17 Feb 2009 National Youth Ministry Conference
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Tim and I leave in 9 days along with a handful of youth workers in our church to go to Columbus, OH for the National Youth Ministry Conference. This is the first time for us to attend NYMC, Tim and I up until this point had been attending the National Youth Workers Convention, but felt like we needed more experienced training since NYWC stopped being as challenging, and figured we’d see what kind of challenges we can learn from by going to NYMC.

For the last 2 days I have been going through the conference handbook trying to figure out which ministry learning track/s I want to sit in on. There are quite a few and I can’t make up my mind. This is what sounds interesting to me…

Deeper Learning Tracks: Thinking Theologically in Youth Ministry by Chap Clark or Partnering with Parents by Jim Burns & Barry St. Clair —  I would love to go and listen to Greg Stier speak, but I think I’ve already learned quite a bit from Tim with D2S’s Deep and Wide Youth Ministry and being in a youth ministry that implements this. I was also considering the Married to a Youth Pastor track with Cathy Fields and Amanda Maguire, but I went to one of these at NYWC and it seemed more like a support system of women venting about experiences they have had in their churches, and what I would really want to learn is how my transition is going to go this next Fall when Baby Schmoyer is around, and wanting to know how my role in ministry will change with a little one around. I already have faith that it will be a smooth transition because Tim and I are so blessed to be in the church we are in, so healthy and supportive. There will be change, but I don’t think it’ll be a pain.

Workshops: Bridging the Gap: Transitioning Kids from Children’s Ministry into Youth Ministry by Ricky Chromey; Helping Kids Experience God, Not Just Talk About Him by Jeff Berger or Using Service to Create a Servant’s Heart by Toby Rowe & Jeff Thompson

Brown Bags: Bridging the Gap: Transitioning Kids from Children’s Ministry Into Youth Ministry; Marriage Matters: Thriving as a Couple in Youth Ministry or Make the Most of Your Short-Term Mission Trip

Affinity Group: Married to a Youth Pastor

Here’s the deal though, Deeper Learning Tracks are made to go to just that track the whole time (you can come and go to which ones you want, but they’re designed to build upon each other) and the workshops are at the same time as the Deeper Learning Tracks. I’m kind of leaning towards the DLT of Partnering with Parents, but I would also like to attend the workshops I listed. The Brown Bag options I like are all during the same time, so if I had to choose I’d probably pick Make the Most of Your Short-Term Mission Trip. It’s also a bummer that these Brown Bags I like are at the same time as Tim speaking at one.

I haven’t decided if I’ll join an Affinity Group, ’cause I could use that time to take a break in the day, but I’m curious to know how they go, so I guess I could try it once and then make up my mind.

I’m not gonna stress over any of this, just wait until next week when I have to make a decision and also know what the other volunteers in our church are thinking about going, ’cause we can split up and tell each other about the tracks.

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5 Responses

  1. Wow is it really in 9 days?! Dana this post was really helpful to me. I had just figured on going to the Married to a youth pastor track, but had the same fear, that it would have a lot of venting, which can be so needed for some, but it’s just not where I’m at. Partnering with Parent’s really struck a cord with me, it’s been something God has been laying on my heart a lot this year. Do you know, do you have to pay more to go to that DLT???

  2. Yes, NYMC starts not this Friday but next, it’s crazy how soon it is. I think we are on the same page with our church and ministry, I think I could maybe be there for someone else at the Married to a Youth Pastor track, but I want to go do something that I can learn at, not just tell stories and listen to people vent. Since Tim and I started planning on having a baby and then me getting pregnant I have been trying to figure out what part of the youth ministry I can transfer into or start a new part that I can help with (either planning or helping with parent communication). The Partnering with Parent track sounds like it could be helpful in our own family too.
    The Deeper Learning Tracks don’t cost anything extra, but they do recommend signing up ahead of time to make sure you have a place every session, and if you’re not signed up it’s like a first come first serve for the remaining space. I might sign up for it just in case that is what I find myself really leaning towards in the next week.

    Sorry this was so wordy, I’m excited you’re gonna be in OH too!

  3. 3
    Mrs. H 

    I’m looking forward to it as well! I decided on the “Helping Hurting Kids” track – so many sorrows and “rough family issues” in our ministry right now – the Lord’s had so many of our hurting kids on my heart constantly. I’m praying He’ll speak to me through this track – just what more I need to do to minister to them. My hubby’s signed up for the “Thinking Theological” one.
    I’ve never been to NYMC and have heard so many wonderful things. Yikes – 9 days?! Just gotta see how all the details of leaving/traveling fall into place and get there! 🙂

  4. My husband went to Helping Hurting Kids with Marv Penner at the National Youth Workers Convention and said it was really good and went really deep. That was just a 2 hour one, so doing the whole track should be pretty awesome and intense. I’d be interested to hear what some of his main points are, especially with broken families. With working in the school district my eyes have been opened to a lot of that and my heart just hurts for these kids.
    I haven’t ever been to NYMC either, so I’m excited to see how it all goes. Maybe we’ll cross paths sometime! Are y’all driving there?

  5. 5
    Mrs. H 

    It was fun to chat during the second Partnering w/ Parents sesh. (I sat right next to you and commented on your great white powerbook! 🙂
    I decided to go back to Hurting kids for today’s sessions… well worth it. It was deep. It was great to sit and soak it up! 🙂 The long and short of it is that teens (esp. hurting ones) need us to show that we’re 1. available 2. authentic and 3. accepting. We need to be consistent in our love for them and swoop in (my word not his) when their “coping mechanisms” (again, my word) fail and they are living in fear of facing their un-Godly responses to a pain in their life. Long story short – they need Jesus, but we can’t throw that in their faces. 🙂
    And, yes, we did drive here – took about 7 hrs, with a lunch stop. From what we hear, we’re driving back into snow tomorrow (which is not typical for our area). Uck.