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SPEAKERS

LEONARD SWEET

E. Stanley Jones Professor of Evangelism at Drew University, Charles Wesley Distinguished Professor of Doctor of Theology Studies at Evangelical Seminary, and best-selling author

Leonard Sweet is a scholar of USAmerican culture; a semiotician who “sees things the rest of us do not see, and dreams possibilities that are beyond most of our imagining;” and a preacher and best-selling author who communicates the gospel with a signature bridging of the worlds of faith, academe, and popular culture. In 2006 and 2007, Len was voted by his peers “One of the 50 Most Influential Christians in America” by ChurchReport Magazine, and in 2010, he was selected by the top non-English Christian website as one of the “Top 10 Influential Christians of 2010.” His popular podcast, “Napkin Scribbles,” is widely quoted, and he wrote for sermons.com for eight years. Now, he currently hosts his own preaching website, PreachTheStory.com. For nine years, he and his wife wrote the entire content for the weekly preaching resource Homiletics. In 2005 Len introduced the first open-source preaching resource on the Web, wikiletics.com. Len’s microblogs on twitter and facebook rank as two of the most influential social media sites in the world.

Currently, the E. Stanley Jones Professor of Evangelism at Drew University, Madison, NJ and a Visiting Distinguished Professor at George Fox University, Portland, Oregon, Len was Vice President of Academic Affairs and Dean of the Theological School at Drew University from 1995 to 2001. Previous to Drew, Len served for eleven years as President and Professor of Church History at United Theological Seminary, Dayton, Ohio and is currently their President Emeritus. Prior to 1985, Len was Provost of Colgate Rochester/Bexley Hall/Crozer Divinity School in Rochester, New York when he was in his late 20s. Involved in leadership positions in the United Methodist Church, Len has been chosen to speak at various Jurisdictional and General Conferences as well as the 1996 World Methodist Congress in Rio de Janeiro. He also serves as a consultant to many of America’s denominational leaders and agencies. He is a member of the West Virginia Annual Conference.

Len has served a term on the council of the American Society of Church History, was an associate editor of the Journal of the American Academy of Religion for ten years, and is a member of numerous professional groups. An honors and Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of Richmond, he earned his Master of Divinity degree from Colgate Rochester Divinity School and Ph.D. from the University of Rochester. The recent recipient of honorary doctorates from the University of Richmond (Virginia), Baker University (Kansas), Otterbein College (Ohio), Coe College (Iowa), and Lebanon Valley College (Pennsylvania), Len has held distinguished lectureships at various colleges, universities and seminaries, and has presented academic papers before major professional societies. He is a frequent speaker at national and international conferences, state conventions, pastors’ schools, retreats.

Len resides on Orcas Island (Eastsound) in the San Juan Islands off the coast of Washington State.

For more information, visit:

https://leonardsweet.com/about/

JONATHAN MCKEE

Founder of The Source for Youth Ministry, The Source for Parents, and best-selling author

A lot of people ask how Jonathan’s ministry equipping youth workers and parents came into existence. The answer is…by accident.

In 1999, a youth worker named Jonathan McKee, father of three, started a Web site called JonathansResources.com. This site was a free resource for youth workers providing curriculum, activities, and ideas, as well as articles about youth culture, teenage attitudes, and trends.

Jonathan started this site because, at the time, he found very few free youth ministry resources on the Internet. Sure, a lot of sites offered a couple of freebies and an abundance of items for sale, but no sites were dedicated to providing truly free resources with no strings attached. So Jonathan dumped the contents of his youth ministry file cabinet-all the messages, activities, and resources he’d developed over the years-into JonathansResources.com. The front page had a simple message: “Everyone in youth ministry can use some free resources-here’s a bunch!” And then something happened.

Youth workers and parents from all over the world began reading Jonathan’s articles and using his free resources. Before long Jonathan had tens of thousands of readers every time he released a new resource.

In the fall of 2001 Jonathan and his wife Lori faced a decision. Continue working with the hundreds of kids in their ministry in Sacramento, all while posting resources after hours…or go full-time helping youth workers across the globe. After praying about the decision and talking with several friends who were supporters of his existing local ministry, they decided to go full-time equipping youth workers and parents. In July of 2002, Jonathan gathered a board of directors and started the nonprofit organization, The Source for Youth Ministry (www.TheSource4YM.com on the Web). Before long they were averaging more than 100,000 unique visitors each month.

In the years to follow, Jonathan became devoted full time to speaking, training, and providing free resources for youth workers, using his speaking and training income to help fund the ministry. In those years Jonathan also had a dozen books published, including The Zombie Apocalypse Survival Guide for TeenagersCandid Confessions of an Imperfect Parent, and the very popular book about mentoring teenagers, Connect: Real Relationships in a World of Isolation, and two award-winning titles, Do They Run When They See You Coming? and Getting Students to Show Up.

As The Source for Youth Ministry grew and developed, another interesting development occurred-the site was attracting more and more parents. Since www.TheSource4YM.com offered free discussion guides based on movies and music, free movie reviews, free weekly articles about youth culture, media, and research about teenage attitudes and trends, youth workers began sharing the site’s contents-especially Youth Culture Window articles -with parents. Then parents began subscribing to Jonathan’s Blog . Before long, Jonathan found himself doing as many parent seminars as youth ministry training workshops

 

That’s when Jonathan decided to expand. The Source for Youth Ministry purchased www.TheSource4Parents.com and began developing a free resource web site specifically for parents. This site would mirror www.TheSource4YM.com in some areas (movie reviews, Youth Culture Window articles, Jonathan’s Blog) but also provide some resources unique to parents. Jonathan enlisted the help of Christian authors such as Jim Burns , Al Menconi and Wayne Rice to bring articles with one focus-“Parenting Help.” In addition, Jonathan’s team of writers began revamping some of the popular MOVIE CLIP DISCUSSIONS and MUSIC DISCUSSIONS from www.TheSource4YM.com, customizing them for parents to use with their teens and tweens. The new parenting site also offers a question-and-answer page called ASK THE SOURCE where real parents provide real answers to real questions.

www.TheSource4Parents.com is now building momentum, helping one parent at a time with a regular dose of helpful parenting videos on their YouTube page, and a Facebook page where parents can interact.

 

We can’t wait to see what God has for this ministry next!

God gave us three wonderful kids: Alec, Alyssa and Ashley. Alec is now off at Vanguard University in Southern California, Alyssa and Ashley are both in high school. You can hear plenty more about them in my blog and in my book, Candid Confessions of an Imperfect Parent.

JENNIE LEE RIDDLE

Founder and operator of People & Songs and award-winning songwriter

Jennie Lee Riddle is a passionate songwriter, conference speaker, team trainer and worship servant. She is honored as a seven-time Dove award nominee and three-time Dove award winner, top 10 CCLI songwriter, multiple BMI award winner for top 25 radio, and two-time gold certified songwriter. She is best known for authoring Phillips, Craig and Dean’s #1 hit single “Revelation Song” first recorded by Kari Jobe, and “When The Stars Burn Down.”  Jennie has also co-authored several other title cuts and singles like “Psalm 46 (Lord of Hosts) by Shane & Shane; “Hope of the Broken World” and “More and More of You” by Selah; “Mystery of Faith” by Glen Packiam; “One True God” by NewSong; “It Is Finished” by Matt Papa; “The One That Really Matters” recorded by Michael W Smith and Kari Jobe; “I Stand Before Almighty God Alone” recorded with Worship Mob; and others to name a few. Numerous other artists have covered Jennie’s songs, including Newsboys; Chris Tomlin; Phil Wickham; Jesus Culture; Dustin Smith; Travis Cotrell; Superchick; Rebecca St. James; JJ Heller; Jared Anderson; Guy Penrod; Sandi Patty; Meredith Andrews; Travis Ryan; Michael English; Corey Voss; Crystal Yates; Micah Tyler; Charity Gayle; David Gentiles; Sean Carter and many others.

 

Her songs have been carried by the largest Christian tours including Passion and Winter Jam and are sung by churches both large and small in most every denomination throughout the world.

Jennie formed the cooperative, that she aptly named People & Songs in 2012 and released the critically acclaimed community album, “Opus 1, Collective,” the first in a series. “Opus 1″ enjoyed a #1 debut on iTunes, receiving all five-star reviews to date, in addition to being touted by Worship Leader Magazine as the “Indie Best of Best for 2012.” This record was listed in the top 10 albums of 2012 by New Release Tuesday. “Opus 2” will be released in 2016.

In 2013 she partnered up with her dear friend, Jayme Thompson and formed AnalyzeMySong.com as a means to give young songwriters honest analysis and help form seasoned Kingdom writers. This organization won “Best Of Best” for 2014 and 2015 in songwriting from Worship leader Magazine.

Also in 2013, a program dear to Jennie’s heart was realized. The Emerging Sound, a songwriting intensive for teens, hosted with People & Songs, launched its first event in the summer of 2014. It is a non-profit 501c3 that exists to arm creative hearts with the life-changing power of the gospel using the tool of songwriting. It won “Best of” for 2015 by Worship Leader Magazine.

The latest endeavor is the launch of a 40-week Emerging Sound internship program, aimed at growing those called into music ministry. This program run by Jennie and Darrin is an expansion and formalization of the hospitality and discipling ministry they have enjoyed together for over 20 years.

Jennie’s strong calling towards mentoring leaders fostering Kingdom culture, and growing communities of creatives has led her to hold key roles in programs such as GMA’s Experience Immerse, The Linger Conference, Experience Conference and others.

She is regularly found in classrooms of all sizes around the US in hopes of inspiring creatives. She travels throughout churches in the United States, Europe, and Asia with fellow writers, artists, speakers, and those she mentors.

Darrin and Jennie have been best friends for 29 years and married for 27. They have four children, ages 17-25, and reside in McKinney, TX.

JOSH HANNAH

IPHC National Consultant for Church Revitalization & Multiplication for EVUSA, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Josh Hannah is serving as the National Consultant for Revitalization & Multiplication for EVUSA.

He and his wife Jessica have been married for 18 years and have five children - Kara, Rylee, Jordan, Finn, and Wyatt. In 2001 Josh became the pastor of a 60-person rural church, in a city of less than 4,000 people. During his time as Lead Pastor, the church grew to 800 people on any given weekend. Over the next few years, feeling that God wanted to reach more people, Josh pressed forward with a new vision and began adding multiple sites, becoming a multi-site congregation of 2,000+ people in five locations. All of this progress would come to his ultimate vision in August 2016, when he would step down as Lead Pastor of Compassion Church in order to establish the Compassion Network. Through Compassion, Josh began consulting and coaching local pastors on how to produce healthy, growing, multiplying churches.

While pastoring a growing church, Josh Hannah recognized a need within his community for a drug and alcohol treatment center, a place where addicts could find hope. In 2007, as the President and Founder, Hope Center Ministries (HCM) was established. HCM is an 8-12 month “in-house” recovery program for men and women who struggle with alcohol and drug addiction. To date, HCM has 12 locations in the US and UK, housing over 200 individuals. In addition, he is the President and Founder of Mission 615 (M615), a ministry that weekly engages hundreds of inner city kids and homeless, within Nashville, TN.

GARY MOON

Founding Executive Director of the Martin Institute for Christianity and Culture

and the Dallas Willard Center for Christian Spiritual Formation at Westmont College

Gary W. Moon, M.Div. Ph.D. served as the founding Executive Director of the Martin Institute for Christianity and Culture and the Dallas Willard Center for Christian Spiritual Formation at Westmont College and continues to direct their resource development initiatives through serving as the director of Conversatio Divina: A Center for Spiritual Formation. He also serves as Distinguished Professor of Psychology and Spiritual Formation at Richmont Graduate University and as the director of the DMIN program in spiritual direction at Fuller Theological Seminary. He served as the founding director of the Renovaré International Institute for Christian Spiritual Formation and as a founding Editor of the Conversations Journal.

 

Moon writes in areas such as the theoretical and practical integration of psychology, theology & spiritual formation and has published and presented over 300 professional and popular papers. He recently completed a biography of Dallas Willard, which Moon won the Christian Book Award® in BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR. Some of his other books include: Eternal Living: Reflections on Dallas Willard’s Teaching on Faith & Formation (IVP, 2015) and Apprenticeship with Jesus (Baker Books, 2009). Falling for God (Shaw/Random House, 2004), Spiritual Direction and the Care of Souls (IVP, 2004). Homesick for Eden (Servant, 1997) and a four-volume family devotion series, The Bible Ride (Servant and LifeSprings).

RON WHITE

President, Emmanuel College, Franklin Springs, Georgia

Ron White’s career in higher education spans 42 years with over half of that time spent serving Emmanuel College. On September 2, 2014, he was appointed the ninth president of Emmanuel College and faced the very difficult challenge of managing a threatening financial crisis. The five-year struggle was finally resolved in April 2018 when the College was released from over $20 million of debt. This outcome was made possible through much hard work by many people, and most of all, through God’s favor and miraculous intervention. It’s a riveting story of persistence, faith, and prayer. His presidency at Emmanuel College has been marked by the challenge to "Pray First and Pray Through." You can read his daily prayer blog at http://prayforemmanuel.blogspot.com/.

President White graduated from Emmanuel College with an A.A. Degree in 1969. He served the College from 1980 to 2002, first as Director of Financial Aid, then Dean of Students, and finally, as Dean of Enrollment Management. Simultaneously, he directed the Emmanuel Singers for 15 years.

For the last twenty years he has developed and implemented training programs for business and education, leading workshops and seminars on topics such as leadership, teamwork, emotional intelligence, and the DISC Dimensions of Behavior. He is a popular speaker and presenter at national and regional conferences across the nation.  He has also taught at the graduate level for more than a decade at three graduate schools: Bay Path University, Columbia College, and Capella University. He earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology, a master’s degree in counseling, and a doctorate in higher education, all from the University of Georgia. 

MIKE DODSON

Senior Pastor, Tree of Life Ministries, Lynchburg, VA

Pastor Mike Dodson Sr. Is the Senior Pastor of Tree of Life Ministries, a Pentecostal Holiness Church. He planted TOLM on 25 March 1990 and has been blessed to have had six successful church plants, and has been able to revitalize three other churches which were about to close.  Pastor Dodson was born and raised in Lynchburg, and attended Lynchburg Public Schools. He has served on the Christian Education Board, and currently serves as the Assistant Supt. of the Appalachian Conference of the Pentecostal Holiness Church. Pastor Dodson also has served on the Finance Committee, and the Bylaws Committee for the International Pentecostal Holiness Church. Pastor Dodson is the husband of Debie, father of four and grandfather of eleven.