Workshops (Friday Morning)

Nearly 50 workshops will be offered on Friday morning, divided among three time slots:

  • 9:00 – 9:45
  • 10:00 – 10:45
  • 11:00 – 11:45

For those participating online, a pre-recorded presentation will be available. Both in-person and online participants will have email access to the presenter both before and up to one month after National Conference. Presenters will share documents, answer questions, and interact through an email group.

For in-person participants, coffee breaks will be provided throughout the morning.

Workshops: Friday 9:00 – 9:45

1. The Power of Presence

Mike Dittman
Director of National Ministries

Disciple-making churches open their hearts and their homes to love people wherever they live, work, learn, and play. They get involved in the social places of others and invite them into their sacred spaces; from board rooms to living rooms and from bus stops to coffee shops. Learn a simple, yet supernatural process of talking to others and God about the things that really matter. Everyone can do this with anyone, anywhere!

Repeated at 10:00 and 11:00.

2. Lessons from Redemption House

Tomi Cardin
Director, Redemption House Ministries
Member of the ELT
Fort Wayne, Ind.

Over the past 10 years, Redemption House has helped over 150 women transition out of incarceration while partnering with churches. Along the way, they have learned many lessons about building disciples among people with terrible addictions and dysfunctions, and about how churches and volunteers can best work with local ministries. Glean from their best practices and apply them to your local contexts.

3. Stories of UB People Amidst the Civil War

Steve Dennie
UB Communications Director

Hear fascinating stories about UB people during the Civil War years–Medal of Honor winners, ministers in uniform, families with up to seven sons in the army, UB officers in black regiments, surviving the Civil War but dying with Custer, POWs at Andersonville, and vets who went on to impressive accomplishments. For his upcoming book about our denomination during the Civil War years, Steve compiled the stories of over 2000 UB men who served in the Union Army…and a few in the Confederate army. He’ll share some of his personal favorite stories.

4.3Story Teams

Roger Vezeau (top)
National Chapter Advancement Leader
Youth for Christ USA

Brian Biedenbach
Director of Leader Development
Northern Indiana Youth for Christ

A 3Story Team consists of followers of Jesus who intentionally and regularly abide in Christ together and engage others in disciple-making relationships. In this workshop, we will build upon the 3Story framework provided during Thursday’s equipping session and prepare you to participate in, and lead, 3Story Teams with others in your congregation.

Repeated at 10:00.

5. Defending Your Church from Cyber Security Threats

Christopher Harvey, CPCU
Assistant Vice President, IT-Network Architecture
Brotherhood Mutual Insurance

Data security breaches are constantly in the news, but the threat of phishing scams and ransomware attacks aren’t limited to large companies. In fact, ministries are increasingly under attack by savvy cyber criminals. That’s why it’s crucial for church executives to understand ministry-specific cybersecurity risks and how to proactively defend their digital assets and information. This presentation will equip you with the tools and knowledge to protect your ministry against cyber threats and to evaluate your cybersecurity defenses.

6. Discipleship: Sharing our Story and Interacting over His

(For Pastor Spouses only)

Pam Dittman
Commerce, Mich.

Let’s create a safe environment to share our stories and allow God’s most powerful story to draw us together. It’s been a crazy year with a lot to unpack about our understanding of who He is in our life, ministry, family, and life in general. This is the most simple and powerful form of discipleship that Jesus models and one that can be done simply and comfortably in any setting. Let’s gather to pursue the hearts of those we are with and pray together as we hear each other’s journeys.

Repeated at 10:00 and 11:00.

7. Discipling Parents in a Busy World

Christine Augustat
Family Life Minister
Fowlerville UB Church
Fowlerville, Mich.

Kids spend about 3000 hours a year with their parents/caregivers. It shouldn’t surprise us that God calls them to disciple their kids. Yet, many parents are pre-believers, unaware of their calling or scared to make a mistake. How can the church help them grow confidence in their faith and calling? In this breakout, we will dig into the why and how of discipling parents. You’ll leave with specific tools to help your church help parents introduce their kids to a growing relationship with Jesus.

8. Engaging Your Church in Missions w/Jeannie Marie

Jeannie  Marie (left)
and the UB Global Team

Jeannie Marie’s book Across the Street and Around the World continues to encourage the North American church in sparking a mission vision. In this workshop, join Jeannie to:

  • Survey map your area real-time to find where unreached people groups live and worship in your area…yes, they’re there!
  • Learn step-by-step how to plan a vision-casting prayer walk where unreached people groups live or worship…with the people you influence.
  • Identify next steps to train others to become effective welcomers and disciplers of the nations in your neighborhood.
  • While in Fort Wayne, share a meal at a local international restaurant. Here is a list.

9. Raising Disciples in Your Own Home

Christy Cabe
Emmanuel Community Church
Fort Wayne, Ind.

Jesus’ commission to make disciples of all nations does not exclude those who live under our own roofs. In fact, we can impact the world by discipling those who sit around our dinner tables and ride in our minivans. But how? This session will focus on practical ideas and tools for raising disciples in our own homes. We will discuss methods for teaching our children what the Bible says, and ways to help them apply it to their daily lives.

10. The Importance of His Word in Making Disciples

Dennis Miller
Senior Pastor
Emmanuel Community Church
Fort Wayne, Ind.

There has long been a debate as to whether a newer believer is taught Christian lifestyle first or Bible first. Or whether that new Christian begins ministry and learns what he/she needs to know or begins with the learning process. There is not one answer for every person, but learning the Scriptures is never wrong. When the Word is effectively taught, it will produce life change and the training to become a purposeful disciple. In this workshop, we will discuss the value of the Scriptures in true discipleship and why it cannot be overlooked. A fully-devoted disciple is one who balances Godly Walk with God’s Word.

Repeated at 10:00.

11. Kingdom Representation in Intentional Discipleship

Sherilyn Emberton
President, Huntington University

As we enter a new era of church and parachurch leadership, we need to ensure that mentorship and discipleship must include programs and initiatives that represent a Kingdom-based approach. Oftentimes, materials and approaches can fail to include examples and outreach to underrepresented groups such as women, people of color, and emerging adults. People can fail to grasp where they fit in service opportunities and personal spiritual growth, which causes them to not see themselves moving deeper into the work of the congregation. This session will focus on addressing these opportunities and new strategies for growing the lives of the people you serve with.

12. Becoming A Reproducing Church

Andy Sikora
Lead Pastor
Renew Communities
Berea, Ohio

One of the basic laws that God built into creation is that healthy organisms reproduce. It’s true of humans, animals, vegetation and it should be true for the church too! Did you know that 80% of American churches are either plateaued or declining? Did you know that less than 6% of American churches are reproducing or multiplying? In this workshop, we will discuss 5 levels of church, from declining to multiplying, uncover key obstacles most churches are facing as they work to become a reproducing church, and help you identify what steps your church might need to take this year to move forward in God’s plan to reproduce new disciples, pastors, and even new churches!

Workshops: Friday 10:00 – 10:45

21. The Power of Presence

Mike Dittman
Director of National Ministries

Disciple-making churches open their hearts and their homes to love people wherever they live, work, learn, and play. They get involved in the social places of others and invite them into their sacred spaces; from board rooms to living rooms and from bus stops to coffee shops. Learn a simple, yet supernatural process of talking to others and God about the things that really matter. Everyone can do this with anyone, anywhere!

Repeated at 9:00 and 11:00.

22. Stories of Discipleship

David Kline
Associate Director of UB Global
Huntington, Ind.

Sometimes hearing stories can have far greater impact than a class or seminar. Come to this workshop to hear stories of how both our missionary staff and UBs in North America are reaching out to practice faith and obedience to Jesus in their unique settings. Walk away with ideas for reaching your neighborhoods and nations.

23. This We Believe

Bob Bruce
UB History Course Instructor
Emmanuel Community Church
Fort Wayne, Ind.

The United Brethren Confession of Faith is brief, beautiful, and comprehensive. It was the perfect foundation for a revival movement in the 1800s, and it is the solid foundation for a people of faith in a rapidly changing world in 2021. In this workshop, we will look at the men who wrote it and their theological backgrounds, the thought behind “Why” it was written the way it was, and at the mission it ignited.

24. 3Story Teams

Roger Vezeau
National Chapter Advancement Leader
Youth for Christ USA

Brian Biedenbach
Director of Leader Development
Northern Indiana Youth for Christ

A 3Story Team consists of followers of Jesus who intentionally and regularly abide in Christ together and engage others in disciple-making relationships. In this workshop, we will build upon the 3Story framework provided during Thursday’s equipping session and prepare you to participate in, and lead, 3Story Teams with others in your congregation.

Repeated at 9:00.

25. Religious Freedom in a Time of Change

Kyle Johnson, JD, CPCU
Senior Corporate Attorney – Legal Department
Brotherhood Mutual Insurance Company

Anyone who turns on the news, opens a magazine, or browses the Web can see that society is changing rapidly. There is a concern that this societal shift will place churches and ministries in the cross hairs of negative publicity, governmental scrutiny, and litigation. In addition to everything going on, the Supreme Court issued a number of decisions recently that impact religious freedom. Join Kyle Johnson as he discusses those recent Supreme Court cases and their impact on a ministry’s ability to stand by its sincerely held beliefs.

In this session:

  • Discover how to navigate the current landscape of faith-based employment. Attendees will leave with a deeper understanding of recent Supreme Court decisions, Title VII’s impact on religious hiring practices, and how the ministerial exception may or may not apply to certain employees.
  • Learn about the recent legal changes regarding religious institutions’ eligibility for certain tax and other public benefits.
  • Acquire knowledge on some practical steps your ministry can take to protect the use of its facilities for only those activities that align with the ministry’s beliefs and mission.

Repeated at 11:00.

26. Discipleship: Sharing our Story and Interacting over His

(For Pastor Spouses only)

Pam Dittman
Commerce, Mich.

Let’s create a safe environment to share our stories and allow God’s most powerful story to draw us together. It’s been a crazy year with a lot to unpack about our understanding of who He is in our life, ministry, family, and life in general. This is the most simple and powerful form of discipleship that Jesus models and one that can be done simply and comfortably in any setting. Let’s gather to pursue the hearts of those we are with and pray together as we hear each other’s journeys.

Repeated at 9:00 and 11:00.

27. Tools to Help Disciple Kids in the Church

Bethany Daymut
Pastor of Family Ministry
Renew Communities
Berea, Ohio

God has given parents the primary calling to disciple their children and most parents who have accepted this calling are looking for partners to help. As children’s ministry leaders we must have a plan to make disciples of even the youngest people in our church!

In this workshop, we’ll discuss the importance of discipling your volunteers so they can disciple the kids who are entrusted to us every week, how to create a discipleship road map for kids from birth to graduation, and ways you can equip parents to live out the calling God has for them as they raise their kids to be disciples of Jesus.

28. Trends in Missions in the 21st Century

Frank Yang
Executive Director of UB Global
Huntington, Ind.

The world is changing at a dizzying pace…and missions is advancing rapidly too! Come learn about trends in modern missions–discipleship tools, lessons learned, and things to be wary of as we participate in 21st century missions. Be inspired with new ideas to better impact your neighborhoods and the nations.

29. Discipling Women and Teen Girls

Sara Ward
Emmanuel Community Church
Fort Wayne, Ind.

We know we’re supposed to be discipling other women, but how can we do this in our everyday lives? How can we invest in others when our schedules are full or we’re unsure what discipleship should look like?

In this workshop, you’ll learn obstacles holding women back from discipleship and the tools you can use to help women learn to love God’s word and live it out in their everyday lives.

We’ll cover:

  • What discipleship is and the unique aspects we bring to it as women.
  • How we can learn to study the Bible on our own or with a group.
  • How we can encourage discipleship among the next generation of women.
  • Practical tools to weave discipleship into your life.

30. The Importance of His Word in Making Disciples

Dennis Miller
Senior Pastor
Emmanuel Community Church
Fort Wayne, Ind.

There has long been a debate as to whether a newer believer is taught Christian lifestyle first or Bible first. Or whether that new Christian begins ministry and learns what he/she needs to know or begins with the learning process. There is not one answer for every person, but learning the Scriptures is never wrong. When the Word is effectively taught, it will produce life change and the training to become a purposeful disciple. In this workshop, we will discuss the value of the Scriptures in true discipleship and why it cannot be overlooked. A fully-devoted disciple is one who balances Godly Walk with God’s Word.

31. On Earth as It is in Heaven: How Intercultural Experiences Provide Hope for Huntington University’s Efforts to Reflect God’s Kingdom

Arthur Wilson
Vice President for Spiritual Formation
Huntington University

Chynna Presley
Director of Intercultural Enrichment
Huntington University

Since 2008, Huntington University has been intentional in its efforts to diversify its campus. In this workshop, Rev. Arthur Wilson and Chynna Presley will lead participants on a tour that will highlight the transformation of students’ perceptions of race and faith.

32. The Pastor as Chief Disciple Maker

Andy Sikora
Lead Pastor
Renew Communities
Berea, Ohio

One of the reasons church’s aren’t making disciples is because their pastor’s aren’t. In this workshop we’ll discuss what it means for the pastor to take on the role of “Chief Disciple Maker” by talking about Jesus’ plan for discipleship, the temptations we face leading an organization that keep us from discipleship and the steps you can take to begin a disciple making movement in your church!

Workshops: Friday 11:00 – 11:45

41. The Power of Presence

Mike Dittman
Director of National Ministries

Disciple-making churches open their hearts and their homes to love people wherever they live, work, learn, and play. They get involved in the social places of others and invite them into their sacred spaces; from board rooms to living rooms and from bus stops to coffee shops. Learn a simple, yet supernatural process of talking to others and God about the things that really matter. Everyone can do this with anyone, anywhere!

Repeated at 9:00 and 10:00.

42. Sending them Out Well

Michelle Harris
Associate Director, UB Global
Anchor UB Church
Fort Wayne, Ind.

Have you wondered about more effectively sending out your missionaries? UB Global is now sending missionaries through a Missionary Support Team (MST) model where a team comes together to send, support while on the field, and welcome back missionaries. Come to hear about an active team and how they have been an effective part of sending out the McCammon family to Sierra Leone. Walk away with ways to form MSTs around your missionaries.

43. How the Pietists Made Disciples (and why it matters more now than ever).

Tony Blair
President, Evangelical Seminary
Myerstown, Pa.

We want to be mature disciples of Christ, and help others be mature disciples, too. But we struggle with this, individually, as a denomination, and as American Christianity in general. It may be because we have lost touch with some of our pietistic heritage. Pietism was a movement 300 years ago from which most evangelicals are spiritually descended. They had some wisdom then that would be good for us to reconnect with, particularly about how we formed into the image of Christ. This workshop will make direct application from pietism’s impulses to application in our lives and ministries in the 21st century.

44. The Huddle Model for Discipleship

Curtis Carnes
Pastor of Missional Discipleship
Renew Communities
Berea, Ohio

This workshop will focus on how to go about shifting from curriculum-centered discipleship to Spirit-led, obedience-driven discipleship. We will explore the Huddle model for discipleship used at Renew Communities. It revolves around two major questions:

  1. What is God telling you?
  2. What are you doing about it?

You will learn how to use the Kairos Circle, which can immediately be used to improve any discipleship relationship.

45. Protecting the Flock

Kyle Johnson, JD, CPCU
Senior Corporate Attorney – Legal Department
Brotherhood Mutual Insurance Company

As the issues that plague the world make their way into churches, more and more ministry leaders are taking steps to protect their people, property, and ministries. This session will offer legal perspective and practical, ministry-focused solutions for addressing various issues ministries face today. Join Kyle Johnson and Austin Krouse as they discuss abuse prevention, sex offender risk management, handling disruptive individuals, and other safety and security issues.

46. Discipleship: Sharing our Story and Interacting over His

(For Pastor Spouses only)

Pam Dittman
Commerce, Mich.

Let’s create a safe environment to share our stories and allow God’s most powerful story to draw us together. It’s been a crazy year with a lot to unpack about our understanding of who He is in our life, ministry, family, and life in general. This is the most simple and powerful form of discipleship that Jesus models and one that can be done simply and comfortably in any setting. Let’s gather to pursue the hearts of those we are with and pray together as we hear each other’s journeys.

Repeated at 9:00 and 10:00.

47. Disciplemaking and Student Ministry: 3 Changes and 4 Chairs

Brian Kramer
Pastor of Middle School Ministries
Emmanuel Community Church
Fort Wayne, Ind.

Every church is responsible for raising up disciple-makers from among the next generation. This workshop examines three current challenges to doing so, and identifies four invitations from Jesus that enable every congregation to meet and exceed those challenges.

48. Excellent Church Missions Curriculum: Kairos

Colleen Di Raddo (above)
Joshua Rodenbaugh
US National Coordinating Team
Simply Mobilizing, Int’l

Looking for a way to train your congregation in missions and apply it to their lives? For several decades, the Kairos course has been impacting hundreds of thousands of Christians on six continents. Large, medium, and small church representatives from the UB have taken Kairos. Come find out how you and your church can be blessed through Kairos.

49. Digital Discipleship

Kevin Poole
Technical Director
Emmanuel Community Church
Fort Wayne, Ind.

How to reach beyond the walls of your church to reach people where they are—online. Whether you’ve been publishing services online for years or you jumped in when our world changed due to Covid, there are things we can learn from each another. Can relational connections and discipleship happen online? We believe that they can! This workshop will offer practical tips and equipment suggestions for improving the experience for your online attenders. Ample time for Q&A will be provided for questions and dialogue.

50. The Gospel as the Foundation for Racial Reconciliation

Dalton Jenkins
Senior Pastor
Bethel Temple of Praise
Yonkers, New York

Under-represented groups continuously cry against injustice and inequality throughout our societies. Sin is the cause of injustice and inequity. I will begin with my own story, as an immigrant from Jamaica, in learning about racial injustice and inequality in the USA. We will seek to layout a pattern for racial reconciliation and justice based on our dependence on God’s Word. First, we will look at the issue by addressing the:

  • A pattern of racial reconciliation in the Scriptures.
  • The rise of the inferiority myth.
  • The black church and the backdrop of the black experience.

Then we will suggest some ways to address systematic injustice and racial reconciliation by:

  • Addressing the Biblical Kingdom agenda
  • Prophetically declaring the Kingdom impact in the culture.
  • Incorporating urban apologetics in our theological discipline.
  • Practically addressing structural changes that are needed.

No matter from where we emigrate and what injustice we face, God has provided the right balance to deal with these issues. We are all made in the image of God. We are recipients of reconciliation by the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We, therefore, have the suitable characteristics to lead reconciliation.

51. Worship Discipleship: Becoming What God Is Seeking

Jay LeBlanc
Worship Leader
Emmanuel Community Church

Sam Ward
Pastor of Worship
Emmanuel Community Church

With decades of experience in larger churches, worship pastors Sam Ward and Jay LeBlanc will be using a discussion format to dig into questions such as:

  • What aspects of discipleship go into training worship leaders?
  • What does it look like to disciple a worship team?

This interactive and informal workshop will share stories and specific applications for any pastor in any size church.

52. The Best UB Missionaries Ever: The Lives of Joseph and Mary Gomer

Dave Datema
UB Endorsed Missionary
Frontier Ventures
Pasadena, Calif.

African-Americans Joseph and Mary Gomer were arguably the most effective missionaries ever produced by the United Brethren in Christ. Under their leadership, the UB mission in Sierra Leone went from the brink of closure to stability and growth. This workshop will focus on Joseph’s birth as a free black in Michigan, his years in Chicago and involvement in the Civil War, and his marriage to Mary which introduced him to the UBs in Dayton, Ohio. I will then give an overview of the Gomers’ work in Sierra Leone from 1871-1892.

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