Click here to return to Messiah College's homepage
Click here to return to the Youth Workers Conference homepage






Ministering to Kids Where They Are

Kids today are all over the map spiritually, morally, socially, and with their schedules.  How can we reach, teach, and have an impact with kids that cover such a wide spectrum?  We will discuss how to build friendships with kids and reach them in the midst of their culture.  



Mike Barbetta is the Area Director for Young Life in South Central PA.  He oversees outreach ministries to middle school and high school students in the greater Harrisburg area.  Mike has been working with youth through the Young Life ministry for 15 years.  He is married and has three children. 




Volunteer Endurance

This seminar will help both the youth pastor and the adult volunteer (or maybe you fit both of those descriptions!).  In a fast paced culture where our time is stretched and pulled in different directions, volunteering requires endurance.  When working to reach the next generation effectively, you will at some point need to endure past busy seasons, frustration and annoyances.  Volunteers will learn how they can endure the, often tough, calling of reaching today’s youth effectively.  Youth pastors will discuss tips on caring for their busy volunteers, while not trading the goal of effective ministry. 


After graduating college, Ryan Cobb spent the first years of his career in business and banking.  During his business career, he volunteered in the church and specifically in two student ministries located in Pittsburgh and Lancaster, PA.  By a calling from God and a good fit in through the local church, he moved into a full-time ministry position with Manor Church in December 2010.  He is currently the Student Groups Pastor at Manor Church in Lancaster, PA.  He lives in Mount Joy, PA with his wife, one year old daughter, and their two Labrador retrievers. 



Shaping Your Dream Team:

Recruiting and Training the Best Volunteer Team Possible 


Every effective youth ministry requires an adult team to meet the needs of youth.  “Shaping Your Dream Team” provides a Biblical volunteer management foundation, a process to develop a recruiting pool, steps guaranteed to present recruiting results, and tested ideas beneficial in shaping the average adult into a passionate youth worker. 



Dr. Dave Coryell has been Christian Endeavor Mid-Atlantic’s Executive Director since 2007.  He served as a youth pastor for fifteen years prior to this.  Dave has served as an adjunct youth ministry professor at Evangelical Seminary since 2001.  He has authored several youth ministry resources and helped launch the Imagine the Impact leadership academy for high school students.  He and his wife Jennifer met at Messiah College.  They currently live in Ephrata, PA with their children: Katelyn, Ben, Kendra, and Zach.  Dave loves coaching his kids in soccer, watching movies, reading to learn, playing strategy games, and challenging people to put Christ at the center of their lives. 


The Kids Are Not Alright


You don’t need to look further than your own ministry to see firsthand how divorce, remarriage, and single parenthood are reshaping our culture and affecting the lives of your youth.  This seminar will present ways to effectively minister to teens in the areas of grief, identity, spiritual life, and discipline as they relate to divorce and blended families. 



Keith Cotton felt the call to ministry in 2001 as a junior in high school.  He has over 10 years of experience as a youth leader and volunteer. He received his M.A. in Youth and Young Adult Ministry from Messiah College and is currently serving as Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministry at Aldersgate UMC in York, PA. 

Shane Landherr is a Marriage and Family Therapist who serves families in the State College area out of his private practice. He has ministered to youth and families for over six years, and continues to minister through speaking. It is his desire to bring healing and wholeness to adolescents, couples and families.



 Survival Kit: Your First Years in Youth Ministry




Megan Faulkner is the Director of CrossRoots Student Ministries in Ocean Grove, NJ. She graduated from Eastern University with a B.A. in Youth Ministries and Communication Studies. Megan is passionate about raising leaders for the next generation and equipping students with the leadership skills they need to make advancements for the Kingdom of God.  On a regional level, Megan is a retreat speaker and has served as the keynote speaker for the Missions 101 program for the past four years. Megan writes a bi-weekly column on Girls Ministry for Youth Worker Journal. You can check her out on,, or follow her on twitter @MeganEFaulk. She loves communication and studying the changing culture. Megan lives in Ocean Grove, NJ and enjoys life at the beach.


Youth Group Starts in an Hour... 

                   What in the World am I Going to Teach?!


In this seminar, I will be starting from scratch (well pretty much from scratch) and talking you through lesson preparation skills and ideas using one of Bluefish’s Curriculum DVDs.  Utilizing these DVDs properly can give you many months of knowing what you will be teaching next week, the next, and possibly 3 months after that.  Before being blessed with a full time position in youth ministry, this was the #1 most difficult task for me.  Teaching was easy; knowing how to be ahead of the game was torture. 




the age of 50, Greg Hench is one of the oldest Youth Pastors around, pastoring at the Carlisle First Church of God.  It is his desire to see a revival break out in Boiling Springs and to reach all those who live there.  He loves volleyball, his cat (Chuck Taylor), his kids and wife.  They also have birds, but he doesn’t like them all that much and Chuck Taylor is afraid of them.  That’s right, the cat is afraid of their birds.  And it’s not like they are even really big birds either.  He’s not totally sure how long he’s been working with teens, but his very first middle schoolers are now in their early 30s.  You do the math.  One day, he hopes to speak at Creation Festival and travel around doing speaking engagements part time.  His long term goal is to someday be the coolest 80 year old Youth Pastor!  And by the way, if you have seen any of the couches on wheels at Creation… Yeah, they belong to his youth group! 




Shaping the Spiritual Development of

Teens and Emerging Adults


Why are so many youth struggling to develop spiritually?  Is it the result of changes in the culture?  Changes in the church?  Changes in youth ministry?  Today’s youth?  Today’s leaders?  What does spiritual development look like in today’s world?  These questions will be explored during the seminar. 



Chuck Jantzi


Broken and Beautiful


Today it is difficult, if not outright impossible, for students to pass through middle school and high school without experiencing sexual brokenness or wounds.  The brokenness and wounds often show up like cracks in a pot and lead students to conclude the treasure within has been irreparably damaged.  Is this true?  If it is not true, what part do you have in enabling your students to recognize the treasure within and to be shaped for their good and God’s glory?  During this workshop we will look at how students are wounded and broken sexually, identify the resulting guilt and shame, and suggest how Christ disperses the guilt and shame, allowing the light of God’s love to stream out of the cracks the wounds have left behind.      


Dan Keefer, M.A. is the Director of Counseling and Education for Day Seven Ministries.  Prior to serving with Day Seven, he spent 12 years in ministry to youth and their families.  Dan is married to Heather and they are parents of Heath and Hannah, high school seniors, and Hayden, a high school sophomore. 





Intentional Community


We are relational beings created by a relational God.  We all need and crave community, however authentic community does not happen by accident – it takes intentionality.  In this seminar we will be discussing how to create and maintain a welcoming and communal atmosphere in your youth ministry.  This seminar will include a lot of practical ideas for you to take back to your own ministry setting.   




Derek Parson has been involved in youth ministry for just over 10 years. He is currently serving as the youth pastor at Shippensburg Church of the Nazarene.  He also runs the YES Conference  (Youth Equipped to Serve) which is an event in the Nazarene Denomination for high school students who feel called into ministry.  Derek has a B.A. in Youth Ministry from Mount Vernon Nazarene University and is currently working on his Masters in Youth and Young Adult Ministries at Messiah College. He lives in Shippensburg with his wife, Aubree and their dog, Mozzie.







Reaching Outside the Walls


This seminar discusses how youth leaders can go behind traditional methods to reach the kids who haven’t or won’t come to a church.  It starts through building relationships and building friendships.  It ends with loving people regardless of what they say, do, or believe. 




Jeremy Ritch was a pastor to subcultures and the outcast for over 12 years.  In his tenure, Jeremy worked with several ministries in Philadelphia, Atlanta, and Harrisburg, PA.  As an accomplished speaker and writer, Jeremy has built a reputation for having an honest, sometimes raw, approach to ministry.  He has been invited to speak at a number of festivals, conferences, and churches over the years. 



Silo to Symphony


From newborn, to children, to youth, to young adults, to adults – we are so used to the church functioning in “silo” ministries that function by themselves.  Faith communities are one of the few gatherings where all generations are drawn in – yet we are so familiar (and comfortable) with the church being a divided place to keep them there.  How did we get to this place?  Is this harming the “body of Christ”?  In a world full of isolation and division, how is the church conducting a generational symphony with all the parts – young and old alike?  Learn why intergenerational ministry is being called “the future of youth ministry” and some practical ideas to break down the “silos” in your church to create a symphony that is more beautiful than we could ever imagine! 




Pam Scheihing is the Intergenerational Minister at Asbury UMC in York, PA.  She graduated from Messiah College in 2007 with a degree in Youth Ministry.  Over the last year her role transitioned from Youth Director to Intergenerational Minister.  She has been blessed with the opportunity to develop ways to integrate youth into the local church more effectively and is growing a passion for helping other church leaders understand this model as a paradigm shift for youth ministry.  Pam has a home in York and lives with two roommates and her cat, Manna!





What Every Adolescent Needs… Regardless of Anything:


Shaping Adolescents into LIFELONG Disciples


As God shapes each young person He has placed within our care into a unique creation, youth workers can more effectively nurture adolescents toward God’s plan of LIFELONG discipleship by knowing some of the basic struggles EVERY ADOLESCENT faces. There are bridges youth workers can build to help each adolescent regardless of “boundaries” such as ethnicity/economic status/geographical setting/etc.  Let’s explore together how the church can best join in God’s plan to help adolescents in our care as they search for God and their identity during this HUGELY formative time in their lives.     


An ordained Deacon in the United Methodist Church,Dave Showalter serves as Youth Pastor to St. Paul United Methodist Church is Lusby, MD and also as Washington East District Youth Coordinator of the Baltimore Washington Conference.  Along with ministering to/with/for/through youth at St. Paul, Dave is the FCA “Character Coach” for the Patuxent High School “Panther” Varsity Football team.  Dave will graduate with his Doctorate of Ministry in “Youth, Family, and Culture” from Fuller Theological Seminary in June 2014.  This is Dave’s 25th year in youth and family ministry.  His best attribute and wife Debby has been his partner in crime…errrr…youth ministry from ‘Day 1.’  Dave is most amped when getting to spend time with students and other youth workers.  He is thrilled to meet with other youth workers at Messiah College to strategize on how to help students become life-long disciples of Jesus the Christ. 




High School Seniors & Young Adults - what to do? 


We all read statistics about young adults being the "black hole" of church attendance; we wrestle with graduating high school seniors and sending them off to college, and not sure how to continue developing their faith. There is a problem and we all know it. Let us come together, mourn this reality, pray, and dream for a new future. How can youth leaders, pastors, communities and campus ministers begin working together to promote authentic, organic, and deep faith connections for young adults? How is God changing our faith communities to best equip and support young adults?




Kristopher Sledge is a 2013 graduate of Messiah College with a degree in Christian Ministries.  He is currently attending Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington DC to receive a Masters of Divinity degree.  He also has the privilege of working at Fishing Creek Salem UMC in Etters, PA as the Pastoral Assistant and Director of Young Adult Ministries.  In his limited free time, he will be seen drinking coffee and reading, traveling around the world, or playing Settlers of Catan with his roommates. 



Better Safe than {             }


Many of us struggle to find time to meet the demands of a busy ministry schedule.  Retreat: Check.  Small Group lesson: Check.  Sunday School: Check.  Mission Trip: Check.  Safety and Security Planning: Uhhh?  We’ll have some honest dialogue about why planning, safety, and security are important aspects of our ministries and how to implement plans to ease worries and build confidence among students, staff, and parents.  We will use excerpts from Jack Crabtree’s book “Better Safe than Sued” to aid our discussion, as well as share some tips that work in all sized youth ministries and for all types of leaders.  “He who trusts in himself is a fool, but he who walks in wisdom is kept safe” (Proverbs 28:26). 



Josh Tobias has been ministering to middle and high school students and their families at 1st UM, Chambersburg for almost 10 years.  His wife, Angie, serves 1st UM as Children’s Minister which offers a unique “one-two punch” of ministry in the local Church.  Together, they believe in relational ministry as it moves beyond program to reach generations for Christ.  Josh and Angie have a son, Micah (2) and a daughter, Jocelyn (1) and they all enjoy camping and spending time with family.

Let’s Talk About Porn


More and more of our young people (both guys and girls) are dealing with the negative impacts of pornography in their lives.  In this session we discuss the importance of engaging parents and students in conversations about the impact of pornography.  Also, we will have a conversation about how we can help overcome this battle in our youth ministries. 



Chad Wenger has been leading the Middle School and High School ministries at Mechanicsburg BIC Church for nearly 7 years.  He has been married for 8 years and has two beautiful daughters.  Chad is passionate about equipping the next generation to see them live out the life that God has for them.   He also enjoys playing saxophone, reading, playing sports, and complaining about Philadelphia sports teams.



The Power of a Whisper: Hearing Directly from God


God still speaks relevant words to his followers, as the Scriptures prove.  Let’s get better at hearing from God and get bolder about obeying what he asks us to do!  Based on the life of Elijah and a book from Bill Hybels. 



Drew Robeson has been the Youth Director for grades 6-12 at Camp Hill United Methodist Church for almost eight years.  Drew has a fantastic wife in ministry as well, Jenny, and three all-star kids, Jordyn, Sadie, and Eli.  Drew graduated from Messiah in ’04 with a BA in Christian Ministries, but most importantly Drew recognizes his need for a Savior and is deeply committed to following Jesus. 



Avoiding Volunteer Burnout


Do your volunteers feel passionate, energized, and excited about the ministry in which they serve?  OR do they feel like they are running out of themselves?  Come and explore ways the volunteers can avoid and prevent burnout! 

With 19 + years of local church youth ministry in Southern California, Dr. Shelly Skinner has had the privilege of working alongside volunteers in a variety of settings.  She currently coordinates the master’s program in Youth & Young Adults Ministries at Messiah College, and is excited about the new offering of the Certificate in Youth & Young Adult Ministries.  She also teaches undergraduate Christian Ministry students.  She received her B.A. and M.A. from Biola University and Talbot Theological Seminary in La Mirada, CA, and her Ed.D. from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY.  She is a movie fiend, who enjoys spending time with friends and family, long road trips, and reading in a local café and/or coffee shop.