Jana Magruder and Ben Trueblood chat with Chuck Peters about how to help your church’s family ministry thrive. etchconference.com
As summer draws to a close, our team at LifeWay Kids begins the countdown to our favorite time of the year—the ETCH Family Ministry Conference! For us, October 7-9 will feel like a family reunion of colleagues in the field of family ministry coming to our house in Nashville. We live here, but it’s so fun to share this amazing city with you each year. So, rest assured—we are tidying up, planning our “recipes,” making shopping lists, and preparing to roll out the red carpet for our friends and family. For those of you who have been to ETCH before, you know that hospitality is a big deal to us. We love throwing our doors (and arms) open to you.
All of that said, I cannot begin to describe my excitement about this year’s ETCH Conference! Here are a few reasons why:
- Some of our favorite communicators will be here to lead us in learning and growing in our faith, in our ministry and in our calling. Collectively in the main sessions, we will gather to hear Louie Giglio, Christine Cain, Trevin Wax, Kevin Jones, Ben Trueblood, Josh Straub, Diane Dokko Kim, Jonathan Pitts and his daughter Alena ~ and the list goes on! We also have the honor of welcoming Andrew Peterson to share some of his powerful songs (have you sang ‘Is He Worthy?’ at your church yet?—yep, that’s his song!)
- The age and topic specific breakouts are better than ever and will equip you to go deeper in your specific ministry. These include, family ministry, kids ministry, student ministry, preschool ministry, special needs ministry, leadership, cultural topics and more. You will leave with over six hours of content that you customize for your own professional development plan.
- The first ever Family Ministry Summit during our pre-conference session. Join us on Monday afternoon before the conference begins to watch and participate in this incredible panel of family ministry thought leaders including: Ron Hunter, Sam Luce, Steve Ackley, and more! The panel will be followed by incredible age-specific intensives for you to tailor to your team.
- Last, but not least—oh the fun we will have! Please, by all means, come to the conference for incredible growth and development, but make room for the delight of meeting new friends, nourishing your soul, and experiencing the heart of Nashville at the incredible Music City Center.
Friends, Nashville IS calling and October 7-9 will be here before you know it. Mark your calendars, book your travel, and get ready for ETCH! We will be ready for YOU!
Jana Magruder serves as the Director of LifeWay Kids. She is a Baylor graduate and offers a wealth of experience and passion for kids ministry, education, and publishing. She is the author of Nothing Less: Engaging Kids in a Lifetime of Faith, Kids Ministry that Nourishes: Three Essential Nutrients of a Healthy Kids Ministry, and Life Verse Creative Journal, which she co-authored with her teenage daughter. She and her husband, Michael, along with their three children reside in Nashville.
God’s plan for equipping the saints is His church, so we want to come alongside you as you equip families and minister to children. ETCH Family Ministry Conference is the event where your entire team is invited – from preschool ministry all the way through high school ministry. Jana Magruder, Director of LifeWay Kids and Ben Trueblood, Director of LifeWay Students join the podcast today to share more about the ETCH Family Ministry Conference.
Jana Magruder serves as the Director of LifeWay Kids. She is a Baylor graduate and offers a wealth of experience and passion for kids ministry, education, and publishing. She is the author of Kids Ministry that Nourishes and Life Verse Creative Journal, which she co-authored with her teenage daughter. She and her husband, Michael, along with their three children reside in Nashville.
Ben Trueblood serves as the Director of Student Ministry for LifeWay Christian Resources and has served the local church as a student pastor for fourteen years. In addition to his role at LifeWay, Ben is involved in training, consulting, and speaking to student ministries throughout the U.S.He is driven by a desire for student ministries to expand God’s Kingdom, to see the lives of students transformed by the gospel, and to produce students who shape the culture in which they live. Ben and his wife Kristen have four young children. In his free time, Ben enjoys family, fishing, hunting, and the St. Louis Cardinals.
Meet my friend, Mark Jones!
Mark is the Children’s Pastor at Quail Springs Baptist Church in Oklahoma City where he loves and teaches preschoolers, children, and their parents. He enjoys speaking all around the nation to train children’s ministry leaders and parents. He is the founder of Mr. Mark’s Classroom, an online leadership development and teacher resource company. He helps overwhelmed children’s ministry leaders get clarity, confidence, and the resources they need to win at reaching kids for Jesus, equipping kids with Bible skills, and teaching kids to serve others.
We are very excited to welcome Mark back to our faculty for ETCH 2018. Mark will be leading these important sessions:
The Parent Training Blueprint:
What kind of training does Mark offer parents and when? This conference will map out a simple plan your church can use to educate and encourage parents regularly. As a bonus, Mark will throw in some Parent/ Child events that can be a huge success in ministry.
Building an Effective Children’s Ministry:
Do you wonder if your children’s ministry is really effective? Is there something you’re missing? This conference will explore how your teachers can provide for Bible literacy in fun and creative ways while intentionally providing evangelism, discipleship and serving others.
LifeWay’s ETCH Family Ministry Conference is all about helping you link together with other ministry leaders in your church to better serve the families in your church from birth to high school. ETCH stands for “Equipping the Church and Home” and we are excited to announce our 2018 theme: “Unbroken.”
“A cord of three strands is not easily broken.”
In many churches, different age level ministry areas stand alone. The preschool ministry is disconnected from the elementary ministry. The kids ministry is not anywhere close to being on the same page as the student ministry. These ministries often have different programs, different content, and totally different ministry philosophies. We can often see these ministries like silos on a farm standing alone without connecting or supporting one another. Parents and volunteers also feel disconnected and out of the loop with what’s going on. This approach to family ministry is BROKEN.
As a result of our BROKEN strategies, we often lose kids, students, and parents as they muddle through competing messages and ever-changing practices. Families desire consistency in the church as they weave throughout the different stages of their child’s life. There’s a better way of doing family ministry: an “UNBROKEN” way to do family ministry.
What would it look like for every church to intentionally link together preschool, kids, student, and NextGen ministry? What would it look like to create that seamless, unbroken experience for kids and families?
When our ministries link up with cohesive philosophies, ministry approach, and content, we can craft the spiritual trajectory we hope our kids will follow with consistent, long-range goals from preschool through high school. When we do this, each ministry area is pointing to Christ in the same clear way. Just like the cord of three strands, our family ministry areas are stronger when they link together.
We hope you’ll join the LifeWay Kids and the LifeWay Students team October 17-19 in Nashville as we dive deep into what a truly “Unbroken” family ministry approach looks like. You’ll hear from family ministry experts, be inspired by engaging worship and keynote speakers, and form stronger bonds with the other leaders in your ministry. You can find out more and register by visiting etchconference.com.
Micheal Walley serves as the LifeWay Kids Event Producer. He is a graduate of Mississippi College and now lives in Nashville, Tennessee. Micheal has been serving in Kids Ministry from the moment he was “promoted” out of kids ministry himself. He loves coffee, leadership, all things creative, and his wife, Anne Marie.
At LifeWay Kids, we love children and are dedicated to the ministry of resourcing the church to serve them well. For years KMC, LifeWay’s Kids Ministry Conference, has been the place for children’s pastors, leaders, teachers and volunteers to come for information, instruction and inspiration so they might be well equipped for the work of kids ministry.
We are very aware that kids do not stop being children when they leave the sixth grade, and that ministry to kids continues through middle school, junior high and high school. While kids and students do have different, specific needs, the child who grows through the programs within a church needs to feel a sense of consistency and continuity within that church. We at LifeWay Kids believe that we need to walk with kids and families to etch the Word of God onto the hearts and minds of children throughout their entire childhood. The church cannot afford to minister in silos. It is time for us to think beyond our departments with a larger view of the role of the church as we train up our children in the way they should go.
Many churches are moving to a family ministry model in how they structure their staffs. Some call it NextGen, others call it Family Ministry. Whatever you call it, there is a broad trend towards having a single pastor over all kids: birth through high school; and more and more ministry teams want to attend conferences together so they can strategize together.
We want to come alongside you as you equip families and minister to children. So, in order to serve you in the most effective ways possible, we are expanding the LifeWay Kids Ministry Conference to include middle school and high school ministry; to welcome in Next Gen, Student, and Family Ministry leaders & teams.
Next year we will unveil a brand new conference; one that includes everything that is currently KMC, but that also broadens its reach to serve anyone ministering to families. Next Fall, KMC becomes… ETCH.
ETCH stands for Equipping the Church and Home. This new Family Ministry Conference will excite, inspire, and engage your Kids, Student, Next Gen, and Family Ministry teams. We invite you to join us next fall, in Nashville, as we come together as one big, giant family, for ETCH.
See you there!