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Discipling Gen Z and Gen Alpha

Discipling Gen Z and Gen Alpha
Thursday, November 2, 2023 at 9:30 AM to 3:30 PM Central Standard Time

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Community UMC
3301 W Broadway
Columbia, MO 65203

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(573) 777-1213


Jenny Gragg

Registration closes on October 24.

How can you disciple and raise up the next generation if you don’t understand them? Join NextGen Ministries for an educational event about generations Z and alpha, aka people ages 26 and younger. Together with experts from Barna and the Great Plains Annual Conference we’ll explore the motivations, mental health and habits of these new generations. You’ll take home strategies for reaching out and engaging with the youngest members of your church.

This event is open to anyone dedicated to growing the church younger. Local churches are encouraged to bring at least one leader working in nextgen ministries as well as a member of the church leadership team. Bringing different perspectives into the conversation is important for creating lasting change. Your registration fee includes lunch.

Event Schedule

9:00-9:30 a.m. Coffee and Check in
9:30-10:00 a.m. Gen Z and Gen Alpha Introduction (Mark Matlock)
10:00 a.m. - 12 p.m. Gen Z and Gen Alpha Trends, Motivations, and Fundamentals (Mark Matlock with small group breakouts)
12:00-1:00 p.m. Lunch (included in registration fee)
1:00-2:30 p.m. Discipling Gen Z and Gen Alpha: the Open Generation (Mark Matlock with small group breakouts)
2:30-3:30 p.m. The 2050 Plan: Preparing your Church for a Sustainable Future (Melissa Gepford with small group conversation)

About Mark Matlock

Mark Matlock is a facilitator of innovation and impact, helping organizations adapt to changing times by turning research-based insights into action. A regular presenter and workshop facilitator for Barna, Mark facilitates training and on-site application of research findings for Barna clients.

He is the founder of WisdomWorks LLC, a consultancy helping churches and faith-based organizations leverage their collective wisdom and insight to innovate and adapt in changing times. Mark also has been an advisor to organizations such as the Seed Company, Youth Specialties, Brotherhood Mutual, and BetterMan, and he chairs the committee on governance as a board member of the American Bible Society.

Mark is the author of more than 20 books for teens and parents, and in 2019 co-authored Faith for Exiles: Five Ways for a New Generation to Follow Jesus in Digital Babylonwith Barna Group President David Kinnaman. Having initiated many research projects with Barna over the last two decades related to Next Gen studies, Mark’s research continues to provide insights into emerging generations and how to cultivate faithful disciples.

About Rev. Melissa Collier Gepford

Rev. Melissa Collier Gepford is the Intergenerational Discipleship Coordinator of the United Methodist Great Plains Conference, in which she helps congregations establish healthy kids, youth and young adult ministries. She grew up in East Texas and graduated from Perkins School of Theology, and as an ordained deacon, she connects church people to the world. Melissa is a writer, speaker and, most recently, the creator of Dandelion Marketplace and owner of Family Time Kit. She enjoys drinking good coffee, working out and testing her semi-green thumb. Melissa and her husband Bill enjoy dancing when they can and love playing with their son, Finnegan.