Invisible Neighbors

Does your church show compassion and grace in a way that challenges claims that Christianity and religion are detrimental to society?

Invisible Neighbors Conference Postponed

Thank you for your interest in the Invisible Neighbors conference. Due to a number of unforeseen factors, The Hendricks Center has decided to postpone the conference. We believe the ministry of compassion is a vitally important part of the church’s mission, so we want to make sure that our event addresses it with excellence. Thank you to our speakers and partners, workshop leaders, and exhibitors for your willingness to participate in this conference, and thank you to those who had already signed up to attend. Attendees will receive a refund of their registration fee, and we will keep everyone informed about re-scheduling the conference.

Keynote Speaker

John Ashmen

John Ashmen is president of the Association of Gospel Rescue Missions, North America’s oldest and largest network of independent ministries providing radical hospitality for the poor and powerless. With more than 20 years of association leadership experience, he holds a B.S. in Bible, with a Social Work emphasis, and an M.A. in Organizational Management. His writings have appeared in numerous books, journals, and websites, and he speaks and teaches around the world. He is a husband, father, and grandfather.

Morning Workshops

Our morning sessions will be an opportunity for you to connect with and hear from compassion ministries currently serving the DFW area. This will be an interview or panel discussion with ministry representatives and Hendricks Center staff on the current state of the overall efforts in the city and how churches can best reach out in these areas.

Sessions Available
Adoption/Foster Care Arrow Child and Family Ministries
Refugee Ministry Love is Ministry
For the Nations
World Refugee Care
Homeless Ministry Dallas LIFE
Disability Ministry Joni and Friends
Cornerstone Ranch
Human Trafficking Poeima Foundation
Poverty Alleviation Second Saturday
HIS Bridge Builders
Cornerstone Baptist Church
Mentoring/At-Risk Youth Champions of Hope
Forerunner Ministries
Mercy Street

Afternoon Workshops

Our afternoon sessions will be an opportunity for you to dig into specific skills needed in any compassion ministry. These seminars will be taught by local ministry leaders.

Skills Addressed

Beyond Sunday Morning

The needs and demands of people in our communities do not afford churches the luxury of just being concerned about congregants on Sunday morning. Churches must move beyond a Sunday morning vision to develop ministries and strategies to impact their community on daily basis. Through this session, we will learn how to identify the needs in your community as well as in Greater Dallas, how to develop a sustainable strategy to minister holistically to people in your community, and how to create a Church culture of ministering in your neighborhood.

Chris Simmons

Pastor of Cornerstone Baptist Church

Christopher L. Simmons started serving at the Cornerstone Baptist Church in the inner-city community of South Dallas/Fair Park, Dallas, TX in May, 1988. He was called to serve as pastor in September, 1989. The church was located in an area that was a infamously called the “war zone” because of the gang activities, drive by shooting, drugs, prostitution, and other societal ills prevalent in inner-cities across America. Although the church had in its DNA community outreach and ministry long before Chris became the pastor, it has been under his leadership that many of these ministries have been expanded and additional ones added in order to reach those in the community at an area of a “felt need” in order to share with them their “real need” – a relationship with Jesus Christ.

Under Chris’ leadership, Cornerstone started the Cornerstone Community Development Corp., Inc. which has as its mission of bringing about community development and revitalization in one of the most blighted area on South Dallas/Fair Park. New homes are being built and residents are moving back into the neighborhood. Cornerstone has acquired a number of properties in the South Dallas community that we were once community nuisances and transitioned them into facilities that currently contribute to the growth and development. In partnership with the City of Dallas, the development corporation has purchased a number of abandoned vacant so that new affordable homes can be built for the community. Chris has been married to his wife, Janie, for 25 years. They have three children.

Discipleship for Marginalized Groups

Each subculture has unique needs that open opportunities and challenges for ministry. In Dallas, we created a ministry for an underserved group that was lacking sufficient spiritual resources and support. In order to minister to a particular group, your church must learn how to identify and strategically address the individual needs while building healthy personal relationships within the community. Through this session we will discuss how to identify those needs, understand the challenges of a diverse community, and how your church can be better equipped to minister. We will address common mistakes, dangers and also how to set healthy boundaries.

Wayne Walker

Executive Director at OurCalling, Inc.

Wayne Walker is Executive Director and pastor to the homeless at OurCalling, Inc., a nonprofit ministry in Dallas, Texas. At the age of ten, Wayne’s parents chose to become foster parents. Throughout his formative years, Wayne’s family actively pursued the scriptural commandment of “love your neighbor as yourself” by modeling the life of Jesus to scores of children whose own origins represented generations of human brokenness, dysfunction, sexual exploitation and abuse.

Wayne earned a Masters Degree in Cross Cultural Ministry from Dallas Theological Seminary. While accomplishing his studies in downtown Dallas, the Holy Spirit called him to sacrificially befriend and minister to men and women in the homeless community. Personal, discipleship-oriented relationships among many homeless individuals were established in those years. Wayne and his family continue today to walk among these “sheep without a shepherd” in a dynamic, urban setting.

In 2009, Wayne and his wife, Carolyn, began a not-for-profit ministry that would reach the most subjugated and needful individuals in Dallas County. Today, OurCalling operates a café for thousands of homeless men and women near historic Fair Park in Dallas, TX. They also send “Search & Rescue” teams that visit over 1,200 homeless encampments throughout Dallas County. With a focus on evangelism and discipleship, the Staff and Board of Directors at OurCalling empower an army of volunteers to develop personal relationships in the homeless community with a specific focus on those who are not in shelters.

Essential Counseling Skills for Non-Professionals

This workshop will provide the opportunity to learn and to practice necessary interpersonal skills in interacting with people who find themselves in the periphery of society.

Joshua Freeman

Counseling Director at Dallas LIFE

I am the Counseling Director at Dallas LIFE homeless shelter and am entering my 4th year of working with the homeless as a counselor. I am a DTS graduate with both an M.A. in Biblical Counseling and an M.A. in Biblical Studies, I am a Licensed Professional Counselor, and I am currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Counseling from Texas A&M - Commerce.

Effective Partnerships Between Church, Parachurch, and City Initiatives

Few would disagree with the statement: “The whole is stronger than the individual parts.” Most nonprofits and churches frequently operate using an approach that is called isolated impact. An approach oriented toward finding and funding a solution embodied within a single organization.

This session will focus on the best practices and necessary foundations for effectively contemplating and executing partnerships between churches and parachurch ministries, as well as cross sector initiatives involving governmental and other organizations.

Serve West Dallas (SWD) is a 501(c)3 faith-based collaboration of thirteen FBOs, and several suburban and urban churches that focus on achieving collective impact. The vision for SWD began with leaders from the West Dallas community, which led to discussions between neighborhood churches, FBOs, governmental and other agencies. SWD effectively designs and builds initiatives that facilitate coordinated cross-sector partnerships. These initiatives maximize the capacity, leverage best practices, and enhance the services of church and ministry partners for the sake of the Gospel, and by addressing the needs of an under-resourced community.

Scott Hanson

Executive Director of Serve West Dallas

Hanson is currently the Executive Director and Chief Resource Officer of Serve West Dallas, a unique model of collaboration between thirteen faith-based organizations and churches, all focused on zip code 75212. He is the chief designer of collaborative strategies, gathering resources and human resource capital to assist in the spiritual, socio-economic and the physical transformation of the West Dallas.

Hanson is a graduate of San Diego State University and Dallas Theological Seminary, and a former Dallas business executive. During his business career Hanson worked in banking, real-estate development, and as COO and President of a national marketing communications firm. His non-profit career began in faith-based parachurch ministry, and after a career in business he served as an executive pastor churches in San Antonio, Texas and Memphis, Tennessee. He has served on the boards of several faith-based organizations, and recently chaired a non-profit ministry focused on teen pregnancy and children, ages 0-3. Scott brings a wealth of management experience to the faith-based non-profit world from both large corporate and small business, and from operating the business affairs and programming of large churches.

Hanson is gifted in his ability to bring diverse groups together, having facilitated a significant number of church and urban partnerships that have helped transform communities in Memphis, San Antonio, and now Dallas. Recognized by the White House Office on Faith-based Initiatives for his work in San Antonio.