The dilemma of going to a Youth Ministry Conference

1. Understand the work behind the idea. For every good idea that is presented at a conference, I bet those leaders and ministries went through 100 bad ones. The most basic, simple, “why didn’t I think of that” ideas come after exhausting other options , and though these might be what we get, we’re missing out on the countless hours in brainstorming meetings, “come to Jesus” you screwed up meetings, and many other things that led to the discovery of this Amazing concept being presented.

2. Understand your calling in ministry is different than every other church.

You just sat through a presentation on how to use motion graphics to engage the audience during worship, but you’re youth group has 5 students and you don’t even have worship because no one plays guitar. It’s easy to get jealous of how professional it looks with motion backgrounds, but don’t lose sight of the fact that God has called you to a specific set of students in a specific community. Live into that, not what the church putting on the conference is called to do.

3. Forget the unrealistic expectation of “right now ideas”

I don’t care how simple or basic of an idea you hear, there are hardly any ideas that you can hear and immediately put into practice in your Youth Ministry. If it’s something like “make sure you do your own devotional time” then sure, but for the most part, you’ll need time to plan for this idea to actually work in your ministry.

4. Spend at least a day of debrief after the conference.

Debrief after the conference. Make a list of everything you learned that you want to use to change the way you do ministry and spend some time working through each idea, how would this look if we put it into practice, how would it benefit the ministry to put this into practice, would we have to force it or is it something that others would easily buy into. Let your brain cool off and settle down, and then start figuring out how your ministry is going to look when you come up with a plan and stick with it.
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14 Comments

  1. Ben I appreciate the tension someone faces when they attend a conference. Especially if they are at a church where they feel crippled to implement new ideas, or are not given the sources to accomplish their goals. When that happens, its only natural that they would have bitterness towards their church. Its important the person who is attending needs to understand that tension when they go into a conference and work through before they even get there. Great post!
  2. Ben I appreciate the tension someone faces when they attend a conference. Especially if they are at a church where they feel crippled to implement new ideas, or are not given the sources to accomplish their goals. When that happens, its only natural that they would have bitterness towards their church. Its important the person who is attending needs to understand that tension when they go into a conference and work through before they even get there. Great post!
  3. Ben I appreciate the tension someone faces when they attend a conference. Especially if they are at a church where they feel crippled to implement new ideas, or are not given the sources to accomplish their goals. When that happens, its only natural that they would have bitterness towards their church. Its important the person who is attending needs to understand that tension when they go into a conference and work through before they even get there. Great post!
  4. I could tell the difference in you in those two years. I hope that the enthusiasm for what you are doing now is still there. Great post as always and glad to know that you got to a better place :)
  5. I could tell the difference in you in those two years. I hope that the enthusiasm for what you are doing now is still there. Great post as always and glad to know that you got to a better place :)
    • Too true. I'll respond to this more when I get a killer idea from this conference that will completely change the way I do ministry and if it doesnt work im clearly a failure.
  6. Good reminder about how to recognize the work behind the ideas. Sometimes, I think we attend conferences searching for the "silver bullet," and it doesn't exist.
    • Too true. I'll respond to this more when I get a killer idea from this conference that will completely change the way I do ministry and if it doesnt work im clearly a failure.
    • Not really. You'll find different atmospheres at each of them. What I like about Orange compared to some others is that , for lack of a better way to describe it coming to mind, it's more adultish. It's technically also a childrens ministry conference, and they definitely have a mix of children through executive leadership type humor and all of that, but they bring in phenomenal speakers that speak to a higher level and calling than what I have experienced at other conferences.
    • Not really. You'll find different atmospheres at each of them. What I like about Orange compared to some others is that , for lack of a better way to describe it coming to mind, it's more adultish. It's technically also a childrens ministry conference, and they definitely have a mix of children through executive leadership type humor and all of that, but they bring in phenomenal speakers that speak to a higher level and calling than what I have experienced at other conferences.

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