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 children to Christ.
Workshops providing a Biblical lens to look at:

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

Schedule of Events for Live Weekend

Speaker

Friday Evening (Session 1)
Children – How Is Your Church Receiving the Blessing and the Promise That Is Theirs? Scott Barber
Saturday Morning (Session 2)
Teaching Your Children the Whole Word. Everyone Can Do It! Sue Jakes
Saturday Morning (Session 3)
Turning the Hearts of Fathers to Children Stephen Estock

Virtual Conference Pricing:

Small group gathering (less than 7) – $300
Medium group gathering (7-10) – $400
Large group gathering (more than 10) – $500
Or, you can participate as an individual – $75

Videos Workshops to be downloaded after the “LIVE” weekend

Speaker

If You Build It: The Necessity of a Local Church Children’s Ministry Team Sue Jakes
Teaching JESUS! Through the Ages and Stages of Childhood Sherry Kendrick
Covenant Baptism Bryan Chapell
Modeling the Message of the Gospel to our Littlest Lisa Updike
Family Worship Burress McCombe
Understanding and Reaching the Whole Child Laney Stayton

Weekly Live Webinars

Speaker

Date

Classroom Management B.A. Snider Thurs., August 26, 7:30 pm ET
Developing a Congregational Vision for Discipling Children John Kwasny Tues., August 31, 7:30 pm ET
Intentionality in Engaging Disability Ashley Belknap Tues., Sept. 7, 7:30 pm ET
Beyond Sunday Morning Sue Jakes Mon., Sept. 13, 7:30 pm ET
Transformational Summer Ministry Jimmy Brock Thurs., Sept. 16, 7:30 pm ET
Equipping Kids to Stand Firm in the Present Culture Dana Russell Wed., Sept. 22, 7:30 pm ET
Outreach: Relational-engagement with our Community Kids Joseph Parker Thurs., Sept. 30, 7:30 pm ET
Teaching Children to Worship God in a Corporate Worship Setting Becky Sinclair Tues., Oct. 5, 7:30 pm ET

Webinar Descriptions

Best plans and strategies for staying in charge of your classroom, teaching Bible lesson, and still having fun, even when the kids had donuts for breakfast.

When our covenant children are baptized, this vow is often directed to the congregation: “Do you as a congregation undertake the responsibility of assisting the parents in the nurture of this child?” If a congregation takes this vow, makes this promise, how will they be helped to intentionally keep it?  The church’s role in discipling children must be built on casting and implementing a vision for the entire congregation.  All parents need other covenant parents to come alongside them in this essential effort! This webinar will help you develop a Biblical congregational vision of child discipleship, as well as ideas for how to implement it effectively.

One of the Christian’s greatest privileges and calling is to gather with other believers on the Lord’s Day to worship the Lord. Because corporate worship can be challenging with young children, many have decided to remove the children from the adults and give them a substitute worship time. This webinar will discuss the biblical rationale of families participating in corporate worship together and tips on discipling children in worship.

Scripture and catechism memory, growing a servant’s heart, praying for others and more–how do parents and church covenant together to extend the discipleship of our children beyond a weekly Sunday School class.

Learn how to turn your summer activity from a fun but tiring task to a place of life-changing long-term discipleship and outreach. Also get practical tips and usable resources to start or improve summer ministry at your church.

Children and teens today face real challenges growing up in a culture fraught with division, dishonesty and hate. How do we equip our kids to stand firm in faith especially when so much of our society runs counter to the gospel? In talking to our kids about hard things, we show them that the Christian life is not about ignoring what is around them but about living in the world and loving our neighbors without being worldly citizens.

Join Joseph Parker in exploring not only what we can do to relationally-engage our local community with the gospel, but why and how we should relationally-engage them. This will not only be an informative webinar, but an opportunity to interact with Joseph about your own ideas, providing tangible feedback on what you are doing or considering doing to reach the families around your local church with the gospel.

Video Workshop Descriptions

What should every Children’s Ministry Team include? Once you’ve built a sturdy leadership team, what are first steps to set in motion the engine that will keep all strategies running straight and strong in your church’s discipleship ministry to kids?

How can we teach the gospel redemptively at each stage of a child’s life? And what are engaging teaching strategies that will help teach a lesson with content and application? Let’s create discipleship times that help children learn and grow in their faith!

Sacraments are God’s gifts to His covenant people. They are physical pictures that serve as a promise and explanation of the benefits of the saving work of Christ to those who have faith in Him. Covenant baptism is the sacrament of initiation into God’s covenant community. Yet, many church leaders struggle with knowing who are the proper candidates for baptism. This seminar examines the scriptural and pastoral foundation for covenant baptism, including the baptism of infants who are brought to God by believing parents.

It can be tempting to underestimate the significance of our nursery and early childhood ministries. After all, they are so little! What will they really learn? It’s important to remember that Jesus himself said to those who questioned him, “…have you never read, ‘Out of the mouth of infants and nursing babies you have prepared praise?’” (Matthew 21:16). Samuel was about the age of our preschoolers when Hannah brought him to Eli, and of course, John was still in utero when he was filled with the Holy Spirit!

So, let’s follow suit and make the most of these early years in our nurseries and preschool classes!

This practical workshop will stir up your vision and give you tools that you can apply immediately with the little ones in your ministry.

This video is for those who struggle to get a handle on how to do family worship, for those who have tried but have been frustrated, for those who feel weak in this area. This is for dads who want to lead their families in worship, but don’t know how and haven’t had anyone show them how. This is for moms who are discouraged at how their family engages in worship together. In short, this is for most any family who seeks to worship together. This video is designed to give you some traction for family worship and some tools as to how to engage in family worship.

In the craziness of Sunday morning, it’s easy to view children in a goal-oriented way, forgetting that they are complex and emotional fellow image bearers. They don’t all fit into the box we make for them. Join us as we step away from our to-do lists and event planning to consider a holistic view of the child – the good, the bad, and the not so delightful.

Speaker Bios

Ashley Belknap is the Director of Engaging Disability With The Gospel, a ministry of the PCA’s Mission to North America. Ashley obtained her undergraduate degrees in Christian Education and Business Administration from Erskine College and her Master’s in Theological Studies from Reformed Theological Seminary in Jackson, Mississippi. Ashley helps congregations realize their calling to love, commit to, disciple, and enfold individuals and families impacted by disability. As director, Ashley continually works to see disability ministry expand across the PCA, and accomplishes this through creative planning, teaching online and in-person trainings, conducting ministry consultations, writing timely resources, speaking at churches and conferences, managing a staff, and raising funds for the ministry.

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.

Jimmy Brock has been involved in children’s ministry since he was a child himself, serving churches in Virginia, California, Missouri, and Georgia as a Sunday school teacher, camp counselor, camp director, nursery coordinator, and most recently Pastor of Family Ministry. He is now the Church Planting Pastor for Resurrection Community Church in Virginia Beach, VA.

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.

Sue Jakes is mother of four, grandmother of 11, and lives in Atlanta, GA where she serves as Children’s Ministry Coordinator for the Presbyterian Church in America’s Committee on Discipleship Ministries. She has served as director of children’s ministry at Covenant PCA in Fayetteville, GA and is now serving as children’s director at Westminster PCA in Atlanta. She has been teaching children, youth, and women’s groups in the church for over thirty-five years. Sue is co‑author of “Heart of the Home,” a Bible Study ministry for moms and Teach Me To Worship, CDM’s children’s church online curriculum.
Sherry Kendrick is the Family Ministry Director at Covenant Church of Naples in Florida where she has served for 11 years. She directs the staff of both the children and student ministries at Covenant so that the gospel is taught to all age groups through passionate, trained teachers. Each ministry also partners with parents to assist them in the discipling of their children at home as well as at the church. Sherry is a widowed pastor’s wife and brings many years and experiences to serving the church. She has 3 children and 2 grandchildren.
Dr. John C. Kwasny is the Director of Discipleship Ministries at Pear Orchard Presbyterian Church (PCA) in Ridgeland, Mississippi. He is a Biblical counselor, an adjunct professor at Reformed Theological Seminary, and Director of One Story Ministries—authoring a complete discipleship curriculum for the church, home, and school (children and youth). John has written several books, including Established in the Faith, Suffering in 3-D, and Pursuing a Heart of Wisdom: Counseling Teenagers Biblically. He also does a weekly podcast called Biblical Counseling Today, dealing with individual, marriage, and parenting problems. John and his wife, Martie, have eight children, three sons-in-law, and one grandson.
Burress McCombe loves living in the Shenandoah Valley and has had the privilege of serving there at Covenant Presbyterian Church, Harrisonburg, VA as the Pastor of Worship. Burress also takes great joy in being a husband and a dad. He cares deeply for the church and desires to be a part of aiding the church in singing rich, biblically sound theology. He enjoys playing guitar, running, laughing and being bald.
Joseph Parker is the Next Gen Discipleship Pastor at Village Seven Presbyterian Church. For the past 30 years he has served in church plants to large size churches, from inner city to suburban settings. He has a passion for relationally engaging both our covenant as well as our community families with the gospel, equipping adults to disciple our next generation in such a way they grow to become Christ-changed, hope-filled, productive adults. Joseph is head over heels in love with his wife Kelly for nearly 20 years, and are parents of their adopted boys Jacob and Makiah, now 13 and 14 years old.
Dana Russell has been a member of Christ the King Church in Cambridge, MA for nearly 25 years and has volunteered in the children’s ministry since its beginnings when the first children were born into the congregation. Her early years of service were spent on the nursery committee and teaching Sunday School at multiple grade levels. Dana has served as the Children’s Ministry Director since 2013 and is passionate about equipping teachers and parents in guiding and growing children in faith. She and her husband, Greg, an elder at CTK, are currently navigating raising three teenaged girls.
Becky Sinclair is the former Children’s Director at Clemson Presbyterian Church in Clemson, SC. She has a passion for teaching children God’s Word and encouraging memorization of Scripture. She loves to encourage those involved in children’s ministry as well as parents in the discipleship of children. Her hobbies include spending time with her husband, David, and their adult children and grandchildren, reading, and knitting.

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 (www.gcp.org) 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 two with another one on the way. 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.

Lisa Updike is the Director of Children’s Ministries at Covenant in Harrisonburg, VA and doesn’t remember a day when she didn’t love Jesus. Her ministry experience includes teaching, special education, leading children’s choirs, and curriculum writing. She has also spearheaded children’s programs in several churches. She and her husband, Kevin, have been married since 1989 and are blessed with 4 adult children, 3 of whom joined their family through adoption. Lisa and Kevin stay busy with church activities, creating art,  and best of all, doting on their two grandsons.