In order to provide an example of what to expect for the 2020 HV Summit, we have provided an overview of last year’s workshops. While the topics and speakers will change, the same caliber of experience and excellence will be provided in 2020.


Gender Reassignment, Abortion, Homosexuality, Cohabitation, Divorce, Politics are just some of the cultural hot buttons of our day. Rather than avoiding these issues, church leaders can develop a wise and compassionate approach in guiding people toward the truth in God’s Word and a life of freedom.

TRENDS AND SHIFTS THE CHURCH CAN NO LONGER IGNORE | Jason Murphy – Lead Pastor, Westchester Christian Worship Center, White Plains

Statistics show that church attendance is rapidly declining which results in a disconnect that directly affects assimilation and discipleship. Let’s explore the reasons why and consider creative ways to reconnect families and individuals through both traditional and innovative strategies.

BEING AN EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATOR IN A RAPIDLY CHANGING CULTURE | Dom Cotignola – NYMNAG Presbyter, Queens Section; Lead Pastor, Bellerose AG

The way people communicate today is radically different than it was five or ten years ago. To remain effective, leaders must adapt their communication style. Rather than lamenting the loss of certain traditions, we need an optimistic approach to impact an ever-changing culture with the unchanging truths of the gospel.

ESSENTIAL VALUES OF AN EFFECTIVE TEAM | Haniff Bacchus – Executive Presbyter NYMNAG; Lead Pastor, Calvary AG, Ozone Park Queens

Worship teams, usher teams, ministry teams, leadership teams – every leader understands the essential role teams play in an organization. But how can leaders build teams that are united, inspired, motivated and productive? Discover the basic principles of team building and the values that keep teams effective and successful.


As females, we have the opportunity to bring a different and important perspective to the team. Learn strategies to better relate to or lead the opposite sex both in the workplace and ministry. Develop skills to embrace our “femaleness” while being an amazing and effective leader and awesome teammate to both men and women.

DEVELOPING A LEADERSHIP PIPELINE | Bob Reeves – NYMNAG Secretary/Treasurer; Lead Pastor, Calvary Church, Rochester

Leadership development is a requisite for any organization’s survival – especially the church. Yet the leadership pipeline in many churches is dry or nonexistent. This session will provide suggestions how you can develop leadership at every level by identifying future leaders, assessing their competence, planning their development, and measuring their results.

EMPOWERING THE PASTOR-BOARD RELATIONSHIP | Dan McLaughlin – Executive Administrative Assistant to NYMNAG Superintendent

The local church is the hope of the world. But no church can be effective if the leaders are not united. Church boards either empower the pastor to lead, or frustrate him into resignation. There are practical steps pastors and board members can take to mold themselves into a team of colaborers, united in working the vision God has for the church.

SUPERVISING SKILL: CORE COMPETENCIES FOR HIGH-IMPACT LEADERS | Nikil Adwalpalker – Lead Pastor, Throggs Neck Community Church, Bronx

Many think that being the boss is the pinnacle of success. The fact is supervising others can be one of the most difficult challenges leaders face. This session will explore the causes of those challenges and will offer practical tips for addressing poor performance in team members and inspiring greater dedication.

MOTIVATING PEOPLE TOWARD EXCEPTIONAL PERFORMANCE | Jason Cooper – Lead Pastor, Redemption Church, Schenectady

Volunteers are amazing! They are the hands and feet of our ministry! But every leader needs to know how to recruit them, train them, keep them, appreciate them, mentor them, and let them go (fire them). Join us for a fun session of learning how to create a volunteer culture that will help your ministry thrive.


Poor self-worth traps us in bad relationships, sabotages new relationships, and causes us to feel so devastated when relationships end. Having high self-esteem doesn’t guarantee happiness, but it does equip you with skills to navigate life with a healthy attitude. Discover what women with high self-esteem do differently in life and relationships.

VOLUNTEERS: ESSENTIAL FOR MINISTRY | Manny Montalvo – Lead Pastor, Crossroads Church Newburgh

Ministry is comprised by how we recruit, prepare, train, disciple, and appreciate the individuals who are vital to the ministry where we are called.  Come and learn essential principles on how to work with volunteers. We need each other.

TRANSFORMATIONAL LEADERSHIP – DEFINING VISION, STRATEGY & GOALS | Tom Zahradnik – NYMNAG Presbyter, Hudson Valley Section; Lead Pastor, First AG Church Port Jervis

Leadership is about uniting people around a vision and moving them toward the accomplishment of that vision. It requires core competencies such as vision casting, management, communication, recruiting and strategic planning. Discover how to turn your ministry into an efficient team that wins every time.

LEADING CHANGE WITHOUT LOSING MOMENTUM | Doug DeMent – Executive Presbyter NYMNAG; Lead Pastor, Grace AG Syracuse

Leaders are in the change business. Whether corporate, civic, church, the leader’s responsibility is to chart a course that brings positive progression. In situations where such progress is not occurring, it is the leader’s role to find out why and change it. Discover keys for navigating change with minimal disruption to organizational unity and momentum.

BEING A POSITIVE INFLUENCE IN A POLITICALLY CHARGED CLIMATE| David Nuzzolo – Executive Administrative Assistant to NYMNAG Network Superintendent

The current political landscape is dividing our nation, our communities , and even the church. People crave leadership with character; leadership that the church is positioned to provide. Come as we discuss how the church can be an influence in their community and as we share specific ways to get involved without compromise of biblical values.

THE MECHANICS OF WORSHIP & MEDIA (INSIDE MISSION CHURCH) | Cris Lebron – Worship Pastor, The Mission Church

The worship experience is more than a few instruments and a song leader. Lights, set design, streaming, video & audio controls, computers, musicians, choirs, scheduling software, and other elements have become typical in many settings. Take a look into The Mission Church’s Sunday Morning experience and the solutions they’ve implemented.

CULTIVATING A CULTURE OF WORSHIP IN A DISTRACTED WORLD | Joseph Joubert – Worship Pastor, Authentic Church, White Plains

How can leaders build a worship experience in church ministry that is captivating and compelling for people who seem disinterested and distracted? Let’s learn together how to make worship dynamic, irresistible, and bring people into the presence of God.


Teaching teens doctrine and theology can seem like an intimidating task. We fear it will be boring or too hard to understand. But if kids can learn algebra, composition and history, they can learn doctrine and theology. Join us in this session as we look at why kids are smarter than we think, and how we can teach them theology in an engaging way!

TALKING TO TEENS ABOUT SEXUALITY AND GENDER ISSUES | Mark Freeman – NYMNAG Executive Presbyter; Youth and Family Pastor, Grace AG Syracuse

Youth today are bombarded by the issues of promiscuity, homosexuality, gender reassignment, cohabitation and more. Rather than avoiding these topics, youth leaders need a wise and compassionate approach toward equipping young people to navigate these issues through the truth of God’s Word.

ADDRESSING THE CORE NEEDS OF TODAY’S YOUTH | Rafael Lebron – Youth Pastor, The Mission Church

Today’s youth have several basic needs. As a youth leader, your understanding of these needs will help you realize what is taking place in every teenager’s heart and mind. Youth ministries and leaders who address these needs in a loving and discipling environment will prepare young people to navigate the world as healthy followers of Christ.

SMALL GROUP MINISTRY: DISCIPLESHIP THROUGH RELATIONSHIP | Caren Petfield – Discipleship Pastor, Westchester Christian Worship Center, White Plains

Small group ministry has become the church’s most effective means of connecting people in relationships and making disciples. But why is it often difficult to recruit leaders, secure hosts and inspire people to stay engaged? Discover basic principles of effective small group ministry and how you can keep people inspired, engaged and excited about their groups.

Making Disciples: Turning Church Visitors into Christ Followers | Sandy-Catherine Lebron – Discipleship Pastor, The Mission Church

It’s great that people visit the church, but how can we keep them engaged and excited about coming back? What are the crucial factors in turning visitors into Christ-followers and assimilating new individuals and families into the culture of the church? This session will present the essentials of assimilation and how church leaders play a crucial role.


Discover the Levels of Biblical Learning and how kids at different developmental ages levels can comprehend truths in an age-appropriate language that teachers can use to communicate God’s Word clearly at each stage.

THE ESSENTIALS OF FAITH EVERY CHILD MUST LEARN | Michele Massi – Director, The Mission Church Academy and Early Childhood Learning Center

The formative years of child development provide the opportune time to instill foundational truths of God’s word that will serve as an anchor for a child’s faith through the teen years and into adulthood. Discover some learning targets – the essential truths – teachers need to focus on as they teach the church’s future generations: our children.

DEVELOPING THE NEXT GENERATION FOR LEADERSHIP | David Mazzella – NYMNAG Presbyter, Capital Section; Lead Pastor, Capital Church, Albany

By 2025, Millennials will be 75% of working age people. Ministries that are going to thrive in the next 10 years must attract millennials to their work force and retain them. Which leads us to the question, “How can I reach and keep Millennial volunteers on my team?” In this session, you’ll discover keys to filling your ministry with them.

Ministering To (and With) Generation Z | John Harris, Lead Pastor, Faith AG, Chestnut Ridge

The teens and young adults who volunteer in your ministry, are part of the unique Generation Z. This generation has a distinct view on life and culture. They are also producers who have unprecedented access to the world. Learn how to serve and partner with this unique generation.


Take a look at your Sunday Worship Experience through the eyes of the “unchurched.” The words in the worship songs, the elements of the service, the content of the sermon – these may seem fine for the churched; but for many who are not, it’s like a foreign language. Learn how to make sense of your Sundays for those who are unchurched.

A CALL FOR DISCERNMENT IN A RAPIDLY CHANGING CULTURE | Dr. Edward Jones – Lead Pastor, Faith AG, Poughkeepsie

Choices have consequences, our life is the culmination of those choices. In a rapidly changing culture wise decision are increasingly challenging. Discernment is the key to navigating in changing times. We will examine the time-tested practices that enable us to be a discerning people.

TOXIC LEADERSHIP AND NEED FOR HEALTHY BOUNDARIES | Reggie Stutzman – NYMNAG Presbyter, Bronx/Manhattan Section; Lead Pastor, Real Life Church, Bronx

Pastors are nurturing people. What happens when your desire to unconditionally care for people makes you vulnerable to unhealthy relationships and susceptible to the need for affirmation? How can you discern the difference? This session will provide clear steps to set healthy boundaries and protect you common pitfalls of unhealthy relationships.

The Resilient Leader: Why Emotional Intelligence Matters | Jonathan D. Durst MA, LMHC, NCC

A Harvard Business Review study reported that emotional intelligence contributes to over 80% of the competencies that distinguish outstanding leaders from average ones. It’s what gives leaders resilience, perseverance and empathy. This session will explain emotional intelligence and reveal how we can develop this resilience in our own lives.

OVERCOMING OFFENSE: MINISTERING AS WOUNDED HEALERS | Meleah DeMent, LPC MS; Neurofeedback Clinician, Therapeutic Counselor

During this breakout we’ll discuss practical keys from moving from hurting to healing to healthy leadership. Our ministries need us to be able to not only walk ourselves through this process but to help those we serve when they become wounded.

THE CRITICAL ELEMENT OF INTIMACY WITH CHRIST | Derrick West – NYMNAG Presbyter, North Central Section; Lead Pastor, Mercy Point Church, Watertown

The demands of ministry can keep us in a rhythm of constant activity, but that rhythm can lead to dangerous places. The importance of intentional time in prayer, worship and the Word is critical to both your spiritual health and the and the health of your ministry. Rediscover the joy of refreshing your soul in God’s presence and allowing the Holy Spirit to energize your ministry.