This year we have selected multiple options for you to choose from for enhancing your kid’s ministry skills. The workshops are divided into learning “streams” with topics related to each other so that you can cover many different aspects of your topic of interest. You are free to choose from any topic and are not restricted to those within a particular stream. This year we will not be taking advanced registrations. Workshops will be walk in on the day of the event, but may be limited by space. It would be good for you and those on your team to choose ahead of time which workshops you’d prefer to attend to save you some time on the day of the event. The streams are as follows:

Susan Zuidema

Susan Zuidema is an elementary school teacher in Ontario, Canada, a wife, and the mother of three. Susan is both deeply motivated and well-positioned to address the controversial 2015 Ontario Health and Physical Education curriculum. Compelled to speak the truth as found in God’s Word, she is also passionate about the people God created in His own image, particularly children. As such, she strives to live and write from the place where grace meets truth. Susan graduated in 1996 from the Moody Bible Institute (Chicago) with a BA in Evangelism and Discipleship and received her B.Ed. from Wilfrid Laurier University (Waterloo) in 2007.

Workshop: My Child, My Chance: Guarding and Guiding Your Child’s Identity During Their Public Education (CC)

The 2015 Ontario Health curriculum has shocked many parents with its approach to sex education. Unchecked, we fear that our children’s very identity is threatened, as they are led to consider their gender as fluid and their sexuality as beyond their control. As Christian parents and churches, we realize we cannot allow more time to pass before we make a commitment to intentionally, purposefully disciple our children. In this workshop, we will break down the harmful messages around sexuality that are prevalent in both the culture and the public schools. We will understand that we are engaged in a battle of identities: our children’s true identity as given by God, and a false identity as offered by the culture. We will consider how to go about teaching children about their identity in Christ. If our children recognize that the question “Who am I really?” is answered by understanding that they were created for the purpose of knowing God and bringing him glory, then we do not need to fear when they encounter harmful cultural messages. Our children will be secure and stand firm in the knowledge of who God created them to be.

Jeff Champeau

Jeff is perhaps the most interesting man in the world…the nerd world that is! Hobbies include collecting almost anything Superman, mountain biking, adventure games, drawing, reading, Star Wars, comic books and travelling the world with his beautiful wife. The proud father of 3 twenty something kids, Jeff can be found doing anything but sitting still! Children’s Pastor for 14 years at Celebration Church Jeff has enjoyed seeing the kids grow up over the years becoming great men and women of God. As part of a growing church of young families it is a joy to see God grow His church! Jeff believes we all just need 2 things: Jesus and Grace and increasing measures of both!

Where are you? Seeing your Kid’s Min Space with New Eyes

We get used to seeing our rooms, hallways and spaces but what do new people see? While very few of us can afford a theme park repaint worth $20 000 or more there are things we can do. In this workshop you’ll work through a list of things that will improve the look and feel of your current space that both you, the kids and their parents will love!

Hilary Hawley

Hilary has been contributing in Children’s Ministry for over 16 years and loves to introduce kids to Jesus whether she connecting with them in her neighbourhood, public schools or church. She currently spearheads Brant Community Church's partnership with their local public school. She is passionate about passing the baton of leadership to the next generation through her role as Lead Trainer for Kidlead Canada. Equipping people to reach their potential in ministry is one of her main objectives. Being a big kid at heart, Hilary believes you can make anything fun. If she’s not talking about kids ministry and the fun you can have doing it, you’ll find her spending time with her husband and 3 great kids.

Workshop: Developing Leader Kids (L)

Benjamin Franklin’s famous quote, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!” has never been truer for our newest generation. It’s our responsibility to educate, equip and empower our children to lead now and lead well. With intentional leadership development, we can pass the baton for Kingdom growth to another generation. Learn how to assess aptitude, encourage young leaders and gain strategies you can implement in your context of ministry now.

Ivhan Rusli

Ivhan Rusli joined CEF Ontario in 2005. For the last ten years he has overseen the recruitment and ongoing ministry to our Christian Youth In Action (CYIA). He was also much involved in ministry to inner-city children, including leadership of our Camp Good News program. Ivhan’s an energetic and creative leader who has helped immeasurably with the development of these important programs. In September of 2015 Ivhan took on the responsibility of Provincial Director.

Workshop: Volunteers... the Heartbeat of Your Ministry (L)

People shouldn’t be volunteering in the ministry because you need help, they should be volunteering in the ministry because they are answering God’s call and want to use their unique gifts and talents for His Kingdom. Come and discover a few of the myths around volunteerism and learn some tried and true principles to help you, your volunteers and your ministry grow together.

Jayne Duldner

Jayne has a passion for seeing people grow in their faith, especially kids and families! Jayne is mom to 4 daughters (and one son-in-law). She enjoys being active and coach’s basketball in the winter. Jayne been involved in ministry to children for over 30 years, the last 13 she has spent as the Children’s Ministry Director at Bethany Community Church in St. Catharines. She lives in St. Catharines with her husband Hans. In her spare time she reads, cooks and spends time with her adorable grandson!

Workshop: Family Ministry Strategies (PN)

Do you reach families through their kids or reach kids through the family? We’ll cover the "whys" of Family Ministry as well as a plethora of ideas on "how". Come away with lots of next steps to take your family ministry forward!

Workshop: Disciple to the Design of the Child (SG)

Each child is unique and has a different way of learning, processing and responding. How has God shaped your child or the children you serve? Let’s talk about how personality, learning style, and information processing, affect how you teach and they learn. Discover strategies for your classroom or small group.

Kathy Mackinnon

After decades spent volunteering in children’s ministry Kathy was called by God (and her Sr. Pastor) in 2010 to receive a paycheque for doing what she loves best! Currently on staff as Director of Children and Family Ministries at Forward Church, Cambridge, Kathy is a wife of 30 years, mom of 4 amazing adult kids, an 18 year homeschooling veteran and a soon-to-be Gram. Since returning to fulltime work outside of her home, Kathy has emptied the Nest, gone back to College, learned how to windsurf, dabbled in rowing and entered the realm of 10k racing. Never happier than when crazily busy, Kathy has landed in the right career and thanks God daily for using ordinary people to engage in extraordinary Kingdom work!

Workshop: Purposeful Church Nurseries – So Much More than “Just Babysitting”

Uniquely designed by Creator God, babies and toddlers are prime candidates for learning about God and growing spiritually. What better place than the local church to model the “how to” of fostering spiritual growth in wee ones while resourcing parents to build faith in their children? Join us as we discuss practical ways to intentionally nurture faith in your infant, crawler or toddler Nursery and motivate parents to carry on at home.

Andrea Richardson

I am passionate about helping our young people follow Jesus and modelling what that looks like. As camp director of Circle Square Ranch, I have many opportunities to connect with children and teenagers. Living on the ranch means we eat, breathe and sleep camp. Currently, I am working with a group in my community to bring a Syrian refugee family to Brantford. I’m so excited for this new adventure. I’ve been married to Steve for 24 years and absolutely love being mom to our 6 kids, 2 of whom we adopted from Haiti last year.

Workshop: Leading a Child to Christ

Many workers can clearly share the Gospel with a child but are less confident when the time comes to lead that child to a personal relationship with Christ. This workshop will help you with steps you can follow when counselling a child who has indicated that he wants the Lord Jesus Christ to be his personal Saviour.

Ann Campbell

Anne Campbell has loved Jesus for a long time. She has been heavily influenced by some of the best storytellers on the planet including Ethel Barrett, Stuart McLean, John Lassister and her dad, Bob Campbell. As a Kindergarten teacher with the Waterloo Region District School Board, Anne has learned with young children for almost 25 years. She hates bananas but loves Starbucks coffee.

Workshop: Preschool Creative Techniques

They are short. They are sometimes sticky. They think concretely and randomly at the same time. Come and learn how to effectively teach so four and five year olds can effectively learn. When this workshop is finished, you will have a better understanding of the developmental needs of these learners and how you can teach so they will learn – from the inside out.

Wayne Paddock

Workshop: Mental Health Issues in Kids Today (CC)

Wayne has been working in the Mental Health field as a practicing nurse for 12 years and is currently working as a Mental Health Street Nurse with the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) in Cambridge, Ontario. His primary role here is to support those who are homeless or vicariously housed and who have mental health and/or addiction issues. Wayne also works on the Adult Inpatient Mental Health unit of the Grand River Hospital where he supports those individuals who are in a state of mental health crisis. Previously, he has worked as a Mental Health and Addiction Nurse with school aged and high school aged students as part of the Community Care Access Centre. In this role Wayne worked alongside parents, school staff and the student themselves as they all attempted to cope with the symptoms and medications associated with mental illness. Wayne has also worked with both Junior and Senior aged youth groups and their leaders within his church in discussing the topic of mental health which is often difficult within a church setting. Through these discussions we were able to connect with some troubled youth right within the church and support them in getting to the services that best suited their needs. Wayne, who is a father of 4 children himself, understands the difficulties facing families and classroom settings today and is excited to be given the opportunity to share his experiences with other parents and leaders within the church.

Workshop: Classroom strategies for identifying and coping with mental stress in kids

Kids react to stress in different ways than adults. It is important for us as leaders of children to be able to identify kids who need help in coping with things they don’t have the tools to deal with. Your role as a kid’s min volunteer places you in a unique place to help and this workshop will give you the skills to identify and mentor the ones who need help the most.

Donna Jo Hewitt

For the past fourteen years, Donna Jo Hewitt has been teaching at Calvary Christian School in St. Catharines. She is vice principal, lead teacher responsible for the Kindergarten Program, home school liaison, and is in charge of ministry support and development. Donna Jo is part of the Special Education Team at CCS and focuses on early identification, intervention, and program planning. She is actively involved in presenting workshops in school, church, and community settings.

Workshop: Exceptionalities Part 1 and 2 (CC)

Join Donna Jo Hewitt and explore ways to understand and empathize with children who have exceptionalities (special needs) in your church. Discover strategies and specific ways to support these children in church programs. This two-part, interactive workshop will help better equip children's ministry leaders and volunteers in the important work they do.

Brian Beattie

Brian is a passionate leader who desires to see individuals and churches rise up in their destiny to bring God's "on Earth as it is in Heaven". He believes that when this happens, we will see positive, ongoing transformation in our families, our cities and beyond. Brian is the Lead Pastor of Freedom House, the President of Freedom Training Centre and on the National Leadership Teams of both Transformation Canada and 24/7 Prayer Canada.

Workshop: Creating a Biblical Worldview (L)

Brian is a passionate leader who desires to see individuals and churches rise up in their destiny to bring God's "on Earth as it is in Heaven". He believes that when this happens, we will see positive, ongoing transformation in our families, our cities and beyond. Brian is the Lead Pastor of Freedom House, the President of Freedom Training Centre and on the National Leadership Teams of both Transformation Canada and 24/7 Prayer Canada.

Cathie Ostapchuk

Cathie has recently transitioned out of serving on the leadership team of NextLEVEL Leadership and continues to facilitate leadership development for women and men nationally and internationally, most recently at World Vision, Compassion Canada, with CREST Leadership, and in Ghana, West Africa. Cathie has been involved in fundraising and serving on non-profit boards both in the local community and the GTA for over a decade.

In 2006 Cathie co-chaired an event that saw thousands of men and women fill the Air Canada Centre with Anne Graham Lotz. She has produced large scale creative arts events and is excited about the convergence of leadership and the arts.

Cathie is a certified Myers-Briggs® Practitioner, trained in Thomas Kilman Conflict Mode, has trained with the Fierce Organization, practitioner with The Leadership Challenge and 5 Dysfunctions of a Team, a communicator, consultant, facilitator and coach, and is a member of the Canadian Association of Professional Speakers. She has recently become a national speaker for Leader Impact Group. Cathie has her Master’s in Leadership and Management.

Workshop: Self-Care (L)

Leading kids is great but who is leading you? As Kid’s Min. workers you often miss out on the service each week and lesson prep doesn’t count as daily devotions! You need to be consistently fed so you can pour out. This workshop will help you see the importance of taking care of your own spiritual health first and show you some ways for you to do that..

Nicki Straza

Nicolette's passion and energy are contagious as she brings over 20 years of kids ministry experience to the table. Starting as a preschool Sunday school teacher as a 10 year old, Nicolette quickly learned that there was nothing more important that raising up the next generation, even if they were only a few years behind her. Since then she has worked with travelling clown and drama teams, engaged kids and youth through summer day camps, VBS, summer ministry teams and more.

Nicolette believes that kids in ministry become adults in ministry and believes her destiny lies in helping kids young and old reach their greatest potential! Her passion to raise up and equip leaders in our complacent culture has become her focus as she continues to be inspired to write curriculum, teach in the public schools and motivate and inspire kids and youth everywhere she goes.

She is currently the children's pastor at Freedom House in Brantford, Ontario where she hosts her own kids club the L.A.F.F Academy. She is a regular contributing writer for and for David C. Cook. She is a certified trainer for KidLead. She lives with her husband and two beautiful children in Brantford, City of God!

Workshop: Object Lessons (LG)

They say a picture is worth a 1000 words, if that is true.. a tangible object must be worth millions! Bring your lessons to life using simple ordinary objects! Teach your kids to think, not just absorb information and learn fresh techniques to engage every child in what they are learning! Best of all create memories that make your lessons STICK! Warning: Unidentified Flying Objects may be whizzing around this workshop, enter at your own risk!

Andy Spencer

Andy was originally born in the UK, immigrating to Canada 9 years ago with his wife Daphne. Andy and Daphne have been married now for 27 years and have 4 children. Andy has worked with children for over 30 years in many different organisations and capacities. Andy is committed to seeing the lives of children strengthened and changed through physical, mental and spiritual enrichment within Kids Ministry through the life changing knowledge of God’s love.

Workshop: Shepherding A Childs Heart (SG)

Shepherding a Child’s Heart is about how to speak to the heart of a child. The things a child does and says flow from the heart. Luke 6:45 puts it this way: “…out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks.” Let’s explore together and gain insight into the perspectives and procedures for shepherding a child’s heart into the paths of life. So that we can help parents set goals and pursue these ends practically. Helping them with things like how to talk to their children and what to talk about. Inspiring them to become a different kind of parent and much much more…

Jayne Tulloch

Jayne is on staff at Bethany Community Church in St. Catharines for the past 8 years with 5 years volunteering in Children’s Ministry before being hired. She has over 20 years’ experience in Children’s Ministry in other churches. Jayne loves kids and teaching them about Jesus. She loves when the kids eyes light up and you know that they understand what it means to have Jesus as their forever friend. Seeing the quiet, shy kid, who comes up to you gives you a hug and says hi. Jayne T. lives in Thorold with her very busy husband, Tim. They raised four fantastic kids of their own.

Workshop: Engaging Preschoolers (PN)

10 Must Do’s to help your Preschool Ministry go to the next level. Learn how to make lessons engaging and interactive. Collect ideas for sets and props that won’t break the budget. Discover ways to organize volunteers and stuff so that your preschool ministry will be user friendly for your volunteer team. Take home new ideas for preschool music and videos.

Kendra Comeau

Kendra has been working with kids since the time she was one! She graduated with her Masters from Tyndale Seminary. Over the past 25 years she has worked at various churches, from inner city Toronto, small church plants, campus style to larger urban churches. She is currently residing in small town Caledonia with her husband, and three children. She is passionate about seeing children and leaders moving to the next step and reaching their full potential!

Workshop: 10 Keys to Awesome Small Groups (SG)

Do you run a large group/small group format on Sundays? Are you getting the most out of your small group time? In this workshop you will learn to tap in to the HUGE impact you can have in small group time on each child. These 10 tips will revolutionize your ministry.

Wanda Mann

Wanda has been writing songs, performing, and leading worship for many years starting in a support role in church services and youth group meetings. At 16, she began to lead her youth group of approximately 60 teens in worship and subsequently was a praise & worship (campfire) leader at children’s summer camps (Circle Square Ranches) for several years. She continues to lead children locally in a Christian school as well as in her home church. It was in these simple but significant settings, that Wanda attributes much of her style of leading praise & worship to today.

Over the years she has led and/or participated in various singing groups, choirs and worship events, served as worship pastor and creative arts director, taught music, recorded, and traveled professionally. She continues to lead and teach worship both in her home church and globally to children, youth and adults.

Workshop: Praise, Worship & Kids

What is praise & worship? Can children engage in it? If so, how? Kids love to express themselves. The younger the child, the closer they seem to be to the land of no fear. Expressions of worship found in Psalms seem to come naturally; we just need to find ways to draw it out. We'll explore some of the following... Engaging your audience. Leading with respect. Allowing encounter. Having fun in worship. Living what we Lead.