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October 16-18 at Willow Creek

essential for the human heart


An intensely communal God created us to enjoy life-giving relationships with Him and others.

water. oxygen. community.

—Bill Donahue

As humans, we depend on a few core essentials.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Friday, October 17, 2008

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Water sustains our bodies. Oxygen invigorates our organs. And community nourishes our souls with acceptance, guidance, and encouragement. As individuals, it challenges us

Pre-Conference Experiences

9:30 am – 11:00 am 

Film festival, topical forums, affinity gatherings, and coffees. Details about these events will be updated right up to the conference, and some require registration. Get the latest at willowcreek.com/GL2008. Conference Begins

Point Leader session 1 9:30 am - 12:30 pm

breakout session A

Bill Donahue

Executive Director of Group Life, Willow Creek Association

breakout session B 11:15 am - 12:30 pm

Main Session 1

9:00 am – 10:30 am

9:30 am - 10:45 am

The Stonegate Conference Centre, Hoffman Estates, IL

12:30 pm 

Main Session 4

12:30 pm – 2:15 pm

Why Community Is Essential

1:45 pm – 4:45 pm

12:30 pm – 1:45 pm

breakout session C 1:45 pm – 3:00 pm

God designed us to live life together.

Why do some community initiatives fly and others fall flat? Bill Donahue investigates why certain strategies flounder, the missing essentials that can lead to their failure, and how you can avoid making the same mistakes. Or if you’ve made them already, learn how you can get back on your feet.

This year’s Group Life Conference: Essential for the Human

3:30 pm – 4:45 pm

3:00 pm – 4:30 pm

Main Session 5

11:15 am – 12:30 pm

When community works—when it’s characterized by good health and a supportive environment—it can have a transformative effect on individuals, on churches, and entire neighborhoods. Miles McPherson details the importance of a community-focused church and the power of community to impact our entire culture.

Conference Concludes

12:30 pm 

Where Community Grows Best

Main Session 3

4:30 pm – 7:00 pm

7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

Will Miller

Author and Speaker (West Lafayette, IN)

What Stunts Community Growth Author, speaker, and conference favorite Will Miller explores the barriers that keep community from optimum growth—and the tools needed to overcome them. With his unique blend of humor and insight, you’ll discover how hearts get wounded and how community is necessary to heal them.

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the Kingdom-advancing principles of biblical community.

who should attend? The conference is ideal for anyone at your church who is involved in community life—from pastors to volunteer group leaders, from the traditional church with a small-group ministry to the emerging church built entirely on small groups. Those

Lead Pastor and Discipleship Pastor National Community Church (Washington, DC)

Free Time / Dinner (on your own)

Heart—our 10th since first introducing it in 1998—will help you

Miles McPherson

Mark Batterson & Heather Zempel

The high-achieving, highly mobile, de-churched neighborhoods of Washington, DC, aren’t ideal environments for small group ministry. Yet, National Community Church is making it work. Learn about their “organic approach” to community and how you can see group life flourish despite harsh surroundings.

That’s why group life is the heartbeat of the church.

Senior Pastor, The Rock Church (San Diego, CA)

How Community Transforms

The Stonegate Conference Centre, Hoffman Estates, IL

breakout session D Main Session 2

as we see lives changed.

and your team keep that heartbeat strong by rediscovering Lunch (provided for all conference guests)

Point Leader session 2

Water and oxygen we understand, but why is community so essential to the human heart? In a brand-new talk, John Burke digs into the theological underpinnings of group life to help you rediscover your passion for planting, cultivating, and nurturing community.

strengthens us with shared experiences and motivates us

Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time

John Burke

Lead Pastor, Gateway Church (Austin, Texas)

with accountability and inspires us to serve. As churches, it

who attend will not only learn from some of the world’s most experienced group life experts, but will have networking and training opportunities with immediate ministry application.

Re-energize your team by traveling together to Group Life Conference 2008, where you’ll enjoy outstanding speakers, dynamic worship, and uplifting music and drama in our five main sessions.

For Everyone: You and your team members can choose from 55 General breakout options that provide concrete ways to strengthen existing groups, ministries, and leaders (turn the page for details). For Point Leaders: Group ministry leaders often face unique challenges that differ substantially from those of their staff and volunteers. We recognize this and offer exclusive Point Leader content specifically designed to address these issues. Point Leaders will have the chance to personally interact with some of the foremost small group practitioners (see page 6 for details).

We’re doing two new things to make Group Life Conference 2008 more convenient for you. First, we’ve scheduled it in October rather than September, allowing you to get past that busy month of ministry launches. Second, the conference begins at 12:30 pm, allowing many to travel on Thursday morning and save on accommodations. For those who choose to arrive early, we’re offering a few Thursday morning extras, including a film festival, topical forums, affinity gatherings, and coffees. Thursday morning opportunities will be updated right up to the conference, and some events require registration. Get the latest at willowcreek.com/GL2008.

willowcreek.com/GL2008 Find full session descriptions, speaker bios, details about pre-conference experiences, and more.

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Creating a culture where nobody stands alone

must be a priority for every leader,

the breakout breakdown

whether in a church or small group. Our generation

W

ith your registration for the conference, you get a full day of breakout sessions led by a variety of group life experts. Many come from Outreach magazine’s recent list of the most innovative and influential churches. Some are members of the Willow Creek family. One-third of this year’s speakers are fresh new voices at our conference, with the rest representing “best of” speakers from prior conferences. All of them will help you meet everyday challenges with creative, hands-on application.

is desperate for it. — John Burke

Breakout Session A

Friday, Oct. 17, 2008 A100

Featured Breakouts

Breakout Session B

9:30 am - 10:45 am

Thriving as a Small Group Leader 

B140

Russ Robinson (Robinson Payne LLC, Hoffman Estates, IL)

Breakout Session C

11:15 am - 12:30 pm

C160

The Postmodern Skeptic’s Path to Faith 

Don Everts (InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, Boulder, CO)

How Does This Work? It’s fairly simple. Just mix and match the options you see here to meet your specific needs and interests. Choose one breakout for each 75-minute session: A, B, C, and D. Note that a few breakouts are “AB” options which cover the entire morning. Featured Breakouts are what we consider our broadest topics, led by some of our most popular speakers. Because we know you’ll benefit from them, these will be the default breakouts to which you’ll be assigned if you don’t pre-register by Friday, October 3. Pre-registration is important! Many breakouts will fill to capacity, so contact us as soon as possible to make sure you get your top choices. Complete details on breakout categories, descriptions, and speakers are available at willowcreek.com/GL2008. For Point Leaders Only: Turn the page for information on extended-length, add-on Point Leader Sessions available only to those who are leading your church’s group life ministry.

Breakout Session D

1:45 pm - 3:00 pm

 unning Together: The Role of R Small Groups in Spiritual Formation

D190

AB120

Small Group Leadership 201

AB121

Leadership Development

AB122

Building Blocks of Biblical Community 

C161

Leading Small Groups into Deeper Community 

C162

Kevin and Sherry Harney (Authors and Speakers, Byron Center, MI)

D191

Organic Growth: People-Synthesis  and Spiritual Respiration

D192

Carolyn Taketa (Calvary Community Church, Westlake Village, CA)

Practical Leadership Training Scott Christenson (Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, Palatine, IL)

C164 Developing a Coaching Model

D194

Real-World Coaching at Mosaic 

C165 A Change of Heart: How Transformation Happens

D195

SOULiving: Leading Your Small Group in Holistic Spiritual Formation

C166

Leadership Essentials Greg Ogden and Dan Meyer (Christ Church of Oak Brook, Oak Brook, IL)

D196

Leading Missional Small Groups 

C167

Outward Focus: Changing Your Small Group Culture

D197

C163

Avoiding Common Coaching Mistakes  Creating Emotionally Healthy Small Group Environments

AB125

AB126

Transforming Discipleship Greg Ogden (Christ Church of Oak Brook, Oak Brook, IL)

Alan Danielson (Lifechurch.tv, Edmund, OK)

Scott Boren (Woodland Hills Church, St. Paul, MN)

Spiritual Formation in the Life of the Leader 

Mindy Caliguire (Soul Care, Algonquin, IL)

Rex Minor (Calvary Community Church, Westlake Village, CA)

Mike Bischoff (SOULeader Resources, Foothill Ranch, CA)

Missional Small Groups

David Auda (Mosaic, Los Angeles, CA)

Mike Hurt (Parkway Church, Victoria, TX)

Beth Leonard (Tapestry Community Church , Roswell, GA)

Spiritual Formation

Finding and Launching New Leaders

Dave Treat (Willow Creek Association, South Barrington, IL)

Tony Stoltzfus (Coach22, Virginia Beach, VA)

AB124

24/7: Community throughout the Week 

D193

Strategies for Equipping Leaders 

Mike Hurt (Parkway Church, Victoria, TX)

AB123

Forming New Groups: Covenants and Cohesion

Beth Leonard (Tapestry Community Church, Roswell, GA)

Jana Swenson (St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, Marion, IA)

Coaching Leaders

Hope for the Homeless: The Missional Strength of Community Ben Lockyer (Southridge Community Church, St. Catharines, ON)

AB127

Square One: Starting a Small Group Ministry from Nothing

C168

Getting to THERE: Building a Dynamic Small Group Ministry Mark Howell

C169

Relational Apologetics:  How Group Life Shapes Spiritual Conversation

Scott Christenson (Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, Palatine, IL)

Leading Group Ministry

Asking Great Questions

Garry Poole (Author and Speaker, Chicago, IL)

Greg Bowman (Willow Creek Association, South Barrington, IL)

The Monkey and The Fish: Misconceptions  of Small Groups that Screwed Us Up! Dave Gibbons (NewSong Church, Irvine, CA)

Mindy Caliguire (Soul Care, Algonquin, IL)

Small Group Leadership 101

3:30 pm - 4:45 pm

D198

Dave Treat (Willow Creek Association, South Barrington, IL)

(SmallGroupResources.net, Rancho Santa Margarita, CA)

A101

Launching Groups All Year Long Sharina Husted 

B141

(Trinity Church, Lansing, MI)

Removing and Restoring Leaders Rex Minor  (Calvary Community Church, Westlake Village, CA)

Connecting through Self-Assimilation (Or ... Why Your Groups Should Suck)

D199

Meeting God in Transition 

What’s New? Three-Hour “AB” Breakouts: Last year, you asked us for longer breakouts. We delivered, offering several three-hour morning breakouts for what we’re calling “AB” sessions. One of these extended breakouts is the equivalent of one A and one B breakout combined. Hands-on Labs: When we say our labs are “hands-on,” we mean it. You’ll actually get to use the curriculum being discussed, whether you’re holding it in your very own hands or taking it for an online test drive.

Tony Stoltzfus (Coach22, Virginia Beach, VA)

Ron Martoia (Velocity Culture, Jackson, MI)

A102

Leveraging Technology to Support Community 

B142

Cynthia Ware (The Digital Sanctuary, Los Angeles, CA)

The Last Taboo: Talking About Money in  Your Group Dick Towner and Matt Bell

C170

A103

Inductive Bible Study: Engaging Slackers, Challenging Scholars

B143

Don Everts (InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, Boulder, CO)

AB128

Close to Home: Benefits of Neighborhood Small Groups

C171

People Like Me: Successful Affinity-Based Groups

Annette Forster (Willow Creek Community Church, South Barrington, IL)

John Angle (Willow Creek DuPage Regional, West Chicago, IL)

Called to Care: Helping Group Members through Crisis

C172

Joe Besenjak and Kyndra Singer (Willow Creek Community Church, South Barrington, IL)

More Than I Can Handle: When a Group Member’s Needs Surpass My Ability to Lead Kaleen Marshall (Christ Community Church, St. Charles, IL)

Group Evangelism

Films as Springboards into Deeper  A104* Short  Spiritual Conversations Marcus Key and Scott Santee (Global Short Film Network, Indianapolis, IN)

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Postmodern Group Life

A105

Curriculum and Training

A106

Reaching Postmoderns with Unfiltered Reality 

Films as Springboards into Deeper  B144* Short  Spiritual Conversations Marcus Key and Scott Santee

Bill Search (Southeast Christian Church, Louisville, KY)

C173

Helping Seekers Thrive in Believer Small Groups 

Sharina Husted (Trinity Church, Lansing, MI)

D201

Creating Group Experiences to Enhance  Spiritual and Relational Growth Andrea Minor

willowcreek.com/GL2008 Find full breakout descriptions, speakers bios, photos, and more.

(Calvary Community Church, Westlake Village, CA)

D202 Step into the Kitchen:  Starting Points for New Believers Bill Willits (North Point Community Church, Atlanta, GA)

D203 Small Groups for Explorers 

Garry Poole (Author and Speaker, Chicago, IL)

* T his session is repeated in A104 and B144. Register only once.

(Global Short Film Network, Indianapolis, IN)

B145

Jon Peacock (Willow Creek Community Church, South Barrington, IL)

Hands-On Lab: Curriculum Wendy Seidman (Willow Creek Association, South Barrington, IL)

D200 Simple Small Groups:  Untangling the Complicated Web of Group Life

CCC Team (Community Christian Church, Naperville, IL)

(Willow Creek Association, South Barrington, IL)

Group Life

Catalyzing a Movement: Reproducing Leaders ➔  Groups ➔ Churches ➔ Networks Eric Metcalf and

Everything is an Experiment: Creative Community for Emerging Generations Heather Zempel

C174 Teaching Jesus and His Teachings

D204 ComeUnity: Moving Past Programs to Unity 

C175

D205 Reinventing Group Bible Study: The Liquid Method

Scot McKnight (North Park University, Chicago, IL)

Todd Gorton (Coast Hills Community Church, Aliso Viejo, CA)

(National Community Church, Washington, DC)

B146

Hands-On Lab: Online Training Stephanie Oakley (Willow Creek Association, South Barrington, IL)

Choosing and Using Curriculum that Works

Kevin and Sherry Harney (Authors/Speakers, Byron Center, MI)

Jeff Pries and Chris Lagerlof (Mariners Church, Irvine, CA)

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premium sessions for point leaders

The Buck Stops with You. If you’re the one in charge of small group ministry leadership or development at your church, your training and networking needs may differ considerably from those of your staff and volunteers. That’s why we offer premium Point Leader Sessions, designed to address the issues unique to your role. The limited space and specialized content mean you’ll connect in a more personal setting with international experts and innovative thought leaders who are very familiar with the challenges of your position. Our Point Leader Breakouts are three hours long, allowing you ample time for interaction with your leader and other participants. You can choose one or two from 18 options—one for Friday morning and/or one for Friday afternoon. Read complete details, descriptions, and speaker bios at willowcreek.com/GL2008. Space is Limited! All Point Leader Breakouts take place off-site at The Stonegate Conference Centre in Hoffman Estates, a 10-minute drive from the Willow campus. Point Leaders are responsible for their own transportation. Because no more than 45 participants are allowed per Point Leader Breakout, they fill up fast. Register early to secure your spot. An additional fee is required for premium sessions. See add-on rates to the right.

T here has never been a time … when the work of the church, the body of Christ, especially in small groups, has more sociological, psychological, social science support, and urgency than now. —Dr. Will Miller

Point Leader Session 1

9:30 am - 12:30 pm

PL1050 Community Unscripted: Replacing Rigid Ministry Models With Life-Giving Structures

Point Leader Session 2

1:45 pm - 4:45 pm

PL2070 Small Groups and the Missional Church Scott Boren (Woodland Hills Church, St. Paul, MN)

Super Early Bird

Early Bird

Regular

register by 7/29/08

register by 9/09/08

register after 9/09/08

$265

$285

$305

WCA Members (1-4 people)

$285

$305

$325

Non-Members

$345

$365

$385

$135

$135

$135

Bill Donahue (Willow Creek Association, South Barrington, IL)

PL1051 The Art of Great Questions and How to Write Them Jeff Pries and Chris Lagerlof (Mariners Church, Irvine, CA)

PL1052 Group Life Ministry in a Multi-Campus Context Alan Danielson (Lifechurch.tv, Edmund, OK)

PL2071 Five Things That Sidetrack Point Leaders Russ Robinson (Robinson Payne LLC, Hoffman Estates, IL)

PL2072 SOULeadership: Holistic Spiritual Formation for Point Leaders Mike Bischoff (SOULeader Resources, Foothill Ranch, CA)

PL1053 Reveal(ing) SouthRidge: What We Learned From Reveal™ and What We’re Doing About It Ben Lockyer (Southridge Community Church, St. Catharines, ON)

PL1054 Refrigerator Rights: Creating Relational Communities Will Miller and Glenn Sparks (Authors and Speakers, West Lafayette, IN)

PL1055 Transforming Architecture: New Models for Spiritual Conversations and Formation Ron Martoia (Velocity Culture, Jackson, MI)

PL1056 Developing Leaders Who Actually Lead Well Bill Willits and Stephen Redden (North Point Community Church, Alpharetta, GA)

PL1057 Third Culture Leaders: Developing Next Generation Leaders Who Will Outlast You and Go Beyond You! Dave Gibbons (NewSong Church, Irvine, CA)

PL1058 Women in Ministry Scot McKnight (North Park University, Chicago, IL)

PL2073 Reveal(ing) Willow: What We Learned From Reveal™ and What We’re Doing About It Scott Vaudrey (Willow Creek Community Church, South Barrington, IL) PL2074 The Saddleback Leadership Pathway: From Bystanders to Ministry Leaders Steve Gladen (Saddleback Church, Lake Forest, CA)

PL2075 No Perfect People Available: Postmodern Leadership Training at Gateway

All prices are per person

WCA Member Groups

Student/Faculty

(5+ people)

(Undergrad, graduate, and seminary only)

Add-on Pricing for Each Point Leader Session

Randall Neighbor (TOUCH Outreach Ministries, Houston, TX)

PL2077 I Once Was Lost: What Postmodern Skeptics Taught Us About Their Path to Faith Don Everts (InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, Boulder, CO)

PL2078 Successful Coaching Structures Mac Lake (Seacoast Church, Mount Pleasant, SC)

$79 $99

Become a Member Church today and receive WCA Member discounts for your entire team! The annual fee is just $249 and provides Member benefits and discounts to every person in your church for an entire year. For more details, visit willowcreek.com or call 800-570-9812.

Gary Foran (Gateway Church, Austin, TX)

PL2076 The Naked Truth About Small Group Ministry: When It Doesn’t Work and What To Do About It

WCA Members Add-on Non-Members Add-on

Willow Creek Association

Willow Creek Association (WCA) was founded in 1992 to serve churches and leaders with vision, training, and resources. A not-for-profit Christian ministry, WCA has 12,000 Member Churches representing 90 denominations in 35 countries. This event brings you innovations and experts from more than two dozen churches and organizations. All conference main sessions and general breakouts will be held at Willow Creek Community Church in South Barrington, IL—a church founded 30 years ago with a dream to create a biblically functioning, authentic Acts 2 community in our day.

4 ways

to register

1. VISIT: willowcreek.com/GL2008 2. CALL: 800-570-9812 3. FAX:

888-922-0035

4. MAIL: P.O. Box 3188, Barrington, IL 60011-3188

willowcreek.com/GL2008 Find downloadable registration form, cancellation / transfer policies, breakout descriptions, pre-conference experiences, and more.

Register 10 or more for a free team room! Limited availability—sign up early! Be sure to mention Priority Code GLC8TR.

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Communal living is not optional.

It is essential to life itself.

But you can’t just tell people to practice community. That’s why this conference gives real answers to real challenges.

P.O. Box 3188, Barrington, IL 60011-3188

· Strategic workshops · Coffees with experts · Cutting-edge resources

You’re serious about community, and so are we. —Bill Donahue—

Executive Director — Group Life, Willow Creek Association

Your Priority Code Is:

It offers practical guidance on how to experience and lead communal life. How?

October 16-18 at Willow Creek

essential for the human heart

John Burke, Mark Batterson, Heather Zempel, Will Miller, Bill Donahue, Miles McPherson, Russ Robinson, Mindy Caliguire

PLUS 73 Breakout Options, Including Premium Point Leader Sessions!

willowcreek.com/GL2008

|

800-570-9812


Group Life Conference 2008 Brochure