2015: Forming Youth in Our Congregations: Raising Danielle and Daniel to Live in Babylon

Looking for resources from the Gathering?

All available podcasts and documents are posted below with their descriptions . You can also discuss the Gathering and see pics from our time together on the Facebook page. General documents, including the full schedule, campus map and other info. are available here.


How do congregations form young people as disciples of Jesus Christ well?  This was one of the driving questions in developing the 2015 Gathering of the Ekklesia Project. The 2015 Gathering attempted to address questions like “What else (or who else) in our culture is forming our young people? How do we understand these other actors theologically? How do we engage these other voices and forces congregationally?” and “How can the work of forming young disciples be an intergenerational endeavor, undertaken by the whole congregation?” We heard from congregations who are doing the formation of young people well, and we heard from young people who told us where they are in life and what their experience of discipleship formation has been.


The 2015 Gathering took place at the Lincoln Park Campus of DePaul University in Chicago from Thursday July 9 – Saturday July 11. The schedule

  • Thursday: lunch, worship, plenary, pizza dinner, evening activity
  • Friday: breakfast, worship, plenary, workshops, lunch, plenary, workshops, local dinner and footwashing service
  • Saturday: breakfast, plenary, worship, depart at noon

Thursday, July 9

Welcome and Introduction of Theme, Phil Kenneson

Opening worship, sermon from Morgan Guyton

Plenary 1 – “Raising Daniel and Danielle in the Spectacle.” Dr. Chanon Ross, Director of the Institute for Youth Ministry, Princeton Theological Seminary (two parts)

Friday, July 10

Plenary 2 – “Theologies of Baptism and the Formation of Children and Youth” A panel discussion of baptism’s impact on the formation of youth from paedobaptist and credobaptist perspectives.

John Nugent’s essay.

Debra Dean Murphy’s essay.

The following workshops were recorded. Detailed workshop descriptions and bios can be found here:

“Transforming Polarization into Discipleship,” with Rob Barrett of The Colossian Forum

“Congregations as Ecologies of Formational Practice,” with Fred Edie, Faculty Advisor to the Duke Youth Academy

“Churches, Home, and Friends: A Reflective Conversation,” with Noah Lau Branson, Mark Lau Branson, and Nina Lau-Branson

“Loving Your Neighbor: The Challenge of Reaching Nearby Young People” with Abby Richards of Church of Reconciliation and Jeremy Kissling of Delta Community Christian Church.

Plenary 3 – “Exploring Fomative Practices of Local Congregations: Hearing from Youth and Practitioners” A conversation with two congregations striving to take the formation of youth seriously in their diverse contexts: Hopwood Memorial Christian Church, Milligan College, TN and Redeemer Community Church, San Francisco, CA

Saturday, July 11

Closing worship, sermon from Jessie Shuman Larkins and Joel Shuman