2023 Inspired to Thrive
How can Christians show up to spiritually curious people in a way that unleashes curiosity and transforms it into believing in and following Christ? Our churches are traditionally very proficient at sharing the Gospel with believers but to grow the Body of Christ, pastors, ministry and lay leaders may need to listen and respond differently to people who are unchurched.
Insights Lead, Barna
Mark Matlock is a seasoned nonprofit leader - the CEO of MOVEMENT.ORG, founder of WisdomWorks, and previous president of Youth Specialties. He is passionate about helping organizations adapt to changing times by turning research-based insights into impactful action. Mark has authored more than twenty books and organized hundreds of ministry events.
Most recently, Mark and Barna Group President David Kinnaman co-authored Faith for Exiles: Five Ways for a New Generation to Follow Jesus in Digital Babylon. As a consultant, Mark has worked with national and international organizations such as Seed Company, Barna Group, Brotherhood Mutual, and Awana. He is currently working on Emotionally Healthy Discipleship for teens with Pete Scazzero and a new book for Barna.
Mark and his wife Jade live in Texas and have two adult children.
Pastor Dara Schuller has been a pastor at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church for 10 years. She attended Luther College in Decorah, IA and went to seminary at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, graduating in 2011. At Good Shepherd she works in the areas of community partnerships, focusing on connecting with neighbors through faith and service.
Rick Thomas currently serves as Outreach Director at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Madison, WI. After working in small business, real estate and property maintenance, Rick discovered that he felt a calling to work in Outreach ministries where he held leadership positions in the food pantry and food cart ministries before taking over as Outreach Director in 2023.
Holy CoW Ministries
Good Shepherd Lutheran Church
Pastor Dara Schuller and Rick Thomas
Breakout Session #1
There is a lot to learn from out-of-the-box, creative ministries that meet people in unexpected places. Join Rick Thomas, Director of Outreach and Pastor Dara Schuller-Hanson from Good Shepherd Lutheran Church- Madison & Verona, WI to learn about their church on wheels and how they see the Spirit on the mooo-ve in their community.
Pastor Collin Vanderhoof has served as the Pastor of Pilgrim Lutheran Church in Menomonee Falls since 2019.
Pastor V considers it a blessing to serve as a pastor and he especially enjoys working with and getting to know new people. He has a heart for evangelism, meaning he wants everyone to experience the peace that Jesus brings.
Pilgrim Lutheran Church
Pastor Collin Vanderhoof
Darcy Paape has twenty years of experience working with young adults in high school, church ministry, and university settings. Over the past eight years Darcy has also directed the Women's Leadership Institute and collaborated with a variety of volunteer professionals to create programs, host conferences and workshops for Christians in leadership. She is a tireless advocate for mentoring in church and ministry settings. She has published a book on the subject titled: Someone to Walk With: A Woman's Guide to Christian Mentoring.
Most recently, Darcy has developed a workshop of mentoring resources designed for church settings entitled: Growing Together: Let Your Mentoring Skills Take Shape
Concordia University Wisconsin
Breakout Session #2
Whether they realize it or not, every congregation has an outreach culture. Understanding what that culture is and how it can change will go a long way in impacting a congregation's ability to share the gospel. Join us as we discuss ways to get every member thinking about and participating in outreach.
Breakout Session #3
Listening is that moment when another stops all else to focus on and understand our story. Listening produces fruit in powerful ways because it helps us pay attention to the Holy Spirit’s work and prompting in our life and the lives of others. This session will focus entirely on good listening strategies and the triggers that stop our ears from the helpful feedback we might receive as we listen in our families, congregations, and workplace.
Faith Beyond Confirmation: Engaging teenagers in a post-pandemic world
In many mainline churches, while young people come out of the woodwork for confirmation, they tend to fade away immediately thereafter, often viewing confirmation as a graduation from faith. In this seminar and interview, we'll share practical tips for engaging teenagers in your faith community beyond confirmation.
Fuller Youth Institute
Jen Bradbury serves as the content director for Fuller Youth Institute and a volunteer youth pastor at her local church.
With more than twenty years of experience in youth ministry, she’s the author of several books, including Faith Beyond Youth Group, The Jesus Gap, The Real Jesus, Called: A Novel About Youth Ministry Transition, and What Do I Believe About What I Believe? Jen and her husband, Doug, live in the Chicagoland area where they can regularly be found adventuring with their two young daughters.