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Sessions and Speakers
Joe White – Directional Leader and Pastor of Neighborhood Church, Fresno, CA
Keynote Session 1: “Love God, Serve People, Change the World”
Keynote Session 2: “Love God, Serve People, Change the City”
Joe White is the directional leader and pastor for the Neighborhood Church movement in the Jackson Neighborhood and the Cultivate Conference 2020: Prepare to Serve keynote speaker. His church sees their neighborhood as a geographical area of spiritual responsibility and they are deeply invested in the renewal of the neighborhood, 8 blocks by 12 blocks and 923 homes. Neighborhood Church has started a small business employing neighbors with barriers to employment, a non-profit that meets the neighborhood’s specific needs with specialized care, and a weekly Sunday gathering. Joe believes that every Christian should take practical steps to love their neighbors and is passionate about mobilizing people to simply obey Jesus' greatest commandment to "love God and love neighbors."
Maegan Bergem – Director of Youth Ministry at First Presbyterian Church
“Cultivating Conversations of Faith in Jesus”
Jesus calls us to go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them and teaching them about the way, the truth and the life of Jesus (Matt 28:18-20). How do we talk about our faith with our unbelieving friends or family? How about engaging in respectful conversations with new people who may think differently than you? Come learn how to cultivate relationships that lead to conversations of faith and how to show God's love to people right where they are today.
Andrew Feil - Associate Director at Every Neighborhood Partnership
“8 Tips for Cross-Cultural Encounters”
This interactive breakout will help you think through the posture you should have as you serve in any cross-cultural experience. Learn what you can do to get more out of your local or global service and how you can be both more effective and affected.
David Ingerson - International President/CEO of Christians in Action Missions International
“Support-Raising is Vital: It’s Not Just About the Money”
Jesus last instructions to his earthly followers, before ascending to heaven was to “go and make disciples of all nations” (Mt. 28:19). Those who hear the clarion call of the Spirit of God will fulfill one of three vital roles: 1) Pray 2) Send or 3) Go. Bill Dillon, author of People Raising, says, “raising financial support is ministry”. When those that go describe the victories and inevitable obstacles they face, those that remain behind to send and pray will understand how vitally important their role as supporters is.
Taylor Starks - Admission Counselor at Fresno Pacific University
“The Mission Starts Before We Leave”
Working as a team comes with its challenges, but it provides a unique opportunity to have a transformative experience. This session will highlight how to promote team unity before going out to serve.
Mariah Cushing - Administrative Assistant to the Dean of the Biblical Seminary, Fresno Pacific University adjunct faculty in the Biblical and Religious Studies
“Culture Shock: What To Do If It Happens To You”
Culture shock is a common experience many face in missionary work and can even happen in local service projects. This workshop will explain the "why" and "what" of culture shock. Did you know that many return home and have "reverse culture shock?" We will dive into reasons why we experience culture shock and what are some of the ways to cope with the affects.
Mark Baker - Professor of Mission and Theology at Fresno Pacific Biblical Seminary
“Praying and Reflecting in the Midst of it All”
Mission trips are filled with doing: outreach, new experiences, work, group activity. They are rich and often stressful as well. At a time when prayer and reflection are most needed they often get lost in the swirl. This session will provide examples of ways to have rich times of prayer, listening to God, yourself, and others while involved in short term mission.
Lauren Annin - Director for Joni and Friends Central California
In this session we will explore what it’s like to have a disability through hands-on stations, review how to best interact with special needs peers, and discuss how we can best serve our friends affected by disability both locally and abroad.
John Leonard - Youth Pastor at Mountain View Church
“Leading Others Through a Salvation Decision”
In this session, we’ll look at how to effectively lead someone through a salvation decision. We will explore how sharing your faith goes hand-in-hand with scripture explanation and prayer as you lead someone to making the best decision of their life! If someone wants Jesus to be their Lord and Savior, are you equipped and ready to lead them through this decision?
Darren Duerksen and Michael Thompson – Associate Professor and Program Director of Intercultural and Religious Studies at Fresno Pacific / Mission Catalyst for Multiply
“I Served, Now What?”
You’ve had an incredible missions trip and you’ve seen God work in amazing ways. But now what? Does the mission experience stop when the trip ends? Learn and brainstorm together about the ways you can keep your passion for God and ministry alive long after the missions trip is done.
Brandon Jackson - Youth Ministry Co-Director at On Ramps Covenant Church
“Getting My Heart Right”
Before going out to serve, it’s important that examine our “why”. Is our service from a desire to be used by God or are we chasing after our personal ambitions? This session will explore how to examine your heart and the motive behind your service to others.
Josh Lee - Student Ministries Director at Trinity Lutheran Church
“Can I Do That?: Navigating the Do’s and Don’ts of Missions Trips and Service Projects”
Have you wondered about what you should and shouldn’t do during a missions trip and service projects? Have you wondered about how your actions and words during these experiences could affect your experience? Join us in this interactive discussion as we explore how to make the most of our missions/service experience through our attitude and actions.
Dr. Nzash Lumeya - Director of the Fresno School of Mission and Lumeya International Ministries
Mission work is much deeper than an opportunity to travel or meet new people; it’s a divine call to love. This session will look at the significant impact of mission work has not only in changing the hearts of those that we look to serve, but how it transforms the missionary.
Cross City Youth and Daisha Fowlks
Resources for Students
Serve Fresno Serve Opportunities
Serving doesn’t always look one specific way! Check out the Serve Fresno Serve Opportunities page to find project and organization-based opportunities for you and your youth group.
Every Neighborhood Partnership Drive Tour
The Every Neighborhood Drive Tour provides audio tracks for you to listen to as you drive around the city. You’ll be exposed to new areas and ministries in the city of Fresno and have the opportunity to join the work that’s already being done.
Students International Devotions
Reflect on God’s word in Hebrews 11 and 2 Timothy as a team or by yourself. Thanks to Students International, you can download and print the devotions by clicking on the links below.
The Book of 2 Timothy
By Faith - Hebrews 11