Refresh Workshops


A wide variety of workshops and pre-conference seminars will be offered during Refresh Conference. You can view the complete list of workshops by time below. Sign up for your choice of workshop when you register for Refresh.

Pre-Conference Workshops

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Time: Tuesday, January 30, 2:00-3:30
Speaker: Dean Taylor
Title: “Bible Study Software: A Survey and Tutorial”
Description: Our faculty will present a survey of Bible study software available and give an introductory tutorial in the use of selected software products.

Time: Tuesday, January 30, 3:30-4:30 NO MORE ROOM AVAILABLE
Speaker: Chris Brown
Title: “Technology: Friend or Foe”
Description: Come discuss tools, resources, ideas, and options for effectively using technology in your ministry.

Workshop 1: Wednesday, January 31, 1:30-2:30

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Speaker: Chris Brown
Title: “Website Do’s and Don’ts”
Description: Websites are ever evolving in our culture.  Let’s learn how to effective use your internet real estate.

Speaker: Paul Hartog
Title: “Christianity and Culture at Corinth:  Chameleon or Cruciform?”
Description: In 1 Corinthians 9:22, the Apostle Paul declares, “I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.”  Does this text mean (as has often been assumed) that Paul committed himself to become just like those around him in every manner, for the sake of Gospel ministry?  Such a view can lead to a dizzying array of distributed acculturation tactics, and ultimately wearied disappointment. By examining the broader context of 1 Corinthians 9 and by comparing Paul’s response to the cultural valuation of rhetoric in chapters 1 and 2, we will consider a simplified (and invigorating) model with a unified center: the Christ-like transformation of the agent in cruciform self-giving-for-others.

Speaker: Patrick Odle
Title: “Reaching and Retaining Church Visitors: Opening the Front Door and Closing the Back Door”
Description: Do you have a plan for inviting, welcoming, and retaining visitors? Is your church “visitor friendly?” How do you know? What do you do beyond the typical handshake and bulletin at the door?  What percent of your visitors return?  How many first time visitors end up becoming members of your church?  This practical workshop will focus on four keys to reaching and retaining those who visit your church.

Speaker: Will Senn III
Title: “The Art of Theological Centering”
Description: We will look at improving our preaching by studying the literary DNA of the Scriptures and focusing on the central axis of a pericope that employs bilateral symmetry. This workshop will cover the six criteria needed to be met for a macro-chiasm.  This workshop focuses on finding the theological center of passages that appear to be random, disorganized, or excessively repetitive.  Theological centering shatters the liberal’s view on inspiration and editorial theories and gives the growing preacher the intended emphasis the Holy Spirit has given to the passage, which is then to be preached with great conviction and passion.

Speaker: Faith Taylor
Title: “Beyond Expectations: When My Expectations Collide with the Goodness of God”
Description: You and I bring into ministry expectations of what ministry experience will be like and of the results it will bring. When reality doesn’t match our expectations, we find ourselves grappling with the goodness of God. What help does Scripture offer for managing our expectations and trusting in the goodness of God?

Workshop 2: Thursday, February 1, 11:30-12:30

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Speaker: Gary Anderson
Title: “Burn Long or Burn Out; You Choose!”
Description: This workshop addresses the potential ministry-ending consequences of living a life filled with too many drains and not enough fountains.  Burn out prevention and cure are addressed in what God says about work (which is not a curse) and rest (which is not a sin) and our stewardship of each.

Speaker: Ron Byers
Title: “What I Don’t Know About Taxes and Finances Could Hurt My Ministry”
Description: Many pastors and churches are ignorant about the tax laws that apply to them and either fail to take advantage of the laws that help them or violate the laws, which apply to them.  We will identify common mistakes that are made and how to avoid them.

Speaker: Mark Davis
Title: “Current Trends in Higher Education”
Description: This workshop will look at the continued demise of free thinking in the spirit of public education. We will also be covering the resistance movement, climate change, and tolerance on the campus.

Speaker: Jeff Newman
Title: “‘I was with You in Weakness, in Fear, and in Much Trembling.’ (1 Cor. 1:3): Conducting Discipleship in the Midst of Our Own Struggles”
Description: God establishes the agenda.  He appoints the agenda for His glory and for our good.  His agenda includes struggles – sometimes agonizing struggles.  In these, He forms the image of His Son in us as we lovingly submit ourselves to His agenda.  In these, He affords us the honor of serving others.  Yet, this honor too seldom feels like a high privilege to be humbly accepted, but rather an overwhelming burden to be promptly unloaded. Join this workshop to examine sketches from the life and writings of the Apostle Paul.  We will strive to learn from his reliance on and love for our Savior, his transparency in service, and the relationships forged in his struggle.  His struggle gives us hope and direction for faithful service in the midst of our own struggles.

Speaker: Joan Tillotson
Title: “Serve the Lord with Gladness”
Description: The subject of praise and the motivation to it will be considered.  We will consider biblical examples of serving God joyfully in the “good times” and not forgetting that all of our blessings come from Him as well as serving God with joy in the “not so good times.” We will also discuss what happens when we cease to “serve the Lord with gladness.”   Finally, the practical application of how to serve with joy in all circumstances will be discussed.

Speaker: Matt Williams
Title: “Helping Good Kids Become Godly Servants: The Benefits of Having a Student Leadership Conference”
Description: Student leadership conferences give new ministry resources to churches and youth groups. These conferences assist ministries in engaging, equipping, and empowering their youth groups and churches with a biblical worldview and a developed ministry mindset. Hear how you can host a student leadership conference for your youth group or a Worldview Weekend for your church.

Workshop 3: Thursday, February 1, 1:30-2:30

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Speaker: Ron Byers
Title: “Taxes and Finances Q&A”
Description: Have questions about ministry taxes? Spend this workshop hour getting your questions answered.

Speaker: Chris Brown
Title: “Website Do’s and Don’ts”
Description: Websites are ever evolving in our culture.  Let’s learn how to effective use your internet real estate.

Speaker: Doug Brown
Title: “The Glory of Israel’s Kingdom: A Dispensational Understanding of God’s Glory”
Description: This workshop will explore how God’s glory is uniquely revealed in the Millennium as God fulfills His promises and covenants with the nation of Israel.

Speaker: Alne Hartog
Title: “Better than Biscuits”
Description: Many recipes require a mixture of diverse yet integral ingredients in order to create delicious food. On their own, a cup of flour or a spoonful of lard may not be edible, but mix all the ingredients together and voilà! You’ve created a scrumptious dish that would satisfy even the most picky palate! Living life in ministry is similar to a recipe. As God mixes all the joys and the heartaches together, His purpose is to create something “even better than biscuits.”

Speaker: Ken Rathbun
Title: “Dealing with Discouragement: Moses’ Struggles with God in Exodus 3”
Description: This workshop will examine what you need to know, what you need to focus on, and how to deal with the pain that comes from the discouragement in ministry. Opposition is all around us, and we face pressure both from without and within the body of Christ. We will look at Moses’ example and how he learned through adversity that God was not finished with him.  And He’s not finished with you either.

Speaker: Dean Taylor
Title: “Kicking the Black Dog: Action Steps for Overcoming Discouragement in Ministry”
Description: The Apostle Paul spoke from his own experience as he encouraged his protégé Timothy to take action when feeling down. One of these fourteen action steps may be just what you need. No animals will be harmed in this session.