Ministry to the Marginalized
As the church seeks to reflect Jesus in its ministry, we should be moved by Jesus’ reputation of caring for society's fringe. Those living with mental illness and developmental disabilities have consistently found themselves in society's margins, often being shunned or ignored. Yet each person is an image-bearer of our God, has a role in His kingdom, and deserves love and care. So how do we sensitively minister to those on the fringes of our communities and reflect the kind of care Jesus gave? How do we compassionately exhort God’s people, in all areas of ability, to follow Him and work toward His redemption of the world?
Date and Location
Monday, April 20, 2015
at Dallas Theological Seminary, Lamb Auditorium
- $70/person (until 2/20/2015)
- $85/person (until 4/3/2015)
- $95/person (after 4/3/2015)
- $60/person for groups of 5 or more (until 4/3/15)
- $50/person for DTS alumni
- $25/person for DTS employees
- $25/person for students
- Special volunteer rate available. Contact Kym Cook at email@example.com to apply.
Kay Warren cofounded Saddleback Church with her husband Rick Warren in Lake Forest, California. She is a passionate Bible teacher and respected advocate for those living with HIV and AIDS, orphaned and vulnerable children, as well as for those affected by a mental illness. She founded Saddleback's HIV&AIDS Initiative. Kay is the author of Choose Joy: Because Happiness Isn't Enough and Say Yes to God, and coauthor of Foundations, the popular systematic theology course used by churches worldwide. Her children are Amy and Josh, and Matthew who is in Heaven, and she has five grandchildren.
- 8:30 am
- Registration Opens
- 9:00 am
- Keynote Session 1
- 10:10 am
- Coffee Break
- 10:30 am
- Workshop 1
- 12:00 pm
- 1:00 pm
- Workshop 2
- 2:30 pm
- Keynote Session 2
- 3:30 pm
- Conference Concludes
What is it?
This one-day conference will explore how the church can sensitively minister to those on the fringes of culture and reflect the kind of care Jesus gave.
Who should come?
Pastors, ministry leaders, volunteers, and anyone passionate about living out the Gospel in word and deed.
This is an adult conference. Please no children under the age of 16. Thank you.
The conference will occur on the campus of Dallas Theological Seminary at 3909 Swiss Ave, Dallas, TX 75204. We will be meeting in Lamb Auditorium for the keynote sessions. Workshops and lunch will take place throughout the Campbell building.
Dallas Theological Seminary does not have any special agreements or price discounts at area hotels.
In addition to the keynote sessions, attendees will have the opportunity to choose two workshops for the day in order to engage particular complex issues of interest on a deeper level. Workshop topics will be available soon. Please check back for more information!
Crisis Management for Church Staff
Instruction on how to prepare church staff and volunteers for a variety of situations that may arise within the congregation including diagnosis of a mental illness, sending a member to a psychiatric hospital, public outbursts, church family declaring need for help, and boundaries for the pastor/church staff.
Smith Noland is an experienced therapist who completed a Master of Science degree in Clinical Psychology in 1973 from Eastern Kentucky University. He serves as Clinical Director of Bent Tree Counseling Center. He is an LPC supervisor and an Adjunct Professor at Dallas Christian College. He works primarily with adults and older adolescents in individual, marital and family therapy. He works with clients experiencing a wide range of psychological disorders including depression, anxiety, trauma and dissociative disorders, and protracted life transitions. He has also completed basic training in Critical Incident Stress Management. His interests are in personality disorders and in the practical application of scriptural truths and hope in the growth and healing process. He has worked actively with problems unique to the clergy and in conflict resolution within the church.
Building a Community of Acceptance and Recovery
A workshop on how to develop a church community that embraces its proper role in caring for and ministering to those with mental illness and their loved ones.
Joe Padilla is a Baylor University graduate who worked for 12 years with Antioch Ministries International (AMI) in Asia, Africa, and the U.S. His roles included overseeing business development and non-profit organizations, project director for social programs, and serving as a training director, strategic coordinator, and HR oversight for AMI's international teams. Joe co-founded the Grace Alliance with Dr. Matthew Stanford in 2010 after extensive research in mental health recovery and working with Dr. Stanford to handle mental health issues within Joe's family. As The Grace Alliance CEO, Joe oversees all strategic development, training, traveling internationally speaking at seminars and conferences, and works with Dr. Stanford on all material resources. Most importantly, Joe's passion is daily working in Grace Alliance's one-on-one program, THRIVE, serving numerous families and individuals with mental disorders, helping many find RECOVERY and PURPOSE.
Caring for the Mentally Ill in the Church
That person for whom extra grace is required. You know her. Somehow she never quite fits in our ministry or our social circles. She is socially awkward. Her needs and demands take more time and energy than everyone else. Periodically, she will isolate at home. It seems she doesn't have other places or people to turn to for help. With nearly 25 percent of our population struggling with a mental illness, most of us personally know someone and many of us struggle with appropriate ministry to them. We will look at various resource options and consider a preferred future.
Michelle Attar currently serves as a Community Pastor at Bent Tree Bible Fellowship in Carrollton, TX, where ministry to adults has been her focus for the past fifteen years. Michelle received her MA in Christian Education from DTS and undergraduate degree from the University of Minnesota. Service to the church and community followed her previous fifteen years of working in the business world. Michelle and her husband, Mike, have been married for thirty years and regularly counsel people living with mental illnesses and their family members. Mike has lived with a Bipolar disorder diagnosis for over twenty years.
Developmental Disabilities and Spiritual Conversations
A workshop on how to engage those with development disabilities in spiritual conversations, including presenting the gospel and discipleship interactions.
Meaghan Wall currently serves as the Pastoral Leader of Special Needs at Stonebriar Community Church in Frisco. She has a huge passion for families affected by special needs and enjoys helping churches across the country catch the vision of Special Needs Ministry. When not serving the 90 families and 200 volunteers involved in the SN Ministry, Meaghan contributes to The Inclusive Church Blog, has been involved in speaking at and contributing to the Special Needs Track at The Orange Conference, and is currently pursuing her Master's at DTS. Meaghan has one amazing husband (Michael) and two incredibly cute little boys (Jackson and Grayson) who are the love of her life. To know Meaghan best is to see the sign in her office that says, “Jesus, Dr. Pepper, Texas Tech”…those three words are guaranteed to bring a smile to her face.
Special Needs Manners 101
This will be a workshop to help equip pastors and ministry leaders better understand and minister to individuals and families affected by disability.
Eric Jones is the Area Director for Joni and Friends Texas, a ministry built on Biblical truth and the foundation of Jesus Christ. They are devoted to advancing disability ministry and equipping the church and communities around the world. Eric most recently served on staff at a church in Southern California as the Pastor and Director of Disability Ministries. He also attended Fuller Theological Seminary, earning his MA in Christian Leadership. Eric is originally from Atlanta, GA, where he served as an associate youth pastor while attending Atlanta Christian College.
Building a Special Needs Sensitive Community
This workshop will focus on how the church can structure a disability ministry that emphasizes the spiritual development of the disabled individual, how to effectively incorporate the disabled into church events and programs, and how to reach out to their loved ones.
Steve Fischer serves as the Pastor of Care Ministries at Stonebriar Community Church in Frisco. Prior to serving at Stonebriar, Steve was in private practice in Plano as a licensed professional counselor. He is a 1998 MA in Biblical Counseling graduate of DTS and also has a master's in physiology. Prior to entering into ministry, Steve worked as the Director of Health and Wellness for the Texins Association of Texas Instruments and the Director of Outpatient Cardiology Services for Methodist Hospitals of Memphis, TN. Steve has been married to his wife Melanie for 30 years. Melanie is the vice president of Encompas Pediatric Home Health Care. Encompas Pediatrics is a home health company that serves patients, families, and providers with a better way to care for the lives of special needs children and their families. They have four children—Brittney, Payton, Anna, and Alexandra. Steve’s second daughter, Payton, has lived with our Lord since 1995. Payton was born with multiple medical problems and lived 5 years before passing away at home on the morning of April 19th, 1995.
By serving as an exhibitor at Ministry to the Marginalized, you have the opportunity to partner with us in providing these leaders with quality products, resources, and opportunities.
For questions about exhibiting at the conference, contact Katie Stripling at 214-887-5254 or firstname.lastname@example.org.