Awaken compassion for…
The Persecuted Church
Gain understanding and compassion for the global church and the local church as one connected body, as Karen draws upon scriptural patterns and her experience in studying and serving the underground church. Often we’re exhorted to pray for the persecuted church, but what does that look like? How do we convert statistics, news headlines, and random stories of the persecuted into powerful prayers that will empower them to accomplish God’s Kingdom purposes? A portion of this track will be devoted to learning about Kingdom prayer, interwoven with small groups actually practicing strategic, corporate, Kingdom prayer for the persecuted church.
Speaker: Karen Ellis
Who was the last person that Jesus spoke to when He was on the cross? A convicted criminal. How do you respond to the convicted criminal that you meet or the one that’s in your church—or in your local jail? A former school teacher and ex-inmate will share how they are ministering to the incarcerated, parolees, and the addicted in their community, and how the church can effectively show the compassion of Jesus and meet the spiritual and practical needs of this population. You will also hear testimonies from some residents of the Cornerstone Transition Home—former inmates whose lives are being transformed by the gospel.
If our God is a Father to the fatherless (Psalm 68:5), then as His people, how can we display His compassion for the vulnerable children in our world today? How does the gospel motivate and sustain us to open our hearts and homes to children in need? This breakout will answer these questions by taking an honest and hopeful look at foster care and domestic and international adoption. Whether you are already an adoptive or foster parent, or you are interested in exploring the many ways you can get involved, this time of teaching and Q&A is for you.
Over one hundred verses in Scripture declare God’s love and care for widows. The character of a nation, the church, and individual believers, is shown by how they treat widows. Miriam will share out of Scripture, her own journey, and her extensive personal ministry, some of the needs and challenges faced by widows. She will also share practical ways we can come alongside widows, to encourage and serve them and to help them experience the grace, opportunities, and blessings He intends for them.
Jesus has great compassion for families affected by disability. In fact, we have a biblical mandate to love, serve, and fellowship alongside children and adults with disabilities. Shauna will share God’s heart for special needs families and offer encouragement and practical tools needed to welcome people with disabilities into your church and into your life. Whether you are the family member of someone with special needs or just a woman with a heart for the disabled, you will be inspired as you gain new insights into the theology of disability, and you will be equipped with resources and guidelines for handling the challenges and blessings of disability ministry.
Our Neighbors and Strangers
Do you know your neighbors? Do you respond compassionately to the needs next door? Through His Word, Jesus reminds us that God’s compassion toward us overflows when we show compassion to others. Christian hospitality sees our homes as not our own, but as God’s tools for the furtherance of His Kingdom as we welcome those who look, think, believe, and act differently from us into our everyday, sometimes messy lives—helping them see what true Christian faith really looks like. Join Rosaria Butterfield and others in exploring how God can use radically ordinary hospitality in our post-Christian world, to bring the gospel and minister grace to our friends, neighbors, and even complete strangers.
Those Suffering from Dementia and Other Terminal Illnesses, and Their Caregivers
All people are worthy of compassionate care, including those who can no longer care for themselves. Experienced geriatrician, Dr. John Dunlop, wants to transform the way we view dementia and patient care—showing us that God is honored when we respect the inherent dignity of the sick and their caregivers. He will be joined by a panel of three women who have experience.
Do you have compassion for those around you who do not know Jesus? Or does your life reflect a belief that the Great Commission applies to someone other than you? Jesus intended for every single believer to be a missionary, though few of us will serve full-time or cross-culturally. There are lost, struggling, needy people right in our own backyards. This session will breathe courage and passion into your call to reach out to them in Jesus’ name. You'll leave inspired to share the gospel and love of Jesus within your own community (and beyond) through practical acts of compassion and personal witness.
Prodigals and Those Who Love Them
The percentage of young adults with no church affiliation has nearly quadrupled in the past twenty years. Only the Holy Spirit can convict them, but in the meantime we're left to show compassion and pray for prodigal sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, husbands, and wives and the family members who love them. Will you fight for them in prayer? And for how long? Fern Nichols has walked the lonely road of praying for and loving a prodigal. Your faith will be refueled as Fern and her son, Ty, share their testimony of God's faithfulness. This workshop will include strategic prayer time in which Fern trains you to root your prayers for prodigals and their families in Scripture.
It is estimated that every 98 seconds, someone in the U.S. is sexually assaulted. One in four women experience physical violence during their lifetime. Do you feel equipped to help the women in your community find the healing of Jesus Christ? In this culturally-critical workshop, you will hear from women who have dealt with the pain of abuse, as well as those who are ministering to women who have been abused. They will help you gain a better understanding of the damage sexual and domestic abuse causes, why it’s so difficult for women to talk about, and how Christ can use you to guide women through the process of healing.
The Sexually Broken and Addicted
Are you frustrated with the sexual sin in our culture? In the church? Our world needs to be reminded of God's boundaries concerning the gift of sex, but unless conviction is laced with compassion, we will lack the power to bring life-long behavioral change in people. Bob and Dannah Gresh and Steve and Debby Canfield have ministered extensively and compassionately to sexually broken men and women. They will bolster your compassion to interact with family members and friends involved in sexual sin—whether homosexuality, pornography, or living together outside of marriage. This workshop will equip you to help navigate conversations with them in an effort to invite them into a life of holiness.
The Materially Poor
Christians know that we are called to give generously to those among us who are struggling with poverty (Deut. 15:7-11, Gal. 2:10, etc.), but how we give matters too—good intentions are not enough. In this track, we’ll explore foundational concepts and practices of a biblical framework for poverty alleviation, as described in When Helping Hurts and other tools from the Chalmers Center. You’ll learn about the complex causes of poverty, the centrality of the local church in addressing the broken relationships at poverty’s root, and some practical ways to begin loving your neighbors through healthy, long-term, relational ministry.