A Tell the Next Generation Conference: The Christ Centered Home

Saturday, March 11, 2023   9:00a.m.–3:00p.m.
Lutheran High School of St. Charles

A family’s identity is reflected in what they own, what they talk about, what they do, where they go–through this, they show who and what they love. This conference focuses to support families as they create and live in Christ-centered homes. Based on the scripture verse, "And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." (Joshua 24: 15)

There will be three plenary presentations and break out presentations. Parents, elders, Sunday School teachers, youth leaders, pastors, Directors of Christian Education, and anyone who is about creating Christ-centered homes for families of all stages and ages should attend.  

Watch the Missouri District website and social media platforms for registration details and more information. This is a practical and relevant conference for you and your congregation. May God bless our families as they live and love in homes where Jesus Christ is right in the middle of everything.  See below for more conference details:



Online registration has closed, but walk-ins are welcome to join us on Saturday morning!


Plenary Presenters:

Dr. Randy Schroeder –  Author of the 2020 three-time national award-winning Christian marriage book, Simple Habits for Marital Happiness and the 2021 two-time national award-winning Christian parenting book, Simple Habits for Effective Parenting. Dr. Schroeder is an LCMS pastor, former Concordia Theological Seminary Professor for nearly 25 years where he taught pastoral counseling classes including Premarital Counseling, Marriage Counseling, Family Counseling, Crisis Counseling, Ministry to the Sick & Dying, and Pastor as Counselor.

Rev. Dr. W. Mart Thompson –  Rev. Dr. W. Mart Thompson is Associate Professor of Practical Theology and Director of the Specific Ministry Pastor Program at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis.  He has also served as a campus pastor, sole pastor, and senior pastor for many years before being called to the seminary.  His areas of experience and expertise include pastoral theology, catechesis, member assimilation, small group ministry, youth and family discipleship.

Schedule Overview:

Tell the Next Generation Conference on March 11, 2023
Lutheran High School - St. Charles

8:15 a.m.        Registration – Welcome Center & Refreshments – The Commons
9:00 a.m.        Welcome and Introductions (presentation of certificates to coaches) – Sanctuary
9:15 a.m.         Plenary I: "Christ-Centered Homes are Key" Rev. Dr. W. Mart Thompson – The Commons
9:55 a.m.         Break
10:05 a.m.       Sectional One
10:50 a.m.       Break
11:00 a.m.       Plenary II: Strengthen “'Oneness' in Marriage" Rev. Dr. Randy Schroeder – The Commons
11:45 a.m.       Lunch – The Commons
12:30 p.m.      Plenary III: "Become a More Effective Parent" Rev. Dr. Randy Schroeder – The Commons
1:15 p.m.         Break
1:25 p.m.         Sectional Two
2:05 p.m.        Break
2:15 p.m.         Sectional Three
3:00 p.m.        Closing – The Commons


Plenary Sessions:

Strengthen "Oneness" in Marriage
Dr. Randy Schroeder

The goal for every Christian spouse should be to focus daily on strengthening “oneness” (Matthew 19:6) through Godly words and actions.  Striving for that “oneness” is also a privilege NOT an obligation. Dr. Schroeder shares essential knowledge in the seven major areas of a relationship for consistent marital happiness based on his 2020 three-time national award-winning Christian book, Simple Habits for Marital Happiness.


Become a More Effective Parent
Dr. Randy Schroeder

Motivation to be an effective parent is a great goal but often not sufficient. Parents need specific words, actions, and commonsense wisdom to lead a child to be confident, motivated, responsible, and a good decision-maker. Based on Dr. Schroeder’s 2021 two-time national award-winning Christian book, Simple Habits for Effective Parenting, he addresses the seven main aspects of parenting for becoming a more effective parent to guide a child in our complex sinful society.


Christ-Centered Homes Are Key
Dr. Mart Thompson

Christ-centered homes are key for children’s faith formation. Biblical wisdom reveals this. Recent research says it is truer than ever: “The key location is the home …. And the key mechanisms of socialization are the formation of ordinary life practices and identities, not programs, preaching, or formal rites of passage” (p.70, Handing Down the Faith, Oxford Univ. Press, 2021). Christian parents are naturally equipped and spiritually empowered to carry out family discipleship. Dr. Thompson will share why this is so and what it looks like in our homes in 2023.


Breakout Sessions and Presenters: 

Home-Centered, Church-Supported - The Role of the Pastor in Family Discipleship

Over the past few years, the MO District has been emphasizing the value of family discipleship, helping to equip parents to share their faith with their children, as God designed it. This is a shift for parents, congregations, and pastors. This session is primarily for pastors (though parishioners may also be interested!), to help them think through their role in becoming a "home-centered, church-supported" place for family discipleship. What does it look like? What does the pastor need to do? And if you're thinking of asking the District for a Family Discipleship Coach, what would that process look like? This is an opportunity to ask your own questions as well.

Rev. Steve Andrews Jr. is the husband of Hannah, and the father of five children (four living). He has served in two congregations as an associate pastor with both calls emphasizing family ministry. As such, he has helped implement the "home-centered, church-supported" shift in both of these congregations and is also now serving the District as a Family Discipleship Coach.


Kid-Friendly Family Devotions

Encourage family devotions with these simple hands-on activities for children along with Bible message and prayer suggestions for parents. We will also discuss ideas for how and when to do family devotions to fit the needs and schedules of today's families.

Linda Horton is the DCE at St. Paul Lutheran Church in St. Joseph, Missouri. Linda was called to DCE ministry as a second career after teaching 29 years in the public school system in North Kansas City. Linda is one of the Missouri's Districts Next Generation coaches.


The Big Goal: How to Nurture Lifelong Learners of God’s Truth

It's easy to get confused and discouraged when trying to strategize meaningful family discipleship. Where do we start? Where do we aim? What do we do? How do we lead our households, both in our homes and in our congregations, towards spiritual maturity? In this presentation, Deb and Pete Jurchen propose a way of thinking through backwards design in discipleship. This framework is based on a larger project initiated by thought leaders in Synod for the building up of the Body of Christ. By beginning with the end in mind, they will present both a theoretical and practical structure for thinking through what lifelong learning of God's truth looks like in the household, as well as some ideas on how to foster it.

Pete and Deb Jurchen live in Imperial, MO, with their five children. Deb Jurchen is a rostered LCMS teacher and has experience in teaching the faith in a variety of contexts. Rev. Dr. Pete Jurchen is a pastor serving a call as an Editor at Concordia Publishing House. Besides writing and developing resources for the Church, he teaches classes on teaching the faith at Concordia Seminary and presents on a variety of topics related to lifelong faith formation.


4 Simple Steps Towards Faith Formation in the Home

Learn more about the four pillars of at-home faith formation: Bible Reading, Family Devotions, Prayer, and Conversations About Living in Faith. Gain practical tips for starting or improving the faith development practices in the home and the congregation.

Hannah Knehans graduated from Concordia University Ann Arbor (CUAA) in 2020 where she majored in Family Life Education and minored in Children's Ministry. Since her graduation, she has been the Director of Family Life Ministry (DFLM) at Trinity Lutheran Church in Springfield, MO. She is passionate about equipping her congregation for home-centered, church-supported faith-formation. Hannah enjoys spending time with her husband, Matthew, and their dog, cat, and chickens.


Discipleship, Flipping the Classroom Conformation has Changed our Church Culture

We will begin the conversation of Discipleship in the home.   We will walk participants through the steps we took to change the culture of our church, moving from a standard faith journey to having a vibrant faith walk.  We will explore how we now have intergenerational faith conversations that are the norm, not the exception. While together, we will also explore our experience with flipping the classroom,  Where our parents are the ones in the classroom being equipped and learning instead of our confirmation youth, so they can, infact, go home and teach their children all week long.  We are excited to talk with each one of you and even more excited to explore how small changes can make huge strides in this war the world is waging against our families to move farther and farther from their faith life and church.

Heid Koehler Director of Discipleship and Coaching @ St. Andrew Lutheran Church.  Heidi has served for over 25 years, disciplining youth, adults, families, and neighbors.  She has had the privilege to serve on staff at St. Andrew for the last seven years alongside a great team and wonderful Sr. Pastor John Dehne.  Pastor John has also served for many years and is passionate about doing whatever it takes to reach and lead people for Christ.  He pushes the boundaries of convention and helps his staff strive to accomplish even more than they ever thought for the kingdom.


Building a Spiritually Vibrant Home

Transmitting and embodying the Christian faith is a primary responsibility for all of us. But how do we do that when we've come to imagine that the primary ways we grow in our faith is as individuals or when we're in church? This presentation will help you center the household as a primary location for God's work of forming faith in ways that are sticky and last for one's whole life. Come learn how your household can become more spiritually vibrant with research from Barna and Lutheran Hour Ministries.

Rev. Dr. Chad Lakies is the Regional Director for North America at Lutheran Hour Ministries and provides leadership and operational management for the North America region. His work with LHM is centered around proclaiming the Gospel to significant numbers of non-churched people, effectively using mass media to spread the Gospel, and helping the church become more outreach focused by empowering it to share the Gospel at more personal levels. His former life as a non-believer provides exceedingly relevant experience for thinking about how to engage with our friends and neighbors outside the Kingdom of God. Lakies most recently served as department chair and associate professor of religion at Concordia University, Portland, OR. He holds a bachelor's degree in philosophy and psychology from the University of Michigan and an M.Div. and Ph.D. in systematic theology from Concordia Seminary, St. Louis. He and his wife Bethany have two daughters, Anabel and Daphne.


Father Welcomes – Preparing Parents for Their Child’s Baptism

This presentation will provide an overview of what Zion Lutheran Church provides for parents who are preparing to have their child baptized.

Jim and Andrea Lohman share a passion for Christian education and equipping parents for their role in sharing the faith. Jim, a DCE with 40 years of ministry, recently retired from fulltime ministry with LCMS Youth Ministry. Andrea is a fulltime early childhood educator serving Zion Lutheran Church and School.


Christ Centered Home Backyard Devotions

This will be a presentation on: Using Luther's Small Catechism as a family devotional tool on your next backyard camping trip, vacation, or every day.

Rev. Dr. Rocco Mallardi, Executive Director Heit's Point Lutheran Ministries. Pastor Mallardi and his wife Janine have been married for 18 years and have four children. He studied social work at Florida Atlantic University, obtained a Master of Divinity degree from Concordia Theological Seminary Ft. Wayne, and earned a Doctor of Ministry degree from Concordia Seminary St. Louis, writing on the topic: "Using Luther's Small Catechism as a Family Devotional". He has served as Pastor of St. Paul's Lutheran Church and Trinity Lutheran Church in Oswego and Parsons Kansas, as Pastor of Messiah Lutheran Church in Hays, Kansas and recently accepted a call to serve as the Executive Director of Heit's Point Lutheran Ministries, Summer Camp and Retreat Center on the Lake of the Ozark's.


Guardians of the Flame: Passing the Torch to the Next Generation

In a society that values fast-paced success, multi-tasking, instant messaging, immediate answers, and racing to the top over building a solid foundation, how are we to slow down? How do we rewire our minds to take in the moments? How do we celebrate those meaningful milestones within a family, and how do we guard the flame of faith, keeping it alive to pass onto the next generation? This session will not provide the answers to all of these questions, but it will focus on how one church is coming alongside parents, intentionally equipping them to be the primary faith teachers in the lives of their children. It will give some examples of different milestones that are celebrated and ways that the congregation is continuing to connect with homes and support families in their faith journey in this culture of speed.

Gina Martens currently serves at St. Paul's Lutheran Church in Concordia, Missouri, where she is 8th grade homeroom teacher and ELA teacher for middle school. She also serves as part-time Director of Family Life Ministries as well as coaches’ cross country and track. She is a graduate of Concordia University, Nebraska, a wife, and a mother of two college-age daughters. She enjoys writing for the bulletin and church newsletter and has been a part of helping to develop and implement Milestone Ministries at St. Paul's Church. She knows Jesus as her Savior and has the joy of sharing that news with children and families every day!


How to Talk to Today’s Teens About Dating/Relationships

We as the church have something essential to offer in our world's constant conversation about dating. Our youth need to hear from us about why relationships matter, who to look for, what the purpose of marriage is, and so much more. If they don't hear it from us, they'll get a much different answer from our culture. This session will give parents, church workers, youth leaders, and church members some key tools for how to talk to your youth about dating and relationships and help them faithfully navigate this crucial topic.

Brandon Metcalf currently serves as the Associate Pastor of Family Ministry at Zion Lutheran Church in Bethalto, IL, and previously served as a DCE in the Missouri District. He is a contributing author to numerous books and Bible studies for youth ministries and has spoken at many district and national youth gatherings, including the session "Worth Dying For: A New Model for Dating/Relationships" at the past two LCMS Youth Gatherings.


Family Discipleship Coaching - Why, What, How

Learn how trained coaches help pastors and congregation shift to a home-centered, church-supported culture and practices to equip families for their role of faith formation within the home.

Pam Nummela serves as Missouri District's Family Discipleship Coaching Facilitator connecting the District's coaches with congregations. Pam loves time with grandkids and other retirement fun too!


Relating to Your Child and Practicing Forgiveness and Reconciliation

Relating to your Child - Come hear the latest research from Stanford & Barna about Gen Z and Alpha. Having great conversations with your kids can happen at any place and at any time. Find out more about the world in which our kids, teens and young adults are growing up in. Practicing Forgiveness - Practicing forgiveness never comes at a good time. Practicing reconciliation is messy. Adults are called not only to model but also to teach what healthy forgiveness and reconciliation is. Come on this journey to discover more!

Charity Smith has the vocation of wife to her husband Jesse and mother to their 2 girls. She has been a DCE for over 10 years and is originally from Virginia. She enjoys reading, crochet and going for family walks.


Depression and Anxiety in Teens: Family impact, interactions, opportunities

With anxiety and depression affecting so many, and in particular young people, we will consider how families are impacted and how they can respond in helpful ways. Included will be discussion on incidence, risk factors, and contributing elements in teenage depression and anxiety as well as approaches to and options for treatment with emphasis on prevention and early intervention. The basics of interpersonal neurobiology will be shared, and its intersection with faith will be used to highlight some of the most potent ways families can help its struggling members and foster wellbeing and stability. Bring your questions as we dig into this very current and pervasive topic.

Lori Snyder is a licensed clinical social worker in private practice for over 25 years. She provides individual, couples and family counseling to teens and adults. Her background in nursing helps inform her practice from a biological perspective. Her Christian faith provides anchors for truth and hope that have benefited her work in this field in countless ways. Lori has been married to Joe for 33 years. They are parents to 3 grown sons and recent first-time grandparents! Lori also works part time as an RN in leukemia/lymphoma, enjoys being in nature, cooking and traveling, and getting absorbed in stories through various forms of media.


Raising Your Children to be Followers of Jesus in the 21st Century

What faith life do you want for your child(ren) when they are adults? In other words, what are your parenting goals?

Joshua Swartz has served in educational ministry for the past 22 years. He currently serves as the Director of Schools for the Missouri District. He has served in various roles in his community, church, school, and district where he has served. During his time he has engaged in active roles with youth ministry from confirmation, faith and family initiates, to devising successful middle school and high school ministry leadership programs. His various experiences in rural to urban ministries have helped foster an innovative spirit to raise the bar in educational ministry and push the boundaries for raising children to be lifelong followers of Christ.


DIY Remodel Plans: Making Changes in a Changed World

Change is inevitable. How we respond and help our congregations through change is critical. As we continue to see and feel the effects of change moving away from the COVID-19 Pandemic, many of us are dealing with the cultural and environmental changes around us. We will look at some truths from Tod Bolsinger's book Canoeing the Mountains to learn how we can view change in a healthy way.

Larry Yochum has been a DCE for 20 years. He is married with three children and they enjoy life and its challenges together. Larry has been an associate and coach for KINDLE for the last four years and is a certified and trained life coach. His passion is helping others in their discipleship and moving forward in their life with Jesus.