Renowned Children’s Ministry Experts and New Research Findings
to Hallmark Two-Day Fall Conference in Nashville
NASHVILLE, Tenn.—Building on the success of last year’s inaugural event, Awana—a global leader in child and youth discipleship—announces its second Child Discipleship Forum, to be held September 22-23 in the Nashville area. With both in-person and online attendance options, the conference is set to bring together pastors, children’s ministry leaders and parents for two days of keynote presentations, seminars and crucial conversations impacting the future of the Church.
Designed to equip participants with tools for building strong foundations of faith in children, the conference will feature 15 renowned ministry experts, as well as the findings of a combined Barna Group and Awana research project—the largest of its kind in two decades. The study interprets how cultural changes are rapidly affecting the local church and children’s ministry.
Conference speakers are slated to include Barna Group CEO David Kinnaman; Awana president and CEO Matt Markins; New York Times bestselling author and pastor John Mark Comer; author, speaker and apologetics and culture expert Rebecca McLaughlin; Andy Crouch, a partner for theology and culture at Praxis and former editor of Christianity Today; Derwin Gray, founding and lead pastor of Charlotte, North Carolina’s Transformation Church; acclaimed author, pastor and apologist Sam Allberry; and Moody Publishers acquisitions editor and popular author Trillia Newbell, among other leading children’s ministry experts. The Child Discipleship Forum will also feature music and a keynote presentation from bestselling singer/songwriter, author and Rabbit Room founder Andrew Peterson.
“Even in the midst of increased anxieties there’s tremendously hopeful news: child disciple-making forms lasting faith regardless of the context,” shares Awana president and CEO Matt Markins. “While the culture around us is changing at breakneck speeds, child discipleship is timeless, constant, sure and fruitful.”
“As churches and parents seek to navigate this new world we are living in, the Child Discipleship Forum is a gathering where we can come together in unity,” Markins adds. “What do all churches have in common? Our kids. Our children are the fearless future of the Church.”
“It’s been said that it’s not a matter of, ‘Are our kids being discipled?’ But rather, ‘What exactly is it that’s discipling our kids?'” explains Markins. “In this cultural moment, there are three words we are now learning a lot more about: transhumanism, metaverse and transgenderism. Church leaders and parents have a steep learning curve as we prepare this generation to not only navigate the rapidly shifting cultural landscape, but to thrive in their faith while doing so. Let’s not do it alone. That’s what the Child Discipleship Forum community is all about.”
Registration is now open for the 2022 Child Discipleship Forum, with early bird discounts available through March 31.
Awana is a worldwide nonprofit ministry focused on providing Bible-based evangelism and discipleship solutions for ages 2-18. Engaging 4.9 million children and students each week, Awana is the global leader in child and youth discipleship. Partnering with ministries like Compassion International, World Vision and numerous denominations in over 65,000 churches (11,400 of them in North America), the global Awana staff serves in more than 130 countries to empower local leaders in churches and communities to give children the opportunity to know, love and serve Jesus, no matter their background.
About Matt Markins
Matt Markins is the president and CEO of Awana. Prior to joining the ministry’s executive leadership team, Markins served in leadership roles with Randall House and Thomas Nelson publishers and is the co-founder of the D6 Conference, a discipleship and family ministry community. He’s a public speaker and the coauthor of three books: RESILIENT: Child Discipleship and the Fearless Future of the Church, Leading KidMin: How to Drive Real Change in Children’s Ministry and The Gospel Truth About Children’s Ministry. Markins and his wife, Katie, have been local church volunteers for more than 20 years and spend their time in Nashville and Chicago with their sons Warren and Hudson.
For further information, visit the Child Discipleship Forum, Awana or Turning Point Media Relations.