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. This year, Rooted 2022 will feature more than 20 different workshop topics and two tracks- one for youth ministers and volunteers and another for parents of teens. 

1+2 Samuel as Ancient Literature for Teenagers

Speaker: Seth Stewart

Humans learn through stories. Most of Scripture is narrative. Seth discusses the formative power of literature and how to expose and teach from the narratives of 1 and 2 Samuel to transform your students' hearts. 

"An Old Enemy of Mine:" The Pastor and Depression

Speaker: Dr. Brian Albert

Depression is a common struggle among pastors. Most pastors either burnout, breakdown, or fall away due to this battle. This workshop intends to encourage pastors that Jesus can use your struggles of depression to make you love and know Him. 

Addiction: Your Story Matters

Speaker: Chris Ellman

This workshop will provide practical tips to help you walk alongside and disciple those struggling with pornography/sex addiction. Chris will look at how addiction negatively impacts the brain, define the two types of trauma and discuss what is necessary for healing and recovery.

Anxious, Embodied Souls: What is the Remedy?

Speaker: Liz Edrington

"I have anxiety" has become a ubiquitous phrase amongst teenagers. It is the white noise of Generation Z, and the pandemic certainly hasn't helped. Our students are desperate for relief. It is into this desperation that King Jesus enters, bringing the hope of the embodied, resurrected Lord who walks with them in their most difficult places. In this workshop, we'll explore various causes of anxiety, and we'll talk about the importance of grounding ourselves in a rich theology of embodiment as we seek to care for our students (and ourselves!) well. 

Bible Storying: Teaching the Scriptures to a Post-Christian Generation

Speaker: Kendal Conner

In his book “Meet Generation Z,” James Emery White describes our current student generation as America’s first, true post-christian generation. White defines a post-Christian generation as one raised without “even a memory of the gospel.” If this is true, then even if our students are familiar with Biblical ideas, we can no longer operate under the assumption that our students are coming to us with a foundational understanding of who God is and what Jesus has done. Add to this shrinking attention spans and social-media formed discernment, how can we possibly faithfully teach and train our students in the Scriptures?

In a generation being raised with little to no understanding of the gospel, maybe an evangelism tool that began as a resource for unreached people groups is exactly what our students need to both know the Word, and to be equipped as evangelists in their post-Christian world.

What Does the Countercultural Christian Family Look Like? 

Speaker: Josh Hussung and Anna Meade Harris

There's a lot of talk among Christians right now about "living counterculturally," leading our kids to follow Jesus rather than the culture around us. How should we consider "living counterculturally," and what does that mean for our daily lives? Parents need wisdom from the Scripture and guidance from the Holy Spirit to help us juggle our finite resources of time, money, and attention. In this workshop, Josh and Anna will talk about some of the ways you can discern how your family will live as salt and light in a confusing and dark cultural moment.

 Creating a Vibrant and Intergenerational Youth Ministry Team

Speaker: Rev. Dr. Chris Polski

How can youth ministers build a vibrant and intergenerational youth ministry team in their local congregational context? How can they make the best use of volunteers, parents, regular church members, and even the senior pastor in order to increase the vibrancy and intergeneration of their approach to youth ministry? Come and hear from the experiences of Chris Polski, now a Senior Pastor but formerly a Youth Pastor, as he talks about what he’s learned about team ministry in over thirty years of ministry. 

Deconstruction, Destruction, and Doubt

Speaker: Barnabas Piper

“Deconstruction” is a loaded word. It stirs up fear and anger, it seems to rattle very foundations of the Christian faith but what is it? And how can Christians respond with gospel clarity and charity? In this breakout Barnabas Piper will explain what deconstruction is, what it isn’t, and how we can respond in a Christ-honoring way. 

Discipling Doubters

Speaker: Barnabas Piper

Doubt is often seen as a threat to faith and something to be smothered. But what if doubting and questions are actually an open door for biblical truth and an opportunity for the gospel to become real? In this breakout Barnabas Piper will walk you through how to disciple a doubter toward faith. 

From Frustrating to Fruitful: Hope for your Middle School Ministry

Speaker: Vince Greenwald

Let’s be honest. Middle schoolers are complicated and middle school ministry is difficult, overlooked, and often dismissed. Despite the challenges, the gospel is good news for middle schoolers! Clear and robust Bible teaching and cross-generational friendships can create a flourishing gospel culture in your middle school ministry.

Finding Hope in the Midst of Hate: 3 Practices to Empower & Equip Teens of Color to Address Racism in Their Everyday Lives

Speaker: Dr. Michelle Reyes

In this workshop, Michelle will talk about Biblical perspectives on addressing racism (and the role of cultural identity within this), healthy modes of engagement, and how to create safe spaces for retreat. 

How to Start a Family Ministry: A Practical Workshop

Speaker: Cameron Cole

Everyone knows the importance of having a family ministry in the church. That is easier said than done when you are a young youth pastor who may not be married or have children. This workshop will feature Cameron Cole talking about how he started the family ministry at his church before he had children. It will offer a practical guide on steps that a youth pastor or volunteer can take to having a parent discipleship equipping ministry in their church.

Intergenerational Integrations Across Cultures

Panelists: Isaiah Marshall, Kevin Yi, Chelsea Erickson and Clark Fobes

One of Rooted's five pillars of youth ministry is Intergenerational Integration, but what that looks like can vary across different cultures and contexts. The panel will share their wisdom, learnings and practical tips for how to integrate the next generation into the church effectively. 

Matthew as Ancient Literature for Teenagers

Speaker: Seth Stewart

Humans learn through stories. Most of Scripture is narrative. Seth discusses the formative power of literature and how to expose and teach from the narrative details of Matthew to transform your students' hearts.

Ministering to our Kids While in the Ministry

Speaker: Katie Polski

I often hear ministry leaders talking about how difficult it is to balance ministry and home life. But do they have to conflict? Is it possible for these two significant spheres to intertwine in a healthy way? Join us as we discuss both the blessings and hardships of ministering to our own children while serving God in ministry.
*This workshop includes personal stories from a former pastor's kid who is currently serving in ministry and you'll leave with seven practical ways to keep ministry and home life from conflicting.

Personal Rhythms for Gospel-Centered Ministry 

Speaker: Jared Wilson

It is not enough to be gospel-centered in philosophy or paradigm. In order to adorn what we say with our very lives, those committed to gospel-centrality need to commit themselves to disciplines and rhythms of life that are shaped by grace. This workshop will offer some personal reflections and directives every Christian leader can adopt to ensure they aren’t just gospel-centered in principle but also in person.

Raising a Child Who is Resisting the Faith

Speaker: Luke Paiva

What does the Gospel have to say about raising unbelieving children? It is easy to feel overwhelmed and alone when our child seems lost in doubt and unbelief. In this workshop we will find hope and wisdom in God's Word as we seek to lead the next generation to lifelong faith in Jesus.  

Teaching Justification to Students

Speaker: Greg Meyer

Justification is part of the grand story of God’s love and salvation that is unfolded in the Bible. In it we see the very heart of God displayed: His steadfast love for sinners, His free mercy and grace, and His perfect justice. However, it is becoming increasingly difficult to communicate this core doctrine to a generation of students that is more Biblically and theologically illiterate than those in the past. In this workshop, Greg Meyer will further unpack justification as it relates to youth ministry and share some thoughts about how to skillfully apply it to the lives of students — that they might find lasting comfort and joy in Christ. 

Teens' Sexuality and Gender Confusion 

Speaker: Amanda Smith

As orthodox Christians we believe in the Imago Dei and the beauty of the sacramental nature of marriage and sex. Meanwhile, our teens who are forming their identities, are constantly being bombarded with messages about gender and sexuality that are rooted in subjective realities rather than true anthropology. They are being told that they can create whatever identity they want, according to their ever changing feelings. In this workshop we will talk about how to equip teens to stand in the gospel truth on this subject and how to help teens who are dealing with same sex attraction/gender confusion. 

The Boy Crisis: How To Retain and Deepen the Faith of High School Boys

Speaker: Anthony Bradley

Young men are experiencing extremely high rates of anxiety and depression, and suicide. They are dropping out of the labor force. They are dying from addiction. What we have been doing for men and boys is not working, and it is a crisis. They lack a sense of purpose. It is crucial for older men to invite and call up the next generation to an authentic, purpose-driven male-hood. With its strategic outposts throughout every community across the globe, the Church can be the ideal environment for mentors to help combat this boy crisis. 

Trauma and Depression: How Long, O Lord? 

Speaker: Liz Edrington

On top of the collective trauma of the pandemic, some of our students have stories of trauma that have shaped their understanding of God, themselves, others, and the world. Depression is a common experience, and it can be difficult to known how to navigate it well. In this workshop, we will learn about what trauma and depression are, we will consider the specific hope we are offered in scripture in relation to them both, and we will spend time prayerfully imagining what cross-centered discipleship could look like for our struggling students in the present moment. 

Trusting When We Don't Know the Way: Parenting a Rebellious Teen

Speaker: Katie Polski

Remember the good ole’ days when we strapped our toddler into the car and toted them around? We just can’t do that with teens, and as much as we’d like them to follow our lead, they often choose to go in the opposite direction. What does the Bible say about parenting kids who have acted rebelliously? Where is our hope when our teen displays consistent disobedience? With personal stories, Biblical encouragement, and practical advice, this workshop explores what it looks like to parent a teen who is acting rebelliously. 

Tweets and Teens: Equipping Parents to Make the Right Tech Decisions for their Families

Speaker: Tucker Fleming

Our understanding of technology and its impact on our students evolves almost by the day. The studies demonstrating a tech-founded rise in anxiety coupled with our own observations that our students struggle to be without a phone for mere minutes makes abundantly clear to us the need to think well about the role of technology in the lives of students. What's more, that thinking needs to be passed on to parents in our churches so that they can pray and think well about how to make the best tech decisions they can for their families. In this workshop, we'll talk about some foundational principles for thinking about technology and the Christian life in addition to how we as youth workers can best partner with parents for the sake of the spiritual and technological health of the students in our charge. 

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