In February, there is an event that I am so excited for that is called the Youth Ministry Leadership Exchange. It’s an exclusive event for youth workers to grow in the area of leadership. As youth pastors, it takes a lot to be a leader for our team and make sure that our students and volunteers are influenced. If I am honest, I haven’t always been the best leader that I could be. If I am also honest, I just took my first leadership course in college, which I am a senior finishing up classes. We are not always taught in the area of leadership and we are in need of great youth pastors that are also great leaders. So, for me, here are 3 reasons that I am going to the Youth Ministry Leadership Exchange.
It is focused on leadership.
I have been to a various amount of conferences focused on youth ministry since getting in the game. I loved all of those conferences. They weren’t all focused strictly on leadership, though. They were great conferences and helped me to gain insights on ideas that have helped our ministries and programming but did not necessarily help me as a leader. One of the most important things we need to be as a youth pastor is a leader. We have to continuously be influencing our volunteers and showing them what they are doing is changing lives. We have to be showing students constantly that Jesus loves them and wants to use them. We have to constantly be creating new leaders and structuring our groups for growth. There is much that falls under the leadership umbrella for the youth worker. With this conference focused on leadership, I am excited to see where I can continue to grow.
It is based on circles, not rows.
This conference is focused on having short talks and more discussion. While I am the most introverted person I know, I also love helping youth workers and getting help from others. We are never too good as youth workers to continue to learn. We’ve got to continually be learning and changing our ministries to the culture they are in today. One example I specifically have is that in our student ministry, we have switched all our Sunday school and large group sessions to be more discussion based. We have done that because we know that our students want to be heard and also ask questions about faith that they are confused about. I am really excited for this so that others can point out to me how our student ministry can adapt and continue to grow in reaching our community. This conference is so huge for providing this layout so youth workers can network with each other and provide help to one another.
The leaders of the conference are made available.
I am really excited about this last part. They have limited the number of registrations specifically to allow attendees to have access to the leaders of the conference. Who better to learn from than the people putting on the conference? There is a reason that they are in the spot they are. They know what they are doing and they know the trends and transitions of student ministry. While many other great youth workers, they will be able to lend an extra hand that will guide youth workers in a way they haven’t before. They can help provide insight as veterans that maybe other youth workers can’t, which is okay and why the leaders are doing this. Most conferences, the speakers and leaders are available, but the fact that they are intentionally providing space and time for us to see these leaders is incredible and has me excited.
This conference is going to be a huge push for me in my ministry. I am so thrilled and excited for the opportunity to attend the first year of this conference. It’s going to be a huge boost to my leadership that I will get to spread to other leaders. If you are looking for a conference in the springtime, I hope you will join me in the spring at the Youth Ministry Leadership Exchange.
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