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Breakout Sessions 2


Take your time reading about each session and so you can customize your conference experience! You will be able to choose one (1) session from this group.

Ministry Curriculum

Led by: Ryan Wolfe

Finding a curriculum that works for your disability ministry is difficult enough. Add a global pandemic to the mix and it becomes even harder to find a curriculum that is versatile enough for both in-person and online gatherings. Ability Ministry has the curriculum that you need! Come and see first-hand curriculum samples that are perfect for teens, young adults, and adults in disability ministry. Attendees will also receive a discount code to purchase the curriculum.

Promoting Autism Awareness in Your Faith Community
Led by: Tonya Nash

Do you find yourself frustrated by the fact that so many people still don't understand Autism? Are you looking for ways to show your congregation that they are incomplete without people with Autism? Learn creative ways to promote Autism Awareness in Your local community with easy-to-implement ideas. 

Creating Places Where
People with Disabilities Belong

Led by: Kyle Pease

Understand the lived experience of attending church and school as a person with a disability. Kyle will share his experience of living with cerebral palsy and the joys and struggles of finding a community to belong to. Kyle will challenge church leaders to find ways to create places where people with disabilities are not just welcomed but who belong to a faith community and are missed when they aren't there.

How to Plan
a Respite Event

Led by: Doc Hunsley

The demands of being a parent and raising a child with special needs is incredibly stressful! Because of these insane demands, the divorce rate among families with special needs is estimated at 90%! The church needs to be able to provide these parents a much needed break. In this session, you will learn how you can create a respite program for any size church, include siblings, transform the lives of your families, AND grow your ministry!

Welcoming Kids
with Anxiety 

Led by: Dr. Steve Grcevich

The presence of a child with an anxiety disorder reduces family church attendance by nearly 50%. This breakout is designed to help ministry leaders recognize common barriers to church attendance for kids with anxiety. Included in this presentation is a discussion of anxiety-related challenges in kids with intellectual or developmental disabilities. Ideas for outreach and inclusion will be presented, along with strategies for promoting spiritual growth in kids with anxiety.

for Inclusion

Led by: Katie Matthews

Including people who have disabilities does not mean you have to add a line to your church budget, start a new ministry program, or overhaul everything you’re doing. The most important thing you can do is consider individuals and families affected by disability as you contextualize your services, events, and ministries where God has placed you. This breakout is designed to equip churches with tools and techniques to include students who have disabilities in all facets of ministry within the church. By taking steps to create an inclusive environment, your church will be able to provide spiritual growth and discipleship to individuals and families affected by disability. 


Helping Church

Leadership Understand & Support Disability/Special Needs Ministry

Led by: Steve Chatman

You see the need for ministry to special needs families. You have a passion to do something. You have a plan, or at least some really good ideas. But how do you help the leadership at your church catch this vision and support your plan? In this session, Steve Chatman offers ideas, insights, and practical tips for helping the leadership at your church see the need, hear your heart, and support the plan. Steve sees this situation from many sides as a current disability ministry leader, a special needs dad to two girls with Down Syndrome, a former pastor who was approached often with ministry ideas, and a former volunteer / staff member who wanted his leadership’s support.

Inclusion in 
Children's Ministry
Led by: Emily Saum & Hailey Polson

This breakout session will help you understand strategies for including children with special needs in your already existing programming for Sunday morning, camps, and events, and even on mission trips and in student leadership. You will gain a better understanding of how children's pastors, volunteers, and worship leaders can partner with and collaborate with the special needs team to ensure all kids are receiving the gospel. 

Faith and the Special
Needs Single Father

Led by: John Felageller

In this presentation, John speaks on the role of faith in the lives of fathers of special needs children, specifically those who are new to Christianity but also those who are in the role of single parenting. Using his own experience as a father who was brought to Christ largely because of his son's disability, he will highlight the ways God uses the struggles and challenges we face, especially as men and fathers, to strengthen and grow our faith, whether married or single. John also shares practical tools for how to apply faith in our daily lives.

Creating a Vision Plan
for Your Disability Ministry

Led by: Jillian Palmiotto

Learn the "good to knows" when you are beginning to include people with disabilities. You will learn an overview of the facets of ministry to consider as you start envisioning a disability ministry for your church. Participants will receive a 12-month timeline to help assess where your church is now and how to move forward over the next year.


Led by: Heather Croas

This presentation works to illustrate the power of words and to dispel the myth that a person’s life is limited because of the challenges they face due to mental illness, addictive disease or other disabilities whether they are the words we use to describe ourselves or others.

Disability Ministry
Mission Trips

Led by: Shelley Roach

Getting away from the typical church setting can open up many doors for your ministry. We will look at practical steps you can take to make this type of activity valuable, fun and safe. The rich opportunities you have for discipleship with both your leadership team and your friends with special needs make these trips worth the effort for growing ministries.

Restorative Practices

in Education

Led by: Victoria White

What are Restorative Practices? How are they applied in education? What does that have to do with how we do church? Get these questions answered in an interactive session all about WITH-ness, hearing from every voice present, and how Restorative Practices are best practices you can apply right away in a private school or church setting!


Led by: Jeff Jansma

Take a tour of Church on Main to help you have a vision for how to create an inclusive ministry. Tour their children's and youth space to discover ways to make your church more inviting to kids with special needs. You will also have an opportunity to see their sensory room and modified classroom.

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