Pricing, schedule, venue, hotel & promo kit.

Critical Concerns

Friday 9:00am-4:30pm

Soul Care

Friday 6:00pm-9:30pm

Learning Labs

Saturday 8:30am-4:00pm

Critical Concerns Morning
Fri 9:00 - 10:15 am

"Go and make disciples" were some of the last words that came out of Jesus’ mouth before he ascended to return to his Father. For almost 2000 years that mandate has shaped the mission of the church. For those of us who work with next generations the importance of understanding the meaning of those words could not be greater. In a culture where theological divisiveness, spiritual lethargy, moral compromise and “rich young ruler” values are attempting to undermine our faith communities our faith communities we need clarity on what the Scripture calls us to as contemporary disciple-makers. This opening session will lay a foundation drawn directly from the Scripture to remind us of what it is we are called to be – and out of that, what it is we are called to do.

Marv Penner

All About Youth, Bio

Critical Concerns Mini Sessions
Fri 10:30 - 12:00 pm

What are Mini Sessions?
This year we are trying something new on Friday morning called Critical Concerns:  Mini Sessions.  I am going to have three friends come give us a 12 minute "Ted Talk" on different discipleship issues, and then end with a few questions that we will process around our tables.  It's a chance for us to brainstorm and learn together.  
Our three topics this year could be titled "Some of Sid's Pet Peeves Around Discipleship" (for lack of a better title).  
The first is by my friend Iona...a youth ministry expert who, along with her husband Rob, have been training youth workers for a long time.  She is one of my youth ministry hero's...and one of the nicest people I know.  Iona will engage the issue of holiness and accountability when it comes to working with our volunteer staff.  What does it look like to call our leaders to personal discipleship? 
The second is my friend Jon Imbeau.  Jon is the Executive Director of Awana Canada. He has a passion to see kids study and memorize the Word.  I know, so old school right, and yet last year when we polled youth ministries about memorization etc., almost none of us had it has part of our ministry plan...myself included.   Maybe it's time we "re-think" our plan.  Is this an idea that has run its course, or is it time to re-focus and think through creative ways to stir up a passion for the Christ in the Word?
Finally, I want to introduce you to my new friend Jonathan Mitchell.  Jonathan is awesome.  You will love him.   God is using Jonathan in Vancouver to lead what might be the largest local (and missional) network of youth workers in our country...and that was never really his's almost like God ordained it!  Jonathan is going to talk about the role of networks and synergistic movements as part of the discipleship journey of our kids.  I can't wait to hear from him.
My friends, we are going to have a great day on Friday, and our Mini Sessions are a fun part of the journey. 

I discovered a handy trick to not need much faith in my ministry: make my problems smaller. I find youth ministry pretty manageable on my own if I don't shoot for viral discipleship. But when the high school down the street starts to grip my heart, when my own students feel too alone or apathetic to reach it, when the problems become unmanageable by my talent or resources, what then? So often I find a smaller, more realistic problem to distract myself with. I believe the Holy Spirit is calling the church to have bigger problems again. Let's talk about what those might be and what it's going to take to tackle them.

Jonathan Mitchell

Chapel Movement, Bio

We all know stories about the Christian leader who didn't stand against temptation and took a whole lot of disillusioned young people down with him. Not wanting to "be that guy" can be quite motivating as we strive toward leading well; but is it possible that behaving well for the sake of the ministry or even for the sake of the kids is actually far less than what God has in mind for us? Maybe there's something better than finding and applying strategies for sin avoidance as we seek to live holy lives together.

Iona Snair

Organization, Bio

How do we envision the word of God as central to our discipleship of today’s youth?
Is your youth ministry “Topical” or “Scripture based”? The answer to this question is so often thought of as an option, a badge, or even a tension for the youth worker today. How do we relate to kids if we just give them Bible verses, but how do we not use the Bible if we are serious about them knowing Jesus? In this talk, Jon will look at the role of scripture in today’s youth discipleship and how we can create the conversation and imagination around answering this differently than ever before.

Jon ImBeau

Awana Canada, Bio

Critical Concerns Afternoon
Fri 1:00 - 4:00 pm

CANADIAN DISCIPLESHIP RESEARCH: Results & Interactive Response

Marv Penner

All About Youth, Bio


The greatest joy in the life of a youth worker is to see a young person who takes their spiritual journey seriously. These young disciples truly are an example to the church (I Timothy 4:12) in their passionate pursuit of spiritual maturity. This session will uncover the results of a Canadian research project that allowed exemplary young disciples to share their faith stories, their spiritual practices, and their lifestyle priorities. Their insights will give us a framework for rethinking the way we do youth ministry if disciple-making is our goal.

PART 2: DOING DISCIPLESHIP RIGHT: Best Practices From Across the Nation

The worst idea in youth ministry is to replicate the program of the church across the street, or across the country. The best idea is to learn all we can from programs that are achieving significant discipleship outcomes. Through a nationwide research project we have identified structures and strategies that are being used to help students love Jesus more in a wide range of ministry contexts & community settings. You probably can't do a countrywide trip to learn about all the good things that are happening in Canadian youth ministries  – this will be the next best thing!

PART 3: DIGGING DEEPER - Contemporary Issues in Disciple Making

This closing session will give participants an opportunity to wrestle with some of the tough realities we face as disciple makers in the 21st century. Discussion groups will be formed around various themes that impact discipleship in our ministries. Hear the insights of others and contribute your voice as you deal with questions like…

  • Is it discipleship if they are not Christians yet? Or is that evangelism? Or are they the same thing? Does it matter?
  • How can I avoid being cast as a spiritual “subcontractor” by parents who are not investing spiritually in their own sons and daughters?
  • How do we engage students in the life of "big church" when it feels so disconnected from their reality?
  • If volunteers are living lives of spiritual compromise can effective discipleship occur?
  • How can local churches, camps and community youth ministries work more closely together to help new young disciples engage with the larger faith community?

……and other important questions you will bring to the table.

Soul Care
Friday evening

Andrew Stanley

Worship Leader, Bio

Learning Labs

Saturday AM Main Session

Jason Ballard

Alpha Canada, Bio

Learning Labs 1
10:15 – 11:15 am

Effective youth ministry happens best a few years down the road. Our discipleship journey with students is best realized through trust and relationship, and therefore the desire of every youth pastor is to have leaders lock in for the long haul. In this seminar, you will be given tools for yourself, to apply to your own life and ministry and be inspired to invest in deeper and more life-long discipleship in youth ministry.

Sarah Stanley

Trinity Church, Bio

WHEN YOUR HELPING HURTS YOUR KIDS: Knowing when to step in and when to step back
Great youth workers help kids navigate life. But is it possible that sometimes our helpfulness gets in the way of the invitations God has for them to mature through difficulties and to rely on him. Each situation for each young person deserves a decision about how to help best. We'll take a look at how to know when it's time to step in to a young person's dillema with them and when it's time to step back, and how to do that while still maintaining relationships. 

[Community Youth Workers]

Iona Snair

Lifeteams, Bio

The faith of a child is very different then the faith of people going through the process of adolescence.  The best way of describing the faith of a teenager is that of a person searching for stability in a season of change. Our role as youth workers is to be a sort of a spiritual guide who gets the amazing opportunity to walk alongside these young adventurers in their search for meaning, purpose & God. Explore the origins & development of adolescent faith in God and will provide a few practical ways of helping to guide the faith formation process. 


Garth Friesen

Professor of Youth Ministry, Steinbach Bible College

We live in a very different world than our grandparents.  Somehow, Christianity is no longer at the center of society but has now moved to the fringe.   As missionaries in this world, it’s our job to know the culture while maintaining strong ties to the kingdom.  Let's look at re-envisioning our approach to student evangelism in a post-christian world and discover how this can look.

Tim Gonsalves

Alpha Canada, Bio

Being unified with other ministries is a nice idea, but how does it aid in the actual discipleship of our own students? In this session we’ll address some of the misconceptions surrounding what unity truly is and how relationship with other ministers can greatly impact your local expression. Additionally we’ll be looking at some examples of God moving powerfully through initiatives across the country who’s primary distinctive's are communication between individual ministries.

Jonathan Mitchell

Director, The Chapel Movement, Bio

SEX, CHRIST & CULTURE: A Redemptive Response
We live in a culture that tells our students they should express and explore their sexual desires and identity any way they want. Christ tells us that He has a specific design for sex and sexuality.  How can we be communities, that help students immersed in our culture, hear and experience the truth of Jesus Christ as good news when it comes to sex and sexuality?

Sid Koop

Truth Matters Ministries/CYWC, Bio

Learning Labs 2
12:30 – 1:30 pm

One of the greatest gifts that we can offer students is an up-close look at our faith journey. As youth leaders, this means that we need to pay attention to our personal growth and tend to our spiritual health. In this seminar, we are going to point the spotlight internally on our own lives to see where we need to continue to grow. We will unpack some sustainable rhythms for nurturing our faith journey, and discuss the difference between being authentic and over sharing with students.

Kolby Milton

Shuswap Community Church, Bio

Youth on the margins are often submerged in bad news: social rejection, poverty, violence, self-accusation, criminal charges, racism, feelings of inadequacy, destructive behavior patterns, etc. How does the Bible relate to these realities? How can we help marginalized youth discover good news in the Bible when they might be expecting more bad news from us, the Bible and God? We will explore how to lead talks or Bible studies that connect the streets and the youth we love with the transformative Good News of Jesus.

[Community Youth Workers] Andrew Reimer

Community Minister, Inner City Youth Alive

About a year ago I started an note on my phone titled, ‘Great Leaders...’
Every time I saw great leadership in someone I noted it. I’m going to pick 10 of these notes for us to talk about and apply to our youth ministry contexts. At the heart of this conversation is Jesus. His example and His Spirit’s work in our lives, present an amazing invitation for each of us to become better and better leaders who serve others with sacrificial love.

[Veterans, Camp]

Jason Ballard

Alpha Canada, Bio

YOUNG ADULTS: BEING WITH THEM AND FOR THEM - 5 Ways to Seek the Kingdom With 18-25 Year Olds
Walking with young adults is different than walking with teenagers. When we dig into the unique journey that current young adults are on, we realize that calling them to seek the Kingdom is different then it was 10 years ago. This session will focus on five key ways that have been found to help this age group grow in affection for and commitment to Jesus. Join us for a conversation about helping our 18-25 year old brothers and sisters keep their eyes on Jesus.

AJ Crocker

Briercrest College, Bio

We all know that part of effective discipleship is effective communication. We want our students to not simply hear truth but understand it, apply it, be inspired by it. We want truth to matter. But how do we communicate in such a way that actually makes a difference? In our seminar, we will look at 10 principles that can help us communicate truth more effectively, whether from the front of the room, in small groups, or 1 on 1.

Sid Koop

Truth Matters Ministries/CYWC, Bio

Volunteer youth leaders provide something essential that paid staff can’t offer to everyone: individualized care for students. Getting to know and building into the students in your circle of influence is a powerful contribution in any ministry. It costs time, attention and energy but can make all the difference in leading students toward following Jesus. Join a conversation around the best practices in building ministry-focused relationships with your students.

Kent Martens

Family Ministries PAstor, Emmanuel Evangelical Free Church

Learning Labs 3
1:45 – 2:45 pm

CULTURE CONVOS: Leading Complex Group Discussions on Social Issues
From LGBTQ+ questions to immigration issues, our students need a Biblical-based evaluation system for what’s happening around them. Wouldn’t it be helpful if we had a way to lead them, in community, to wrestle with the truth and evaluate their default reactions? In this seminar we’ll look at at format for group discussion that helps assess the social situations, dig into scripture for answers, and make a choice on how to respond.

AJ Crocker

Briercrest College, Bio

What does it mean to truly be a welcoming church for youth growing up in the foster care system? Why do some ministries thrive in embracing children in care, and others remain insular and 
homogeneous? Hear the presenter’s personal ministry journey of navigating social services, family restoration, human trafficking, race, religion, mental health and unplanned pregnancies with churches. Come discuss the top things that hold ministries back and discover practical insights on navigating complexities of trauma, attachment, and the longing for belonging. Be that ministry that youth and social services have been waiting for!

[Community Youth Workers] Wendi Park

Executive Director / Co-Founder, Forever Families

The majority of the youth ministry that happens every week across Canada is done by volunteers – you selflessly serve the next generation in the name of Jesus. Often an under appreciated role in the church, you make an eternal difference in the lives of young men and women, and we want to make sure that you get the best training possible. This seminar will help rookies and veterans alike to become more effective volunteers and keep you in youth ministry for the long haul. 


Marv Penner

All About Youth, Bio

MAXIMIZING THE IMPACT OF YOUTH EVENTS: How to Make the Most of Events to Better Disciple Your Students
Throughout a regular year in youth ministry odds are you and your students will participate and engage in a number of events such as rallies, conferences and retreats outside of your regular program. These events have such incredible potential to radically and drastically transform the lives of your students and bring your community closer to Jesus. But they can also completely fall short of what you were expecting and wanting. So how do you know which events will be good and which will be bad? Are there certain things you can do to guarantee that a retreat or conference will be fruitful? In this session we will discuss 10 simple and practical steps you can take to make sure you get the most value out of the youth events that you and your students participate in.

Mark Roslund

Youth Pastor, Riverwood Church Community

Small groups have such incredible potential in youth ministry. This is where relational youth work connects with discipleship and where we so often see the lights go on for kids. How do we create groups that give this goal the best opportunity to be realized? Jon will bring years of small group experience into a breakout where you get to ask for ideas, as well as hear creative solutions to the million things that can go wrong.


Jon ImBeau

Awana Canada, Biop

DIGITAL LIES: How to Communicate Effectively to Students in a Digital World
This seminar will look at some google research about teenagers and their mobile-first mindset, and how to communicate in a way that actually speaks to teenagers where they are at.

Kolby Milton

Shuswap Community Church, Bio

Church of the R


Holiday Inn Winnipeg South
1330 Pembina Highway
Winnipeg, MB  P: 204 452-4747
Group: Truth Matters[click above for hotel website]

Promo Kit

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Breakdown of registration types and pricing.


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