2018 Cross+Gen Life Conference Workshops

Choose from eight skills-based workshops led by former Case Study presenters who are now national leaders in the Cross+Gen movement. What have they learned and what do they know since they launched their own Cross+Gen journeys?


Change Management 201

Sustaining Change for the Long-Haul

Revs. Sonja and Joel Pancoast
Zion, Loveland, CO
Members: 664
AWWA: 231

Synopsis: Institutions can only handle about 15% change a year. Join Cross+Gen veterans Sonja and Joel as they walk you through their experiences with implementing Cross+Gen in FAITH5 worship, community life and across the church. What did they do? Why did they do it? What did they learn? What kinds of people did they recruit? What losses and blessings did they embrace by making this choice? In this session you’ll also sample a document they review every year to help their leadership study how healthy change has occurred in the past, and to test it against what they’ve seen in recent history.


Preaching Beyond the Podcast

Engaging Strategies for the Post-Television, Neo-Google World

Rev. Karen Ware Jackson
Faith Presbyterian Church
Greensboro, NC
Members: 70
AWWA: 52

Synopsis: People love podcasts. It’s a great way to learn and be inspired. But people don’t typically call friends over to sit in the living room and listen to a podcast. They listen while they run, drive, cook, clean, create, or relax. So why does the church still invite people into our sanctuaries to sit and listen? If we ask people to make the effort to come together to share a space and a worship experience, shouldn’t we offer something more than they can get online whenever and wherever they want? Join us as we explore innovative “eduworship” preaching that uses varied learning styles to engage and transform all ages.


Cross+Gen Begins with Dots – and More Subversive Plots

Cross+Gen Essentials 201

Linda Staats, M.S.
HomeGrown Faith (www.homegrownfaith.net)
Phoenix, AZ

Leading Cross+Gen for a short time or long time? 
Hearing some, “Yes, buts” and feeling like a Cross+Gen klutz?
Seeing some leaks - ready for some tweaks?
Then this workshop is for you – a place to “Boo Hoo” and “Yahoo!” 
We’ll circle the wagons with your Cross+Gen companions,
Hone your approach with a Cross+Gen Coach,
And realize your potential with Cross+Gen essentials.


Heather and Stephanie.jpg

Do It S+M+ART!

Cross+Gen Storytelling, Music and Art

Rev. Heather Roth Johnson and Deacon Stephanie Luedtke
St. Johns, Lakeville, MN and St. Lukes, Bloomington, MN


Synopsis: Why does story matter? How does story matter? When does story matter? How can you make story come alive in a hands-on Cross+Gen setting? How can you involve all five senses for a meaningful impact? Join two Cross+Gen veterans as they answer these questions. They will share five years of innovative eduworship experiments that combine storytelling and worship arts, created by people of all ages in reflection and celebration of God’s story. 


Building Outside the Building

A Missional Laity, Missional Cross+Gen Approach to Building an Empowered Oikos

Dr. Brian Hughes
St. Johns, Columbia, MD
Members: 1071
AWWA: 300

Synopsis: Neighborhood gatherings. Traveling teams. Community boards of directors meetings. All are prime places for teaching an existing culture how life can be richer in Cross+Gen community.

Jesus told his disciples they would do greater things than he, like heal the sick, cleanse the leper, bring good news, raise the dead – simple things like that. What miracles do you see when trained and released laity get out of the building and start the building, bringing Cross+Gen to more than Sunday? As one of the original Cross+Gen pioneers, Brian has experienced these greater things and will teach you to empower your laity for such good works.


Goodbye to Sunday School, Hello to Cross+Gen

The Nuts-and-Bolts of Adaptive Change

Rev. Jennifer Rome
Pilgrim, St. Paul, MN
Members: 514
AWWA: 217

Synopsis: Saying goodbye to the familiar is often frightening and painful. Institutions like Sunday School often don’t go down without a fight. People who lived through the Baby Boom carry many fond memories of burgeoning fellowship halls, classrooms and Christmas programs. Threatening or devaluing their memories can get you in hot water. Join Jen as she walks through all the nuts and bolts, numbers, feelings, strategies of saying goodbye to age-segregated Sunday School and hello to the dangerously hopeful unknown. 


Shifting VBS to Cross+Gen

Summers of Fun and Fellowship

Rev. Chad and Aly Kohlmeyer
Atonement, Boulder, CO
Members: 474
AWWA: 194

Synopsis: Four years into replacing traditional VBS with a week of Cross+Gen faith growth and fellowship, Aly and Chad share the hurdles they overcame and the abundant blessings they received by easing their church into an all-age faith and fellowship week. “We have learned a lot, sucked up our losses and embraced our blessings,” says Aly. Could making this choice for connections and creativity in your congregation be a simple and powerful way to start a Cross+Gen culture shift? Come and explore.


Learning to Fail Forward

Failure is certain. Learning from it is optional.

Deacon Kristin Johnson
St. Petri, Story City, IA
Members: 473
AWWA: 102


Synopsis: There’s no shame in failure. The problem comes when you let your failures limit you, diminish your vision, define you or stop you in your tracks. This is the lesson one church learned well. Come to this session and learn how one Cross+Gen team failed forward, using where they missed the mark to help propel them into deeper Cross+Gen commitment and connection. With five years of cross+gen faith formation under their belt and the scars to show for it, they now are able to see the many blessings they experienced along the way.


Small Church, Big Impact

One Size Fits Most

Rev. Matt Larson
Burr Oak & Hesper Parish
Decorah, IA
Members: 1010
AWWA: 134

Synopsis: Pre-packaged faith formation programs rarely seemed to fit our little country church. What made Cross+Gen work for us is that it’s actually not a program. It’s a mindset and a different way to be the church. Adopting this mindset and system change has transformed faith formation in powerful ways for this rural multi-point parish. Matt will share how Cross+Gen is guaranteed to offer both hope and help for small churches.