Tell the Next Generation
An Online Conference on Ministry to Families

March 13, 2021  8:30a.m.-12p.m.

The Missouri District will host its next Tell the Next Generation Conference online.  The conference will focus on equipping families in faith formation in the home (especially for primary grade children and adolescents).  The conference being online enables us to draw family ministry leaders from across the Synod in supporting our congregations and schools in Missouri District.  Like our 2019 Conference, there will be two plenary presentations, Bible study and break out presentations.  The conference will be held on March 13 at no cost to the participants.  Elders, Sunday School teachers, youth leaders, Pastors, Directors of Christian Education and anyone who is concerned about retaining our youth and families should attend.  Watch the Missouri District website and social media platforms for registration details and more information.  A practical and relevant conference for you and your congregation that you can attend without ever leaving home.  We hope you will join us!

Featured Speakers

Rev. Dr. Todd Biermann

Dr. Dave Reuter   |   Prof. Rebecca Duport

Registration

The conference will be held via Zoom and will be free to participate.

Questions?

Any questions, contact Sue Thompson
314-590-6217 | sue.thompson@mo.lcms.org 

Schedule

8:30-9:00             Bible Study: Christian Marriage: God’s Design - Rev. Dr. Todd Biermann

9:15-9:45             Plenary I: Forming Lasting Faith in the Next Generation – Dr. Dave Rueter

10:00-10:30        Breakout A

A1. 7 Practices of Healthy Youth Ministry - Rev. Mark Kiessling/Julianna Shults

A2. Households of Faith - Rev. Dr. Chad Lakies

A3. Family Ministry: Not "A" ministry of the Church, but the Heart of ALL Ministry - Rev. Dr. Todd Biermann

A4. Parenting an Anxious Adolescent - Professor Rebecca Duport

A5. Considerations for Involving Parents in Confirmation Instruction – Rev. Dr. Pete Jurchen

10:45-11:15        Breakout B

B1. Family Devotions with Adolescents – Mark Thompson, DCE

B2. Crash Course on understanding Young Adolescents…and loving it! – Dr. Beth Pester

B3. Birds, Bees, and Identity Please! – Brandon Metcalf

B4. Christian Worldview - Rev. Kristopher Morris

B5. Fraud Alert!  - Rev. Ron Roma

11:30-12:00        Plenary II: Teen Stress and Anxiety – Professor Rebecca Duport

Noon                    Closing

Bible Study:

Christian Marriage: God’s Design (Ephesians 5:31-32)

Rev. Dr. Todd Biermann is Sr. Pastor of Faith Lutheran Church in Grand Blanc, MI.  He previously served congregations in Parma, OH and Brooklyn Park, MN.  Having received his Bachelor’s degree from Concordia, Seward, NE in 1986 and his M.Div. degree from Concordia Seminary, St. Louis in 1990, he completed his D.Min. degree at Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, IN in March of 2012.  Since 2005 Pastor Biermann and his wife, Heather, have traveled around the world teaching and modeling Christ-centered marriage and all relationships through their Life in God’s Way materials.  The focus of Pastor Biermann’s book, Handing Out Life, is the way a complete Christian worldview is shaped by God’s teaching on marriage.  He continues to share regular insights on this topic through his blog site, www.LifeinGodsWay.com.

 

Plenaries:

Forming Lasting Faith in the Next Generation

The church has been in the business of handing the faith from one generation to the next since Christ commissioned His disciples. Yet, often we fear that we will not be able to form lasting faith in the next generation as the many generations before us have. Based on research, Dr. Rueter will outline key factors for the home and church related to forming faith that lasts in our children, grandchildren, and beyond.

Dr. Dave Rueter is a DCE serving at Our Savior Lutheran in Livermore, CA. He has served previously at the Pacific Southwest District and at Concordia University Irvine as well as congregations in Southern California and Texas. He has authored two books Teaching the Faith at Home and Called to Serve published by CPH as well as a contributor to Connected for Life: Essential Guide to Youth Ministry. He also served on LCMS Youth Ministry Office Young Adult research team and helped co-author Relationships Count.

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Teen Stress and Anxiety   

Adolescent boys and girls everywhere struggle with anxiety.  Adolescence is a time of substantial change; physical growth, emotional chaos, social changes, insecurity and trying to figure out their identity. Professor Rebecca Duport will explore additional factors and social media’s contributing role in the rise of anxiety and stress in teenagers.

Professor Rebecca Duport - Assistant Professor & Director of the Director of Christian Education Program of Christ College, Concordia University - Irvine.  Rebecca Duport is blessed to be called to serve her alma mater, Concordia Irvine as the Director of the DCE program and professor in Christ College.  Duport has served LCMS Lutheran churches as a Director of Christian Education (DCE) throughout the country in Idaho, Kentucky, Arkansas and Florida in life-span education roles working with children, youth, families and older adults. She cherishes the relationships that God has given her the privilege to be part of for 16 years prior to joining the Concordia Faculty in 2014.  Her service to the body of Christ includes speaking at events and leading training events.  Rebecca and her husband Kyle stay active with their four sons ages 8-18 through scouting, school and sports.  They enjoy traveling to National Parks and making memories together in Southern California.

 

Breakouts:

Breakout A

A1. 7 Practices of Healthy Youth Ministry  - Julianna Shults & Rev. Mark Kiessling

LCMS Youth Ministry has spent significant time in the past five to 10 years listening, reading data, conducting research and digging into Scripture to identify practices of healthy congregational youth ministry. Unsurprisingly, our conclusions continually centered around relationships: God’s relationship with us, parents’ relationships with their children, congregations’ relationship to their youth, and the youth’s relationship with key adults. Whether you are a parent, pastor, commissioned minister, church staff member or volunteer, we hope you find the material presented helpful in your ministry context.

Julianna Shults is a DCE who serves on the LCMS Youth Ministry team as a Program Manager with responsibilities in YouthLead, youthESource, and resourcing.  She served congregations as DCE in Florida and Chicago before moving to St. Louis.  She is passionate about sharing the Gospel through acts of mercy and working with teens and young adults.  Julianna is a self-proclaimed nerd, an avid crafter, and an obsessive aunt who will gladly spend hours showing you how cute her nephews are.

Rev. Mark R. Kiessling serves as the director of LCMS Youth Ministry. In that role, he supports the leadership, service, resourcing, and networking functions of LCMS Youth Ministry.  Kiessling graduated from Concordia Seminary, St. Louis (2006) and holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Concordia University, Portland (1998).  Kiessling is married to Beth (Timm), who teaches Preschool at Christ Community Lutheran School in Kirkwood, Mo.

 

A2. Households of Faith - Rev. Dr. Chad Lakies

Lakies will offer and introduction to the critical highlights of Lutheran Hour Ministries' 2nd research project with Barna Group. The household is one of God's chosen places to foster vibrant, living faith for the sake not only of generating faithful disciples of Jesus but also forming the priesthood of all believers whose vocation is, in part, to share the Gospel of Jesus with the world. You'll be pointed to deeper avenues of engagement with the Households of Faith research, discovering ways you can increase spiritual vibrancy in your home and help others do the same.

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. He regularly speaks at national and international conferences for pastors and church professionals and has published in several journals on the topic of faith and culture. 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 (one of the most secular cities in North America). Before joining the Concordia University staff in 2012, he was a church planter in in St. Louis (Christ in the City/CRAVE Coffeehouse), and subsequently served as a worship director there until 2010. Later, he founded a collective for young adults (theOpen) at Concordia Lutheran Church in Kirkwood, Missouri. 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.

 

A3. Family Ministry: Not "A" ministry of the Church, but the Heart of ALL Ministry - Rev. Dr. Todd Biermann

Some may think Family Ministry is an optional add-on to all the many other things we should seek to accomplish as the church. As such, it often gets placed on a lower level of importance behind things like worship, crisis care or evangelism. However, God's Word teaches us a different approach. Family Ministry done God's Way is integrated into ALL ministry that takes place in the church and ALL of life lived out in the world by God's children. It's not "an" option.

 

A4. Parenting an Anxious Adolescent - Professor Rebecca Duport

Professor Rebecca Duport - Assistant Professor & Director of the Director of Christian Education Program of Christ College, Concordia University - Irvine.  Rebecca Duport is blessed to be called to serve her alma mater, Concordia Irvine as the Director of the DCE program and professor in Christ College.  Duport has served LCMS Lutheran churches as a Director of Christian Education (DCE) throughout the country in Idaho, Kentucky, Arkansas and Florida in life-span education roles working with children, youth, families and older adults. She cherishes the relationships that God has given her the privilege to be part of for 16 years prior to joining the Concordia Faculty in 2014.  Her service to the body of Christ includes speaking at events and leading training events.  Rebecca and her husband Kyle stay active with their four sons ages 8-18 through scouting, school and sports.  They enjoy traveling to National Parks and making memories together in Southern California.

 

A5. Considerations for Involving Parents in Confirmation Instruction – Rev. Dr. Pete Jurchen

Confirmation instruction is, understandably, a pressure point for most pastors. Especially in uncertain times like these, it is often difficult to get whole families involved and parents on board with confirmation instruction. Join us as together as we explore different concepts and techniques central to parental involvement, and also highlight certain curricula that help facilitate it as well.

Rev. Dr. Pete Jurchen is an editor of Bible resources at Concordia Publishing House (CPH). At CPH he has helped to plan and develop curricula for confirmation instruction, Sunday School, and day school, as well as other catechetical and Biblical resources. Prior to his work at CPH he served for eight years as an Associate Pastor of Youth and Family Ministry. He lives in Imperial, MO, with his wonderful wife Deb and five children.

 

Breakout B

B1. Family Devotions with Adolescents – Mark Thompson, DCE

Thompson will present devotions for adolescents within the overarching concept of daily devotions, healthy family practices, tips for helping children grow in faith as they mature, advice for parents on creating habits and traditions that prepare the way for healthy spiritual engagement with adolescents, share some devotional practices that are working with families, share learned-the-hard-way things to avoid, and do some brainstorming with participants of devotional life helps in current cultural time and place.  This will also be a time where participants can share specific devotions they have found to be helpful.

Mark Thompson is Director of Christian Education at Timothy Lutheran Church.  Timothy is a diverse city congregation that has an association Lutheran school, Word of Life, which is a vibrant and unique multi-cultural environment.  He has worked with youth, children and families in ministry at 3 different congregations, and in outdoors ministry at 3 Lutheran camps including 7 years with Lutheran Outdoors Ministry of Texas.  Prior to getting his DCE Certification, Thompson served in juvenile probation and social work in the city of Minneapolis, working with children in delinquency, foster care and group homes.

Thompson is a graduate of Concordia University, St. Paul (1992) with a B.A. in Social Science and received his Director of Christian Education Certification from Concordia University Texas in 2006.   He has lived in Minnesota and Texas before moving to St. Louis in 2011.  His wife Laura teaches 3rd Grade at Word of Life Lutheran School.  His daughter Aria is a high school junior and his son Luca is in the 8th grade.

 

B2. Crash Course on understanding Young Adolescents…and loving it! – Dr. Beth Pester

Crash Course on understanding Young Adolescents…and loving it!

What do you do with SEVENTH GRADERS?! Whether you’re teaching, leading, parenting, or just interacting with young adolescents, what on earth makes them tick!? Come learn (or get a refresher) on the developmental norms for middle school kids (just what’s going on in that brain of theirs!), and how you can make them your favorite kids...or at least tolerate them!

Dr. Beth Pester, Associate Professor of Education, has served at Concordia University, Nebraska since 2005, after spending 10 years in Lutheran and public schools as a high school and middle school science teacher.  Originally from Tennessee, she’s a graduate of Saint Paul Lutheran High School in Concordia, Missouri, and Concordia University, Nebraska, with a B.S.Ed. in math and biology and an M.Ed. in Administration.  She earned her Ph.D. in Education from Trident University, studying the relationship between high school block scheduling and academic performance of first-year college students.  She currently serves as the Director of Middle Level Education and the Director of Student Teaching.

 

B3. Birds, Bees, and Identity Please! – Brandon Metcalf

Talking about sexuality with teens is not high on the list for most parents or adults. We know it's important, we just can't seem to go about it the right way. The problem is that we see sexuality and promiscuity as the issue itself rather than as symptoms of a deeper problem. If you truly want healing, you need to bring healing to whatever is causing the symptoms. Rather than merely addressing the symptoms, this session will teach parents, youth leaders, and congregations how to get to the heart of the matter: talking about identity and value. In doing so, you'll find that you can bring healing and hope to one of the biggest issues facing young people today.

Brandon Metcalf is currently serving as the vicar at Zion Lutheran Church in Bethalto, IL and previous served as a Director of Christian Education in the Missouri District, working with children's, youth, and family ministries.

Brandon loves any chance to work with God's people to help them hold onto the promises of God. He is a contributing author to "Connected for Life: Essential Guide to Youth Ministry" and "Word of Strength and Promise: Devotions for Youth" as well as many resources on youthesource.com and has spoken at district and national youth gatherings, often on the topic of dating and relationships. He enjoys Frisbee, volleyball, and board games but his greatest joys come from being a husband and father.

 

B4. Christian Worldview - Rev. Kristopher Morris

A Biblical view of our world is a necessary foundation for the Christian life. In this session we will explore some of the ways individuals and families can maintain a Christ-centered approach to life in these difficult times.

Rev. Kristopher Morris has served as Pastor at Christ the King in Lake Ozark since 2010. He teaches Philosophy, Ethics, and Religion at a satellite campus of CMU in Osage Beach. Pastor Morris has held various offices in the Missouri District and currently serves as our 4th Vice President.

 

B5.  FRAUD ALERT!  - Rev. Ron Roma

Who stole your identity? The trickiest most underhanded ways the great imposter tries to claim someone's true identity and how to recover from identity theft.

Rev. Ron Roma is serving as part-time Chaplain at LCEF after serving 40+ years as Campus Pastor, Counselor and Theology Chair at Lutheran High School South in St Louis. He served as Worship Director for the LCMS Youth Gathering. Ron is the Community Spiritual Director for T.E.C. (Teens Encounter Christ). He also served as Assistant Pastor at Hope Lutheran High Ridge, MO for 20+ years.