Chicago Reload Workshops

Reload 2015 is taking a slightly different approach to training from previous conference years. The theme—Expose, Educate, Engage—will drive our training and schedule for the day. There will be two 90 minute workshop time slots, followed by regional or ministry team-specific workshopping time to seek God's wisdom and develop plans for implementation in your communities.

  • Track One: Designed for youth pastors, youth directors, and staff members who are the leadership in their youth ministries; a two-part workshop format (part one and part two) that deeply engages the theology, philosophy, and practical implementation of "expose, educate, engage" for their youth ministry programs. This track is designed so that only those who attend part one can attend part two.
  • Track Two: Designed for volunteer staff who are in leadership positions; workshop(s) should connect the dots between the tasks of youth ministry teams (e.g. discipleship/mentoring, relational ministry) and specific areas of "expose, educate, engage."
  • Track Three: Designed for those new to youth ministry; workshops should teach youth workers how to incorporate the basics of "expose, educate, and engage" in their leadership and ministry. 
  • Track Four: Designed for teenagers; a two-part workshop format that focuses on developing leadership in the area of "expose, educate, engage," with elements of activism/community engagement. 
  • Veteran Track: For youth ministry veterans, with 10+ years experience only.

Developing and Implementing a Relevant, Balanced Philosophy & Theology of Youth Ministry
Tommy Carrington, Urban Training Network
Track One

Many youth groups have one basic “template” for their weekly meetings, with very little variety to the programming. Part 1 of this workshop will establish a Biblical/theological foundation for new models of youth ministry, providing the "why's" of a program that is culturally relevant without compromise of the Gospel.   Part 2 will help you provide a framework for implementing a culturally relevant model of ministry that will attract and reach unchurched young people; highlight the importance of discipling them to become fully devoted followers of Christ; and provide principles for launching them out as transformational leaders.

Engaging Urban Youth with Scripture
Sandra Van Opstal, JohnEric Zayas and Nancy Free, Grace and Peace Community Church
Track One, Two, or Three

Every wondered how to make the scriptures come alive for the vine video generation?  Ever listened to a Sunday sermon or bible study through the lens of your 12-18 year olds? Then you know that it takes extra work and energy! Come and explore how to make scripture study and discussions engaging for urban youth.  We’ll consider methods and practices of  contextualizing and engaging scripture.  We’ll navigate fundamentals, context, and their everyday experience to ultimately be able to ask the “so what?” question of application.

Homosexuality & the Bible
Jackie Hill, G.R.I.P. Outreach for Youth
Track One, Two, Three, or Veteran 

"Why is homosexuality wrong?", " Why can't people love who they want to love?", "How do I minister to those in the homosexual community?", "My sister is gay, what should I do?" — These are many of the questions plaguing America AND the church. The aim of this workshop is to answer this question by letting God's word speak for itself.

Creative Preaching
Phil Jackson, Tha House Covenant Church and Tha Firehouse Community Arts Center
Track One, Three, or Veteran

Pastor Phil Jackson is a dynamic preacher and speaker for both youth and adults.  This workshop will share Pastor Phil’s tips to preaching to young people that is engaging, impactful and brings them closer to God.

How to Mentor Kids Who Don’t know they Lord
Amy Williams, Gang Intervention Specialist
Track Two or Three

Every youth worker experiences kids in their neighborhood who are interested in the relationships with the other youth and the leaders, but just aren’t interested in Jesus.  This workshop will help youth workers learn how to mentor these kids outside the four walls of the church.

Angsty Teen or Introvert?: Facilitating Leadership Development and Community Engagement for Introverted Youth
Nilwona Nowlin, Evangelical Covenant Church
Track One, Two or Three

Workshop participants will learn how to identify introverted teens, affirm them as God’s creation and develop unique opportunities for these young people to grow as community leaders.

There’s An App For That: Approaching Youth Ministry In The 21st Century
Jeffrey Green and Frank Walker, Jr, Mars Hill Baptist Church
Track Three

Jesus' example of ministry was very radical during his time.  He was doing and saying things that were specifically geared toward what people were facing at that time.  However, youth ministry today does not quite match his example. We are using antiquated methods and ideologies.  This session will help bring youth ministries into the 21st Century and give different ideas on how to incorporate today's technology and social media into play.

Building Stamina In Veterans
Pastor Phil Jackson, Tha House Covenant Church and That Firehouse Community Arts Center
Veteran Track

This workshop is designed for veterans, only.  It will discuss burnout, and ways to continue to build stamina for youth workers to continue in their youth ministry calling for the long haul.

TEEN TRACK: For High School Students
Track Four

Who Am I to be Called a LEADER?
Cynthia and Gerald Stewart

In this workshop, we plan to discuss social issues that are plaguing the urban streets of Chicago, prohibiting some teenagers from walking in their full God given potential. We want to dispel the myths that teenagers do not have a voice to make a change.

Introverted ≠ Antisocial
Nilwona Nowlin, Evangelical Covenant Church

Introverted teens get a bad rap. Come learn how to develop your leadership abilities and become more involved in activism in a way that best connects with who God created you to be as an introvert or an extrovert.

Beginning at 7:15 am for the early  bird who wants additional training

Getting Students Ready for College
Brady Martinson and Marcus Mason

Hip Hop and the 21st Century
Daniel White Hodge, Pastor Russ St. Bernard and Mel Nellis

Fundraising in the Midst of Budget Cuts
Axelson Center Staff

Next Steps

Learn more about Chicago Reload.

Reload Conference at North Park University