Our workshops topics and speakers are chosen by Rooted’s Steering Committee and Parent Steering Committee, two diverse groups of youth pastors and parents from different contexts and parts of the country. This year, Rooted 2021 will feature more than 20 different workshop topics and two tracks- one for youth ministers and volunteers and another for parents of teens. We are proud to announce the first group of workshops below.

Stay tuned as dozens more will be added in the coming week. 



Workshop Session #1


Answering Hard Questions

Speaker: Rebecca McLaughlin

Have you ever had a friend ask you a hard question about your faith? How can you believe the Bible is true? Isn't Christianity homophobic? How can you believe that only one religion is true? Hasn't science disproved Christianity? Aren't Christians racist? In this workshop, Dr. McLaughlin will help us think through how to answer these kinds of questions for ourselves and for our non-believing friends.

Facing Your Fear Without Losing Your Soul: How the Gospel Equips Us for Our Crisis of Courage

Speaker: Russell Moore 

We live in a fearful and cowardly time. The root of all of this fear is the fear that we might lose our belonging in whatever tribe in which we seek safety, the fear that we might have to stand alone. And yet, Jesus told us that we are to stand with courage. That doesn’t mean that we will be fearless, but that we will know how to face our fear and keep walking toward the voice that calls us homeward.

How to Minister to Kids Struggling with Doubt

Speaker: Shelby Abbott

When kids come to us with their doubts, our tendency is to panic because we think they might be losing their faith or dabbling in questions that could lead to unbelief. But the more we ignore or cast aside their doubts now, the more problems we are creating for them in the future.

In this workshop, we’re going to deal honestly with the element of doubt in our student’s lives, and talk through some of the ways God can use us as adults to wield their doubts into a much stronger, more robust faith in Jesus Christ.

Recruiting, Developing, and Keeping Volunteers 

Speaker: Josh Hussung

Student ministers are often short-handed when it comes to volunteers. In this workshop, we will discuss what to look for in volunteers, how to find them, what elements go into effective volunteer training, and how to share vision for your ministry that keeps volunteers engaged in student ministry for the long run. 

The Gospel According to Abraham: Why Faith Comes Before Fruit 

Speaker: Dr. Nicholas Reid 

Abraham is the father of all who believe. But what did Abraham believe? In this workshop, we will explore the grammar of the gospel of Abraham. We will discover that faith comes before fruit and how Abraham believed in God's power to bring life out of death.

The Heart of Boys

Speaker: David Thomas 

In this workshop, David Thomas will focus on understanding the emotional development of boys, the elements of emotion and how they process feelings. We will also explore temperament as a foundation for understanding emotion and our calling to be good stewards of children’s emotional and spiritual well-being. Parents and educators will also be introduced to the concept of reading between the lines as a means of understanding emotion in a boy's behavior. The seminar will end with practical ideas for furthering a boy's emotional development. 

Workshop Session #2


Bruised Reeds and Broken Body: Responding to the Transgender Debate with Grace and Truth

Speaker: Andrew T. Walker 

In this breakout session, Dr. Andrew Walker will address the transgender debate in America. His talk will focus on understanding the ideological complexity of the issue, how to understand the Bible’s witness on matters of gender and gender identity confusion, and the inherent problems of the transgender worldview."

Getting Hitched to the Old Testament: Jesus and His Bible

Speaker: Dr. Nicholas Reid 

Rather than a problem with the Old Testament, the desire to become unhitched from it is a failure to understand the Scriptures as Jesus did. In Luke 24, Jesus uses the Old Testament to explain to his disciples that it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and then to enter his glory. If your students asked you, could you do the same? Come and explore Jesus' Bible and see how it points to him.

Nurturing Resilience in Teens

Speaker: David Thomas

We all want to raise resilient kids, but how do we actually do that? Join David for this important conversations to define Resilience, take a look at the biggest barriers to building it, and more importantly, the intentional practices to help kids develop it. 

This Anxious Age: Finding Rest for Your Family in the Promises of God

Speaker: Anna Meade Harris 

Raising children to walk with Jesus in a fallen world has never been simple or easy, but the events of the past eighteen months have left parents in a state of sustained anxiety. One of their greatest concerns is the well-being of their anxious teenagers. In this workshop we will examine how the promises of our faithful God apply to us and our children. As we become fully convinced that God is able (and willing) to do what he has promised (Romans 4:21), we can help lead our weary families to trust in Jesus and rest in the gospel. 

Tribalism, Cancel Culture and Social Justice

Speaker: Jason Williams 

Come and learn a biblical framework for how to encourage and train our youth to process current social issues. In this workshop we will examine how the sin of partiality expressed through tribalism has divided the church and gain some practical tools to engage these issues thoughtfully, biblically and humbly.


Workshop Session #3


Come and Worship! : How to Incorporate Worship in the Home and in Your Youth Groups

Speaker: Katie Polski

Psalm 98:4 says, “Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth; break forth into joyous song and sing praises!” There is a regular command throughout Scripture to worship our Creator, and this is not a command reserved for adults only, but it’s a rule given to all the earth – every age, every culture, every being – we are all called to sing praises to our God. Because God is worthy of our praise, we should teach our youth that worship is not only reserved for Sunday mornings but it’s an essential component to our spiritual growth that should incorporated into every aspect of life. This workshop will address the reasons why we should incorporate worship into our home life and youth groups, and we’ll talk about the practical ways as to how you can do this (whether you’re naturally musical or not!). Additional resources will be shared at this workshop as well.

How the Gospel Frees Teens from the Pressure to Perform

Speaker: Shelby Abbott

It seems like our students constantly live under the pressure of the need for approval from others in order to feel validated, seen, known, fulfilled, or accepted. And it can be tempting for us as adults to try and free them from that burden by pointing them toward answers that aren’t the gospel.

In this workshop, we’ll talk about the root need kids have when they experience the pressure to perform, and how we can guide them to the only authentic solution that will satisfy them both now and in the important years to come.

Politics and the Kingdom of God: Mediating in a Divided World and a Divided Home

Speaker: Clark Fobes

This past year has revealed just how divisive cultural issues can be. From political stances, to how we vote, to racial issues, and even public health related to the pandemic, we’ve seen how divided our nation has become. These divides have extended into the Church, and into the home, as teens and parents often lie on separate sides of cultural issues due to general lines. How can Youth Pastors be mediators within the Church and for teens and parents in the home? How do we ourselves teach biblically and courageously concerning divisive issues? This workshop will give a framework for how we can truthfully and winsomely navigate divisive issues, with a specific emphasis on Political Divides in our nation.

Porn, Can We Talk Yet?

Speaker: Tal Prince

If you are working with youth in any capacity, you are aware of the prevalence of porn use, yet most of us continue to remain silent. What if our silence is part of the problem? What if you knew how to talk about porn and sexuality? Come to his workshop and get some practical tools to help you open this conversation with students and parents from a man that knows the prison of silence, and how to break out.

Teamwork Makes the Dream Work!

Speaker: Owen Lee, Huey Lee, and Soojin Park

Owen Lee, Huey Lee, and Soojin Park will share lessons learned in their journey to foster healthy staff culture and working relationships, especially as it pertains to their roles as Senior Pastor, Family Life Ministry Pastor, and Youth Ministry Director. Each panelist will provide his/her unique perspective along with personal challenges and how they were overcome. The aim of this workshop is to provide personal insight and practical applications so youth workers can better foster positive relationships with senior leadership.

The Dechurched and Ministry to Students

Speaker: Skyler Flowers

In 2011, Barna highlighted six of the top reasons why young people who are raised in the church are walking away. In the decade since that report was published, the number of people who are dechurcing has risen rapidly. This leaves ministers questioning what is causing such an exodus? And more importantly, how can we address it? In this breakout session, we will discuss the reasons recent students have shown young people are leaving the faith, and we will consider the ways that the church can address these concerns in their teaching, and public posture. 

Working, Watching, Weeping: Teaching Kids and Teens to Grieve and Lament 

Speaker: Tish Harrison Warren

Tish will describe the scriptural practice of lament and lead participants in contemporary practices to help draw teens and adults into this posture in their ordinary lives.


Workshop Session #4


Can’t We Just Go Back to ‘The Breakfast Club’?

Speaker: Alice Churnock

Remember when our biggest stressor was keeping our Keds white and hair crimped, or if our prom date actually matched his tux to our gown? While we can’t go back to the future, times have changed. If this generation is leaving you dazed and confused or even completely clueless, join us for enlightenment on the cultural stressors facing our adolescent girls. We’ll dive in to thigh gaps, mean girls, Snap Streaks and more while offering practical ways that parents can speak truth to their teens and sustain a meaningful relationship – even if reality bites.

Disequilibration: Methods Behind the Madness of Engaging Middle School Students in the Bible

Speaker: Kable Cunningham

Disequilibra…What? Exactly. You may be feeling uncomfortable, insecure and fearful about the difficult task set before you. Your middle school students are probably experiencing all the same feels.  It’s a good thing God has already equipped you with His Word, the Holy Spirit and a calling to this important work.  With that secure foundation, come gather methods compiled from many who are forging through the madness.

Gospel Formation in an Instant Gratification Culture

Speaker: Kendal Conner

Every generation is formed by what informs it. While we labor to bring the gospel to bear in this student generation, we must acknowledge the other voices of formation in their lives. Based on time alone, the most consistent and continual source of formation for our students lives is not their family, or even us, but the technology they carry around in their pockets. On average, students spend four hours per week at church, while spending nine hours per day on their phone. When it comes down to time spent together, we are losing the formation battle in our students’ lives. We can no longer ignore the impact of technology on our students. Instead, we need to begin asking: what are the key ways technology is deforming our students and how does the gospel speak life and truth in those places? One such way is in the loss of waiting. Technology has trained our students to desire only that which instantly gratifies — instant answers to questions, instant help for needs, an instant platform for their thoughts, or instant friends in times of loneliness. In this workshop, we will discuss both the dangers of this cultural deformation and the practical ways for leaders to offer counter formation in the gospel.

Helping Students Develop a Prayer Life

Speaker: Kerry Trunfio

As we disciple students in their relationship with Christ, we have an opportunity to help them develop a personal prayer life as well. How do we move students from going to the Lord only when they need something ("help me pass this test!!"), to understanding the greater purpose of prayer? In this workshop, we will focus on teaching a fuller picture of prayer to our students. 

Place, Proximity, Posture: Rethinking the Way You Do Missions with Teenagers

Speaker: Philip Walkley 

How can you take the best, richest, and truest parts of a week of summer missions with students and create lifestyles and rhythms for your youth group, church, and community? When we look at the life of Jesus we learn that place matters, proximity changes everything, and sometimes our posture speaks louder than our words. In this workshop we will look at how all of these things can and should inform the way we engage in gospel mission work, both across the globe and at home. 

Rooted Across Generations, How Generations Serve and Encourage One Another

Speaker: Robby Holt

Tired of an awkward Thanksgiving ethos… every Sunday? At least the multi-general thanksgiving meal only happens once each year! But Sunday comes 52 times each year! This seminar will present practical ways to keep multi-generational church families growing together.

Using Rites of Passage and Spiritual Markers in Parenting

Speaker: Ben Birdsong

Your child’s spiritual growth is a journey and a process of growing in grace. Throughout that journey, your child experiences markers, defining faith moments, which help define his or her walk with Jesus. This workshop will define spiritual markers from scripture, give you practical ideas on how to help your child identify these markers in his or her life, and explore how your child’s story and the story of the gospel intersect. 

Register Below!

Choose either Youth Worker or Parent Registration