5 things I love about the Simply Youth Ministry Conference

Simply Youth Ministry Conference

Let’s Connect at SYMC!

The Simply Youth Ministry Conference is coming up! Woohoo! If you’re going, I’d love to connect with you while we’re there! I’m teaching a workshop titled, “Communicating With Teens and Parents Throughout The Week,” where we look at different communication ideas and, most importantly, how to evaluate which ones work for your ministry and which ones don’t.

I’m also on a couple discussion panels, including the blogging/social media panel with Jon Acuff, Joshua Griffin, and Terrace Crawford, as well as the pornography panel with Craig Gross of XXXChurch and a few other people. Even my wife gets to serve youth workers at the conference, too, as she hosts the, “Married To A Youth Pastor” connect group. We’re both so super excited!

Yesterday my wife and I were talking about some of the things we love about the Simply Youth Ministry Conference. Here are our top 5 in no particular order.

1. Connecting

We love meeting new people! Every year we make new friends that we stay in touch with, which is awesome!

2. Conversational Tone

Perhaps the reason we end up meeting new people and making new friends is because of the intentional conversational tone to the conference. If you take the initiative to talk to new people, the sack chairs that are placed in groups all over the place certainly provide great opportunities to talk about life and ministry. Even the seminars are all focused on conversation more than on lecture.

3. Soul Care

While the conference definitely contains some of the top youth ministry training in the world, there is an equal amount of emphasis on tending to the emotional and spiritual needs of youth workers. This year there will be an emphasis on healthy marriages and sex. Plus, there’s always the great “Ministry In The Valley” team ran by my friends, Patti Gibbons and Len Evans. You don’t just leave with a few more youth ministry tools in your belt — you leave as someone who’s emotionally and spiritually more prepared to serve the Lord’s kids and their families.

4. Planned by Church Youth Workers

I love that Simply Youth Ministry provides the foundation and financial backing for this event, but the behind-the-scenes planning is all done by a team of over 100 church youth workers. Likewise, the conference workers who are pulling off the event are those same youth workers. This makes the conference a very unique experience, one that’s about linking arms and teamwork.

5. Community

Perhaps its the teamwork and community effort of youth workers pulling off this event that makes it feel like a community people who are all in this youth ministry thing together. Especially in the Connect Groups, we hear each other’s stories, support each other, provide encouragement, praise successes, bounce ideas, and so much more.

If you’re not yet registered for the Simply Youth Ministry Conference, we’d love to have you join us! It’s March 2-5 in Louisville, KY. More information at


QUESTION: If you’ve been to the SYMC, what do you love most? Comment below and share!

Posted on January 10, 2012

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