Potential Speaking Topics

I’m available for presentations and workshops on a variety of topics related to spirituality, faith formation, and ministry with children and youth in a wide range of settings. These potential speaking topics offer a taste of what I can bring to your church or event. Have another idea for how I can participate in your event? I’m happy to customize and create new presentations.

CHILDREN’S MINISTRY IN THE WAY OF JESUS
Drawing from my newest book, Children’s Ministry in the Way of Jesus (co-authored with Ivy Beckwith), I’ll chart a new path forward in our efforts to cultivate spiritual vitality in children and youth. By identifying areas of concern and diving into the search for responses to challenges and opportunities facing the contemporary church, I will offer innovative ideas and thoughtful practices for doing ministry with young people in ways that help form them into disciples of Jesus. I will address topics like the role of doubts and questions in faith formation, creating spaces of radical hospitality, fostering intergenerational relationships, and nurturing a spirit of justice and activism among children and youth.

RE-IMAGINING FAITH FORMATION
In this presentation, I will share about my journey of learning and unlearning assumptions about what faith formation is and how it should be done. Rather than giving “how-to” solutions, I’ll guide participants in thinking about how they can re-imgaine faith formation with children by exploring five assumptions that I’ve had to give up and five new ideas that have come to take the centre stage in my own efforts to help people live as disciples of Jesus.

SMALL BUT MIGHTY: THE (UNTAPPED) POTENTIAL FOR FAITH FORMATION IN SMALL CHURCHES
Bigger isn’t always better. I will guide participants through a journey of rediscovery by unpacking assumptions about spiritual formation and exploring the benefits of being a small church. I’ll challenge folks to find the potential in even the smallest of congregations and outline several ways that not-so-big churches can play to their natural strengths in the spiritual formation of their community.

FAITH FORMATION IN THE POSTMODERN MATRIX
How is faith nurtured within contemporary and postmodern contexts? I will lead participants in exploring four key aspects of postmodernism and creatively explore how they offer fresh perspectives and practices for forming faith in children, youth, and adults. I suggest that postmodernism can be a catalyst for the church to recover its authentic mission—to be the people of God—and I’ll share seven implications for what it means to form people of any and all ages as members of the body of Christ in today’s changing world.

NURTURING A SPIRIT OF INTERCULTURALISM IN CHILDREN AND YOUTH
Does interculturalism matter to ministry with children and youth? In this presentation I will invite participants to imagine how children’s and youth ministry can become a catalyst for nurturing a spirit of intercultural respect and mutuality among young people. Whether teaching a Sunday school class of only a few kids or leading a youth group that’s bursting at the seams, whether ministering at a church that’s monocultural or one that’s incredibly diverse, participants will be challenged and inspired to engage in thoughtful ministry that helps youth and children take up the torch for becoming an intercultural church.

NURTURING YOUTH AND CHILDREN THROUGH SPIRITUAL STYLES
Young people know God. And they encounter God in diverse ways along the spiritual journey. Amidst this diversity, four distinct avenues for connecting with God emerge: through words, emotions, symbols, and action. These are four spiritual styles, broad approaches to spirituality and faith through which children and youth know God and make sense of the world. By drawing from my first book, Children’s Ministry that Fits, I will blend insightful research, relevant theory, and practical experience in order to help participants move beyond one-size-fits-all approaches to spiritual formation and begin nurturing the spiritual lives of young people in ways that are hospitable of each and every spiritual style.

ADDITIONAL POTENTIAL TOPICS

God’s Story, My Story: Encountering the Bible as God’s Epic, Ongoing Story

Cultivating Faith through Questions, Conversations, and Doubt

Identifying Your Spiritual Style: Naming How You Know God and Why it Matters

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

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