Topical Speaking

Drawing from the experiences of 24+ years of pastoral ministry, a military chaplain with combat experience, and the education of two masters degrees and a doctorate, John will entertain and challenge your group on topics ranging from war to love.  All topics average 30-45 minutes and can be tailored to your specific time needs.  As a pastor’s wife, military chaplain’s wife personally familiar with the toll war takes on people, and a homeschooling mother to four that has moved 13 times in 20 years, Terri challenges and encourages women to be who God made them to be.  Click on a title below to see more information about that topic.

PTSD – Unseen Wounds Needing Healing

Drawing from extensive personal and professional experience with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, John peels back the cover of darkness and fear that surrounds what has been called the “characteristic wound” of the War on Terrorism, yet also is suffered by victims of many other forms of trauma, including rape. With compassion and authority, John shares the hope and help that can mean the difference between life and death for those struggling with PTSD and for their families.

Marriage Worth Dying For

Marriages are falling apart at alarming rates. What can be done? Dying is the answer. Drawing from almost two decades of marriage through war and disaster, John and Terri share God’s design and intent for marriage. When a husband and wife die to themselves daily, they create a marriage worth dying for.

Parenting With Purpose

Dad and Mom, what are you trying to accomplish with your kids? Do you feel like you usually just react to all that comes up with your kids? What’s the purpose of your family? With the compassion, training, and experience of a doctorate in marriage and family counseling and raising four kids, John and Terri share principles to lead your kids where they need to go and Parent With Purpose.

Dating With Purpose

Single and looking for Mr./Ms. Right? Are you dating for fun or for finding Mr./Ms. Right? What does that mean? With humor and solid truths, John examines the fundamentals of relationships and how to really get to know if a person is a good life partner. Do you want to date or court a mate?

The Surrender Paradox

The Surrender Paradox peels back the cover over Chaplain (Captain) John VanderKaay’s experiences in war and Hurricane Katrina, his own struggle with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and the stigma against getting mental health help. He spiraled downward and the blows just kept coming. After hitting bottom and then a miraculous encounter with God, he began to fight for those struggling with unseen wounds of war, helping change Department of Defense policies concerning those needing mental help. Going from mere seconds from surrendering to despair and ending his life to the point of total surrender to God’s grace, John learned that when you are overwhelmed by circumstances, surrender is the only way out.

Relational Reconciliation: Truths That Impact Your Business, Friends, Family, & Life

Life is about relationships. The rest are just details. When two or more humans form a relationship, whether in business, friends, or family, conflict is inevitable. Breaks in trust will happen. But they can be repaired. Drawing from systems theory and years of research and experience, John paints a picture of understanding how to do relational reconciliation well and its positive impact on your business, church, friends, family, and your personal life.

Forgiveness Can’t Be Earned

Why is it often so hard to forgive? Whether or not the offender recognizes the harm they did, you must forgive. “Unforgiveness is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.” But what is real forgiveness and what is it NOT? With compassion, hard hitting truth, and words of hope, John challenges that forgiveness ultimately cannot be earned, it must be freely given.

“Sorry” Isn’t Enough

Confession, remorse, and apology are words you don’t often hear today. But these demonstrations of repentance are needed as much today as ever. Talk is cheap, but consistent actions have great cost. When you have hurt someone that is important to you, understanding the dynamics of repentance can help you demonstrate your new trustworthiness as you take personal responsibility and change the relationship for the better. Sorry is only the beginning.

Conflict: Resolve or Revisit?

Ever feel like you’re on a merry-go-round of conflict in your relationship? The same issues just keep coming around over and over. Get off the merry-go-round and resolve the conflict instead of revisiting it. With proven tools and techniques, John coaches how to get to the heart of the conflict and work to resolve it and strengthen the relationship, too.

Relationships 101

What are we here for? Every human being was designed and created for relationships: with God and with other humans. Every culture in the world has some type of religious worship. The draw vertical is built in us. Short of death, how do we punish the worst offenders in our prisons? We withdraw all relationships from them and put them in solitary confinement. The draw to horizontal relationships gives us hope. Building on the fundamentals of relationships, John paints a picture of what your life could be like is everyone understood and lived according to their design.

What Are You Worth?

Do I matter? Such a simple question reveals one of the deepest yearnings in the human heart. We are “fearfully and wonderfully made.” Human beings’ value does not lie in their doing. It lies in their being made in the Image of God. Using an analogy of the Jewish temple, John shows how a person’s fundamental worth cannot be stolen, but it can be given away. The Holy of Holies is reserved for only God and you.

Discipleship Focused Homeschooling

Should I send my kids to public school, private school, or homeschool? Challenging Christian parents to carefully consider their own motives and desires for their kids, John offers a biblical and thought provoking view of parental responsibility. God gave parents the primary responsibility of discipling their children. Although they are not intended to do it alone, they are the ones who will ultimately answer to God for the discipling of the children entrusted to them. As a homeschooling dad to four kids, John shares insights about making the discipleship of your kids the focus of your homeschool.

Set Apart: Youth/Children’s Ministries –vs-- The Church

In the 1960’s, the number one question parents asked their children when they picked them up from Children’s Church was, “What did you learn today?” In the 2000’s, the number one question was, “Did you have fun?” Is fun the purpose of Children’s and Youth ministries? In an eye opening and challenging presentation, John shines light on the destructive nature of much of contemporary children’s and youth ministries. While there is still time, we must understand the destructiveness of a children’s and/or youth ministry that is separate from the rest of the body of a church and return to relational discipleship and unity throughout the whole congregation. Imagine a church where a teen and a senior sit and discuss Scripture while a single man shares dinners with families throughout the church. There are to be no second class citizens in the Church. What have we done?!