Tag Archives: simply youth ministry conference

Orange Conference is less than a month away!


I can’t freaking wait. I know I am supposed to be a Southern Baptist because I work at a Southern Baptist church, and we aren’t supposed to say the word freaking, but I have been looking forward to the Orange Conference for forever it feels like.

This is THE premiere Church Leaders conference this year, I feel like. Whether your a Sr. pastor, Childrens Pastor, or Student Pastor, this conference will blow your mind. I love that the speakers are all high profile speakers, and the workshops are generally all lead by people I have heard of before.

Specifically for the Youth Pastors, I know that Simply Youth Ministry was great this last year, I enjoyed it a lot. But the number one feeling I left SYMC with was “that was cool, but it got me more excited for Orange.”

If your going to Orange, shoot me an email or a tweet so we can connect, I can’t wait to meet you all in Atlanta in a month.

If you haven’t signed up for Orange, do it now! Rates are still fairly reasonable when you compare it to other ministry conferences, and there is still plenty of hotel space left. Talk to your church, make it happen, this conference will change your ministry for the good, I know it.

Thoughts on SYMC Day 3


The last day of the conference (at least for Sarah and I), and it was a blast.

We got to the morning session a little late and had to sit on the floor, so I have no idea what Rick Lawrence was talking about, sorry about that. Instead, though, we ended up noticing we had sat right next to a friend from Australia we had made just the day before, so it gave us a great chance to connect some more with him.

My workshops on Sunday were much better, but they also had much better speakers. I went to “Working Smart” by Christ Davis, and he really just talked about tips and tools to keep you free from distractions. Even just the reminder of it is what is key, because especially for those of us that blog and tweet, distractions are so easy to come by. Like this week, I have soo much stuff to do, I have so many blog posts I want to write, and then I have even more stuff to do because my classes for Liberty Online end on Friday. Eesh!

Right after that was a workshop called “Making Video Magic for your youth ministry.” This is one I am super excited about. Sure, videos wont make the Youth Ministry better, or reach the next level. But I do have a few students interested in making videos, and if I can give them the tools and training to make great ones, then through that one on one time, I am also going to be building a deeper connection with those students, as well as enhancing the student ministry through video.

The evening concluded with our Last session featuring speaker Glenn Packhiam and once again, amazing worship lead by Shane and Shane. Such a wonderful evening, all wrapped up then by the Live Simply Youth Ministry Podcast. I’m getting this out kind of late, and like I said earlier, have so much other stuff going on this week, that I can’t dwell on reviewing this day anymore.

Coming up, Take Aways from the SYMC.

Thoughts on SYMC Day 2


I learned a few things about myself today, which I’m quite thankful for. And these two facts about myself are things I hope to go home and put to use in our ministry right away.

I love that statement, because I feel like so many people come to conferences and learn all these new things and want to get home and put them to use right away. Some times thats a Great thing, other times , not so much.

If you are at a conference looking for a quick fix for your youth program, you won’t typically find it.

Having said that, I feel like I found a quick fix for mine. But first how the day went.

For starters, Louie Giglio flippin’ brought it this morning. I absolutely loved his talk. And having been on plane rides similar to his, seeing the same thing, I totally resonate with this illustration (and this may not be exactly what he was saying, as well, I’ve had a long day). But he closed with this story of a flight he took from Portland, Oregon to Vancouver, B.C. and how the planes get just above the cloud line and you see the peaks of the mountains sticking out. And from my personal experience, this truly is one of the most beautiful things in the whole world. Taking off from a dark, gloomy, rainy land and going up to where the sun is shining above the clouds and you just see the peaks.

Louie shared how it seemed no one else on the plane even noticed, and he wanted to just grab the microphone and “tell everyone to shut up and look out the window out flippin Mt. Raineer. ”

And thats what Youth Ministers need to be doing. Forget the other distractions, set your eyes on the Lord, and get others attention on him. He’s far better than whatever else your doing.

At least, thats what I got out of it.

The rest of my day was bleh. I went to a seminar on Developing Student Leaders that basically just said “Get rid of Leadership Teams and just mentor students.” And for me, I have a problem when anyone says “this way is wrong, just do it this way,” because more often than not, it isnt One way or the Other, its how can these two seperate way compliment each other. (And please dont hear me saying that about everything, at first I had written coexist and instantly had flashes of a bumper sticker, thats not what I am saying).

But for me, I don’t think a student leadership team is at its strongest if you aren’t mentoring the students, and mentoring the students isn’t the strongest unless they are part of a bigger team, otherwise we just develop them living in a silo mindset to carry through out their ministry.

More general thoughts on that in a second.

The second training I went to was all about free resources to enhance your ministry. It should be noted both of these sessions were last minute changes where I thought, nah I think this one will be good, and then I got stuck in a seat I couldn’t leave the room from, or else I would have.

I wish that there would have been an asterisk on the description of this second workshop “*if You own a smartphone, dont come, if you have been on the internet in the last several months, dont come. Will not benefit you.”

I was amazed at some of the free resources this guy was talking and how amazed some of these people were at the sites. Like, honestly, 95% of them had never heard of 95% of this stuff. I mean sure, its one thing to not know every site he talked about, but to not know any was for me just a wow moment.

And the first training had those two. Just the moments of “wow, people really don’t know this yet?”

And so it taught me some things about myself. But in all honesty, this post is getting too long. I’ll post what I learned about myself seperately.

Thoughts on SYMC , day befote


Sarah and I are extremely lucky to live 5 hours from Chicago and have family living in Chicago, so we are lucky because we have free housing for the conference.

That said, we had planned to sleep in Thursday morning and drive up in the afternoon. Instead, my little niece went back into the hospital, which meant another niece would be staying with my parents and there would be a lot of help needed everywhere around. So, we left St.. Louis at 10:30 Wednesday night and got to my parents house about 3:30, so they could keep their Thursday morning schedule ( my mom is a mops mentor, and my dad was speaking to the mops group).

Yesterday afternoon, we drove an hour back south to my sisters house to be home when my other nieces got out of school, and after seeing my youngest nieces room, and how it looked like a hospital room ( where she already spends too much time,) we decided to start painting and redecorating it.

So it’s been a long few days. Im exhausted, and the weekend hasn’t even started yet. Which really got me
thinking.

Praise God for Josh Griffin, Doug Fields, and anyone and everyone who’s one of those celebrity Youth pastors this weekend. And here is why.

I’ve never been to the SYMC, but my older brother has been to all the previous ones, and has talked about how present those guys are, not in some back room but out among the crowds.

I can only imagine how many people would stand in lines to ask them questions, many of the same questions, and every youth pastor knows what that’s like (see: Jr. High ministry) and I know for me, I dont know if I’d be able to do it. Like, I’d want a break at some point too. That, or I’d start answering questions ” you don’t know the answer to that? Maybe youre not called to youth ministry then.” It would be terrible.

But these guys seem ready for it, like they have been preparing for it. And so before I meet them ( if I do, I don’t feel to go up and ask some stupid question) I want to thank them for being available to pour into the lives of all of us attempting to pour into the lives of the youth of today.

Now, a quick bite to eat, painting some flowers on my nieces wall, and FINALLY, on to SYMC!!!!!


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