I am a couple months into my Feeling Friendly weekends; a series of posts in which I highlight a specific ministry, organization or individual offering services that would enhance your ministry. It’s been fun to hear about some connections that have taken place as a result. Just yesterday I was blessed to be the recipient of something similar. Check out the missionalchallenge blog here.
A couple weekends ago I took part in a pretty sweet conference in Chicago. It was my first experience at the Simply Youth Ministry Conference hosted by Simply Youth Ministry and Group Publishing. In addition to the SYMC, I’ve attended many-a-conference in the past. For this edition of FF I would like to highlight a conference for all of you in the the Pacific Northwest. The NW Ministry Conference has been around for years, a few years ago they made a great move by changing their name from the NW Christian Education Conference to the NW Ministry Conference.
For an area that is as “unchurched” as the experts say we are, I will tell you that the NW Ministry Conference is proving otherwise. With over 3000 people in attendance each year and literally hundreds of workshops and hundreds of vendors the NWMC has the “feel” of a very legit conference. It takes place April 7-9 at Overlake church in Redmond.
I have been honored to be a speaker at this event for many years and am once again given the opportunity (get to teach “Mission51” this year!!).
For those in the “know” of Youth Ministry, the line-up this year is very strong! In fact, I’d say its the strongest lineup of offerings the conference has ever had. A great mix of local leaders (people many would know and great leaders we’ve never heard of), with a fantastic bunch of national “names” in Youth Ministry as well.
The GREATEST element of the NWMC to me is the commonality I sense in ministry. Because it is not just a youth leader conference you can go to whatever workshop you want.
- Want some training for preaching? -It’s there!
- How about counseling? -There!
- Want to better understand those elementary minds you’re about to inherit in your middle school program? -Go to one of the workshops for kids ministry!
I’m excited to have a number of my friends offering workshops this year! My best bud (and author), Jeramy Clark is teaching a few workshops. He and his wife, Jerusha are flying up from SoCal; Jerusha, has authored many books and is really an expert in her field (dealing with identity issues, self injury, women’s ministry, etc.). She will be facilitating a few workshops too! Over the last few years I’ve gotten to know Greg Stier pretty well and am excited that he’ll be here to train for THE Cause! Though Dare2Share isn’t coming to Seattle right now, I know Greg would love to stay in touch with the NW leaders for their return!
I’ve always been impressed with Doug Fields and Duffy Robbins, both older “names” in Youth Ministry but having spent some time at national conferences with these guys, I can tell you, they don’t think of themselves at “names.” They are very approachable and desire to see Youth Leaders trained to be more effective in ministry! A great opportunity to join them for their extended track (“Speaking to Teenagers”)!
Hope you’ll check out the Conference, you’ll be blown away by how affordable it is ($29-$120 p/p)! On top of the great tracks, great people and great opportunities, the main sessions are entertaining, worship-filled and inspiring!