A Transformational Family Ministry Event

The Gathering is a unique, three-day event designed to connect you with God, empower you for the daily work of family ministry, and bring you into a like-minded community for ongoing encouragement.

We feature dynamic main stage speakers, spiritually formative experiences, and compelling breakouts on family ministry, children’s ministry, student ministry, leadership, marriage, parenting and more.

Save the date-seats fill up fast!

Who should come?

Pastors, directors, volunteers, and parents involved in:

  • Family Ministry
  • Children’s Ministry
  • Youth/Student Ministry
  • Executive Leadership

Basically anyone impassioned about making God known to the next generation.

Main Stage Speakers






Day 1: Tuesday


1:30pm – Registration Opens
Well, Hello! Let’s have coffee together!

3:00pm – The Gathering Session #1
Megan Marshman

5:00pm – Dinner
Limited onsite options available for purchase. Restaurants close by.

7:00pm – Prayer Experience

Day 2: Wednesday


9:00am – The Gathering Session #2
Pastor Rich Villodas

10:45am – Break
Time for a break… because coffee.

11:00am – Breakout/Workshop #1

12:00am – Lunch
Limited onsite options available for purchase. Restaurants close by

1:30pm – Breakout/Workshop #2

2:30pm – Break
Take a break, you deserve it!

2:45pm – Breakout/Workshop #3

3:45pm – Break! Break! Break!
Be brave and meet someone new

4:00pm – The Gathering Session #3:
Dr. Michelle Anthony

5:45pm – Dinner and night on the town!

Day 3: Thursday


9:00am – The Gathering Session #4:
Pastor Daniel Grothe

10:15am – Coffee Break!
Maybe don’t overdo it on the coffee, though.

10:30am – Breakout #4

11:15am – Final break:
Make the most of it.

11:30am – Closing Experience
Storytelling and Blessing.

12:30pm – Lunch
Onsite options available for purchase

2:00pm – Community Conversations


Be sure and register before March 6th to receive the lowest rate of $139 per person. Registration increases after that date, so be sure and register today.

Location and Lodging

The Drury Inn


Group #2318883

The Hampton Inn


Mention “The Gathering”

Marriott Residence Inn


Group Codes:
NLFC for studio queens
NLFT for 2 bedroom suites

Area Attractions

Garden of the Gods


13 Miles from Venue

Seven Falls


25 Miles from Venue

Cave of the Winds


20 Miles from Venue

Frequently Asked Questions

We will do our best to treat each request for a refund on a case-by-case basis, as we understand that “things” happen.

In general,
Any refund request that we receive 90 days in advance will be refunded in full.
Any refund request that we receive 60 days in advance, we will refund 75% of the cost.
Any refund request that we receive 30 days in advance, we will refund 50% of the cost.
Any refund request that we receive less than 30 days in advance, will not receive a refund.

There is not an age requirement to attend. However, The Gathering is geared towards those who are actively serving in the church, particularly in ministry to the family. Which means that attendees are likely in high school at the least. We trust you to make that decision with the knowledge that the teaching is deep, the worship is rich, and the fellowship is mostly adults.

It has been our experience that nursing babies do fine, as they are typically in the arms of the mom and/or dad and asleep most of the time. Any small child, who is mobile and verbal would struggle with attending The Gathering. It’s just not geared for the little ones :).

Scholarship requests can be sent to: Trina Hoosier at conference@newlifechurch.org

Limited onsite options will be available for purchase (grab and go), plus there is a variety of restaurants within .5 mile – 1 mile radius. (more information on pricing and meal options to come)

Dr. Michelle Anthony – Executive Pastor of Families at New Life Church and Dean of FamilyMin Academy

Megan Fate Marshman – Director of Women’s Ministries at Hume Lake Christian Camps and leads the Young Adult Ministry at Arbor Road Church

Pastor Daniel Grothe – Associate Senior Pastor of New Life Church

Pastor Rich Villodas – Lead Pastor of New Life Fellowship Church in Brooklyn, NY

*Plus 32 different and unique breakout sessions, workshop + community conversations*

Dates: May 1-3, 2018 (Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday)
Start time: 3:00pm Tuesday, May 1st
End time: 3:00pm Thursday, May 3rd
Click here to see a detailed schedule


Nehemiah faced three enormous personal challenges as he attempted to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. Every leader who is attempting anything significant is facing the same three challenges today. We will take a fresh look at this ancient story and discover God’s plan to help us overcome these leadership roadblocks.

Do you ever wish for more for your child dedications? More intentionality. More time. More family involvement. More prayer. Join me as I share how our church re-imagined child dedications and the fruit we’ve seen flow out of these gatherings.

We my be planning programs for parents, but do we really know what they need to be the primary spiritual nurturers of their own children’s faith? In this breakout, we will explore ways to inspire, equip, and support parents to encourage and release them for ministry in their own homes!

Let’s face it, juggling marriage, family, and ministry isn’t always easy and when you combine these issues, you have the often frustrating problem of keeping your marriage intimate as well as dealing with your kids being raised in a unique environment of ministry. In this session, Jim Burns will share practical suggestions on being “overcommitted and under connected,” energizing your own family’s spiritual lives, communication and conflict and more. Jim is the author of Creating an Intimate Marriage. Jim and Cathy co-authored Closer: 52 Devotions to Draw Couples Closer Together. Jim is also the co-author with Doug Fields of Getting Ready for Marriage.

Ever wonder why some leaders rise to a level of incompetence? Maybe it’s because the skill set it took for them to perform at the middle-management level is not the same one needed to perform well at the top. IQ will get you into the C-Suite of offices but it is EQ that allows you to stay there. Without it, you won’t last long! This seminar explores the components of emotional intelligence and how to develop it as a ministry leader.

Part of your job as an executive is to train and equip your team. This professional mentoring requires clearly defined processes. This seminar will explore steps to effectively develop and coach leaders. Mentoring and coaching are two different activities and both will be defined and explored.

In our culture, it can feel overwhelming to meet the plethora of needs within the hearts and lives of today’s woman. How can we address both the needs of those who are hurting, challenge those who are thriving while ministering to the variety of needs within this spectrum? This seminar gives practical team-building solutions and problem-solving techniques to both build and achieve the goal of calling women to His presence and a life of true transformation.

Parents are raising a generation of children & students into a form of communication that they don’t totally understand. It is fast-moving and there are no signs it is slowing down. Join Jeff as he helps to equip you on how to support your families in this ever-changing world of personal technology and social media.

This breakout will explore both the philosophies and practicals of starting and running student led worship in your ministry. We will also be discussing how to maximize student musicians and build them up as worship leaders.

As church leaders, we seek to empower and equip parents not to be perfect, but instead to put the spiritual life above all things temporal – or better yet, to infuse the spiritual into the temporal. This task can seem daunting as the starting line can seem so far away from the finish line. “When will I see results in my parent community?” “How do I get them to see that my role is to equip them?” Come hear some practical answers to these and other questions and learn of some of steps you can take to get started in this journey of awakening parents and hear some of the benefits and success stories other ministry leaders are experiencing.

What does effective ministry to today’s 20-somethings entail? Some would say big events, others small groups, and still others a high impact weekly service. Whatever one’s methodology of ministry to 20-somethings may be, it is becoming clearer than ever that the key ingredient to effective 20-somethings ministry may in fact be the one that we’ve been missing the most – integration into the local church body. Join us as we nuance the crucial practice of integrating the young adults under our care into all that God’s doing in his local church.

Knowing the right answers isn’t enough! In order to compel a generation of consumers from a me-centered, knowledge based faith, we must transform our small group time. Through small groups, we have the opportunity to lead our young people to become God-centered, truth seekers who can discover and then own their faith. Join Megan and discover the art of leading effective small group discussions.

If we desire our faith community to become a family of families, how are we engaging all ages to all be growing, together? How do we utilize our existing programming to build relationships between the generations so that we are growing multiple generations of faith? Come hear stories of how families are engaging differently and gain some insights into intergenerational ministry you can put into practice now.

There is a difference between your ministry printing the Tru Curriculum and letting the Tru Curriculum imprint your ministry. Using Tru since the beginning, Noah has used a variety of methods to see Tru’s fullest potential released in small and large churches. Come hear methods, modifications, and magic you can do so the Tru philosophy can make it’s greatest impact on your ministry.

Do you have children with specialized needs in your ministry? This breakout highlights how to integrate these students into classrooms and learn alongside their peers. Discover how God intends for these children to worship, connect, and grow inside of your ministry.

Cultivating and Empowering Student Leadership in Pre-Teens is an opportunity to hear why it is important to disciple and instill leadership into the young people of your Church. It will address the value in investing in your students, while confronting the challenges a leader might face in the process.

Join Jared in this discussion on pastoring middle school students and their families. Middle school years can be tricky to navigate as a student, a parent, and a pastor. Students are actively searching for their identities during this time. As the church, let’s stand in the gap, and remind them how much they matter to God, to their families, and to the church body.

From the beginning, God set apart the seventh day as a day rest. Jesus said that God made the Sabbath for us, but we often miss or misunderstand this gift. In this breakout, we’ll explore how we receive Sabbath for ourselves and give Sabbath to others.

How to approach ministry with a fresh hunger for the Spirit while honoring the need for programs. We will also share our journey to revolutionize our family ministry and the development process of our new family ministry model.

Everyone wants to be remembered for making a difference. When we stop to think about how we want to be remembered we create and opportunity to correct areas where we may have gotten a little off course. Discover practical ways parents and leaders can live their life to the influence the next generation.

Fathers play a vital role in the spiritual development and health of their children. The role of fatherhood not only shapes our children’s young years developmentally, but also shapes their entire lives…especially their view and relationship with their heavenly Father. This breakout will investigate Scripture as well as give practical ways to engage fathers in the lives of their children and cultivate the meaning of family for a lifetime.

Twenty five percent of our US population is dominated by grandparents. Why has the church so long ignored this huge army of Kingdom warriors and servants on behalf of the next generations? In this breakout we will examine why grandparents matter to God and our families, and how the church can effectively equip them to fulfill their biblical roles well.

Join me as we unpack the Tru Blessings curriculum piece by piece and talk about the philosophy behind the curriculum as well as the significance of each section. We will go through an entire lesson and you will have a chance to ask questions.

What makes fireflies glow? Who gives the stars their light? Do colors have a smell? Curiosity is the core to these and many more questions young children ask about the world around them. It is no surprise that the same kind of questions arise as they begin to step into the unknown and begin to discover God, His word and His big story. Together we will discuss this unique stage and the great opportunity we have each week to pique kids curiosity as we put them in proximity to God.

At this workshop we will take a look at all the elements of the TruStory curriculum piece by piece. We will also have open discussion on how to better implement each element of the curriculum into your ministry.

Do you use Tru Curriculum? Join us for a creative, interactive workshop that will teach you how to implement fun, engaging elements in to your large group teaching while using the Tru Curriculum. You will learn the process of first, initiating an idea, and then implementing it into your weekly teaching. Samples of productions and activities will also be displayed for you to take home to your own ministry.

In a culture that shouts meaningless noise from every direction, is it possible to provide a place for kids in your care to be still and listen for God’s voice? Is singing the only way to worship? How can you bless children in a large or small group? Why is speaking blessing important? Find hands on answers to these questions as you explore practical ways to create different worship response experiences for your PreK-Kinder children. Whether through vibrant singing and hand motions or prayer and quiet contemplation, you can model ways for families in your ministry to experience God’s presence and hear His voice.

Great teams leverage the strengths of each individual and of the collective, and invest in building trust with one another. We will explore how to develop the right mix of freedom and vision, and discuss ways for building the currency of trust in a team. We will also examine what it takes for new leaders to thrive within an existing team.

Mental health is a complex topic for many and can be particularly difficult for pastors, leaders, and the church to navigate. Dr. Mark Mayfield provides a practical overview of how to counsel families well. The session will include practical steps in basic counseling, knowing when you need to find supportive help, and how to find the best resources in your area.

Set-Up/Tear-Down is an “outside of the box” ministry. Combining the challenges of storage space and facility restrictions; come learn, brainstorm, and engage in hands-on tips and tricks for accommodating your curriculum needs in the spaces you have. We will work together in this workshop to face this unique circumstance head-on with creativity and open-mindedness, to make your ministry come alive for your community.

God’s Story is filled with examples of blessing, yet this practice is not part of the fabric of church culture. In this workshop, learn how to lead your family through a blessing and empower families in your church to embrace this holy and sacred tradition.

Disciplr 2.0 is your home for unlimited access to more than 20 curriculum lines—including Tru! Get a sneak peek of the new, time-saving features for customizing your curriculum and schedules and discover how to get all your curriculum in one place for one price. Your 2.0 subscription covers toddler–adult curriculum for Sunday morning, midweek, VBS, and more!

Have you ever wished your weekend investment with kids would continue on throughout the week? Now it can! HomeFront is a resource that helps equip parents to create spiritually forming times in their own homes. We will discuss creative ways to use this resource as a guide to host Family Nights that will awaken parents to their role of spiritual parenting.

Help your Children’s or Family Ministry to understand the importance of teaching Bible stories in context to the big picture…making God the main character of the grand redemptive narrative. In this workshop, the actual Big God Story is shared and then it ends with a discussion of how portraying Scripture from this vantage point changes the way we teach and how we help children to find their place in God’s Big Story.

Why do we memorize God’s word, Why should we evangelize, Why should we go and make disciples. Once you have a clear understanding of the WHY the what, how and who become very clear. Learn to inspire, excite and equip kids and leaders to find new, fun ways to do what God has called us to. they just need to know WHY!

It’s one thing to have Family Ministry programs in your church but quite another to create a Family Ministry Culture. Culture takes place when we ask the right questions and we begin to think differently. What is hindering your church from thinking through families in a holistic way or engaging all generations? What is needed to be successful in offering a ministry to families and not just more activities? This workshop will give you an interactive experience with intentional conversations to walk through the journey you can then walk through with your staff and volunteers.

Are you looking for a family ministry strategy? Come explore the 7 Family Ministry Essentials that will include such things as: empowering families to take spiritual leadership in the home, teaching Scripture as the ultimate authority of truth and understanding the role of the Holy Spirit’s power to teach and transform. Get prepared to take a strategy and turn it into “culture” at your church!

We live in a world obsessed with appearance. If we’re not careful, we’ll forget that what supports and sustains a healthy and fruitful leader is the unseen vitality of the inner life. All too often leaders with incredible gifting and passion find themselves in crisis because they failed to attend to the health of their own soul. Come explore what is means to pursue emotional health as a leader and ensure that your inner life is strong enough to sustain you on the road ahead.

Join David in this discussion on pastoring high school students and their families. You will take away tools and practical ways to engage students in leadership opportunities and empower them to make big decisions in their faith. Learn how to create a culture where students feel safe to share, grow, and experience God’s love for them.

If you’re like me, you’ve worked for managers that are often more focused on getting work done rather than genuinely caring for the people under their care. No matter what your current role is…employee, manager, leader, or follower … you have the opportunity to lead differently. You have the opportunity to lead people in a way that is both life-giving and empowering. In our time together, we will unpack what it means to lead people vs. simply managing tasks. You’ll leave practically equipped to make the mental shift in your leadership that will create a culture where people matter most; resulting in a dynamic, healthy, thriving team.

Have you ever felt like you have more great ideas than you do time to actually bring them to life? Come to this breakout and learn practical tips for how to get started on your journey of innovation implementation without losing focus of what drives your ministry on a day to day basis.

© 2017 New Life Church

Daniel Grothe

Daniel grew up as a pastor's kid in Tulsa, Oklahoma and loved his upbringing in the church. After playing a little bit of Division I basketball and a lot of music at Oral Roberts University, he received his degree in theology in 2005. That same summer, Daniel married his bride, Lisa, and a week after their wedding they moved to Colorado Springs to join the staff of New Life Church. They have three children--Lillian, Wilson, and Wakley--and they love to get outside to enjoy the rugged beauty of Colorado. Daniel serves as the lead pastor of the New Life Friday Night congregation.


Rich Villodas

Rich Villodas is the Lead Pastor at New Life Fellowship Church. On October 6th, 2013, Rich succeeded Pete Scazzero as Lead Pastor. Rich was born and raised in the East New York section of Brooklyn, just 20 minutes from New Life. He graduated from Nyack College and then went on to complete a Masters of Divinity degree at Alliance Theological Seminary. When Rich is not reading, he is cheering on his beloved Mets, Knicks and Jets teams. Rich is married to Rosie and they have a little girl and boy, named Karis and Nathan.


Zach Newberg

This is a great bio.

Megan Fate Marshman

Megan Fate Marshman has devoted her life to loving and listening to God and overflowing His love to others. In addition to speaking internationally to a wide variety of audiences, Megan empowers women as the Director of Women’s Ministries at Hume Lake Christian Camps, leads young adults into a deeper relationship with Jesus at Arbor Road Church, and equips youth leaders as the Associate Dean of Youthmin Academy. She co-wrote the book 7 Family Ministry Essentials and served as the director of student resources for David C Cook as she led a team in creating TruIdentity: a spiritually forming, Christ centered and family empowered youth ministry curriculum line. Megan lives in Long Beach, California with her husband and son.


Dr. Michelle Anthony

Dr. Michelle Anthony is the Executive Pastor of Families at New Life Church and Dean of Youthmin Academy. She is the author of Spiritual Parenting,The Big God Story, Becoming a Spiritually Healthy Family, A Theology of Familiy Ministry and her newest book, 7 Family Ministry Essentials. Michelle has over 30 years of church ministry and leadership experience in children’s and family ministries and graduate degrees in Christian Education, Bible and Theology from Talbot School of Theology and and her doctorate of Education from Southern Seminary. In her free time, Michelle enjoys being with her family, reading a good book, and the beach while drinking a strong cup of coffee.


Glenn Packiam

Glenn Packiam is a the lead pastor of New Life Downtown, a congregation of New Life Church where he also serves on the Executive Team.

He is the author of Discover the Mystery of Faith, LUCKY, Secondhand Jesus, and Butterfly in Brazil. He's also the writer of beloved New Life worship songs, like "Your Name" and "My Savior Lives."

Glenn holds a BA in Theological/Historical Studies, a Masters in Management, and, after doing two years of graduate work at Fuller Theological Seminary, is earning his doctorate in theology at St. John's College at Durham University in the UK. Glenn, his wife, Holly, their four children are enjoying life in the shadow of the mighty Rocky Mountains.