Congregation on Call
RESET: The 2022 D6 Conference
By Lauren Biggs, Social Media Manager at D6 Family
After a storm knocks out the electricity, you must reset your clocks. But first, you have to find the correct time—an accurate point of reference. Recent world events have disrupted ministries, households, and churches. The 2022 D6 Conference offered over 1,000 parents, volunteers, pastors, and leaders a chance to RESET. While looking back on foundational principles and holding true to Scripture (point of reference), speakers equipped and encouraged attendees to RESET with generational discipleship in both church and home settings.
Main Stage Moments
A video portraying the original writing of the Shema passage in Deuteronomy 6 introduced the conference. Flashing back to Moses and forward to modern-day discipleship moments, the video illustrated the dramatic picture of what God intends for discipleship at home and at church. Emcees Jon Forrest, Marianne Howard, and Dr. Kevin Jones set the stage with Dr. Ron Hunter to unpack the theme and greet the 1,055 attendees.
Dr. Richard Ross reminded parents to reset by restoring their first love found only in Jesus, or their hearts will remain lukewarm. When parents’ hearts change, they embrace biblically sound goals for themselves and their children.
Robby Gallaty challenged everyone to ask two questions. First, ask, “What’s more important to you, the approval of God or the applause of man?” He shared the story of how God reset his own heart through the daily spiritual disciplines of silence and solitude. In quiet moments, God will reveal what needs to be revived within you. If you don’t slow down in your walk with the Lord, from marriage and home to ministry, you will burn out. Gallaty cautioned, “Believers, don’t fall for the trap of doing ministry for Jesus when you should be doing ministry with Jesus.” Robby concluded with a final question: “Are you the blood clot stopping the flow of healthy discipleship in your church?”
Dr. Ron Hunter and Matt Markins (above) took turns exploring how ministry leaders get to the heart and mission of their ministry and discipleship strategies by focusing on the why. Matt warned against using old maps to lead in children’s and family ministry, to find new maps. Ron questioned, “What if we shifted thinking from ‘tactics, methodologies, and programs’ to ‘guiding objectives.’ Most people see the how of your ministry but the why drives your ministry. Your how is informed by your why.” Matt and Ron recommended four key objectives to inform the why: 1) Bible engagement (daily reading not just church reading), 2) Sharing the faith (creates growth and accountability), 3) Volunteering in the church (belong not just attend), and 4) Involving an involved, nurturing adult. Ron reminded attendees, “It takes a generation to see significant results of discipleship. If we want to redeem our families, it takes time.”
Jonathan Sawyer and his band from Cleveland, Tennessee, led worship with songs that reminded attendees to reset by shifting their focus to God’s sovereignty and love. With arms lifted and hearts postured, worshipers sang the lyrics, I’m coming back to the heart of worship, it’s all about You, Jesus.
For respite between the main stage talks Pastor Alex Kennedy coached ministry leaders, parents, and volunteers in soul care to further facilitate reset. Pastor Alex asked each person probing questions about finance, purity, sin, arrogance, marriage, etc. He shepherded attendees to look inward, evaluate their hearts, and linger in the presence of Jesus. The goal was conviction, not condemnation, through the Holy Spirit in repentance. Conference attendees raved about these moments of silence, questions, and encouraging Scripture that led to spiritual healing.
The D6 team was honored to have twelve Korean delegates visit the conference. D6 Korea director, Paul Kim joined Dr. Hunter on the main stage to talk briefly about D6 in Korea and how many families and churches are actively engaged in generational discipleship, specifically through D6 curriculum. Each year, seven international locations host D6 Conferences and encourage churches and homes to partner in disciple-making. D6 heroes can contribute financially to continue making an impact on D6 Family Ministry around the world at d6hero.com
On day two, Denise Pass and Michelle Nietert opened the general session. Drawing from their new book, Make Up Your Mind, Denise and Michelle walked attendees through Scripture and reminders of Truth to reset negative mindsets. Romans 8:5 and Isaiah 55:8-9 teach us our thoughts are not God’s thoughts. Resetting the mind is not about thinking positively but thinking righteously. Denise and Michelle encouraged fellow ministry leaders and parents to take on the mind of Christ by refocusing our minds to gratitude, mindfulness, and surrender.
Holley Gerth tackled the question, “How do we help the next generation of introverts become who God created them to be at home and at church?” She reminded each personality type, “You were made on purpose, for a purpose. Being an introvert or extrovert is not your identity, nor is it your destiny, they are just descriptions.”
Yancy Wideman Richmond began D6 minis (brief, ten-minute talks) on the main stage. She inspired ministry leaders to “Stop just doing songs and start leading kids, students, and families in worship.” Sam Luce helped attendees “Measure Success in Youth Ministry” by realizing churches need to repent of the idols of programs and relevance. Sam referred to Matthew 28 and the Great Commission as the key to measuring success: to be a disciple that makes disciples. Britney Dent explained the 260 Concept. (From age 13 until age 18 years, you have 260 Saturdays with your teen). She encouraged parents to evaluate how they will spend their Saturdays and to create positive family traditions that allow relationships to build throughout these impressionable years. Concluding the D6 minis, John McGee affirmed the key to family ministry begins with a godly marriage. Once you focus on the key, family ministry will begin to take place. “If you want to fix your marriage,” he concluded, “draw a circle around yourself, and then fix everything inside the circle.”
John Weaver challenged attendees to abide in Christ, allowing pruning to take place to bear fruit and reproduce disciples. Dr. Scott Turansky completed main stage sessions with the inspirational message: “A Heart-Based Approach to Parenting Changes Everything.” Comparing and contrasting reward/punishment behaviors versus correction/instruction allows parents to connect with a child’s heart and lean into repentance for desired behavioral outcomes.
All About Attendees
Hallways and social media buzzed with conversations as attendees shared their conference experiences. Kristi Johnson, D6 photographer, captured attendees’ excitement and interests as they absorbed wisdom throughout the week. Testimonies shared, relationships formed and reconnected, prayers answered, stories told—the energy throughout the week was palpable. Read what a few attendees had to say,
“I’ll be mulling over what I learned and experienced for months.” —Michelle Nietert
“D6 conference has been a sweet time of rest and rejuvenation through prayer to and worship of our King, as well as Scripture-filled sharpening in how to pursue a biblical model of family ministry and discipleship.” —Sarah Ashley
“This has been a life and ministry game changer. D6 is the best conference on the planet.” —Allan Austin
“Every year, D6 is one of those reminders to keep you on track for the long haul!” —Corey Jones
With over 40 ministry providers in the resource center, attendees found solutions to their ministry challenges and connected with organizations from all over the country. From curriculum and books to new system implementation, ministry philosophies, and other resources, attendees spent time in conversation and learning. From free ice cream and free conference T-shirts to learning from speakers on the D6 small stage, attendees enjoyed the resource center. Short talks from Arlene Pellicane and Dr. Timothy Paul Jones presented attendees with practical tips about topics like parenting, technology, and how to encourage your teens when they have questions about their faith.
Deuteronomy 6 commands us to love God and engage His Word with all our heart, all our soul, and all our strength. By doing so, every generation shares your consistent passion because they know you’re ALL IN. We invite you and your ministry team to join us for the 2023 D6 Conference, April 10-12 at the Orlando World Center Marriott to explore the theme “All In.” Join this important conservation about taking your church and home to an all-in approach to discipleship. Bring your team to share the wealth of content shared by conference speakers and resource providers. Teams can “divide and conquer” to get the most from the conference. Register or learn more at d6conference.com.
You can enjoy every moment of the D6 Conference, from breakouts to the main stage, by purchasing a pass to the D6 Media Vault. Watch with your church staff and volunteers or listen to your favorite sessions again and again. This includes nearly 100 audio MP3s from breakouts and all main session videos!
About the writer: Lauren Biggs, Social Media Manager at D6 Family and Media Connections Coordinator at IM, Inc.