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Seminars

The hands-on training in our four seminar sessions provides the perfect complement to the theological teaching in the plenary sessions. Practical instruction from experienced teachers and leaders in over 60 seminar options will equip you and your team for real-life ministry to children and their parents.

Reserve Your Seminar Spots

To ensure we have a spot for you and all the handouts you will need, it is important for you to select the seminars you want to attend and reserve your spot. Some seminars may fill up quickly, so be sure to save your spot as soon as you can after you register for the conference. Seminar selections will close March 31.

Download Seminar Listings and Scheduling Worksheet


Presented in Seminar Session Seminar Options

Practical Tips for Teaching with Passion and Purpose
Tim and Amy Bell

Join us as we discuss teaching children about our Great God with enthusiasm. Come explore classroom ideas and encouraging tips for knowing your lesson, knowing your students, and managing your time well. We'll also touch on how to work better in ministry teams and partner with parents in order to leave a Godly legacy for coming generations. Whether you are a new or seasoned teacher or volunteer, this seminar will give you ideas you can use in your class.


Reaching the Heart: The Importance of Application
Brian Eaton

Teaching the Bible to children and youth goes beyond imparting knowledge, to leading them to "taste and see that the LORD is good!" How can we teach in such a way that children and youth understand, respond to and act on the Word of God? This seminar will emphasize the importance of reaching the heart when teaching children. Though only God can open blind eyes and soften hard hearts, we can be His means of grace to the children that we teach.


The Nuts and Bolts of Small Group Leading
Lori Myers

The small group time is essential to heart-application of the lessons taught. This seminar will highlight the practical aspects of small group leading, including preparation, the use of workbooks, engaging the students, directing conversation and logistics.

Team Leading in a Classroom
Holly Urbanski

The joy and effectiveness of the classroom ministry team is maximized when a classroom team leader serves their team members well. Come to learn about different roles of a classroom team leader, explore varying styles and focus points, and discover how you can serve both the volunteers and the children (and families) in your classroom.

Dynamite Concept! Laying a "Sure Foundation" in the Nurseries
Joyce Heinrich

We will take a verbal walk through each nursery to discuss how to best use the curriculum to reach the great goal of laying a spiritual foundation under the littlest of the flock. We will talk about scheduling; setting up the room to make a big difference; how to use God's plan for growth and learning in infants and toddlers; and how to build Biblical vocabulary!


Teaching Preschoolers: Why and How?
Krista Williams

What do you do with preschoolers in church? Can you really teach them the Bible or should you just let them play? In this seminar, Krista will share a philosophy of preschool ministry that will challenge you to use these years to introduce them to spiritual truth. Krista will also walk through the elements of the Children Desiring God preschool curriculum, focusing on a practical approach to teaching the Bible and structuring preschool classroom time.

Encouraging Active Minds in the Learning Process
Jill Nelson

If our children are to grow and mature in the Christian faith and stand firm against the spirit of this age, they must be taught to think deeply and biblically. This involves an intentional, age-appropriate, step-by-step approach aimed at encouraging the mind to be active in the learning process. For this to happen, a teacher must go beyond simply engaging students in activities or presenting information. This seminar will give teachers practical tools and training for activating the minds of their students.


Strategies for Multi-Age Classrooms
Jenna Farley

Each church looks different; the size of building, the times of services, the number and ages of children and the size of volunteer teams. Given your unique church situation, it may be difficult to determine the best way to disciple all age groups. This seminar will encourage you to faithfully teach all the children of your church, and help you develop strategies for imparting God's Word in a multi-age classroom.

Beyond Classroom Management
Lori Myers

Attentive, well-behaved children sound like a teacher's dream. But could this goal fall short of achieving something more important-- training in righteousness? Let's consider effective correction that connects heart attitudes with behavior. Our goal is not simply well-behaved children but children who joyfully submit to God.


Opening the Box: Introduction to Children Desiring God Curriculum and Sequence
Holly Urbanski

Are you puzzled by the components of the Children Desiring God curriculum and how all the pieces fit together? Come to this session to learn how the curriculum sequence intentionally builds towards theological understanding and spiritual growth. Explore how the curriculum methodology and components work together for greater student understanding through effective implementation.


Presented in Seminar Session Seminar Options

The Importance of Sharing a Vision for Children in Your Church
Ian and Nina Fry

Children matter and always have to churches. That is the good news. But the less welcome news is that often children's ministry lacks a coherent vision. This seminar briefly reminds us of Children Desiring God's vision for the young and then looks at how that vision will work in your church. It aims to provide practical ideas so as to avoid the pitfalls associated with bringing change as well as looking at the positive results of a God-entranced* vision for the young. (*Jonathan Edwards)

Making a Strategic Plan for Teaching the Whole Counsel of God
Jill Nelson

This seminar will present an overview for planning and implementing a scope and sequence in your children's and youth ministry that serves to thoroughly acquaint your students with the whole counsel of God. Starting in the nursery years and moving through high school, we will explore options and strategic goals for various age groups.

Helping Elders to Understand the Importance of Children's Ministry
Brad Schweibold

So, you are excited about a vision for discipling the next generation BUT now you have to go back to your local church that does not share the same spark of excitement you have. How can you inspire the leadership of your church to understand the burdens of your heart for the next generation? What steps can you take to give your elders a vision and priority for the discipleship of children? How can you expand their understanding of the importance of teaching children solid doctrine? In this seminar, an elder will present some practical steps you can take to influence the leaders in your church

Implementing Children Desiring God in Small to Medium-Sized Churches
Peter Morris

Some may look at the tools offered by Children Desiring God and assume it is only possible to implement them in a large church environment. This seminar will share specific ideas built from experience implementing Children Desiring God curriculum in a small/medium church environment over several years. Expect to leave this seminar encouraged by what is possible and equipped with concrete ideas you can implement in your church.

Starting Right! Laying a Biblical Foundation in the Nursery for Infants and Toddlers
Joyce Heinrich

This seminar will teach you the essentials of a nursery and toddler ministry that ensures biblical truth is communicated, even to very young children. You will be equipped to begin a nursery and toddler ministry that is Christ-centered and provides a foundation of truth on which our children can securely stand.


Recruiting and Training Volunteers
Gil McConnell

How would you like to see recruiting change from drudgery to delight? How can you see greater retention of current volunteers from year to year? What does the Bible have to say about recruiting? This seminar will seek to answer these questions and more for leaders in children's ministry and beyond. We will look at a number of time-tested and biblical lessons learned for recruiting and retaining volunteers.


Encouraging Your Teams
Carol Nettleton

For those in children's ministry leadership, the desire to get ministry right in terms of philosophy, theology, application and classroom management can overwhelm the desire to show love and bring encouragement to the volunteers serving our children. This seminar is intended to encourage you as you lead and then, to give practical ways you can encourage and strengthen your team of volunteers in the love of Christ as they serve.


Equipping Parents for Vision-Oriented Discipleship of Children and Youth
David Michael

Home and church are the two institutions that God has established for the instruction and discipleship of children and youth. It is best when these two institutions cooperate with each other and coordinate their efforts in this endeavor to nurture faith. In this seminar we will consider five biblical convictions that influence ministry to children in the home and in the church. We will also offer biblical insights and practical strategies for parents and church leaders as they pursue the joy of the next generation together.

Partnering with Parents to Spread a Passion
Gil McConnell

What responsibility does the local church have to parents? How should we think about the relationship between the home and the church? In what ways can parents and church leaders join together to spread a passion for the supremacy of God among the next generations? This seminar will seek to help you further develop your biblical framework and practical approach to coming alongside parents and their children.


The Parent-Church Connection
Ron Rudd

How can both parents and the church work together effectively to fulfill God's calling in their community, city, country and world? We will explore the responsibilities and calling of both the church and the home and look at practical ways they can work together to raise a godly generation.

"Let the Children Come to Me" in Worship
David Michael

Like every human being, children were created for worship and one of the strategies for raising a generation of worshippers is to include them in worship services of the church. Another strategy is to create a separate, more "child-friendly" worship experience for children until there is sufficient maturity and understanding to worship with the adults. In this seminar we consider a biblical perspective on this topic and some practical strategies for welcoming and involving children in the corporate worship services of the church.

Strategies for Engaging Children in the Worship Service
Sally Michael

This seminar will discuss the difficulties in involving children in the worship service and propose solutions to solve those difficulties. Practical suggestions will be given that parents can use in encouraging their children to enfold their children in corporate worship as well strategies children's ministry leaders can employ to train and encourage parents to have their children involved in the worship service

Prayer Is Essential for Reaching the Next Generation
Don Bartemus

Prayer must not be relegated to the place of "when all else fails." Prayer is the most powerful weapon in the battle for the minds of the next generation. Prayer engages the Almighty and His endless power directly to the souls of the people we shepherd. This seminar will explore and equip you with Biblical truth and methods for making prayer a cornerstone of your ministries with families and with the next generations.


Presented in Seminar Session Seminar Options

A Big Vision of Youth Ministry
Patrick Dirrim

Are the students in our youth ministries an entity unto themselves? How do they connect, if at all, with the larger local church body? Are youth workers simply trying to keep safe the students in their ministries or are they trying to really cast a vision for the greatness and all- satisfying nature of the person and work of Christ? Come join us in this seminar as we seek to find what God's word says about shaping and molding our student ministries to have such a grand vision of our Savior. We will also explore some practical steps we can take in our ministries to begin to cast such a vision.


Deep and Wide: Youth Ministry with Theological Depth that Reaches the Breadth of Maturity
Joe Wittmer

By taking a systematic look at the ministry of Christ and the role of the church, we can discover how to theoretically and practically reach students with "the whole counsel of God." Whether an unbeliever, new to the faith, or spiritually mature, part of the shepherding responsibility of a pastor is to help navigate the next steps in growing closer to Jesus. In this seminar, we will look at how we can invite more people to hear and grow in the gospel by meeting students where they are in their spiritual development and presenting deep truths of scripture to them there.

Teaching Youth and Engaging Their Hearts
Sally Michael

Dispelling the myth that adults cannot "relate" to youth, this seminar focuses on the God- given role one generation has to mentor the following generation by providing instruction on teaching youth and engaging their hearts. Training on teaching philosophy and practical strategies for teaching; preparing and leading discussions; asking good questions; and encouraging spiritual growth through application and personal encouragement is included in this seminar, as well as a brief overview of the Children Desiring God youth curriculum.

Teaching Youth to Study the Bible
Gary Steward

This seminar will provide a rationale and method for teaching young people how to study the text of Scripture for themselves. Topics covered will include: the importance of Scripture for discipleship, Bible study methods and effective teaching methods for youth.

Teaching Youth to Rejoice in God's Good Design
Gary Steward

Children and youth are inundated with confused messages regarding masculinity, femininity and gender. This seminar will outline the Bible's teaching on gender and discuss how to lead children and youth to embrace and rejoice in who they are as male or female. This seminar will also introduce the Children Desiring God curriculum on this topic entitled Rejoicing in God's Good Design.


Teaching Children and Youth to Stand Firm in a Hostile Culture
Ron Rudd

In this seminar we will look at our responsibility as parents and as the church in training our kids to be strong in faith and mighty in Spirit. What are the problems we face in the culture we live in? What do we do when we are accused of being over-protective and narrow- minded? When and how do we expose our kids to the evil in our society or do we? Why we cannot do this alone and where we must turn for help.


Picking Up the Digital Blitz: Recognizing and Countering the Technology Rush in Our Homes
Tim Keeter

Many may be surprised to learn that God's Word has plenty to say about how Christians should handle digital technology - and it's clear and grace- filled! Our goal in this seminar is to come alongside parents and students (and those who minister to parents and students) in their effort to interact with technology in their homes and personal lives. Practical instruction will address strategies for introducing technologies into the home, training children in the wise and faithful use of technology, and how to identify, correct, and prevent idolatries surrounding digital technologies.

Sins or Synapse? Are Teens Controlled by Their Brains
Ian and Nina Fry

Modern scientific study into the marvel that is the human brain is a research growth area. Now that science is making its way from the laboratory into a popularized form into homes. As Christians we are convinced that the Bible is the source of all knowledge. It is, if you like, the central text in the universe of education. This seminar looks at some of the popular ideas from brain research on offer to parents of teens and seeks to filter them through the lens of Scripture.


Presented in Seminar Session Seminar Options
Why Discipling Matters for Children's Ministry
Deepak Reju

What is discipling? What does discipling look like in children's ministry? How do Sunday school teachers and small group leaders care for the children? How do you get the church (especially the leaders) to understand that children's ministry is about discipling? Come join us as we consider the importance of discipling in children's ministry.

Praying for the Next Generation and Your Volunteers
Kristin Gilbert

Are you ever overwhelmed with the call to reach the next generation? It can feel like a feat that cannot be tackled. Let's walk through how we can trust the Lord through prayer in reaching the next generation. In this seminar, we will discuss how prayer can help overcome our fear and allow us to rest in the fact that we have Sovereign God over our ministries. Kristin will walk through some practical application for prayer for the next generation and prayers for uplifting your ministry to the Lord.


The Power of the Memorized Word in the Fight of Faith
Brian Eaton

Believers have access to the most powerful weapon to fight the fight of faith-- the Word of God. Learn how you can wield the sword of the Spirit through the discipline of Bible memorization. You will hear testimony of God's goodness through His Word and leave with practical tools to help you, your family and your church begin and sustain a Bible memory program.

Strengthening the Church-Home Partnership in the First Three Years
Peter Morris

During pregnancy and in the early years, parents are bombarded with information about the things they "must have" to raise their child well. Even the best churches often miss the opportunity to be a part of that conversation. This seminar provides concrete ideas and tools to equip parents to establish gospel rhythms in the early years and to build a strong foundation for the church-home partnership.


Communicating the Gospel Within the Whole Counsel of God
Jill Nelson

We all know how importance of "context" for properly discerning the meaning of a statement or Bible verse. The same applies for properly understanding and communicating the gospel. The good news of Jesus' redeeming work on behalf of sinners needs to been seen and understood within the whole counsel of God - which thereby must include an emphasis on His divine nature, character and purposes as revealed throughout Scripture. This seminar will take you on a clear, step-by-step approach to presenting the gospel to children which is grounded within the whole counsel of God.

Encouraging God-Esteem in a Culture of Self-Esteem
Holly Urbanski

Our culture is saturated with the unbiblical self-esteem myth, namely: My happiness and success is dependent on making much of myself. In this seminar we will explore how we can teach, love and encourage children in such a way that they will find true happiness, not by making much of self, but by making much of Christ.

Foundations for Family Discipleship
Mark Schuitema

Discipleship is at the heart of what God calls parents to do. As our culture continues to change, redefining sexuality, gender identity and what is morally acceptable, the call for parents to disciple their children is increasingly more urgent. This is especially true when it comes to biblical manhood and biblical womanhood. This seminar will unpack biblical principles that will give parents a foundation to help their children pursue sexual purity, understand biblical gender identity and how to fight against the cultural undertow of sexual promiscuity. We will talk about practical ways to start engaging your kids early and how to build an open and Christ-centered atmosphere for keeping the dialogue going.

Intergenerational Teaching: Why and How?
Sally Michael

In this seminar, Sally will highlight the value of intergenerational teaching and give some practical strategies for implementing intergenerational teaching.

Using Children Desiring God Curriculum in Backyard Bible Clubs and Vacation Bible School
Deb Watters

Do you want to reach children in the church and neighborhood with truth that awakens spiritual interest and feeds spiritual hunger? Do you wonder whether the children in your VBS are missing the message because of a slick and entertaining production? Come learn how to implement Children Desiring God curriculum designed for Backyard Bible Clubs and Vacation Bible Schools. This seminar will encourage you with practical steps, testimonies and ideas to tailor the curriculum to the needs of your church or backyard.

Leading Children in God-Centered Worship
Lori Myers

Leading worship or just singing songs? This seminar reviews what Scripture says about worshiping "in spirit and in truth," involving both a child's heart and head, and invites audience participation as it addresses topics related to leading children in worship: structuring and planning age-appropriate worship times, selecting songs, using instruments and movement, encouraging leadership in children and more.


From Genesis to Revelation: Disability and His Sure Promises of Help
John Knight

When a child or adult with disabilities comes to your church, are you filled with excited anticipation or dread? Are you glad they have come, but afraid of doing or saying something wrong - which prevents you from doing anything at all? Participants in this seminar will receive an overview of what God says about disability in His Word and gain some practical suggestions for how churches can engage families experiencing disability. We'll conclude with how your church can teach the next generation (and maybe the current one as well) more accurately about God's Word and His purposes in disability.

Preventing Child Abuse in Your Church
Deepak Reju

How can you prevent child abuse in your church? While we cannot guarantee that abuse will never happen in your church, there are some things that can be done to reduce the risk. Come join us as we consider eight practical strategies in preventing child abuse.

Catechism: Out of Date or a Tried and True Teaching Tool of Eternal Truths
Sally Michael

For centuries the church has educated the next generation through the use of catechisms. Why have we departed from this mode of instruction? Was it a good departure? What is the benefit of catechisms? What is the content of the catechism? Should we restore the use of catechisms, and if so, how do we do it? These questions and more will be answered in this seminar.