PRE-CONFERENCE

Want to make the most of your experience?

Come early and add Pre-Conference Workshops!

In-person only pre-conference workshops kick off Wednesday morning.

Curate your experience as you choose from over 50 ministry-specific topics. Learn and connect in a more intimate setting as you dig deep into the subjects that speak to you and gain practical tools you can apply right away!

Bonus: Enjoy authentic KC BBQ!

Workshop Descriptions

A Tool to Help New Readers “Meet” Their Bible

Darrell Holtz, Resurrection Curriculum & Content Specialist
Mindi McKenna, Resurrection Volunteer
Melanie Hill, Resurrection Director of Operations & Community Life – West

Too often people new to Bible reading get bogged down in details and mistaken assumptions about what the Bible is intended to do. Over the last ten years, through both in-person and online sessions, Resurrection has refined a 6-week class called “Meet Your Bible” focused on the Bible’s epic story of God’s redemptive purposes. This gives participants the “big picture” before they start trying to figure out where all the more detailed, individual pieces fit. You’ll get an overview and introduction to the class, which can then be downloaded for free.

Copying after God: The Posture and Practice of Love

Paul Chilcote, Wesley House

One of Methodism’s most beloved teachers offers a model for teaching, preaching, and understanding life in the Wesleyan way, highlighting distinctive characteristics of Methodist theology and practices for daily life. With the help of original material from John and Charles Wesley, you’ll gain clarity and learn to reclaim a Wesleyan way of life, correct misconceptions about Wesleyan theology, and share the essentials of Methodism with others.

Discipleship Pathway: Curating the Journey of Becoming Deeply Committed Christians

Matt Bisel, Resurrection Adult Discipleship Lead Director
Lauren Cook, Resurrection Entry Points Director

Imagine a discipleship gathering where 1/3 of the participants have never been to church? Does your small group journey point people toward leadership? What if disciples in the pews of your church are already equipped, empowered, and passionate about making new disciples? This interactive conversation on curating a journey from non-religious to deeply committed will explore a strategy for meeting people around shared interests, introducing them to Christian community, creating spaces of belonging, and developing disciples who disciple others.

Empowering Women: How to Create a Thriving Women’s Ministry

Lauren Cook, Resurrection Entry Points Director

Is your church looking to build a supportive community for women of all ages and stages of life? We’ll focus on how to identify needs and interests of women in your congregation, craft a clear vision, develop targeted ministry groups, and foster a welcoming and inclusive atmosphere. We want to help you feel confident in creating a space where women can grow in faith, connect with others, and discover their purpose.

Evangelism in a Post-Christian Culture

Chris Folmsbee, Executive Director of Resurrection Experience

As more and more people describe their religious affiliation as “nothing in particular” and become increasingly skeptical about Christianity and its influence in the world, what can followers of Jesus do to remain faithful witnesses? Take home 10 proven and practical ideas for you and your church – for sharing the gospel, reaching new people, and making a lasting difference in your community.

Kingdom Moments and Movements

Robert Johnson, Resurrection Leawood Location Pastor

Learn a strategic and deeply spiritual way to move ministry, purpose, and life forward by mapping the moments in which we encounter extraordinary manifestations of divine grace and Kingdom life.

Leader Recharge

David Andersen, Resurrection Leadership Development & Mentoring Ministry

“Are you tired? Worn out? Come to me, all you who are struggling hard and carrying heavy loads, and I will give you rest” Matthew 11:28. Come take some time to embrace these words from Jesus in a space where you can take a breath and just receive. Spiritual exercises will be included to help with this time of reflection, and you’ll be sent out with a blessing. No demands. No rigorous program. Just a time of renewal and blessing for any and all ministry leaders.

Prayer Lab: Re-Think, Re-Imagine, Re-Experience

Matt Bisel, Resurrection Adult Discipleship Lead Director
Shannon Starek, Resurrection Liberty Location Pastor
Anne Williams, Resurrection Downtown Location Pastor

Sometimes our preconceived notions about prayer keep us from fully experiencing the connection God intends. Prayer doesn’t have to be an on-your-knees devotion | it doesn’t have to feel like an awkward, one-way conversation. For those who struggle to make prayer work in traditional ways, or who are just longing for something more, this immersive experience will help in re-thinking, re-imagining, and re-experiencing the practice of prayer.

Small Groups: Why Is This So Hard?

Justin Schoolcraft, Resurrection Small Groups Pastor – Leawood

With so many ministry leaders admitting they struggle when it comes to building small groups, there must be larger cultural and societal forces at play. If so, how do we move forward with the hard work of building small groups? And, most importantly, why should we even do it at all? This discussion of the realities of building small groups will include success stories and key mistakes from Resurrection’s reinvestment in small group ministry.

Sustainable Young Adult Ministry

Sierra Glaser, Resurrection Young Adult & College Ministries Director – Leawood
Justin Schoolcraft, Resurrection Small Groups Pastor – Leawood

An honest discussion of the good, the bad, and the ugly when it comes to a young adult ministry that lasts. This will include leadership lessons and practical solutions for inspiring young adults to pursue their gifts and engage in their faith.

Empowering You: Navigating Mental Health Challenges Together

Rebeca Chow, Resurrection Clinical Counseling & Mental Health Director

Change is a constant in life. Through practical strategies and shared experiences, you’ll learn how to embrace change as an opportunity for personal growth and transformation. This is designed to equip you with the mindset and mental health tools needed to navigate transitions with grace and resilience.

Finding Help and Support for Those Struggling with Addictions

Tom Langhofer, Resurrection Pastor of Recovery Ministries
Sandy Thailing, Resurrection Video & Tech Porduction Team Director
Jenifer Schultz, Resurrection Mission Engagement Pastor – Brookside
Bethany DePugh, Resurrection Recovery Ministries Coordination Director

Learn basic information about addiction and how to care for people and family members struggling with addiction. You’ll also receive tools and a 12-Step faith-based guide for beginning a recovery ministry at your church.

God’s Open Table: Creating Space for All

Nick Kaufmann Mamisashvili, Resurrection Downtown Connection & Care Pastor
Derick McGhee, Resurrection Volunteer

Why is the image of God enhanced by the LGBTQ+ community? We will explore an answer to that question collaboratively. So, pull up a chair and prepare to get experimental, as we dream about the impact of a genuinely inclusive Church here and now. Learn from Resurrection’s experiments and share your own, as we seek to grow a vibrantly inclusive Church together.

Grief Support: How to Care for Those Who Are Grieving

Valerie Nagel, Resurrection Leawood Connection & Care Pastor
Dennis Apple, Resurrection Leawood Connection & Care Pastor

Learn how your church can provide a safe, supportive, and intentional space for those who are grieving. You’ll hear from both pastors and lay volunteers who lead grief support groups and studies.

Ministry with the Elderly: The Gift of Presence

Emily Stirewalt, Resurrection Silver Link Pastor
Madison Brown, Resurrection Silver Link Coordination Director

Showing up. Staying. Being present in the moment. When it comes to the frail and elderly among us, presence is your ministry. Designed for volunteers and leaders who want to connect with the oldest saints among us and make sure they feel a part of the church community, even if they are unable to be physically present.

Suicide Intervention

Anne Gatobu, Resurrection Executive Director of Care & Mental Wellness

We normally use the term “intervention” when responding to a situation that is already taking place. Here we will demonstrate that true intervention in the case of suicide includes prevention, which should begin long before any signs are exhibited by creating opportunities in the faith context where it is okay to discuss suicide. Creating such safe spaces includes learning to listen in non-threatening ways. “Post-vention” includes engaging survivors and offering rituals that move people toward healing. This will be both an introduction and an invitation to learn more about suicide intervention as a crucial role of our faith communities.

A Strategic Approach to Children and Family Ministry

Jason Gant, Resurrection Kids Lead Director

What are young families hoping for when it comes to their family’s connection to faith and the church? How can we meet them where they are and engage them in a wholistic life of discipleship? This will focus on developing a vision and strategy for reaching and engaging young families in your community.

Behind the Scenes of Children’s Weekend Programming

Amy Fulton, Resurrection Kids Early Childhood Director – Leawood
Emily Donigan, Resurrection Kids Nursery Director – Leawood
Lynnlea Nelson, Resurrection Kids Director – West

Explore Nursery and Early Childhood spaces at Resurrection’s Leawood location. Our leaders will offer an informative and engaging tour, while discussing how we do what we do with the littlest in our church.

Caring for Kids, Teens, and Families in Crisis

Jason Gant, Resurrection Kids Lead Director

Anxiety and depression in kids and teens are at all-time highs. Learn ways your local church ministry can become a light of hope in the midst of such mental health challenges. Focused on practical steps any church can take to be a source of hope and healing for the surrounding community.

Engaging Volunteers In Kid’s Ministry

Nick Ransom, Resurrection Kids Director – Leawood

Volunteers make kid’s ministry run! Hear how Resurrection Kid’s recruits, trains, and appreciates volunteers, as well as best practices from a variety of ministries for engaging volunteers well!

Special Needs Ministry Is Not Complicated

Marna Terblanche, Resurrection Matthew’s Ministry Director – Leawood
Ann Joyner, Resurrection Volunteer
Ali Lamontagne, Resurrection Sonflower Adult Learning Director
Joan Baird, Resurrection Sonflower Bakery Director – Leawood

Keeping it simple is the key to building a firm foundation for special needs ministry. Hear from key ministry leaders, walk through Resurrection’s special needs ministry space, and be inspired through simplicity.

Best Practices in Volunteer Management

Yvonne Gentile, Resurrection Guest Experience & ShareChurch Lead Director
Melanie Hill, Resurrection Director of Operations & Community Life – West

Struggling to find, motivate, or retain volunteers post-COVID? Here you’ll gain a holistic framework for best practices in volunteer management that is adaptable to any context, along with four components of effectively leading volunteers. Will include a discussion of trends in volunteerism in today’s environment.

Church Culture Checkup

Jim Ozier, Ozier Coaching
Yvette Thibodeaux, Impact Church

It is often said that “culture – not vision or strategy – is the most powerful factor in any organization.” So, how is your church’s culture doing? Is it vibrant? Healthy? Stagnant? Struggling? Toxic? Coming back from COVID and leading in times of social unrest has challenged the culture of every organization, including the church. Add internal, denominational divisions and disruptions – such as United Methodist disaffiliations – and it is understandable why every church would benefit from a culture checkup, simply for the sake of its health. With an engaging, results-oriented approach, you will be introduced to a step-by-step process that can guide clergy and laity in assessing and reinvigorating church culture. Then, you’ll come away equipped with tools and techniques to improve your church’s culture – where needed – in positive ways that lead to renewed enthusiasm!

Church Governance

Dan Entwistle, Resurrection Senior Executive Director & COO

Vital churches have healthy leadership structures wired to navigate the congregation in strategic directions. Yet many churches have become accustomed to “business as usual” with boards, committees, and councils that consume energy and diminish the potential of the local church. Learn how Resurrection is governed, how it selects lay people to serve in elected positions, as well as how it distinguishes between the important work of committees and the work of ministry teams and staff.

Facilities Tour

Matt Kelly, Resurrection Facilities & Construction Lead Director

This walking tour will give you a firsthand look behind the scenes of Resurrection’s Leawood location. You will see critical systems that make ministry possible and might even get a close-up view of the stained-glass window. There are LOTS of steps and stairs in the tour, so be prepared for some exercise.

Financial Planning for Long-Term Building Improvements and Capital Expenditures

Rachel Svaty, Resurrection Executive Director of Business Operations & CFO

Is your church prepared to pay for future building improvements and capital expenditures like a new roof, carpeting, HVAC unit, PA systems, LCD displays, or other equipment? Learn how to estimate future capital expenditures for facilities, IT and other equipment needs and how to estimate future cash flows to understand if you will have enough saved to pay for future needs. Templates will be provided. Techniques for beginning or growing your savings will be shared to help you get started.

Igniting the Essential Assistant

Stephanie Hubers, Resurrection Executive Assistant to Senior Pastor

Assistants are the backbone of every church! Resurrection assistants, including Senior Pastor Adam Hamilton’s Executive Assistant, will discuss ways to ignite these essential personnel. Designed to be a time of learning, conversation, and fellowship.

Inspiring Generosity: Donor Development and Giving Strategies

Debi Nixon, Resurrection Executive Director of Donor Development
Ashley Cheung, Resurrection Donor Relations Specialist 
Gwyn Thomas, Resurrection Donor Relations Specialist

Resurrection’s Donor Development Team will share practical strategies for annual stewardship campaigns, capital campaigns, planned giving, and special offerings – including Resurrection’s strategy of giving away 100% of the Christmas Eve offering every year. Come away with actionable ideas for inspiring a culture of generosity and growing the Kingdom impact of your church.

Keeping it Simple in the Small Church: 8 Keys for Ministry Planning

Blake Bradford, Pastor & Author

Planning ministry in a small congregation can be daunting – there are always more opportunities than resources and more heart than hands! Learn 8 keys to planning ministries that fit the capacity of small congregations – keys that provide a sustainable way for those churches to make a God-sized impact in their communities.

Leading Through Influence (When You’re Not in Charge)

Michelle Kirby, Resurrection Creative Content Development Lead Director

Great leaders find ways to lead even when they lack authority. Discover how to overcome challenges through crucial conversations with others up, down, and across your organization. Learn new methods for interacting with different behaviors, resulting in harmony and productivity for all.

Roadmap for Employee Coaching, Counseling, and Corrective Action

Janelle Gregory, Resurrection Human Resources Lead Director
Missy Montana, Resurrection Human Resources Specialist

Employee performance highly impacts ministry effectiveness, and knowing what to do when there are bumps in the road can be challenging. Interactively examine how to set and coach towards expectations, as well as how to course-correct when expectations are not met.

The Art of Hospitality

Yvonne Gentile, Resurrection Guest Experience & ShareChurch Lead Director
Debi Nixon, Resurrection Executive Director of Donor Development

Engaging worship and intentional follow-up are important, but what compels guests to return to our churches is the warmth of our welcome and hospitality that goes beyond their expectations. Learn time-tested methods for creating a culture that delivers exceptional guest experiences and leave with practical, effective tips and tools that can be used in churches of any size.

Women in Ministry

Angie McCarty, Resurrection Spring Hill Location Pastor

Women in ministry experience unique joys and challenges as they lead in local churches. The good news is: YOU ARE NOT ALONE! This conversation will be based on authenticity, transparency, and telling the truth about the unique experiences of clergy women. Be prepared to discuss, laugh, cry, and celebrate the goodness (and difficulty) of being called to ordained ministry as women. This conversation will also help with assessing the desire and content of a future clergywomen’s conference. Be on the ground floor of shaping a leadership opportunity designed just for you.

Building a Partner School Ministry

Cristen Summers, Resurrection Mission Engagement Director – Leawood

A panel of educators and volunteers will share thoughts on what successful partnerships look like and suggest ways your church, no matter its size, can work with your local public school to engage volunteers in mutually life-changing service and building relationships of trust.

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB): What’s Love Got To Do With It?!

Cheryl Jefferson Bell, Resurrection Community Justice Pastor

Learn the basics of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging initiatives, as well as how they can apply to the church, and leave with practical ideas for implementing change at your church.

Empowering Tomorrow’s Leaders: Strategies for Engaging Kids and Families in Mission Work

Katy Nall, Resurrection Local Missions Engagement Director – West

Explore innovative approaches and the many benefits of engaging children and families in meaningful mission work. Discover creative activities to implement in your own congregation and impactful initiatives designed to cultivate a spirit of service. Learn how to empower parents and the next generation of leaders to make your community look more like the Kingdom of God!

Encountering Christ on the Streets

Jenifer Schultz, Resurrection Mission Engagement Pastor – Brookside

On any given day, you will find many generous, well-meaning churches serving food to the homeless in large portions with big smiles. Yet the table where the food sits often serves as a visible reminder of the dividing line between these two communities – the haves and the have nots. Church patterns of mission engagement have typically developed over generations and are often reinforced by perceptions of “others” some may still refer to as “needy.” While transforming such longstanding patterns may not be possible overnight, you’ll hear about simple, practical steps any church can take to transcend the relational divide and move people toward greater kinship with those in need.

Short Term Mission Trips: Breaking Bad

Sheree Reece, Resurrection Global Missions Director – Africa, Asia & Haiti
Hugo Ngwira, Resurrection Global Partner

Alec Fox, Resurrection Latin America & Disaster Response Director

Short-term mission trips have gotten a bad rap, but are they all damaging? Personal transformation can only happen through relational investment, and we all need to be transformed. Plus, God calls us to go out into the world, not only to serve in our own neighborhoods around the U.S. But, how do we ensure we do it well? This interactive conversation with Resurrection staff and partners, along with other participants, will focus on best practices for serving globally.

Teaching Cultural Competency

James Abbott, Resurrection Global Engagement Director

Cultural competency – who needs it? All of us. Perhaps the biggest issue today is the inability or even unwillingness to see each other, and changing that reality requires deliberate work. Whether you feel you’re a pro or like you are just starting out, cultural competency is a journey of life-long learning. Learn here what cultural competency is, why it’s so important (especially in the midst of political turmoil), and how to apply it wherever you are.

Confirmation

Mikiala Tennie, Resurrection Student Discipleship Director

Discover a strategy for Confirmation that includes mentors, mission service, baptism, and connecting students to the church. This will also cover teaching strategies and how to structure mentor training.

Student Ministry: Curriculum Review

Steve Schneeberger, Resurrection Students Lead Director
Mikiala Tennie, Resurrection Student Discipleship Director

This fall, Resurrection will release (free on ShareChurch.com) the first year of four two-year curriculums for students at every age and stage of life. Each will include content for middle school, confirmation, high school, and 11th and 12th grade students. Learn the thought process behind the curriculum, as well as the hope for what students will accomplish in their discipleship journey.

Student Ministry: Mission Trips That Matter

Megan DelGrosso, Resurrection Student Ministries Director – Leawood
Steve Schneeberger, Resurrection Students Lead Director

Ever had a hard time finding a mission trip destination that fits your church’s theology? We have. We’ll review important questions you should ask when considering a mission destination and share some organizations that fit Resurrection’s requirements and strategy when it comes to “Serve Trips.”

Student Ministry: Survey Says!

Steve Schneeberger, Resurrection Students Lead Director

We surveyed past participants to find out what they wanted to learn and/or discuss at Leadership Institute, and we discovered a lot of interesting topics. This panel and group discussion will address many of the things expressed in the survey results. And, if we miss anything on your list, we’ll have time at the end to talk about that, too!

Student Ministry: Translating Resurrection for Your Context

Megan DelGrosso, Resurrection Student Ministries Director – Leawood
Amy Fletchcer, Resurrection Student Ministries Director – West
Leah Swank-Miller, Resurrection Students Director – Overland Park

Have you ever thought about something, “Yeah, that’s fine for Resurrection (or another big church), but I can’t do that at my church.”? We get it – it can be hard to translate activities, curriculum, and best practices. We have six different locations that span all sizes and configurations of youth group and Sunday School. Our smallest youth group averages 15-20 students, and it used to be smaller. So, come and find out how we translate the same activities, curriculum, and best practices to fit all the varying shapes and sizes of youth groups.

Digital Ministry on a Budget: Websites, Social Media, and Newsletters Made Simple

Matt Williams, Resurrection Digital Engagement Team Director

Digital media is the new front door for your church, and it’s essential for effective ministry in today’s world. But, how do you manage a website, multiple social media accounts, and email newsletters with a limited budget and no staff? Here you’ll learn simple but effective strategies for your website, social media, and email newsletters that leverage the power of technology (including AI) but don’t require technical expertise, a huge budget, or multiple staff.

Engaging Your Community in the Do Unto Others Campaign

Cathy Bien, Resurrection PR & Special Projects Lead Director

This fall, Resurrection is encouraging churches and organizations across the country to join in our bi-annual campaign for kindness: Do Unto Others. Check out the campaign information and resources at campaignforkindness.com. Then, come to this interactive conversation to share what you are doing, learn from others, and celebrate how our churches are bringing people together and demonstrating Jesus’ command to love one another.

Online Care, Connection, and Community Building

Ashley Morgan Kirk, Resurrection Online Connection & Care Pastor

Discover the core values and practices of care, connection, and community building for those who worship online at Resurrection. Come away with insight into the strategy, workflow, volunteer structure, and heart for showing up for people and equipping them to show up for others. Also gain practical ideas, tools, and guidance on adapting concepts for your context. Witness passion and excitement for online ministry, while you learn from our wins and our losses.

Reboot Your Worship: Five Things to Do Right Now to Improve Your Worship Without a Big Budget

Marcia McFee, Worship Design Studio

Worship is one of the most important ways we offer the liberating Good News. But how do we go from “plug-and-play” planning to offering people a vital and engaging spiritual journey with each liturgical season? And how do we navigate this challenging time when worship attendance varies so widely from sanctuary worship to hybrid, recorded, or just every once-in-a-while? Learn 5 very doable and budget-friendly ways to rejuvenate your worship without “upsetting the apple cart.”

Sanctuary Back Stage Tour (with optional catwalk tour)

James Holt, Resurrection Video & Lighting Technical Director
Layna Shrout, Resurrection Communications Specialist

A guided tour of all the back-of-house audio, video and lighting technology in the main sanctuary at Resurrection’s Leawood location. Tour will end in the control room for more detailed discussion. Followed by an optional tour of the “Skybox,” lighting catwalk, and perhaps even a close-up of the stained-glass window that will involve extensive walking and stairs – wear comfortable shoes!

Sensory-Rich Worship for Unforgettable Messages

Marcia McFee, Worship Design Studio

Learn time-tested strategies for creating and sustaining sensory-rich worship that offers unforgettable messages each and every week for churches of any size, worship style or budget. Come away with theories and practices – shaped by insights from filmmakers: art directors, screenwriters, composers, cinematographers and directors – that attract and ignite volunteers as they gain skills for every worship art.

Studio C Tour and Tech Talk

Sandy Thailing, Resurrection Video & Tech Production Team Director
Kersee Meyer, Resurrection Video Team Director
Mike Lind, Resurrection Video Producer
James Felver, Resurrection Online & Broadcast Creative Production Director

Explore Studio-C at Resurrection’s Leawood location and learn how to effectively use green screen, how to light a simple interview, what tools to use for streaming, what multi-camera live switching is, and how to get better sound in a your productions. Includes a hands-on demonstration of Blackmagic’s Ursa cameras and switcher.