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D6 2021 was an incredible week filled with truth, wisdom, and insight. Here are some of the “soundbites” from our Main Stage session time together:

Dr. Tim Elmore – Generation Z Unfiltered

Ingredients to engage Gen Z:

  • Problem to solve: They need “just in time, not just in case.”
  • Relationships: Build bridges of relationships to bear the weight of truth. Earn your right to speak truth in relationships you cultivate.
  • Ownership: Often, we are too prescriptive in teaching “teach to the test.” Guided leadership doesn’t give the answers.
  • Visuals: Parable. Imagery that engages them in growth and discipleship

Let’s help Gen Z strengthen their emotional and spiritual muscles.

In the Fall of 2020, the CDC reported that 1 in 4 young adults contemplated suicide in the last month.

Nine Shifts Gen Z Brings:

  1. Confidence morphs to caution
  2. Saving more than spending
  3. Hacking education
  4. Pragmatism is more important than idealism
  5. Creating media is greater than consuming media
  6. Viral posts morph to vanished posts
  7. Feeling savvy is greater than feeling special
  8. Use gifs more than texts
  9. Anxiety

Kids are asking Google, Siri & Alexa questions they used to ask Mom & Dad.

Questions about today’s students

  1. Will they win or lose the battle for mental health
  2. Will the pandemic produce distress or growth
  3. What narrative will they carry with them

Remind your kids you’re always there with them through the hills and valleys of life. Remind them their Heavenly Father is there even more.

We must build bridges of relationships that are strong enough to withstand the weight of the truth.

66% of today’s adults report a negative rather than a positive emotion when they think about the future of Generation Z. Instead, let us say “I believe in you.”

Valerie Bell – But There Was a Church…From Lesser Things to a Fruitful Future

Isolation, anxiety, and depression in this generation today are unlike any other generation before. Let’s teach preparation, not protection. Let’s raise a resilient generation for the future.

It’s time to raise up a great generation of disciples that have been trained to face difficulty, a generation like we have never seen before.

Protection is different from preparation when we are raising our kids. Protection may be safe, but it won’t build resilient kids.

It’s time to raise up the greatest and most resilient generation regardless of what life throws at them.

Discipleship is about encouraging the generations to love Jesus and have a relationship with Him for the rest of their life.

When you are hurt, when you are damaged, when you are afraid, going golfing is not going to solve the problem…there is a natural gravitation to the things of God and people of God.

This isn’t about fun programming or fancy decorated facilities; it’s about having a relationship with Jesus Christ.

Resilience is a spiritual quality by nature. The greater level of discipleship, the greater level of resiliency.

Three components of discipleship that build resilience:

  1. Belonging – power of a loving adult
  2. Believe – power of the Bible
  3. Become – power of identity

Discipleship is the muscle that builds resilience.

Is your life perspective saturated in faith? Or do you sound like everyone else out there? Are your children hearing you say things like, “God has answered prayers for us, He was with us and helped us through.”

Resilience is not something you are born with. It’s something you can learn. It is a spiritual quality, so it’s closely tied to discipleship.

Children grow in the soil of their parents’ faith.

A faith filter makes all the difference in how we see and experience life. Our children need us, as loving, caring adults, to be rooted in a faith perspective.

The journey ahead for our children will be steep, but if we have set our heart to preparation, they will be resilient disciples even in a world that is increasingly hostile to their faith.

Arlene Pellicane – Screen Time for Kids…Now What?

There are no stopping cues in technology. It’s always accessible. We need boundaries.

Digital vegetables vs. Digital candy (screen time) If you eat candy all day long, your mental health will decline.

You don’t want to be “normal” in today’s culture. When your kids look at you and say, “Mom and dad, you’re being too strict” you can be like “Yay! We are doing it right.”

The love of God is best shown to our kids when they are young, in the absence of technology.

Ron Hunter – After 12 Years, 270 Speakers: What We Have Learned About Family Ministry

D6 is a philosophy, not a program. It’s about church and home working together. It can be lived out in various ways.

The areas of discipleship that  we are consistent in today will be faithful to be passed on tomorrow.

Older generations at church can adopt younger generations to walk through life with them, pour into them, and navigate milestones with them in a biblical way.

Milestones are not about celebrating the event; it’s about preparing the child and the parent for the event.

You are not just here to help your people walk into church, but you’re here to help them walk out their faith in everyday life.

Most ministry leaders will measure attendance and offerings when they should be measuring Bible engagement and faith talks in the home.

In 45 years of study, what was the thing that transferred faith? The heart of a warm, loving father. If there’s a dad in your home, support him. If there’s not a dad, know your Heavenly Father loves you.

It’s easier to do church at church than to teach parents how to do church at home.

If we can get our parents tools, it makes all the difference in what we can do because it’s easier to do church at church than it is to do church at home.

As parents, we get to speak into our children’s hearts.

Older generations at church can adopt younger generations to walk through life with them, pour into them, and navigate milestones with them in a biblical way.

Ryan Frank – Who… Not What.

God is not looking for the perfect person. He’s looking for humility, trust in His Word, and reliance on Him.

Yes, we need dependability, but what’s more important is our availability.

Excuse #1 – “I’m not good enough.” God was not concerned with Moses’ inabilities but his availability.

Excuse #2 – “I don’t have all the answers”. Remember “I AM” has sent me.

Excuse #3 – “They won’t take me seriously.” Don’t overthink and over complicate your ministry. God’s not expecting that of you.

Excuse #4 – “I’m not a good public speaker.” God is looking for someone who is humble, relying on Him, and trusting His word.

God seldom works when or how we expect Him to.

You’ve got this! Trust in God and depend on His Word.

Research panel: Dr. Timothy Jones, Dr. Shelly Melia, Dr. Michael WilderChurch Has Left the Building

There is a necessity to take on the responsibility of being the primary disciple-makers of children at home. —Dr. Michael Wilder

All of us are from broken homes because all of us have human parents. Find a single parent you can encourage. Let them know they are prayed for, loved, and seen. —Dr. Shelly Melia

Be aware of the language you use with single parents and champion them. —Dr. Shelly Melia

Online virtual attendance can lead to à la carte ministry which might mean disconnection from the church as family. —Dr. Shelly Melia

One of the definite obstacles is online church. We can’t have church as a family if we never connect.—Dr. Shelly Melia

We are not doing a good job yet of reaching singles. Be intentional about inviting singles into your lives to be a part of your family. —Dr.Timothy Jones

You have a gospel opportunity that we need to take advantage of to reach a people group that is sending their kids to church.—Dr.Timothy Jones

We’re seeing an increase in parental awareness and engagement in educational responsibility in a way it has not been present. —Dr. Michael Wilder

The church is moving toward being a family rather than a theatre to just consume.—Dr. Shelly Melia

Treat your children and youth ministers as if they’re ministers to the whole body…because they are!

True conviction ALWAYS leads to action.—Dr. Michael Wilder

What we determine to be true determines what we value. —Dr. Michael Wilder

When was the last time you as a parent asked your children, “What have you learned from reading the Word today?”—Dr. Michael Wilder

True conviction always leads to action. Moving from philosophy to practice means helping form rhythms for prayer, ministry, and play. —Dr. Michael Wilder

COVID revealed to parents they need to do more discipleship at home. —Dr. Shelly Melia

We have to help parents see that there are times we win with our kids and there are times we lose. —Dr. Shelly Melia

Jay Strother – Young Adults Are Not the Gap Into Adulthood

Fewer young adults are connected to church and the trend is growing.

Young adults need spiritual mentors.

The way Paul poured into Timothy is the model for how we as ministry leaders should pour into the young adults in our churches.

Millennials are looking at the previous generation’s pursuit of success and they’re choosing another way.

If life is a cafeteria, young adults are choosing something other than our churches for their spirituality.

We need to cultivate a disciple-making culture in our churches that elevate family without idolizing it.

As a mentor, you can build upon the spiritual foundation a young adult already has from their past.

  • Young adults need a spiritual root system.
  • Young adults need to feed the fire of their spiritual gifts. How can you identify spiritual gifts in the next generation?
  • Young adults need spiritual discipline. They are looking for someone to show them the way. They need to share in gospel ministry.
  • Young adults are creative and passionate.

We all need a Paul (mentor), Barnabas (peer encourager), and a Timothy (mentee). Who is the Timothy (young adult) that God has entrusted to you?

What millennials are looking for is contributing to something that matters.

Look for disciples that are Faithful, Available, and Teachable.

Holy Spirit, bring to mind a Timothy for us all. Someone we can invest in like Paul invested in Timothy.

Who is your Timothy? Who is the young adult in your church that you’re supposed to mentor and pour into?

Tim & Darcy Kimmel – A Grace-Based Marriage With Grace-Filled Sex

Your marriage should not be a roommate story, an “at least we didn’t get a divorce” story, or a “put up with a lot” story.

The key to building a resilient marriage and writing a lifelong love story as a couple requires a commitment to maintaining a heart connection with your spouse.

We are selfish people who marry selfish people.

Lenses we look at our spouses through:

  • Me lens – I can’t see you because I am looking at myself (often using singular pronouns about things that are supposed to be plural)
  • Love If lens – although I can see you, you are a little murky. Notorious for keeping a running score. Often I have to earn love.
  • The “pious lens” – the most sinister of the three due to insecurity or unresolved sin in your own life. You often use spirituality to heavy-hand your spouse.

In our marriages, we need to use our grace lens, the same lens that God looks at you and me.

“God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” (James 4:6)

Truth without grace will not bring you love. Grace and truth together are the essence of biblical love.

A grace-filled marriage helps us see sexual intimacy as a wonderful way to personally honor and bless our spouse.

A grace-filled marriage gives us the power to overcome the standard ways sex is often mishandled in a marriage.

A grace-filled marriage helps us have a kinder more understanding view of our spouse’s wiring when it comes to sex. Turn-offs can become turn-ons when subjected to grace.

A grace-filled marriage gives our marriage enormous protection and security in the midst of a sexually contaminated culture.

God’s grace empowers us to keep our marriage focused and dependent on Him rather than each other.

If you would like access to D6 2021 Main Stage sessions and breakout sessions you can go to and join our community.

D6 Family

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