/ Verso Workshop Details

Schedule

8:00    Doors Open

8:30-8:45     Welcome

8:45-9:45     Keynote 1 - Dr. Elisabeth Nesbit, Ph.D. - "The Millennial Challenge"

9:45-10:00         Break

10:00-11:30      Workshop Session 1 (discuss and share experiences, success and struggles with other ministry leaders in the following targeted workshops)

11:30-1:00   Lunch - on your own or a catered BBQ lunch is available for purchase

(12:30-1:00)   Corporate Worship  in the Auditorium

1:00-2:00     Keynote 2 - Dr. Craig Smith, Ph.D. - "A Theology of Relevance"

2:00-2:15     Break

2:15-3:45     Workshop Session 2

See descriptions above.  Topics will be repeated during both sessions, allowing conference participants to attend two different workshops.

3:45-4:00     Break

4:00-5:00     Closing Comments (Workshop Summary Debrief)      

All of the workshops will be recorded and the moderators of each workshop will help us compile a resource bringing together all the info from each session.  This resource will be made available for pre-order at the close of the conference, at a discounted price for conference attendees.




11:30-1:00   Lunch - on your own or a catered BBQ lunch is available for purchase

(12:30-1:00)   Corporate Worship  in the Auditorium

1:00-2:00     Keynote 2 - Dr. Craig Smith, Ph.D. - "A Theology of Relevance"

2:00-2:15     Break

2:15-3:45     Workshop Session 2

See descriptions above.  Topics will be repeated during both sessions, allowing conference participants to attend two different workshops.

3:45-4:00     Break

4:00-5:00     Closing Comments (Workshop Summary Debrief)      

All of the workshops will be recorded and the moderators of each workshop will help us compile a resource bringing together all the info from each session.  This resource will be made available for pre-order at the close of the conference, at a discounted price for conference attendees.

Workshop Options

Workshop 1: Cultivating Creativity

One of the defining self-designations of Millennials is the high value they place on creativity.  But what is creativity and how can the church cultivate an atmosphere that values creative contributions?  When is excellence a hindrance to creativity and when is it a necessary standard?  Where in the church do we encourage creativity?

Workshop 2: Holistic Christianity

Millennials express a longing for a Christian faith that is holistic in the sense that it is integrated into every aspect of their lives, yet they continually express frustration about the degree to which the church is helping them do this. How can we help Millennials develop an understanding of their work as calling?  How can we move beyond basic admonitions about “being moral” or “using your job as an opportunity for evangelism” to help Millennials see a wide range of opportunities to glorify God outside the walls of the church or the traditional boundaries of Christian “ministry”?

Workshop 3: Making It Mine

Multiple studies indicate that Christian high school students are far more likely to remain practicing believers after graduation when they see their faith as their own.  How can we facilitate the transition from a “family faith” to a personal commitment?  What factors contribute to students seeing Christian faith as personal?  What factors inhibit this process?  What can our student ministries do to make this transition most likely?

Workshop 4: The Untouchables

Surveys indicate that Millennials are frustrated at the church’s unwillingness to deal with difficult cultural topics and that this reluctance leaves them unsure how to navigate the complicated gray areas that seem to make up so much of modern life.  What are the topics that we are afraid to address?  Why are we afraid to address them?  How can we overcome this reluctance and provide Millennials with a practical Christian worldview that doesn’t leave them wondering how to glorify God when “tough topics” come up?

Workshop 5: "Science" Is Not a Four-Letter Word

More than 50% of Millennial students expect to go into a science-related field, yet very few of them have ever heard a single Christian message that touches on a scientific issue; and those few messages that have addressed a scientific issue have been almost exclusively anti-evolution apologetics.  Why is science such a taboo subject in the church?  Are science and faith part of incompatible worldviews?  What facets of a “scientific” worldview are at odds with Christian faith?  How can we equip Millennials to engage scientific disciplines and issues with a robust faith?

Keynote Speakers

Betsy Nesbit 03

Dr. Elisabeth (Betsy) Nesbit, originally from St. Paul, Minnesota, received her Bachelor's degree in Interpersonal Communication from the University of Northern Iowa, her Master's degree in Counseling from Denver Seminary, and her PhD in Counselor Education and Supervision from the University of Arkansas. Having studied and taught overseas, Betsy brought her love of culture into her studies, focusing her academic research on the role of generational affiliation in the shaping of American culture. Specifically, Betsy's academic research has focused on understanding how generational membership influences the development of values, beliefs, and worldviews. She now serves as Assistant Professor in Counseling at Denver Seminary and maintains a psychotherapy practice in Littleton, Colorado. Additionally, she speaks and consults nationally for non-profit, government and military organizations, along with churches and businesses on the topic of generational differences.

craighead2

Dr. Craig A. Smith received his B.A. from Kent State University in the field of Mass Communications before going on to earn an M.Div. from Denver Seminary and a Ph.D. in Biblical Studies from Trinity College, University of Bristol in the U.K.  Craig speaks in a variety of settings around the world, preaching in churches, teaching at conferences and lecturing in New Testament & Systematic Theology at seminaries and universities. Craig is the executive director of the Shepherd Project which equips Christians to "dig deep into Truth and reach wide into the world with relevant and transformational proclamations of the Good News of Jesus Christ."  Craig is the author of several books including The Word:  Understanding and Trusting the Bible in an Age of Skepticism and How Not To Miss God Moving.

Craig also serves his home church as worship leader, electric guitarist and creative director.  With the mind of a respected scholar and the heart of a creative artist, Craig is passionate about equipping Christians to think rightly and live contagiously.