RESOURCE LIST Archives

Can you believe it’s already time to start thinking about youth pastor conferences 2012? Maybe you’re back for more because you visited one of the Youth Pastor Conferences we recommended in a previous post. Or maybe you are new to youth ministry and need some ideas for getting your church group on the road to success. Just like before, we narrowed down our recommendations for the best youth ministry conferences around for 2012. Take a look at each one to see which one fits your needs best. All will attempt to help you grow as a youth minister, and the encouragement you leave with will spill over into your ministry to touch the hearts and lives of the teens you minister to. And while you’re waiting for the next conference, get a nice refresher with Scott Aughtmon’s AWESOME e-book, Lasting Student Ministry. We like to think of it as a youth conference in a box.

  • Orange Conference known as OC12, April 25 – 27, 2012 in Atlanta – this conference is gaining steam among youth workers. It always features functional and practical breakout workshops on topics that matter to youth pastors. Some of our favorites from the past covered topics like planning for youth group Sunday, motivating youth group volunteers, using social media for your ministry connections, dealing with special needs and a number of other subjects. Registration is already open and starts at $239 for an individual or $219 for groups. Check it out at WhatIsOrange.org
  • Simply Youth Ministry Conference 2012 known as SYMC 2012, March 2 – 5 in Louisville – perhaps the most well-known of all youth pastor conferences, this one will knock your socks off. It is associated with Group publishing and Simply Youth Ministry and is absolutely top of the line. It’s great for networking and learning about the latest in youth ministry software and trends, such as the ever-popular Live Curriculum. 2012 conference speakers include Francis Chan, Matt McCage, Duffie Robbins, Tim Schmoyer and loads more. You’ll also be entertained by Shane and Shane, The Skit Guys and Jeremy Camp.  Check it out at SimplyYouthMinistry.com
  • National Youth Workers Convention 2012 known as NYWC 2012 – The dates and conferences prices aren’t yet published for this conference, but it isn’t one to be missed. It typically takes place in a couple of cities between end of September and mid-November, with registration opening sometime at the end of July. NYWC is all about refreshing youth pastors with the rest and encouragement they need. Yes, you’ll still get equipped for ministry through the main sessions and countless breakout workshops (for 2011 they had 80!), but you’ll also get to hang out with a lot of other people who do the same thing you do. NYWC also features late night comedy and hang-out time, so you don’t want to miss this one. Check it out at NYWC.com
  • Unleash Conference at New Spring Church, March 8, 2012 in Anderson, South Carolina – this is a one day youth pastor conference in 2012 located a couple hours north of Atlanta. It packs a full conference into a one-day event for the youth pastor on a budget or time crunch. Registration is super cheap – starting at $49 for the early bird rate – and the conference is beneficial for all church leaders, rather than just youth pastors. Check it out at Unleash.cc
  • Youth Pastor Summit 2012, March 5-6 in Orlando – this one is a lot of fun. Yes, it’s in Orlando, so it’s a great excuse to slip over to Disney or Universal theme parks for some fun. Best of all, it’s free. The conference is located at both the Hard Rock LIVE in the Universal theme parks and at First Baptist Orlando. The first day of the conference features morning sessions, free lunch from ChickFilA and live bands. You’ll then have the afternoon and evening to enjoy in the Universal Studios theme park for free. Day two features more sessions and some praise and worship. No doubt you’ll leave refreshed. Check it out at StudentLeadership.net.
  • Seeds Conference 2012, March 7 – 9 in Tulsa – Seeds is a really state-of-the-art conference for the entire church staff. Church on the Move used to do multiple conferences for each ministry of the church, and then decided to combine them all into one superconference with separate tracks for youth ministers, childrens pastors, lead pastors, etc.  Check it out at SeedsConference.com

For more youth pastor resources, check out Teen Life Ministries (lessons, small group studies, devotionals, discussion starters). And if you’re ministry could use a little help in the media department, take a look at Christian Teen World. For a low monthly fee, you get access to two sermons per week, an archive full of over 100 previous messages, teacher lesson outlines, student lesson outlines, fully illustrated powerpoints to go along with each lesson, group icebreakers, handouts, lessons on incorporating social media into your ministry, wallpapers, classroom materials and more. We highly recommend it – especially if you aren’t a full time youth pastor or need help due to time issues.

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In 2011, the Girls of Grace Teen Girls Conference will be held in four locations across the U.S. These conferences are one-day events for girls ages 12 to 17, and speakers will address important issues on self-image, relationships, love, fashion and discovering God’s purpose for your life.The events will kick off in Nashville during February, followed by North Carolina in March and Texas in April. Finally, the tour will end in Minnesota during mid-September.

Ticket admission costs are$50 per person and include lunch. If you bring a group of 10 or more girls, your per person rate drops to $37.50 each. Mothers and daughters are encouraged to attend together. Mother – daughter conference ticket combos are only $80. For a complete list of musicians, speakers and tour dates, see below.


NASHVILLE
Feb. 19, 2011
World Outreach Church
1921 New Salem Road
Murfreesboro, TN 37128

NORTH CAROLINA
March 5, 2011
Cathedral of His Glory
4501 Lake Jeanette
Greensboro, NC 27455

TEXAS
April 9, 2011
Cottonwood Creek Baptist Church
1015 State Highway 121
Allen, TX 75013

MINNESOTA
Sept. 17, 2011
Grace Church
9301 Eden Prairie Road
Eden Prairie, MN 55347

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Throughout this website is a multitude of hidden treasures. For those of you who don’t have time to peruse the site for resources and ideas, we decided to compile a list of helpful youth group tools and resources for your convenience. We will reference this site often. We encourage you to bookmark this page in your browser for convenient referencing.

Communication

  • SimplyTXT – This is free to try for 30 days with no obligation to buy. We used this personally for a long time to text kids in mass and maintain contacts in lists that we determined like “parents,” “jr. high,” “student leaders,” “adult leaders” and pretty much anything else you come up with. To do the trial, click the link and scroll to the bottom of the page and look for the RESOURCES box. Simply TXT is located in that box.
  • Zexer – Ever wish you could access your contacts from anywhere? Zexer allows you to imput your student’s information into a database that is password protected. You can even allow different users and administrators to view or change information. Best of all, its 100% free. Zexer will even email you birthday reminders.
  • Bluehost.com – Every, and I mean EVERY youth group needs a website now. No one under the age of 25 goes anywhere new anymore without looking up their website first. This website is hosted using Bluehost because it seems to have the simplest interface and has everything ready to go. You can secure your domain with them, get your hosting and download wordpress, joomla or drupal right from the bluehost site. The downloads are free with hosting. Trust me, if you have never built a website before, bluehost is the way to go with simply step by step instructions. You can have a youth group website up and running in a couple of hours flat.
  • Youth Assistant– This is the ultimate in youth group communication and management. Youth assistant automatically tracks letters, postcard and emails you send out to your Youth. It creates automatic emails, labels, letters and postcards. Youth Assistant also takes attendance using Bar Codes on keychains (talk about a step up from sign in sheets). The program will also aid in planning big events by creating ID badges, keeping up with accounting, rosters and by storing vendor information and notes for the next event. It’s a little pricey, but probably one of the most important purchases for transforming a youth group.

Fundraising

  • Fasttrack Fundraising Ideas – This is the place to go for fundraising. They have everything from cookie dough to discount cards and even the newest in online fundraising where you don’t have any products to handle. Fasttrack also has $1 quick sellers for low budget fundraisers. It’s too much to list here. Request one of their free info kits at their link.

Youth Group T-Shirt Designs

  • Custom Ink – Hate coming up with a design and shopping around for tshirt companies? Custom Ink fulfills thousands of orders and has a rockin free design tool. Pick your shirt, create your design, pick your colors and place the order. Shipping is free and shirts arrive at your door in a matter of days. Custom Ink gives customers of this website $10 off if you enter the code “AP10” at checkout.

Services

  • IceBreakers Right AheadThis is the ultimate book for busy youth leaders who don’t have time to search the web each week for icebreakers. There are 52 icebreakers and each one comes with a leader’s guide, instructions and a way to tie it into your service message.
  • Power Play Vol. 1These are fun little pre-service games and trivia that work on both mac and pc. These are good for the kids that come into service and sit down bored. It helps the ones that don’t know anyone to feel like they have something to do. I think there are like five volumes, but I like the first one. Power Play works on both a mac or pc.
  • Powerpoint SermonsWe used this service for years to create cool looking backgrounds for services. I like it, but I think it’s a little pricey for the product.I guess it jsut depends on how big your budget is though.
  • Bluefish.tv – This is a good place to go if you need a quick video illustration for service. Some of them are only $1.99 and I think some are free.

Reading

  • Purpose Driven Youth MinistryThis book is by Doug Fields and is patterned after The Purpose Driven Life. It will give you new vision for your ministry.

Leadership/Training Tools

  • Leading Small GroupsSmall group leaders train your kids and they need to be trained to. This is the rules for the road on leading small groups and dealing with teenagers in a more personal environment.
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