Our workshops topics and speakers are chosen by Rooted’s Steering Committees, two diverse groups of youth pastors and parents from different contexts and parts of the country. We are working on all the details for Rooted 2024, and will update this page as we finalize our plans. In the meantime, we encourage you to download the Rooted App and subscribe to the Rooted Conference Podcast in order to hear past workshops, or purchase Rooted 2023 Virtual Access to listen to all the workshops listed below.
Friday 9:45 a.m.
Kelly Kapic – Discovering the Joy of Being a Creature (Parenting and Youth Ministry)
In this seminar we will explore the pressures we often feel about always needing to do more, know more, and be more. When is it ever enough? With the endless pressure and the shame that often comes with such nagging expectations, we will carefully think through a more faithful theology and show how it can help liberate our lives.
Andy Cornett – The Kids Are Not Ok: Why the Adults Have to Step Up, Face the Truth, and Serve (Family Discipleship)
How might the local church partner with parents by cultivating volunteer roles for other adults so kids and students are strengthened in fellowship and discipleship? Let’s face it – family discipleship is a real priority, but let’s don’t pile the discipleship burden on too narrow a definition of “family.” Discover the critical role of other adults in witness, shepherding, and discipling kids – and the spirit and structures needed to sustain them in that ministry.
Mike McGarry – Pursuing Theological Depth in Youth Ministry (Youth Ministry)
We aren’t trying to be theology professors in the youth room. We’re youth pastors. But if we’re committed to making lifelong disciples, then we need to prioritize theological conversations as part of our evangelism and discipleship. This workshop will present a theological vision for student ministry that will prepare you to teach theologically with confidence.
Danny Kwon and Monica Kim – What Pastors Need to Know About Mental Health (Youth Ministry)
Mental health issues in serving teenagers in the church, families, and youth ministry is becoming a huge issue. As youth workers and parents, it can be difficult to understand all the issues and angles related to the mental health struggles of teenagers and how to best help them. This session will begin to contrast and outline what youth workers and parents can begin to embrace in serving teenagers and their mental health issues, and how a Psychologist and Christian Counseling perspective can inform youth workers, families, and parents, to better serve them in helping teenagers with mental health struggles.
C.J. Moore – Planning Missions Trips for Youth Groups (Youth Ministry)
As part of our call to make disciples of all nations, student ministers should consider their role in equipping the next generations of disciple makers and missionaries through short-term mission trips. You have a tremendous opportunity to leverage these trips for the good of your students both now and well into the future. Many long-term missionaries will tell you that their call to missionary service took place through a trip like this as a student. They can be done wrong, but if done right, these trips can be worldview-shifting opportunities that make a significant difference in a student’s evangelistic life—whether they become missionaries, ministers, pastors, or faithful Christians serving in the workplace. So, how can you make the most of these opportunities? Whether you’ve already done it dozens of times or are looking to do it for the first time, come to this workshop where we’ll discuss the whole process—how to plan, recruit, train, serve, and return well for short-term mission trips.
Kevin Twit – Helping Prepare Your Students For College (Parenting and Youth Ministry)
How can we help our students to be better prepared for the transition into college. Rev. Kevin Twit has served as an RUF Campus Minister at Belmont University for over 28 years will share his thoughts and perspective on this vital topic.
Friday 11:00 a.m.
Liz Edrington – Anxiety and The Better Story (Parenting and Youth Ministry)
We live in a time where our students are struggling with anxiety more than ever. Our digital natives live with an influx of constant data – from global disasters to Tik Tok therapists who encourage self-diagnosis. So how does the Bigger Story of our Triune God offer hope in such a confusing, disorienting place? How does the reality of Jesus’ incarnation invite our students to more? In this workshop, we will discuss some of the individual and systemic causes of soaring teenage anxiety rates and consider the ways our Living Lord offers hope and comfort to the most anxious of souls.
Paul Lim – Between Power Failure and Burnout Society: How to Think Theologically about Technology
Most of us – Christians or not – don’t think much these days. Our phones are always with us, providing (or bombarding) us with information overflow, often paralyzing and preventing us from formulating our own views that are not conditioned or controlled by “the Machine.” In this seminar, Dr. Paul Lim from Vanderbilt will help us to think theologically about recent technological breakthroughs and how these changes are neither inevitable nor unqualifiedly profitable.
Curtis Zackery – Finding Rest as a Weary Youth Pastor (Youth Ministry)
For many, rest and work have been viewed as mutually exclusive. In this session, we will explore what it means to work from a restful place, which helps maintain mental health, productivity, and sustainability. We will discuss some practical next steps that will help us to establish restful rhythms in our lives.
Kendal Conner – Bible Storying, Pt. II: Discipling Students in a Post-Christian Culture (Youth Ministry)
“With Generation Z being labeled America’s first, true post-christian generation, it is no wonder this current student generation seems to bring with it unique challenges when it comes to learning and sharing God’s Word. Last year, we looked at the cultural and formational realities of Generation Z and Alpha, and considered how an evangelistic method — originally intended to disciple unreached people groups — might just be the key to discipling them in God’s truth.
And we want to continue the conversation!
In part two of Bible Storying, we are going to take a deep dive into the mechanics of using the Bible Storying method in your local ministry, both for growing students in discipleship and for training them in evangelism. Whether you came to part one or not, join us as we continue discussing how Bible Storying can help our students to better know, love, and share God’s Word.”
Cameron Cole – Basic Principles of Family Ministry (Family Discipleship)
Rooted established five pillars of GCYM back in 2011. How does those pillars relate to family ministry. This workshop will look at how the pillars of GCYM are applied and work simple, sustainable and achievable way.
David Brashler, Dawson Cooper, Anna Meade Harris, Syler Thomas, and Terrence Shay – Parenting Panel: Discipling Children through Milestones and Transitions
In the sleepless nights of early parenthood, it can be hard to imagine your baby ever going to school, driving a car, or launching into the adult world. Harder still is helping your child make the transitions from child to pre-teen to teenager to adult. In this panel discussion, you’ll hear from five members of the Rooted Parent Steering Committee who have discipled children through these stages. We will offer you our stories of failure (and success!), share practical guidance, and most of all, encourage you to rest in Jesus as you grow up in him alongside your child.
Saturday 9:15 a.m.
Jared Kennedy – Helping Your Kids See Their Gender as a Gift for God’s Mission (Parenting)
Like Buzz Lightyear at the Dinoco station believing he’s a real space man, we’re lost if we don’t know who we are and to Whom we belong. Parents are responsible to teach their children the Christlike character necessary to be a godly son or daughter, brother or sister, wife or husband, mother or father. Boys need to grow up into godly sons and potential fathers who can provide for and protect others. Girls need to grow up into godly daughters and potential mothers who cultivate the relational structures necessary for nurturing others.
Sissy Goff – Understanding Adolescents: The Back Door to Your Teen’s Heart (Parenting)
How was your day? Fine. What’d you do in school today? Nothing.
Countless parents of teenagers tell us it feels as if someone took their child, in the middle of the night, and replaced them with an alien who looks identical. If you have a child nearing the teenage years, or in the midst of them, you’ve already had this conversation…probably countless times. How do you get past it? How do you help them navigate the teenage years when they keep shutting the door as soon as you walk upstairs? How do you connect with them in a way that enables you to really connect with them in these last few years you have left? This class offers a paradigm shift for parents. You will leave this class equipped with:
• ways to get past the one word answers
• ideas of how to connect, even when they seem disinterested
• discipline and responsibility strategies that mature as your child does
The Back Door to Your Teen’s Heart is, we believe, a disarming approach to find your way back to the child you used to know, and draw out and even enjoy who they are becoming. Join us for this time to talk, laugh and encourage each other on this tumultuous journey of raising teens.
Sarah Eekhoff Zylstra – How to Help Your Child Navigate Social Media (Parenting and Youth Ministry)
The social media apps your daughter is logging into are vastly different from the ones you first signed up for. Join us to hear how things have changed (and why your child seems to be addicted), what’s good and what’s broken about social media, and the best practices you can use–for yourself and for your child–on social media.
Danny Kwon – Developing and Working with a Student Leadership Team (Youth Ministry)
There are a variety of perspectives and thoughts on student leadership in youth ministry. Likewise, many have differing theologies and philosophies, and even pros and cons of their purpose and function. This session will outline and share ideas, rationale, and strategies for shaping and leading fruitful student leadership teams, as well as what are some issues one needs to consider and ponder as you craft student leadership teams in your youth ministry.
Clark Fobes – Understanding and Teaching Sermon on the Mount (Youth Ministry and Family Discipleship)
The Sermon on the Mount is arguably the most famous portion of Scripture to the non-Christian world, and the most popular to study amongst Christians. In it we get some of the most in depth teachings from Jesus on discipleship and the Christian life. Given its popularity, however, there are no shortage of approaches to understanding its message. In this workshop, we’ll look at the common questions that arise from studying and teaching the Sermon on the Mount, and offer some approaches to help you as you study and teach it to your students. This workshop will also serve as a companion to the forthcoming Rooted curriculum on the Sermon on the Mount.
Saturday 10:30 a.m.
Syler Thomas – Bootcamp for Parents of Teens and Tweens (Parenting)
Parents of middle schoolers can carry as much anxiety about the high school years as students. What should I be ready for? What are the most important things I need to know as my kids enter these crucial years, before they head off to college? How can I best prepare them and myself to make the most of these years from a spiritual point of view?
Sarah Eekhoff Zylstra – How to Help Your Child Navigate Video Games (Parenting and Youth Ministry)
The video games your son is playing are vastly different from Mario Kart of the 1990s. Listen in on how things have changed (and why your child seems to be addicted), what’s good and what’s broken about video gaming, and the best practices you can use–for yourself and for your child–for managing video games.
Cameron Cole, Kerry Trunfio and Connor Coskery – Shifting From Youth Ministry to Family Ministry Panel (Family Discipleship)
Monica Kim – Walking Alongside Kids Living in Fear Post-Trauma (Parenting and Youth Ministry)
As parents and even youth workers, we try our best to protect our children from trauma and violence while living in this broken world. Much like the Israelites who sojourned in the wilderness where danger abounded, we too live in a world where danger abounds. While pressing deep into the hope of Jesus awaiting his return, how can parents and youth workers comfort their kids after trauma and tragedy happen? This seminar will provide godly wisdom for parents and youth workers who seek to know how to walk alongside kids living in fear post trauma.
Vince Greenwald – Why Confession Belongs in Your Youth Ministry (Youth Ministry)
Too often, our youth ministries teach students to hide their sins instead of confess their sins. 1 John 1 shows us a better way, walking in the light. Come learn how to develop a culture of confession in youth ministry, and see how this new testament imperative powerfully communicates the truths of the gospel to our students.
Senior Director of Content
Senior Director of Youth Ministry Content and Cross Cultural Initiatives