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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Filed under: RESOURCE LISTStarting a Youth MinistryYouth Ministry Resources

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