I am super excited that I get to attend The Simply Youth Ministry Conference in Indianapolis this coming weekend. It comes at a good time for me, and I’m looking forward to the opportunity to be refreshed, grow, and reconnect with many youth ministry friends. If you are coming to the conference, we would love to connect with you. Leneita, Darren, and myself will be there. Just check out the contributors page to see what our mugs look like. In the meantime, here are 4 simple but essential ways you can make the most of the conference.
- Plan ahead: I know we are youth workers and we don’t all do well in the planning department, but I would strongly urge you to grab a coffee, sit down at your tablet or laptop and check out the scheduling tool that Simply Youth Ministry have made available. You can create a full schedule for the week and ensure that the most important tracks and workshops are covered. Don’t wait until you get there to create a plan, take some time now.
- Don’t try to do it all: Although plans are good, it’s important to see this conference as a chance to refresh. Having a plan with no margin can be overwhelming. Without realizing it, it easy to get to the end of the conference and be exhausted! Make a good plan, but leave some margin to reflect and refuel.
- Take time for relationships: One of the most incredible aspects of this conference is how incredibly relational and authentic people are. It runs through the DNA of the conference and cannot be programmed or manufactured. It’s essential that we see this conference as a time to connect with others, share ideas, listen to stories, and celebrate our common bond: Youth ministry.
- Bring the conference home with you: As you glean and learn from the conference, keep considering what you need to bring home to your local church or ministry? I know this might seem like an obvious idea, but so often we come home with such a multitude of information, that nothing really gets translated to our churches back home. What are one or two important ideas, skills, philosophies that need to be communicated once you return? As you diligently consider this at the conference, you will find greater clarity in what you communicate when you return.
Are you going to SYMC? What advice would you add? How do you make the most of your conferences?