Faith Forward 2016 to be the most diverse yet!

Looking for a place where you can explore deep questions about ministry with youth and children while having your spirit restored through practices and conversations with a diverse range of colleagues?

You’ll find this (and more!) at Faith Forward 2016, April 18-21 in Chicago!

FF 2016 speakers banner

This year’s speakers and artists include a broad spectrum of thinkers and leaders from North America and beyond! Contributors include

  • Nichole Flores
  • Fr. James Alison
  • Rev. Otis Moss III
  • Lisa Sharon Harper
  • Audrey Assad
  • Soong-Chan Rah
  • Melvin Bray
  • Lucy Moore
  • Danielle Shroyer
  • Daniel White Hodge
  • Amy Bulter
  • Dave Csinos
  • and many others

We’ll be having another Open Space session, which opens the floor to anyone and everyone who has an idea, resource, or practice they’d like to share. So come with your questions, concerns, and hopes. And come prepared to be part of the revolution in ministry with children and youth!

Join us as we re-imagine church from the ground up!


Join me tomorrow

Tomorrow I’ll be leading a webinar about “Re-Imagining Children’s and Youth Ministry” with the United Church of Canada. It’s only $5! If you’re looking to dig deep into assumptions about what it means to form young disciples, sign up for this webinar here.

The Answer is better religion

A major study about children and religion found that religious kids were less caring toward others than their non-religious peers. In the authors’ words, “our findings … contradict the commonsense and popular assumption that children from religious households are more altruistic and kind towards others.”

Some might argue that religion is the problem, and that if we want our kids to care about others, we should not raise them in a particular religious tradition.

But I think the answer to the challenge posed by this study is not no religion. It’s better religion.

This is one reason why I love Faith Forward so much. At our gatherings, hundreds of people come together because we want to offer our children and youth a better version of Christianity. We want to join with young people in becoming the generous, caring, and loving people that Jesus calls us to be. We want to form them in a faith with arms wide open to others, fully aware of the vulnerability that comes with living this way.

Won’t you join us in Chicago at Faith Forward 2016. Together, we can forge faith that helps kids and youth live in the loving way of Jesus.

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The cost of being a full human being

Yesterday I met a whole man.
It is a rare experience, but always an illuminating and ennobling one.
It costs so much to be a full human being that there are very few who have the enlightenment, or the courage, to pay the price…
One has to abandon altogether the search for security, and reach out to the risk of living with both arms.
One has to embrace the world like a lover, and yet demand no easy return on love.
One has to accept pain as a condition of existence.
One has to court doubt and darkness as the cost of knowing.
One needs a will stubborn in conflict, yet apt always to the total acceptance of every consequence of living and dying.

–Morris West, The Shoes of the Fisherman

The Future is Now

I just got home from watching Back to the Future Parts I and II on this, the day that Marty arrives in 2015. Here’s a message that’s just as important today as it was when Doc Brown first said it.

The liberation lies in the choice

Global Children’s Forum

This week I’m spending a few days at the Global Children’s Forum. It’s rare that I get to be around such a diverse group of people who are so passionate about children’s ministry and work together across tremendous lines of difference. Delegates hail from 20 countries and every continent (except Antarctica, of course). We’ve laughed together, challenged each other, and learned so much in such a short period of time. And as this picture shows, we’ve already changed the world!


I’m looking forward to integrating some of the ideas I’ve learned here at the events I’ll be speaking at this fall.

Author, speaker, and researcher of children's spirituality, culture, and faith formation

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