Engaging Disability Executive Director Ashley Belknap will present three seminars and be available to talk with you. Kristen Harnly will also be available at our Engaging Disability exhibit and Chery Erb will be at our Simply the Gospel exhibit. Come by to discuss teens and families in your congregation or to find great resources to help your congregation think intentionally about discipling and enfolding all members of the body of Christ.
Monday Early Bird Super Seminar: Enfolding Students with Disabilities into Youth Ministry
As students with unique needs (diagnosed and undiagnosed) transition from children’s ministry to youth ministry, it is very likely that youth leaders and volunteers will entertain the question, “Can I really disciple and enfold every student into youth ministry”? This super seminar will seek to equip every youth leader to understand how and believe that they can reach, disciple, and enfold every student – even if you have not had any exposure or practice interacting with students with disabilities. Youth ministry is the critical bridge for families remaining in church life-long. If students impacted by disability can thrive through the transition from children’s ministry to youth ministry, the student and his family is 90% more likely to remain in church life-long.
Ashley will provide you with a foundation for making disability ministry part of your already-existing youth ministry programming without asking you to change everything you are already doing. Her goal is to make you and your youth ministry stronger as you seek to disciple and enfold every child. This seminar will also provide you an opportunity to ask specific, acute-needs questions and get real-time answers on strategies to support your students.
Tuesday: Effective Bible Teaching to Mixed-Ability Youth Groups
It is very common to find a wide range of learning needs present in the students in youth ministries. This seminar will focus on strategies for Bible teaching that go a step beyond sitting and listening to a lecture-style Sunday school or large group. Ashley will provide practical strategies for breaking down (not dumbing down) content that will help every student learn the Bible, theology and application to their lives at a deeper level, while accounting for unique learning differences within the group due to motivation, attention to task, addiction to screens, etc.
Wednesday: Discipling and Enfolding Kids with Autism, Limited Language, and Maladaptive Behaviors into Youth Ministry
This seminar will provide an encouraging foundation and practical next steps for youth leaders who are eager to support teens who may have more noticeable challenges enfolding into youth ministry. Ashley will provide a background from understanding unique behaviors as communication. Her goal is to teach you how to get these students growing in Christ and developing genuine relationships with peers and volunteers, without requiring you to re-invent your youth ministry. Additionally, she will teach you how to build relationships with students that support motivation, participation, and increase participation through communication. She will also provide you with strategies to buoy social skills and educate your youth ministry students so that everyone learns to love each other well.