Presbyterian Church

719 Hughes Road
Madison, AL 35758

Conference Schedule: Madison, AL

Friday, January 28, 2022

3:00-6:00 pm – GROW: Children’s Ministry 101  

Spend the afternoon reviewing the new book by this title, unpacking all the basics of beginning, developing and sustaining ministry to children in your local congregation.

3:00-6:00 pm – Individual Appointments Register for a one-hour appointment with:

  • Ashley Belknap – Engaging Disability With The Gospel
  • Steve Collins – Adults Protecting Children
  • Stephen Estock – CDM Discipleship Ministries Coordinator
  • B.A. Snider – Great Commission Publications

Browse Bookstore and Exhibits

6:30-8:30 pm – Dinner and Opening Session – Rev. Scott Barber, To Each One of Us, Ephesians 4:4-15

8:30-9:30 pm  Dessert Social – Visit Exhibits and Bookstore

Saturday, January 29, 2021

8:00-8:30 am – Continental Breakfast

8:45-9:30 am – Opening Session – Thomas Newman, Today’s Purpose: Being “Equipped” to Equip!, Ephesians 4:11-16

9:40-10:40 am – Workshop Session #1

10:40-11:00 am – Break

11:00-Noon – Workshop Session #2

Noon – Lunch and Panel Discussion

1:15-2:15 pm – Workshop Session #3

2:30-3:00 pm – Closing Session – Dr. Stephen Estock, CDM’s Coordinator of Discipleship Ministries – How do we know we are GROWing? Ephesians 4:17-5:2

Pre-Conference Optional Training and Appointment Opportunities:

Friday, January 28, 2022

CM 101 Children’s Ministry Training – Friday 3-6 pm. – Additional cost is $15/person

This 3-hour workshop is designed to review the entire CM101 resource book with an emphasis on how to start, develop and maintain a vibrant children’s ministry. Everything from parental support, recruiting and keeping volunteers to teacher training and community outreach will be included. There will be time to ask questions as you are directed to people and resources that will help strengthen your local church’s ministry to children.

Opportunity for individual meeting with one of our Team Members – Sign up for a 1 hour time slot to meet individually (or in a small group with others from your church) with one of these consultants on Friday afternoon. This time is an opportunity for you to ask questions, receive advice, brainstorm ideas, and consult with those who are experts in their field. They are here to help you with your ministry, your role, and your church.  Once you sign up for an appointment  you will receive an email from Bethany Belue 2 weeks in advance to confirm your specific time slot. We hope you will take advantage of this opportunity at the Established Conference.

  • Ashley Belknap, Engaging Disability With The Gospel
  • Steve Collins, Adults Protecting Children
  • Stephen Estock, CDM Discipleship Ministries Coordinator
  • B.A. Snider, Great Commission Publications


Here are a couple of hotels in the area of Airport and Research Park that we would recommend:

Hampton Inn & Suites Huntsville/Research Park Area

7010 Cabela Drive, Huntsville AL 35806 – 256-971-1850

Holiday Inn Express & Suites, Huntsville West / Research Park

2600 Old Fairway Road, Huntsville, AL 35806 – 888-465-4329

Comfort Suites Huntsville Research Park Area

6224 Torok Circle NW, Huntsville, AL 35806 – 256-562-2400

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