2021 Virtual Conference Topics

Andy Alba

Transitioning ministry from in person to online - What I learned

  1. Learn some simple tips to help you get started on your jump to online ministry.
  2. Hear from someone who started out knowing very little about the online world, but was still able to succeed.
  3. Learn what did and didn't work for us as ministry to keep people engaged.

Sandi Anderson

Caring for Families

Melissa Brosch

Youth Ministry and Disability: Living Better Together

Being a part of a church's youth group can be one of the most fun, life changing seasons in a student's life IF they experience acceptance and belonging. In contrast, when a youth ministry is not equipped to create an environment of inclusion and belonging, students with disabilities are often left feeling that there is no place for them. This seminar will give you the tools to make sure that your youth ministry is a place where students with disabilities know that they belong.

Janice Chan

Moving Beyond the Basics of Behavior Management: Understanding the Functions of Behavior

If you've attended the sessions about challenging behavior at previous DMCs, put into practice some of the suggested strategies and are now dying for more guidance, this session is for you! In this session, we will move beyond the basic preventative strategies and take a deeper dive into behavior management by discussing the four functions of behavior, the behaviors commonly associated with each function, and guidelines for how to respond to each function

Bethany McKinney Fox

3 Christian Approaches to Disability

How we think theologically about disability influences how we relate to one another, and how we do our ministry. In this talk, I will give a brief overview of 3 Christian approaches to disability (there are more, this is just a sampling) including how each position understands the "cause" of disability, what they think the "solution" is, the key scriptures each position emphasizes, and the church practices that emerge from each perspective. Hopefully by exploring these three positions, people can become more clear on exactly what their own theology of disability is, and recognize how others they interact with may be coming from a different framework.

Rebeca Gomez

How Latino Culture and Disability Ministry Intersect (en Español)

This session will focus on the unique perspectives and cultural considerations specific to disability ministry in the Latino community.

Stephen Grcevich, MD

Why Your Church Needs a Mental Health Inclusion Strategy

Mental illness is the most common cause of disability in the U.S. Individuals and families with common mental health conditions represent the largest minority group in America marginalized from the church. Participants in this webinar will examine available research quantifying the impacts of mental illness on church attendance and recognize barriers to assimilation for children and adults with common mental health conditions. A mental health inclusion model adaptable to churches of all sizes and denominations will be introduced.

Tobias Haglund

Outreach to Teens with Disabilities

You’ll learn what outreach to teens with disabilities could look like and tangible approaches I’ve experienced success with. We’ll talk about why disability ministry is so needed and how parents/ participants are a lot more open than you may thing. This session is also a reminder what outreach is all about: stepping into their world, rather than expecting them to come to you.

Michael Hoggatt

What Should I Say?: Language matters AND Curriculum Design for Adults

  1. Participants will gain a better understanding of the importance of language, the consequences or implied beliefs in certain language, and how to use language to frame their ministry.
  2. Participants will identify important elements of curriculum design for adult users as well as learn basic principles of Universal Design in Learning (UDL) and potential examples of Universally designed & accessible curriculum.

Amy Kendall

1. Volunteers: How to Get them and Keep Them Energized, Encouraged and Engaged 2. Making Sunday School Curriculum Work for All Children

  1. Serving in Disabilities Ministry is an amazing blessing…it is also extremely demanding. Does your ministry experience frequent turn-over? Does it feel as though you are constantly looking for more volunteers? This workshop will share the many ways to recruit volunteers and keep them energized, encouraged, and engaged while serving in Disabilities Ministry! We will discuss what it takes to have volunteers that are enthusiastic and involved in ministry. Having a volunteer is one thing, but to have a volunteer that takes ownership is another. Let’s have volunteers who are “sold-out” to serve!
  2. Finding curriculum for your Disabilities Ministry can be difficult and also costly. During this workshop, we look at ways to take the curriculum that you already have in Children’s Ministry and make it work for your ministry as well. We’ll look at techniques on how to rewrite Bible stories, use crafts to teach the lesson and find sensory activities that will bring your curriculum to life. Through this process you will help your children in your ministry come to love coming to church every weekend.

Natasha Mackey

Empowered to Lead

Join me as I sit down for an interview with Ayrton, a young man with autism who grew up attending church in our ministry, and is now one of our standout leaders in our Super Teens classroom. Ayrton will offer his perspective as a leader and what it’s like to serve in the classrooms he once attended as a child.

Linda Martin 

Buddy Basics

Anyone involved in church disability ministry knows that our volunteer 'buddies' are our greatest gift! Making sure our buddies are well-equipped and trained helps ensure they will love their role as 'buddy', and that our friends with disabilities have the best possible experience while at church. These buddy basics will help get you on the right track to raising up the BEST buddies!

Michelle Martin

How to launch Special Needs Ministry in your church

This session will inspire those wanting to start a special needs ministry and give them practical steps to do so.

Alicia McCormick

Intersection of Trauma and Disability: Trauma Informed Care

This workshop will focus on the intersection between trauma and behavior. What is often seen as challenging behaviors can be a trauma response, and most people are unprepared to respond in a caring yet corrective way. This workshop is for special needs parents and ministry workers who want to know more about how people function, how people are built for connection, and how we can respond when people are not acting the way we expect them to.

Jeff Mcnair

Kyra Miller

Outreach to Teens with Disabilities

You’ll learn what outreach to teens with disabilities could look like and tangible approaches I’ve experienced success with. We’ll talk about why disability ministry is so needed and how parents/ participants are a lot more open than you may thing. This session is also a reminder what outreach is all about: stepping into their world, rather than expecting them to come to you.

Andrea Moriarty

The Art of Seeing: Advancing Representation in Your Church

In culture as well as in churches, our friends remain "out of sight, out of mind." We believe God sees their hearts and created them with unique gifts to share. How do we help others see them as He does? Be emboldened by this talk to display our friends with special needs at the crossroads of culture and church. And leave with practical ways to help them develop their talents and passions within the kingdom.

Reid Moriarty

As I See It: What Helps Me Thrive

Reid has experienced every manner of autism intervention available in his 26 years in schools and churches. Now as an adult and YouTube personality, he will introduce you to three favorite teachers and shout out the ways they help him thrive. You will leave with simple and effective tools in your toolbox as well as a picture of who to recruit for your ministry.

Ayrton Petersen

Empowered to Lead

Join me and Natasha Mackey as we discuss my personal journey from being a recipient of the disability ministry at Saddleback church, to now being a leader who serves weekly, offering my unique perspective and talent.

Jeannie Wronski

It Makes Sense!: Exploring the role our senses play in interpreting our world, connecting with others and connecting with God.

Participants will:

  • Gain an increased awareness of the profound impact senses play in interpreting our world.
  • Understand sensory processing challenges for those with special needs.
  • Gain awareness and be better equipped to identify behaviors that are based on sensory challenges.
  • Learn strategies to address specific sensory based challenges.
  • Encounter insights into connecting with God through prayer practices that engage the senses.

The Disability Ministry Conference would not be possible without the generous support of our sponsors:

Young Life Capernaum

Our Generous Partners

Calvary Church of Santa Ana
Crossroads Church
Miracle 139
Young Life Friendship Ministry

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