Intentional Discipleship in Latino Communities – Patricia Pena

Rev. Patricia Peña is an ordained Elder of the New England Conference. She has an MDiv from Boston University (’09). She has served in roles that led to a restart and church revitalization. She has won awards such as the Harry Denman Evangelism award(’11), The One Matters (Discipleship Award ’16) and Boston’s Exemplary Dominican woman of the year (’18). She has a heart for missions, children and discipleship.

A worskshop based on Nueva Vida UMC’s experience in creating an effective Discipleship system. This workshop will have a space for you to evaluate and begin creating a contextual Discipleship System based on core biblical and leadership principles for your church.


Engaging and Reaching Generation Z – Chris Folmsbee

Chris has over 20 years of organizational ministry leadership experience. Throughout this time, he has helped churches and non-profits build dynamic strategies for organizational growth, enduring faith formation and community and personal renewal. Chris has held various positions within churches and non-profits such as associate pastor, church planter, president and CEO, brand manager and executive-vice president. Currently Chris is the director of discipleship at Church of the Resurrection in Leawood, KS where he leads a team of people who create transformational environments to help people become deeply committed Christians.

This workshop will help you discover the seven core behaviors of millennial life, recognize the six primary segments of millennials and learn how to create programs and events that will capture their imagination. In addition this workshop will help you discover the “Seven Sayings” of Generation Z and begin adapting the programs of your church to accommodate their emerging way of life as you seek to make disciples.

Perceptible: The proven model for developing everyday disciples through informal Wesleyan-Methodist class meeting environments – Richard Gifford

Dr. Richard Gifford is an enthusiastic fourth-generation Wesleyan-Methodist and Elder in the United Methodist Church. He is Parish Lead Pastor of the Horizons Cooperative Parish (Wye Mountain/Adona) in Perry County, Arkansas. Horizons Cooperative Parish is a collaborative network of small rural churches and class meetings. He is also principal of a family-owned agroforestry enterprise marketing grassfed proteins direct to thoughtful eaters in Central Arkansas. Richard earned a doctorate in leadership and communication at Asbury Seminary. He is occasional visiting professor of social science and humanities at state and private universities. Richard is married to Becky (Jones) of Rogers, Arkansas. They have three adult children: a daughter, Kaycee (Hunter) Hess, a pediatric oncological nurse at St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis; a daughter, Kortni, completing her final year in special education at the University of Central Arkansas; and a son, Wil, beginning his undergraduate campaign in primary education at the University of Central Arkansas. The Giffords are home in Perry, Conway, and Faulkner counties.

Methodism was enormously fruitful when class meetings were foundational. Regrettably, we’re regressing toward becoming the institution that our movement was born to bolster. Hope is in our very DNA! Explore how distressed small churches and visionary large churches can leverage class meeting environments to make and multiply disciples.

True Religion: A yearlong focus on the teachings of John Wesley – Michael Roberts and Lauren Delano

Michael Roberts and Lauren DeLano are the pastors at First United Methodist Church, Conway. Michael has served in conference leadership and in congregations throughout the conference. This is Lauren’s first appointment, and she was ordained as an Elder at Annual Conference this year. Their goal is to work as a pastoral team in ministry to cultivate faithful and fruitful disciples of Jesus Christ.

The challenge was to use John Wesley’s Sermons for worship and discipleship throughout the year, and to make these sermons accessible, relevant, and inspiring. To meet this challenge, we first organized the sermons into the liturgical seasons. Then, each week we paraphrased one of the sermons; we used the theme of this sermon as inspiration for our preaching; and we provided resources for reflection. All of this was published each week through our website, and we invited the whole congregation into this journey. During this workshop, we will share our story, our learnings, and provide resources for those who might want to develop a similar worship and discipleship process. Concerning the title, Wesley used the term “true religion” to describe a “heart right towards God and humankind.” True Religion, he says, “does not consist in any ritual observance or creed, or in any outward thing, but is found in the love, peace, and joy that comes from the Holy Spirit.” That was the focus of this series and the hope for all.

Transforming Your Congregation into a Disciple-Making Culture – Wesley Hilliard

Wes is the lead pastor of Heritage Church in Van Buren, AR — a merger of First UMC and St. Johns UMC. He has lead Heritage through major cultural shifts and growth over the past 17 years. He also served as the Joint Senior Command chaplain for the Arkansas National Guard and deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. He and his wife, Allison, have been married 32 years and have a daughter, Lindsay, son-in-law, Josh, granddaughter, Claire, and daughter in seminary, Libby. He likes to disengage and practice Sabbath delight on his Harley Davidson motorcycle.

This workshop shows the major ways we are making disciples at Heritage and working to transform our culture into one that makes disciples of all ages that make disciples for the transformation of the world

Using Easy Tech to Resurrect Wesley’s Class Meeting – Gil Hanke

Gil Hanke, has served as the General Secretary/CEO, General Commission on United Methodist Men for over 8 years. His team addresses men’s ministry and scouting ministry across the connection. He is a lifelong United Methodist, born and raised in Virginia but spent most of his adult life in East Texas. He has held multiple lay volunteer positions at all levels of the denomination.

The working definition I use for being a “disciple” is a person who has an on-growing relationship with Jesus Christ. The structure to accomplish this comes to us from John Wesley. The vehicle to get us there comes from readily available and affordable technology. The most common obstacle for persons of any age to engage in this process is time. “I don’t have time, I can’t make time, I can’t find time, You don’t understand my schedule; there is just no way….” This workshop will give you the nuts and bolts of our experience with Class meetings over the last 7 years, built on Wesley’s structure and using tech to remove the greatest obstacle.

Glorify, Grow and Go: Circular Discipleship – Todd Vic

The Reverend Todd Vick is currently serving as the Senior Pastor of Salem United Methodist Church in Conway, AR. An ordained elder in the Arkansas Conference of the UMC his ministry experience includes youth, emerging adults, young adults, pastoral, and lay involvement ministries. Todd holds a Master of Divinity degree from Asbury Theological Seminary and a Bachelor of Science degree in Youth Ministries from John Brown University. He and his wife Carrie reside in Conway with their two boys Elijah and Riley. Todd’s passion is for the grace of God to invade and radically change the lives of God’s children through one-on-one discipleship and intentional group teaching in the context of a loving missional community.

Circular Discipleship is the holistic approach of making disciples for Jesus Christ at Salem UMC. At Salem, we exist to make disciples who make disciples that glorify God through worship, grow in discipleship, and go in service to transform the world. Glorify, Grow, and Go this is our system for making disciples and we believe it is a never-ending circle that takes one deeper into a relationship with God and each other for the purpose of transforming the world around him/her with the radical grace of Jesus Christ. Explore the Discipleship Circle with Salem UMC at Circular Discipleship.

Covenant Discipleship – Scott Hughes

Scott has been Director of Adult Discipleship since July 2015. Previously, Scott served as Associate Pastor at Douglasville FUMC for nine years and Pastor at the Barnesville Circuit (Milner, Marvin, Prospect) for four years. Scott has a M. Div. from Asbury Theological Seminary and a D. Min. in the spiritual formation track from Southern Methodist University. Scott is from the Atlanta area, is a graduate of West Georgia University, and has been an Elder in the North Georgia Conference since 2007. Scott is on the National Board of Directors for Christians Engaged in Faith Formation. Along with Steve Manskar, Scott is a co-host of the Small Groups in the Wesleyan Way podcast. Scott leads training in the area of small groups, Covenant Discipleship, the Visual Faith project, as well as creating and producing resources for the Courageous Conversations project which aims to help local congregations foster structure learning environments to dialogue about difficult issues.While on staff at Douglasville FUMC, Scott started the Contemporary Worship service and was the Associate Pastor for Spiritual Formation. Scott supervised staff directors for the nursery, children, and youth ministries. Scott currently lives in Mount Juliet, Tennessee and attends Providence UMC with his family. Scott has been married for 19 years and has two boys, ages 15 and 13.

This workshop will cover the connection between historic Methodist Class Meetings and Covenant Discipleship groups; how Covenant Discipleship groups help form balanced disciples; how to recruit, lead, maintain, and grow Covenant Discipleship groups as part of an Intentional Disciple Making System.

Eliminating the One-Eared Mickey Mouse: How to Incorporate Youth Into the Life of the Church – Michelle Moore

Michelle Moore is the Youth and Young Adult Coordinator for the Arkansas Conference of the United Methodist Church. She has been involved in Youth Ministry roles ranging from volunteer, intern, part-time, and full-time roles for more than 16 years. Additionally, she served 9 years in a volunteer role as Adult Coordinator for the Arkansas Conference Council on Youth Ministries, overseeing youth and adults who are charged with planning seven state-wide youth events each year. Moore currently serves on the Perkins School of Youth Ministry Steering Committee. Moore is a 2006 graduate of Hendrix College from which she received a degree in Religious Studies. She also holds a Masters in Specialized Ministry with an emphasis in Youth Ministry from Southwestern College and holds her Certification in Youth Ministry through Perkins School of Theology.

Youth are vital congregation members of the local church. While many congregations have practiced the idea that “youth are the future of the church” for decades, we must recognize this as a dated and fruitless concept. Now is the time for churches to realize the youth in their congregations and outside their walls are active and faithful members of the congregation. In this workshop we’ll address the research surrounding this new approach to youth ministry and discuss practical ways for your church to engage the young congregation members into the full life of the church.

The Age of Opportunity in Older Adult Ministry: Boomer Ministries – Hess “Doc” Hall

Hess B. “Doc” Hall, Jr. has been serving as a Local Pastor in United Methodist Churches for 20 years, first in North Georgia, and now in Tennessee. He began working with the International Emmaus Ministries Office of The Upper Room in 2014 as the Program Manager of Face to Face, an event for Older Adults in the Walk to Emmaus tradition. In 2018 he was named the Director of Older Adult Spiritual Formation Programs for the Upper Room and is working to expand the reach and scope of materials offered to Christian ministries around the world. He is married to Karen and they have two children, Jacob, 22, presently serving in the USMC, and Mariela, 14, the little girl who has daddy wrapped around her little finger!

“They don’t recognize us for what we can offer, for the people we are. I’m not dead yet!” Have you ever heard an Older Adult say this in the context of the Church? The Older Adults of today, are living longer, are more active, have more expertise and more resources than any previous generation. How do we refocus and mobilize our efforts to engage this growing demographic into mission and disciple-making ministries of our churches?

Confirmation: The Beginning – Rod Hoccott

Rod Hocott recently retired as the Director of MidYouth Minstry at First United Methodist Church in Conway, Arkansas after 50 years in local church and community youth ministry. Prior to serving Conway FUMC, Rod served as Arkansas Conference Minister for Youth and Young Adults, Youth Minister at FUMC in Springdale, St. James UMC in Little Rock, FUMC in Fort Smith (2 times) and spent four years working with youth in a state hospital in Kansas after finishing his master’s degree in Music Therapy. Rod is married to Rev. Gail D. Hocott and they have three children, seven grandchildren, two dogs and a cat. Rod’s Philosophy of Youth Ministry: The importance of youth ministry lies in it’s ability to help youth build relationships with God and peers, while learning leadership skills that will not only help them as they grow in the church, but in their lives outside the church as well. These two elements and all that they encompass, worship, missions, justice, stewardship, etc., will develop our youth into strong disciples of Jesus Christ, who make disciples equipped to transform lives, communities and the world.

For many, confirmation is a rite of passage and a final step into church membership. This is NOT the case. When one “confirms” their baptism, they are just beginning the journey of faith, not ending it This workshop will look at when to confirm, confirmation leadership, curriculum options, retreats, field trips, how to make it meaningful and give registrants the opportunity to come up with some creative ideas that will be helpful to their church’s individual confirmation needs.

Becoming A Disciple – A Roadmap For Growth – Stephen Dickinson

Stephen Dickinson is the Lead Pastor of Cabot UMC. Stephen is married to Leila and they have two teenage children. Together they have learned that Christianity doesn’t come by way of osmosis and you don’t inherit it from your parents. If you want to get closer to God you’ve got to dig into the Word and keep your eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. Sarah Hagge is the Lay Leader of Cabot UMC and a lifelong educator. She is married to Pat, and they have two married, adult children and four stair-step grandsons ages 5, 4, 3, and almost 2. Over the years, Sarah and Pat have learned the road to discipleship may have twists and turns and even a few detours, but being a part of a Spirit-filled group of believers helps keep one’s eyes on the road.

This is one church’s attempt to help guide people into deeper truths about God’s plan of redemption. When it comes to making disciples there is no perfect process and one size does not fit all. However, your church’s DNA and personality will lend itself to a certain type of process that is most beneficial to your congregation. Every church, whether they realize it or not, has a discipleship component that can be identified, organized, built upon and enhanced to produce faithful followers of Christ. In this workshop you’ll get some good ideas and a start on building that roadmap for your congregation.

Nehemiah Coaching Model – Dede Autry

Rev. DeeDee Autry is an elder in the Arkansas Conference of the United Methodist Church.  Currently serving in Hot Springs Village, Arkansas, she is the pastor of Mountainside UMC.

After completing her M.Div at Vanderbilt Divinity School in Nashville, TN, DeeDee has served in a variety of ministry settings.  From the large steeple church to the small rural church and everything in between, she has witnessed the powerful transformation in every setting.  Her pastoral experience has encountered the excitement of building new buildings, raising money for budgets, struggling with staffing and walking with a congregation through deep sorrow and conflict. 

Nearly eight years ago, DeeDee was given the opportunity to receive a ministry coach.  Following that first coaching session DeeDee knew she was on to something.  In the fall of 2013, she began the training to become a certified coach.  DeeDee is now a PCC Coach and coaches many who are in ministry; her clients represent the various ages and stages of ministry.

DeeDee’s desire in coaching is to help people tap into their God-given potential.  By giving a person the time and space for self-discovery, it is life-giving see what each person is capable of.  DeeDee is also encouraged by the transformation our leadership can take when we begin to apply coaching skills to our ministry settings.

DeeDee has been married to John for 24 years.  Together they have two daughters, Emily and Mary.  As a family they enjoy travel, the outdoors, good music and to gather with friends and family. 

Just as Nehemiah made a response to God’s call, we too at Mountainside are striving to do the same. Using a model entitled the “Nehemiah Response”, we are moving ever so closely to see the preferred future we so desire for our church. Not only does this model work for guiding a larger body but is applicable in our personal discipleship as well as one-to-one discipleship relationships. By utilizing the principles of coaching, one can see the results in moving forward so that transformation can be experienced. When transformation occurs, we can recognize that our success is truly about being in a partnership with God.

Come to the Table – Jeff Jackson

The Rev. Jeff Jackson is the Director for the Center of Reaching New People, and New Congregational Development of the Arkansas Conference of the United Methodist Church.
Reaching people who have stepped away from the church, and people who have never been a part of the church, is a 


critical part of the calling and trajectory of creating vital congregations that 

make disciples of Jesus Christ, who make disciples equipped to transform lives, communities and the world.
Rev. Jackson is responsible for working with District Missional Strategists, pastors and laity in creating a variety of new places for new people that includes new churches, second campuses, “fresh Expressions” and new faith communities. Additionally, Jeff helps in recruiting and preparing pastors for this new type of work, and helps to develop models and best practices that can be utilized by local congregations in planting and developing new faith communities.
Rev. Jackson, who is married to Lyn, has a Bachelors degree in Business Administration and Management from Henderson State University, and a Masters of Divinity from Duke University. He has served as a pastor in the Arkansas Conference and the North Carolina Conference, and has very successfully developed businesses from the ground up.
Jeff truly has a passion for reaching all the broken people who are all around us every day and desperately need to experience the healing, saving grace of our Savior. He believes strongly that it is up to us, the church, to develop new ways to reach those people where they are.

This workshop is designed to offer fresh ideas and opportunities to reach out to people in a loving environment, where they can feel comfortable being themselves and opening up in conversation that may lead to a path of discipleship and learning about the faith and the church. We will look at how shared experiences can be an open doorway to be a witness for Christ in a world where that witness has been tainted in such a way that it pushes people away from the church.

Making Little Disciples – Pamela Snider

Pamela Snider has served 27 years in children’s ministries leadership on local church staff in Texas and Arkansas, as the Children’s Coordinator for the Central Texas Conference, a member Arkansas Children’s Council and most recently as Arkansas Conference Children’s Coordinator. Her passion for guiding children from birth to sixth grade has led to her program development for children’s discipleship, special events, and children’s camps. She has served on curriculum writing teams with Abingdon Press, launched district connectional leadership groups and presented in national workshops. Pamela and her husband Steve have been happily married for 40 years and are the proud parents of three grown children, Blake, Lisa and Matthew.

Learn how to plan your church year around discipling children. What resources, events and resources are proven winners. Where do parents and guardians fall into your plan for success.

The Core of Your Church – Tommy Jones

Tommy Jones – The Pastor of GRACEchurch in East End.

We will discuss creating, defining, promoting and maintaining your core vision, core values, and core process.


"Creating vital congregations that make disciples of Jesus Christ,who make disciples equipped to transform lives, communities and the world."

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