Workshops and Speakers

OCTOBER 29 11am -- What is the biblical role?

Workshop 1 - Strong Elder Leadership // Earl Marshall

Ten Biblical Principles of Elder Leadership

This is a workshop on the biblical foundations of being an elder in the local church.


Earl Marshall is the Pastor of Training and Discipleship at Hope Bible Church Oakville seeking to deepen the faith of followers of Jesus Christ and develop leaders for the Church of Jesus Christ. Earl has served the Church for 14 years as a seminary professor and 13 years as a lead pastor. Most recently he and his wife, Brenda, have been engaged in training church planters with the Great Commission Collective.  

Workshop 2 - Strong Preaching // Tim Harkness

Strong Biblical Preaching is Spirit-driven, life-altering, and word-centred. Each sermon is a journey of battling for the heart of the preacher and the heart of the hearer.

This workshop explores the Biblical perspective behind the power of God, the Word of God, and the man of God. Expository Preaching puts those three together to form a worship expressed. May God always get the glory!


Tim Harkness is the Senior Pastor of Summit Point Church in Peoria IL. He has a love for Jesus Christ and a passion to call others to Jesus through the power of on-fire preaching. His passion is to see the Holy Spirit move mightily in each service through the power of expository preaching as heads are informed, hearts are stirred, and wills are challenged. 

Tim has been preaching and teaching for 16 years, including being the senior pastor and preaching pastor for the past 11 years at Summit Point Church.

Tim and his wife Jonna serve side by side at Summit Point. They have two beautiful girls that have graduated from Taylor University in Indiana. 

Workshop 3 - Strong Soul Care (Disciple Making) // Garrett Higbee

How do you strengthen existing disciple making ministries in your church? We will learn how to build a strong continuum of disciple making and soul care ministry.  Vision casting, leader alignment, equipping of voluntaries and staff, and some best practices will be covered in our time together.


While I am trained as a clinical psychologist, my last 20 year has been focused on counselling from a faith based perspective. I am dedicated to championing healthy churches and growing healthy leaders. By God’s grace I was able to build a depth of discipleship in the culture at Harvest Bible Chapel in Chicago that is now being replicated around the world. I recently moved to Indianapolis to work with pastors in crisis at Twelve Stones Ministry. I also work with the Great Commission Collective.

As a leader with the GCC my goal is to care for the pastors of those churches and to help build a network of churches that don’t just start a biblical counselling department but that are literally churches where every believer speaks the truth in love with compassion and skill. I am a founding board member of the Biblical Counselling and just recently started Soul Care Consulting. My wife Tammy and I have been married for 20 years and have three children, Rachel, Zachary, and Sarah Beth.

Workshop 4 - Strong Worship Department // Cliff Cline & Nick Tynan

In this workshop Nick and Cliff are going to explore the Biblical whys of worship—covering the orthodoxy and orthopraxy that God has given us through His Word. 

CliffCline (1)

Cliff is the Pastor of Worship and Communications at Hope Oakville. He has been leading worship through music vocationally and as a volunteer in churches for over 30 years. He has been married to Stef for 22 years and they have four children.


Nick Tynan is the worship pastor at Harvest Bible Chapel Indy West in Avon, IN. He has been a worship pastor for 17 years and has been at Harvest since its launch in 2008. He has developed and led worship ministries in three different churches and desires to see the gathered church grow in their understanding and practice of biblical worship.

Workshop 5 - Strong Disciple Making of Kids & Students // Greg Vanderleeuw

We’ve all been in that church that felt like their ministry to kids and students was either babysitting or entertainment. Maybe you feel like your church needs a stronger foundation or deeper convictions in the area of discipleship to the next generation. Kids and students don’t become passionate followers of Jesus overnight, it takes intentionality and purpose. In this workshop we will examine what the Bible says about the church's role in having a strong disciple-making ministry to kids and students and how our Biblical convictions shape our ministry to them.


Greg has been in Children’s Ministry for over a decade where he has served as the Pastor of Children’s Ministry in Burnaby, Canada and currently at Hope Bible Church in Oakville. Greg’s passion for kidmin is to see children and families come to know Jesus Christ as their Saviour. He and his wife live in Ontario and have four children.

Workshop 6 - Strong Pastor Wives, Marriages & Families // Laura White

What a unique and weighty role we are privileged to have! God, in His infinite wisdom and supreme providence, chose weak, fallible women like us to stand beside our husbands and help to lead His church. And therein lies the hope that our hearts need - this is God’s church, His gifting and His enablement which allows us the strength to honour Him in our role as a pastor’s wife through our marriage and as we lead and love our family. Let’s spend a few moments together realigning our eyes to His calling, His power and His hope for our homes combined with practical helps and intentional prayer.


Laura White has a passion to see women walk personally and purposefully in a deep relationship with Christ. A pastor’s wife, mother of five, educator and Director of Women’s Discipleship, Laura regularly teaches and speaks to groups of women across the country helping them to know the Scriptures and find meaning in the daily ministries of life. She is a graduate of Cedarville University and now resides with her husband Brian and their children in Noblesville, Indiana where they worship and serve at Harvest Bible Chapel North Indianapolis.

Workshop 7 - Strong Support Staff // Karen Plantt & Laura Zimmerman

God has appointed to each of us a specific calling to make disciples, and as ministry support staff, you play a key role in that process. We will be digging in to how to support with purpose and love, and share some best practice for good results. Don’t neglect this calling by thinking of your part in the process as unimportant, instead lets learn how to step into the fulness of this calling together!


Karen Plantt has worked on the support staff team at Redemption Bible Chapel in London since 2016.

Karen attended Heritage Bible College for a year, prior to receiving her diploma in Microcomputer Administration from Conestoga College. She is an MS Office guru and is passionate about task management and helping others with a servant’s heart.

Karen is a wife and mother and she and her husband, Richard, have been married for 15 years and have three children together.

Laura Zimmerman serves as the Director of Projects for Great Commission Collective. Laura served on the Compassion & Local missions team for six years, and then took on the role of Director of Missions at Harvest Bible Fellowship. She was on the team that helped establish GCC and has been blessed to see the Lord at work as He kept this group of churches together.

Laura has always served in a support staff role, and she is thrilled to be able to support and encourage others in ministry support staff in churches around the world.

Workshop 8 - Strong Staff Development // Wes Ward

Why is it important to our churches to have staff teams that are being developed? What is the right mindset to have to help them grow? What’s the balance between being systematized vs. organic? How can you involve elders and other leaders? Is this about their discipleship or their “professional” development? How do you know if your plan actually works? Is this biblical? How do you customize it for the various roles that are inside a church staff? How does this “trickle down” to volunteers?

We will tackle these kinds of questions, get practical with tools, share best practices and success stories, and we’ll find ways to start putting ideas into play immediately.


As Pastor of Ministry Development at Gospel City in Granger/South Bend, Wes' aim is to partner with pastors, elders, staff and lay leaders in glorifying God and making disciples more effectively and more expansively. He does this by being aiming to be an affirmational-leader, a mission-clarifier, a vision-implementer, a culture-builder, and a plan-maker with the team. 

Previously, Wes served as Senior Vice President at Five Q ; Senior Director of Media for Revive Our Hearts; Broadcast Manager at FamilyLife Today; National Program Director for Moody Radio; and Station Manager at KCBI-FM Dallas/Fort Worth. Wes is gratefully married to Carrie and is the glad dad of Graham, Maggie, Benjamin, and Emma.

Workshop 9 - Strong in Prayer // Daniel Henderson

While most leaders know the power and priority of prayer, many still struggle to lead a transformational culture of prayer in the church that produces supernatural life change and gospel impact. Discover the reasons behind this struggle and the keys to a vibrant, biblical culture of prayer in the church.


As a Senior Pastor for over two decades, Daniel Henderson brought prayer-based revitalization to several mega-churches. Today he is dedicating his full-time efforts to help congregations across the country experience renewal and turn-around as he speaks to thousands each year at conferences and prayer events. He is President of Strategic Renewal, which exists to ignite personal renewal, congregational revival, and leadership restoration for Christ’s glory.

Daniel Henderson is a pastor, preacher, renewal catalyst, leadership coach, author, husband, father, grandfather and (most importantly) a passionate Christ-follower.

Daniel has been married to Rosemary (Brewer) for over 33 years and they live just south of Denver, Colorado. Together they have three children and seven grandchildren.

OCTOBER 29 3pm -- Who am I in regards to this?

Workshop 1 - Healthy Elders and Pastors // Garrett Higbee

For healthy leaders to multiply they must start at the top. What are the characteristics and habits of a healthy leader? How do healthy leaders multiply themselves through others? All this and more on building healthy leaders and staying healthy as leaders will be covered in this workshop.


While I am trained as a clinical psychologist, my last 20 year has been focused on counselling from a faith based perspective. I am dedicated to championing healthy churches and growing healthy leaders. By God’s grace I was able to build a depth of discipleship in the culture at Harvest Bible Chapel in Chicago that is now being replicated around the world. I recently moved to Indianapolis to work with pastors in crisis at Twelve Stones Ministry. I also work with the Great Commission Collective.

As a leader with the GCC my goal is to care for the pastors of those churches and to help build a network of churches that don’t just start a biblical counselling department but that are literally churches where every believer speaks the truth in love with compassion and skill. I am a founding board member of the Biblical Counselling and just recently started Soul Care Consulting. My wife Tammy and I have been married for 20 years and have three children, Rachel, Zachary, and Sarah Beth.

Workshop 2 - Healthy Worship Departments // Micah Klutinoty

In this workshop we will look at what makes a church's worship department healthy, and how it is sustained for the good of God's people and the glory of God.


Micah has served as the worship and creative arts pastor at Gospel City Church in Granger, Indiana for over 10 years. He's had the opportunity to help build a healthy worship culture and department since the infancy of this church plant to now.

His heart's desire for ministry is to help the local church produce passionate, contagious worshipers of Jesus, who seek to glorify Him alone. He and his wife, Nicole, thankfully and joyfully are parents to Reese, Callie, Blaze, and Zion.

Workshop 3 - Healthy Disciple-Making in Adult Ministries // Eric Carlson

Ministry is like a treadmill that doesn’t slow down and never turns off. It always feels uphill. It’s tiring. It’s draining. But it doesn’t have to be this way. If you are weary or feel like you are running on empty, it’s time to slow down, establish a more deliberate pace and commit to healthier practices this year. This workshop is intended to identify the key warning signs that you need to monitor in your spiritual life before it is too late.


Eric Carlson is the Pastor of Small Groups at Harvest Bible Chapel Indy West in Avon, IN. He has served at Harvest since 2008 where 70% of adults are engaged in small groups. Eric is committed to developing deep, life-giving relationships through small groups and desires to encourage and strengthen leaders in ministry.

Workshop 4 - Healthy Disciple-Making in Kids & Students // Karl Whittingstall

In this workshop we will focus on how to be a spiritually healthy leader, how to raise up and equip your ministry leaders to be spiritual healthy and prepared for the work. We will also look at how to really disciple your students and keep the main thing (discipleship) as the main thing.


Karl Whittingstall is the Youth Pastor at Hope Bible Church Oakville. He has a passion to see youth grow closer to Jesus Christ. For the last 15 years he has been saying "we don't mess around, but we have a lot of fun." Karl is passionate about getting students in God's Word and watching the Lord move by His Spirit in their lives. He has a big heart for students to connect and be intentionally discipled by leaders who are worth following. He loves to have laugh, loves to mess around, but most of all loves to see the Lord move. 

Karl and his wife Lindsay live in Burlington with their four kids. He also enjoys being outside in any season (especially winter, which is weird), working with his hands, and making memories with his kids.

Workshop 5 - Healthy Volunteers // Marty Gravelyn & Nate Buchanan

There may be no more important job in your church than ensuring the people who serve at your church are doing so in a healthy way… so what does that look like? Please join Marty and Nate as they share how to lead volunteers in a way where they feel engaged and equipped to serve Christ. They will discuss casting vision for your volunteers, creating opportunities for them to serve, as well as how you can walk alongside them in an encouraging and loving way.


Marty Gravelyn is the Small Group Director and serves on the Ministry Leadership Team at Harvest in Spring Lake, MI. He works with over 150 volunteers throughout the year in the small group ministry, and is passionate about encouraging and equipping the people he serves with. Marty feels strongly that to have healthy volunteers you need to communicate clearly the vision and purpose of the ministry to the church staff and to the volunteers, which creates ownership and ensures everyone is working together for God’s glory. Marty loves to connect people together in biblical community via small groups, and is also blessed to walk alongside individuals in the soul care ministry at Harvest, loving them and counselling them with God’s Word.

Marty is also blessed with his beautiful wife Dawn, whom he has been married to for 15 years, and 3 incredible children, Jack (12), Liam (10), and Grace (9).


Nate Buchanan is involved in Soul Care, Student Ministry, and preaching at Harvest Spring Lake and Grand Haven in Michigan. In his roles, he oversees the growth and development of 35-40 volunteers who are serving as student ministry small group leaders and lay counsellors. One of his greatest joys in ministry is being on the front lines of experiencing disciples grow more disciples. 

He has been married for ten years to my wife Stephanie, who serves with me in ministry and we have two boys; Kameron (8) and Kolby (4). We enjoy spending time at the beach together, going on bike rides, and sitting around a campfire.

Workshop 6 - Healthy Women in Ministry // Elyse Fitzpatrick


Elyse holds a certificate in biblical counselling from CCEF (San Diego) and an M.A. in Biblical Counselling from Trinity Theological Seminary. She has authored 23 books on daily living and the Christian life. Elyse loves to proclaim the good news of the gospel: That Jesus, the Second Person of the Trinity, perfectly obeyed all the Law in our place, suffered in isolation and agony as punishment for our sin, died, and then rose again, all for our justification.

A frequent speaker at women’s conferences, she has been married for over 40 years and has three adult children and six really adorable grandchildren.

Workshop 7 - Healthy Church Planters // Ted Duncan

Most church planters can expect that they will inevitably have a to deal with difficult people in their church. What I learned the hard way was that I turned out to be the most difficult person in my church to deal with. Leading a church exposed pride, insecurity, fear and idolatry that I didn't know was there. In this workshop we'll look at some of the lessons I've learned along the way as a church planter and talk about health in our spiritual, relational, physical and emotional lives.


Ted is the founding pastor of Hope Church Mississauga, a vibrant and diverse congregation located at the crossroads of some of Canada's fastest growing cities. Born and raised in Hamilton, Ted served on staff at Hope Bible Church in Oakville for five years before planting in 2009.

Ted is trusting God each day and spending himself in order that more and more people from more and more nations will hear the gospel and worship Jesus. He and his wife Lyncey fell in love at summer camp. Ted loves to ski and Lyncey’s a snowboarder but they still manage to get along. They live in Brampton with their four energetic and entertaining sons.

Workshop 8 - Healthy Personal Walk // Israel Iglesias

There are no shortcuts for a healthy spiritual walk. In this workshop we will learn both the biblical and practical principals that are essential for developing a stable, faithful, and unwavering walk with Jesus. A healthy spiritual walk is essential to avoid burn out and discouragement.


Israel is the founding pastor of Vertical Church Miami, a bilingual church planted in 2014. As a church planter in an urban community, he has had the opportunity to disciple many first-generation believers toward a personal healthy walk with Christ.

Workshop 9 - Best Practices - Preaching // Ian Hales

While there is not always a right and wrong in good preaching, there are many best practices. Preachers and teachers of God’s Word often learn much about best practices through trial and error, observing others, and studying a variety of materials. In this worship we will look at some best practices for preaching that will help hone your gifts, sharpen your skills and fuel your passion for preaching that changes lives. This session will include a Q & A.


Ian Hales is the founding pastor of Redemption Church. Ian grew up in the Durham region and by God’s grace was given the privilege to plant Redemption Church in 2010. 

Ian’s greatest desire is to see God glorified through a passionate pursuit of Jesus Christ. His prayer is that God will use Redemption Church to be a pillar of truth in the Durham Region—that the preaching of God’s Word would be used to see lost people saved, saved people matured, and mature people multiplied.

Ian and his wife Sarah were married in 2003 and are parents to their three children Karis, Joshua and Caleb.

OCTOBER 30 9am - How do I accomplish this?

Workshop 1 - Best Practices - Elders and Pastors // Paul Whittingstall & Christian McNeilly

In this seminar Christian McNeilly the GCC Director of US Church Strategy and Paul Whittingstall the GCC Canadian Regional Director will guide you in understanding four critical factors you should know as you serve as Elders and then introduce you to a tool that will help you in the process to begin the implementation of these four factors in your church.


Paul Whittingstall is the new Regional Director of GCC Canada!

Paul was been the Sr. Pastor of Harvest York Region for the past 11 years. During his time there, he saw the provision of a church building, the planting of two local churches, and was involved in church planting across North America and around the world!  

We look forward to watching God use the Whittingstall's nearly 40 years of ministry experience as they serve the churches of Canada.

Workshop 2 - Best Practices - Soul Care and Discipleship // Nathan Penny

Nathan will speaking on "Innovations in Soul Care: The Staircase of the Heart" which offers a biblical and practical framework for pursuing growth in personal holiness through an ever-increasing lifestyle of prayerful and Word-saturated abiding (John 15:1-12), recognizing and repenting of sin (2 Corinthians 7:10), cultivating and exercising faith (Hebrews 11:6), dependence upon the Holy Spirit (Galatians 3:5), and engaging in the dynamics of putting off and putting on (Colossians 3:1-17).


Nathan and his wife live with their two children in Waterdown. Nathan serves as the Pastor of Soul Care Ministries at Hope Bible Church Oakville.

Nathan is passionate about the advancement of Soul Care and discipleship in the local church in Canada, and serves on the board of the Canadian Biblical Counselling Coalition.

Workshop 3 - Best Practices - Worship // Mark Boys

This session will help you think through some practical ways to set your worship and production teams up for success every weekend.


Mark Boys is the Worship Pastor at Anchor Church Palos in the Chicago area, where he has led the worship and production teams since 2009. Mark is passionate about developing relationships with young worship leaders in international GCC churches.

Workshop 4 - Best Practices - Production // Dave Putnam

Dave, his wife Ally, and their three daughters moved from Chicago to Indianapolis in 2017 when he joined Harvest North Indy staff as the Director of Production and Facilities. Over the years, Dave has owned two music businesses, developing a passion for project management and team leadership. A musician himself, Dave plays the piano, bass guitar, and several other instruments. 

Having led production teams at churches ranging in size from 100-2500, Dave has a lot of experience in team development and training to best maximize the worship experience at all levels, budgets, volunteer size. He has a heart for uniting the worship and production teams to operate as one group with one mission: To lead people in worship in a clear, safe, distraction-free way.

  1. United mission in worship and production: teaching concepts on how to create cohesion between worship leader and volunteers.
  2. Volunteer roles/responsibilities at each church size: how to lead volunteer or staff teams in many different models, from church plant to broadcast campuses. 
  3. Knowing your role: ensuring each team member knows the church's goals for each element of service and their own role and how it fits.
  4. Practical training ideas: How to move your team to the next level in skill and impact. Creating ways to identify each individual volunteers skill level to create a training plan that is effective to your church's needs.

Workshop 5 - Best Practices - Students // Amir Kashtan

The workshop will give tools for Student Ministry in light of the Great Commission.


Amir Kashtan comes to us from Israel. Raised in a Jewish-Christian home, Amir gave his life to Christ at the age of sixteen. Amir was actively involved in both his local church, as well as the national church of Israel, where he volunteered his time as a director for nation-wide Christian youth conferences. 

In 2016, Amir was instrumental in planting The Grove Bible Chapel, where he currently serves as the Junior High Youth Leader. In 2019, Amir was ordained and also serves his church as the Pastor of Small Groups. Amir lives in Orlando, Florida, with his wife of three years, Jacqueline. They are expecting their first child in January.

Workshop 6 - Best Practices - Kids // Michelle Helmkamp

This workshop will go over opening foundations including calling and equipping, serving, dependance on prayer, and the foundation of the Word. 

Best Practices we will go over include building a healthy team, scheduling, safety and discipline, special needs ministry and discipleship of kids.


Michelle currently serves at the Children’s Ministry Director of Gospel City Church in Granger, IN. Through her background as a teacher, mother, and children’s leader in various capacities--she has served in children’s ministry for 30 years. She and her husband, Matt, have four kids and have recently added a son-in-law and daughter-in-law to their family.
Michelle joined the staff at Gospel City Church (formerly Harvest Bible Chapel Granger) during a time of extreme growth.

Michelle and her team have developed a Children’s Ministry playbook to help give clear direction to new church plants as well as shape vision for a growing and thriving Children’s Ministry

Workshop 7 - Best Practices - Assimilation // Josh DeKoning & Seth Kempf

Welcoming and plugging new people into your church is integral to the discipleship call of any local fellowship. While every context is unique, come engage with an effective three-step methodology that will help to move people into the life of your church where they can engage in mutual ministry with each other, living out the one-anothers of Scripture.


Seth Kempf has been in vocational or lay leadership ministry since 2004. At Crossway Bible Church in San Antonio, TX, he oversees and develops small groups, guides the church's assimilation process, regularly counsels, and serves on the elder team.

Josh became a believer at age 25 and quickly began praying about ministry. After helping plant a GCC church in Austin, Texas, he became the planting pastor for Crossway Bible Church in 2013. Assimilation is critical for every church-planting endeavour, and Josh is passionate about having a clear and simple process for connecting every person in the pew into life-giving discipleship and the mutual ministry of the local church.

Workshop 8 - Best Practices - Outreach // Kent Steiner

Does your church have a real love for your neighbours and an intentional plan to engage those the Lord has entrusted to you? Join us as we address implementing a Go-Know-Show culture in your church. Learn how to GO- and engage your community, KNOW-and have a love for your community, and SHOW-Christ in word and deed within your community!


Kent came to Chicago to be trained as a missionary but fell in love with the city and found his mission field! He currently serves as associate pastor at Chicago West Bible Church in the Austin neighbourhood on the west side of Chicago. He has guided multiple church urban and suburban locations in intentionally engaging their specific diverse contexts.

He believes the Lord hasn’t just given a church a building to meet in but has entrusted them a community to love and make disciples. Kent has been married to Deanna for 27 years and has 3 children.

Workshop 9 - Best Practices - Ministry of Character & Integrity // Jason Matta

Competence or character? Skillfulness or holiness? Ability or humility? What matters most? This workshop will explore the absolute necessity of integrity and character, and specifically how to pursue this kind of life and ministry for the glory of God. Too many leaders and churches are going down because they've relied on gifting rather than abiding. Our prayer is that we would learn to use our God-given gifts, from pure hearts of integrity, with true and lasting impact, all for the glory of God.


Jason Matta is the Founding Pastor of Hope Church Toronto West; a vibrant, diverse church in the city of Toronto. He is passionate about the glory of God, the Word of God, the mission of God, and humble dependence upon God in prayer. Jason is married to Aileen and together they have three wonderful children: Josiah, Abigail and Silas.

Workshop 10 - Healthy Pastors Wives // Brenda Marshall

This workshop is specifically designed for any pastor’s wife, and will focus on healthy personal spiritual disciplines, priorities in ministry (specifically outside of the home), and also some ‘best practices’ as pastors wives. Ladies will also have the privilege to connect, encourage, and pray together.


Brenda and her husband Earl, have had the wonderful privilege to serve together in various fulltime ministries for the 34 years they have been married. Most recently she has served in equipping and mentoring church planter’s wives, and now currently serves at Hope Bible Church, Oakville.

Brenda is passionate about the privilege pastor’s wives have, to love and support their husbands, and also to effectively partner with them in serving the body of Christ.

She has two married children and five precious grandchildren!