About MORE Conference 2021: Growing Through It

We’ve made it through 2020, the year that made us roll our eyes at the terms ‘unprecedented times’, ‘new normal’ and ‘team of 5 million’. Although the phrases are overused, we can’t deny the truth they hold—we did go through something pretty wild together. It was messy and hard, and in many cases, it still is. It’s been two years since we’ve come together as Children’s and Youth Ministry leaders, and this year we’re focussing on ‘Growing Through It’. We want to acknowledge what we’ve been through retrospectively while simultaneously looking to the future through a lens of growth. There are always challenges arising, whether they’re related to COVID-19 or not, and in these challenging times we’re forced to innovate, create and grow. Let’s learn from each other, share stories and knowledge, support one another and grow through it together.

We can’t wait to see you at MORE Conference 2021!

The Territorial Children’s and Youth Departments

Keynote Speakers

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Kylie Tong

In her role as the Territorial Candidates Secretary, Kylie gets to spend her days encouraging people to consider what God is asking them to do with their lives and working closely with those who want to explore Salvation Army officership.

She’s married to Stu, and they have three kids, all still living at home. 

Kylie loves getting out in nature and travelling to new places, and she’s passionate about being a follower of Jesus, her family, and living life to the full.

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Mike Dodge

Mike has been involved in ministry since he met Jesus at a camp and started running the Christian group at his high school and looking out for the fringe kids in his youth group at the age of fifteen!

He spent ten years cutting his teeth with Youth for Christ before becoming youth pastor at St Albans Baptist Church in Christchurch in the early ‘90s. Mike then took on the role of regional consultant for Canterbury. He and his team established a trust called Canterbury Youth Services to work with churches in the region, and they started running combined Easter Camps which most youth groups in the region attend.

Mike currently coaches leaders at all levels and is passionate about helping churches and youth organisations do youth work and ministry well.

Seminar Speakers

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Natasha Ellis

Tash has a decade of experience leading in young adult and wider church ministries across Australia and New Zealand. Her greatest passion is communicating mental health and theological concepts, and she holds degrees in Theology and Counselling as well as an Advanced Diploma in Pastoral Ministry.


In her primary role is as a counsellor, Tash works both with private clients and with high school students. Outside of that, you’ll probably find her cycling with her dog Broc or reading fantasy novels while eating cameo cremes.

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Felix Ellis

Felix works as a Police Officer in Counties Manukau where he regularly faces the effects of poor mental and emotional health. This motivates his enthusiasm for teaching people about resilience, taking ownership of their lives and living more honestly. Prior to this he worked for a number of years with at-risk youth in the United Kingdom and for the Ministry of Social Development New Zealand. 


Felix spends his free time spearfishing, listening to BBC radio4, drinking ginger beer and enjoying his homemade marmalade.

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Sam Bloore

Sam Bloore is deeply passionate about the intersection of faith and culture, in particular how individuals establish and enhance 
a personal spirituality that is stable and sustainable. Sam grew up in Dargaville, and after graduating from medicine and bioethics at Otago University, worked as a doctor for five years in Emergency Medicine and Psychiatry.


In 2002, he began a gradual career change, and over the next few years Sam joined the staff of his local church 
and completed a Master of Arts in Pastoral Theology. He is now working towards a Doctorate of Ministry from Fuller Theological Seminary. Sam and his wife Julia oversee the residential life of the Fellowship and are committed to developing the conversations and community practices that provide opportunities for growth and formation. Their three young children, Eden, Benjamin, and Sophia, take up most of their spare time!


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