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. 

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 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.

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.

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.

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.

Preaching to Gen Z: How to Effectively Communicate the Gospel

Speaker: Chris Li

If the gospel has the power to save and change people, then preaching is one of our greatest tasks. Whether from the pulpit or through conversations, youth leaders are called to preach the gospel faithfully to every generation. As generations change, the gospel doesn't. Our youth groups are filled with Gen Z students, so how can we effectively preach to reach them? This workshop will give practical tools to help you communicate to your students. 

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. 

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.

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.

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. 

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. 

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.

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