The Soul of Sustainable Service

Building Teams With Thriving Souls

Nothing will more determine the fruitfulness of an organization than the health of the people within it. Certainly, mapping an incisive strategic plan is important. But that external plan will rise or fall based on the vitality of the people executing it. So, a true leader must be as intentional about cultivating the health of his/her team as they are about their external work. In this workshop, we’ll each begin creating our own plan to do just that – drawing from CAFO’s “Strategic Plan for Thriving Souls” – including simple ideas and small choices for cultivating the spiritual, intellectual, emotional, physical, and relational health of your team.

(Jedd Medefind, CAFO)

Caring for Your Own Family While Involved in a Ministry Dedicated to Children

What we offer to the vulnerable children of the world starts with what we offer to the children in our own home. In this session, we’ll give parents permission to connect strongly with their children, to create a secure home environment, and to respond to each child’s particular needs. We’ll talk about what children who grow up in ministry families need in order to be successful. You’ll be encouraged to love your own children well.

(Jill Aspegren, Casa Viva)

Crushing the Curse of Comparison

Comparison is said to be “an act of violence against oneself.” It is the killer of joy and peace – and of the safe place to simply “be.” Comparison shifts focus across the room to another, rather than to the cross – to the Christ who calls us and equips us. It affects us individually and affects our children, thus significantly impacting our families in potentially destructive ways. Join our conversation in helping us to recognize the culprit of comparison and all it steals from us and our families. To recognize the essential need to “name it and tame it.” Together we will discuss the need to press in and evaluate our own mindset, and implement practices to contain this culprit by proclaiming Biblical truth – keeping our eyes on HIM as we recognize the true meaning of “success” is faithfulness. Faithful to who and what He has created and called us to be.

(Mandy Litzke, Safe Harbor)

Don’t Give Up: Encouragement for Your Weary Soul

(Eric Mills, Faces With Names)

Praise and Petition

(Robbie Seay, Bayou City Fellowship & Robbie Seay Band)

Promoting and Experiencing Joy and Laughter in the Midst of Trauma

Working with children and families from hard places takes a toll. Too often we become so emotionally spent, burned-out, or drained of the hope that first brought us to serve. We need to recognize that we must experience joy ourselves, hold onto it, and then bring that hope to others. Laugh today as you learn the practical, measurable, and tangible value of joy and laughter. See the value personally and recognize the impact on every relationship in your life. Learn how laughter can dramatically and positively influence your family, ministry, workplace, and church. Experiencing joy, celebrating life, and even smiling in the midst of pain and hardship is absolutely essential. It is not a hopeful byproduct of circumstance. It is a necessary and healthy expression of the joy that comes from the hope we have in a God who loves His children. Learn how to avoid being a mirror of the culture – reflecting back the hurt, pain, discouragement, and defeat that you see every day. Instead, identify how to experience joy and strive to bring a smile, warmth, and a spirit of laughter to the world around you.

(Bill Williams & Ryan Stanton, Compass)

ReFraming the Struggle: Finding Strength When Things Are Hard

Foster and adoptive parents face a unique set of challenges and circumstances that are most meaningfully understood and experienced through the lens of God’s truth. This session will help you “reframe” some thinking through those experiences along your journey in a helpful and sustaining way. We’ll explore how to handle our own perceived weaknesses, what to do when you feel like quitting, and how to more deeply understand the spiritual nature of the work we are doing. If you’ve ever found yourself alone with your own thoughts, fears, hopes, concerns, and anxieties along this journey of fostering and adopting, then this workshop is for you. You’ll be encouraged, inspired, and reinvigorated to take your next best steps forward.

(Jason Johnson, CAFO)

Spiritual Formation Practices for Support Groups

What if your support group could offer more than just support for the difficult journey of foster care and adoption? What if you could pursue health and healing for your souls together? In this workshop, we will look at various spiritual formation practices that can help you understand where God is in the pain and what He may be doing in you through the journey.

(Duane and Amy Sherman, Vulnerable Children Support Group Leaders)