Interact. . . Learn. . . . Maybe Free!

I’ve had an awesome week. I’m teaching a seminary class on youth culture. Seven awesome students who I trust are being challenged, stretched, and equipped for deeper youth ministry. I won’t hesitate to say that I’m the real winner in this. The interaction has been phenomenal and I don’t want it to end. I love stuff like this.

Over the years my love affair with intensive ministry learning has been fed with lots of opportunities to enter into interactive educational conversations as both a student and a teacher. One of those opportunities that I look forward to every year. . . . and it’s coming soon (February 27 – March 2)! . . . . is the National Youth Ministry Conference. Organized by my good friend Doug Fields, Simply Youth Ministry, and Group, this annual gathering is one I believe in so much that CPYU is a ministry partner for the event. Less of a conference and more of a conversation, this weekend allows participants to enter into deep discussions with facilitators and ministry peers on the most important issues in youth ministry today. This year, I’ll be leading one of several “Deeper Learning Tracks.” Our group will spend 8 hours together exploring and discussing “Trends in Youth Culture You Need to Know.” Attendees will also have ample time to plug in to some amazing general sessions, workshops, heart-to-heart seminars, and affinity groups. What makes this conference so special is that we’ll all be rubbing elbows with each other for the duration. . . conversing, questioning, laughing, eating, worshipping, and learning in the context of deep give-and-take that none of us will want to see come to an end. It’s been that way for me the last two years. I know it will be the same this year.

Are you interested in attending this year’s National Youth Ministry Conference? Here’s some great news! CPYU has partnered with NYMC to give away a free admission to this year’s conference! For a chance to win, all you have to do is answer the following question, “Why do you want to come to NYMC?” Post your answer here on my blog and be sure to include some contact information so we can inform you if you’ve won. CPYU and the folks at NYMC will choose the winner! We’ll be picking the winner on Friday, January 23. So be sure to submit your answer before then. Sorry, the free registration is not valid for those already registered for the conference.

I’d encourage you to check out the NYMC website. Spend some time looking around to get a sense of what’s happening, how it all works, and the wide breadth of learning opportunities from which to choose. I hope to see you in Columbus! And don’t forget to leave a post answering the question above for a chance to attend for free!

48 thoughts on “Interact. . . Learn. . . . Maybe Free!

  1. Hey Walt,

    I attended the NYMC last year and received so much from the teaching and conversations that happened over those four days. A few months ago, Stephanie Caro (you might know her) asked me to be a part of the Inside Track team for the 2009 NYMC. Thrilled to have an opportunity to contribute in a small way to a conference I believe in, I’ve spent the past few months spreading the word to other youth workers in our city.
    Unfortunately, our church’s finance committee informed me this week that – because of the economy – all staff conference budgets are being cut…bummer, but I understand.

    I can’t afford to pay my own way and would still love to come and help set up/serve/do whatever is needed to make this conference happen.

    I hope your team is doing well! Thanks for considering me.

    in Christ,
    Dan Marotta

    High School Director at Trinity Presbyterian Church in Charlottesville, VA.

    (c) 434-962-5487

  2. I would really like to see a session/group or something that helps people engage in creative thinking. For example, what kinds of exercises can we do to stimulate the thinking process, after that how do we define a problem we desire to work through, after that how do we engage our creative thinking to find a practical, relevant solution in our individual context that is creative rather than simply canned.

    For me, this would help develop ideas for volunteer recruitment and cooperation with parents. doing this, we can help develop our ability to answer rather than simply receive answers.

    Also, is there a way to make one’s contact information less public. I could not imagine putting a phone number online like the previous poster.

    Jon Snyder, Associate Pastor
    Yerington Vineyard Fellowship
    307 Broadway Ave.
    Yerington, NV 89447

  3. “Why do you want to come to NYMC?”

    I am just under 2 years out of Bible college and just 2 years into ministry. I attended a youth workers conference this past October that frustrated me more than encouraged me because the a “new” direction of ministry that leaves Bible as the authority to changed lives out of the picture.

    I have read some of what NYMC does, as well as attended conferences of some of the speakers and I think NYMC is a place that youth workers can be encouraged and lifted up. I want to walk away from a conference with a “yeah, we’re in this together” feel, instead of taking home materials of what not to preach, practice, or believe.

    I have to also be honest and say I don’t have a lot of funds and money is tight(as we all know), so getting free tickets would help that too.

    Whether or not you pick me, I have and will continue to benefit from your magazine and your online resources and recommendations.

    Greg Peterson
    3217 Middle Rd
    Winchester, VA 22602
    540-662-7743 – church
    520-481-4471 – cell (I don’t answer this very often if I don’t recognize the number, FYI)

  4. I would love to attend NYMC.

    I am the newly appointed (earlier this school year) Dean of Students at a Christian School. I am charged with the spiritual well-being (and school discipline) of our 6th through 12th grade students. I also run the chapel program.

    The task is huge, but rewarding. There is massive diversity of needs because we do not require students to be Christians to attend our school.

    I get to spend a large amount of time with these students and I need to find more ways to maximize that time.

    Rob Culler
    Broadfording Christian Academy
    Hagerstown, MD

  5. Last year in 2008 was my first time attending the NYMC. I have to say it was a memorable experience. Why was it so memorable for me? Because God was there. See, last year was a really difficult season of ministry for me; I know that every youth worker will go through times like those, but for me personally, the NYMC came at just the right time in my ministry life. Never was I so more encouraged, challenged, connected, and refreshed and refueled than my time as NYMC. I learned a lot of knowledge about youth ministry, but I gained a lot of wisdom about my spiritual life and love for God. It was a memory that I can never forget — the people I met, the material I learned, the worship and connection with God. Who wouldn’t want that? Since my time there, the year in between then and now has again had it shares of ups and downs but I have really discovered myself and what my life is all about when it comes to ministry. I was hoping to come again but unfortunately my conference budget was cut completely. I know that God works wonderfully at NYMC; He did so in my life and I’ll pray for those who are there this year as He does the same. Praise God and thank you NYMC!

    Richard Peck
    Hull Baptist Church
    P.O. Box 640
    Hull, GA 30646

  6. Well I just heard about the conference and would love to attend this year. I am the new Jr. High Pastor for the church I’m at. I am young and any chance that I can learn something new and exciting I want to take it. God has called me to work with students and help them see God’s love and plan for their lives. I will be getting married in June so finances are really tight! I would love a chance to experience God at the conference. Thank you for making this opportunity available. God bless!

    Matt Chandler
    Community Church
    3400 MLK Drive
    Orange, Texas 77632

  7. “why do i want to attend NYMC?”
    who wouldn’t. i’ve been in youth ministry for a mere 6 years and have been to the conference once. it was without a doubt the most invigorating, refreshing, energizing time i’ve experienced. to be among those that are walking where i’ve walked as well as with those that have cleared the path that i am on is a great experience. however, the best part is the walls that are broken down between the denominations that so often seperate people. the acknowledgement that we are all generally working toward the same goal, to reach young people for Christ, gives me hope for this world we live in. i hope, if not this year than soon, that i can have that experience again and bring that excitement back to the Richmond area.

    Christopher Gourley
    Chamberlayne Baptist Church
    215 Wilkinson Road
    Richmond, VA. 23227

  8. Why do I want to attend NYMC?

    Simple, over the past few years, I have attended a different youth ministry conference. I enjoyed it because is was “macro”, it gave me the 30,000 foot view of culture, and the role of ministry within it. BUT, the ministry at our church has changed drastically over the past few years, we are at least 60% unchurched, we are fighting in the trenches, and I need some tactical help. The specific breakouts offered at NYMC seem to be just that, low-level, whites of their eyes stuff. The kids are in my home daily, and the challenge for us is the practical Jesus stuff. I need help figuring that out, and while the macro is nice, the kids are in my face.

    John Mulholland
    Next Generations Minister
    Eastview Christian Church
    727 Collins Rd NE
    Cedar Rapids, IA 52402

  9. Last year I attended NYMC for the first time. It was amazing! The connections, the messages, the speakers even the games :)- everything was so good. From time to time any youth leader needs to be refreshed.
    I would love to go again so that I could hear what is new in youth ministry, to get resources and ideas for my ministry and to fellowship with fellow workers.

    PS. Walt, I loved your seminar!

  10. “Why do I want to Attend NYMC?”

    I have been in youth ministry for under a year. I felt God calling me into youth ministry last April when my schooling and experience was in the business world. Took the step of faith and God has put me at a church in Indiana. It has been an amazing ride but I would love to come to NYMC to continue to learn about youth ministry and talk to people who have been doing it for a long time. I have not attended any conferences yet. It would benefit me greatly to learn from some of the best and be able to take some of the ideas and examples home with me and implement in the ministry here. It would be an amazing experience and give me an oppurtunity to grow! Thanks for the opportunity!

    Kent Bjurstrom
    Sugar Grove Church
    58512 Old CR 17
    Goshen, IN 46528

  11. Why do I want to come to NYMC?
    I think the best way to explain it is I find myself overwhelmed at how fast the culture changes and just how slow I am at keeping up with that. (I think it’s gonna get even worse every year I get older! lol) I realize that as a lifelong learner, I have to get the training I need to help my students keep a constant relationship with Christ in a very inconsistent world. It’s a challenge for them to remember that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow in this crazy culture we live in. However, I don’t want to shy away from their world and I want to learn to help them live in it but not be of it. Thanks for considering me.

  12. I am an 11-year-veteran of church-based youth ministry. I’m in a small church, and have responsibilities for grades 1-12. Last year, my church surprised me with a 10-year-anniversary gift – funding to attend a youth worker’s conference. It didn’t take me long to choose the one I wanted to attend! The NYMC stood out. Something about the connecting with other youth ministers, the time to worship together, the opportunity for deeper learning – wow, it just all grabbed my heart and said, “this is the place to come and meet God, renew your heart, and meet others who share your crazy passion for students.” I was overwhelmed when I arrived at the opening session and it began to sink in just how badly I needed to be with this group of veterans, newbies, and everything in between. My youth group had been praying that God would speak to me, and He did! It was awesome, humbling, renewing. I chose the Jesus-Centered Ministry deeper learning track. I attended every large-group worship session. I attended connection times. In fact, I hated leaving the conference center at night to return to the hotel. And wow – when it came time to say Goodbye and leave Cincy, it was difficult! I had experienced God more deeply in my own life, I had soaked up good ideas and expertise from the leaders, and had been encouraged by being with others in youth ministry. I attended this conference alone, but never once felt alone! At the end of it all, I was itching to get back home to my student group and present to them a healthier leader. Thanks for doing what you do!

  13. Honestly…

    I’ve been in ministry for a few years…I love seeing students own their faith and take hold of the grace freely offered through Jesus Christ…I actually don’t want to go to the conference alone…

    I’ve never been to the NYMC but in my current ministry I am the High School Pastor and the Middle School pastor(Nate) is fresh in ministry and our relationship could be described as a mentorship. A significant amount of my time is given to helping mentor and guide Nate through the issues and joys of Youth Ministry. From going to conferences similar to this one myself, I believe that the experience will be invaluable to his growth in ministry. Like a lot of youth workers, he got into ministry, not knowing what it was all going to look like and only by the Lord’s leading. I know that the NYWC will be an experience like no other as he lays a foundation for what his ministry over the year will look like…

    Thanks for your consideration…

    In His Hands

    Scott Kazarian
    (949) 350-7152

  14. I have been involved in youth ministry since I became a Christian in 1987. I had come out of a life of drugs with no direction for my life. After that point my direction was simply to be involved in my church and do whatever I could to support and work in ministry. I have never gone to a youth minister conference, only youth events such as creation, concerts, retreats, etc.
    I am currently a youth director for my church and a new student at Lancaster Bible College in the online degree completion program. This specific training in youth ministry will be immensly helpful. I have worked untrained in ministry for toooo long! Thanks for the opportunity.

    Tom Robinson
    Jonestown UMC
    Jonestown, PA

  15. Hello Walt,I need to attend the NYMC to represent the critical and unique role that fathers play in the spiritual development of youth. The National Center for Fathering has developed a highly successful seminar/worskshop, Father-Daughter Summit, that is restoring relationships between teen daughters and their fathers and turning hearts back to The Father. While most youth pastors recognize the devastating effects of the lack of spiritual leadership from fathers in the homes of the youth they serve, very few are familiar with the highly effective resources available to train fathers for spiritual leadership. I would use the opportunity of attending this conference to meet hundreds, if not thousands, of youth pastors and encourage them in their work with fathers. Turning the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of youth to their fathers is what will prepare the Church for the coming of Christ.Until He comes,Lucy BloomDirector, Father-Daughter SummitNational Center for Fathering

  16. Walt,

    I am the youth pastor at Crossway Baptist church in Tallahassee, FL. we are a small church of just over a hundred with a booming children’s ministry. We have went from 3 youth to averaging 18 in our youth services. Your website is particularly special in my ministry because all the kids We have come from broken families, not raised in church, so we really have to understand their culture and step out into their lives. It is amazing, but there are still some gaps that need to be filled. I believe that what I could learn from NYMC could help fill alot of those gaps. Because we are a small church, my church cannot afford to bring me on full time, let alone send me to conferences. I am married with my first child being born today, So due to other expenses, I cannot afford all the costs. I have been in ministry for 5 years, but have had to teach myself for the majority of the time. I have never had the opportunity to go to a Conference that is specifically for Youth Ministry. I need your help. Our Ministry needs your help. Thanks for considering me.

    Henry Link
    Crossway Baptist Church
    405 Crossway Rd
    Tallahassee, FL 32305
    (850) 570-7534

  17. I recently (a little over a year ago) moved from a city south of Seattle, WA to a very rural city in Colorado. Where we live is completely different from any place I have ever lived before. The church has been very supportive and the students are great.

    The biggest issue that I have had is retention. We had a vibrant middle school group last year and it has only grown with new students coming and getting involved this year. However, the high school group has seemed to fall apart. I know that a different approach is necessary and am doing my best to discern what God would have us do with high school students that would be impacting, transforming, and loving.

    I believe that the all-eyes-on-me, I’m the king of the youth, model is a failure. I need to depend on loving adults who will shepherd students and be involved in their lives to help make life changing impact. I am one man, and with God’s help I can do a lot, but with God’s help many loving adults can do more.

    I want to become a better leader of leaders and hear from people who have wisdom.

  18. I just finished 12 years of serving this great nation by way of the United States Army. I moved my family from VA to MI and took a staff job as the youth pastor at a local church. The intersting thing about this church is the fact that in 5 years of existence the church has grown to over 800 members WITHOUT a youth department! I know that God has sent us here to do a great work for him. The young people are so hungry! I’ve never been to a youth conference before. I would love to attend this conference! I know that this would greatly bless me and our youth ministry!

    Thanks and God Bless!

    Kevin Winn

  19. I know this is deep my bear with me. I have been doing youth ministry for aprox. 17 years and I have experienced my share of good and bad youth ministry. One thing I have not experienced is the NYMC. I heard stories that some of the attendies last year took the Sack chairs and piled them up and then jumped onto them fromt he 2nd story. I WANT TO EXPERIENCE THAT! God Bless you all!

    Dave Decker

  20. I have been doing youth ministry for 10 years and I am convinced now more than ever that a reformation is coming.

    Youth ministry is on the verge of a seismic shift in philosophy and practice. Deep down inside most youth workers who have been doing this for any length of time know that what we are doing is incredibly crucial, but the way we were taught to and are currently doing it is not hitting the mark.
    The culture has shifted and we have not. As a result, we are not reaching like we should and losing the ones we do reach after graduation.

    Incidentally, I believe that the reformation that is coming in how we do youth ministry will be the predecessor of the reformation that I believe is also coming to the overall church universal.

    I want to attend the conference to see if there is any dialogue among colleagues in this vein. We cannot simply go another year of rearranging deck chairs on the titanic.

    Unfortunately, I am in the same situation as many around the country and my church is unable to afford the cost to send me to the conference.

    I hope whoever receives this great opportunity will not look for ideas to tweek how we are already doing ministry, but will be enlightened and encouraged and motivated to step out by faith into the unknown and join the ranks of the youth ministry reformation.

    Kelly Lowery

  21. Walt, I have been involved in youth ministry for over 10 years. I have a degree from Eastern University, but have been unable to really spend time seeking out methods of continuing education because of limited budgets at the churches I have served. I currently serve at St. Thomas Church in Bernville, PA. I feel that having conversations and receiving the knowledge from the sessions would enhance my ministry and the ministry of the volunteers that serve under me. We have a young ministry (less than 4 years old) that is thriving, but in need of ideas on how to reach out to the community around us and draw inactive students into our programs. I have tried what I know how to and need some fresh thoughts. I also feel that this would be helpful for me because I need an opportunity to reconnect with God. I often feel dry amidst the rigors of ministry and could use some great worship moments to enliven my Spiritual life. Thank you for this possible opportunity. Your ministry has assisted me greatly over the years–you have inspired me to become intimate with youth culture. May God bless you as you continue to serve Him.

    Joel Jackson
    St. Thomas Church
    536 N. Main St.
    Bernville, PA 19506

  22. I am a senior youth ministry major at Oklahoma Christian University, and I’ll be graduating in May. I feel like I could gain so much from being able to meet new people, attend the sessions, and see some of the new resources available to people involved in youth ministry. I haven’t been able to attend a youth ministry conference in the past two years that I’ve been called to youth ministry due to class conflicts. This semester has given me the opportunity to attend, but my internships are unpaid, and I’d love to be able to come if there were a more economically affordable way!! After taking a class titled “Culture, Morality, and Spirituality of Youth,” and reading both “Youth Culture 101” and “Engaging the Soul of Youth Culture,” I’d love to be able to interact with Walt (and numerous other speakers of whom I’ve modeled my philosophy of youth ministry after). I know that this opportunity would help me in my goal of reaching out to people of all backgrounds to positively impact the Kingdom! Thanks for your consideration and God bless.

    John “Beef” Branard
    PO Box 11000
    Student Box #826
    Oklahoma City, OK 73136
    (321) 412-2339

  23. Walt – I have never been to the NYMC, but I did attend your session at the CCCA conference. TO say it was the highlight of the conference for me is an understatement. I am director of Woodlands Camp in Cleveland, GA, and my vision for this place is to create an unforgettable camp or retreat experience where the presence of God drowns out the world and its influences. Part of that is keeping tabs on what influences the world is having on today’s kids. The study you cited about spheres of influences on kids in 1960, 1980 and today made me incredibly thirsty to know more. The more I know, the more effective I can be in building the Kingdom. And that was why I started looking into this conference in the first place.

    Thanks for what you do!

    For the KING,
    Jon Estes
    Woodlands Camp

  24. I would like to use the ticket to send our church’s youth worker. We’re an inner-city church that sits in the skylight of Downtown Cincinnati but on the Kentucky side. Daily our church assists teens dealing with issues of poverty, abuse, neglect, depression, and sexual identity to name a few. As a matter of fact, so are their parents and/or guardians.

    Our youth worker is a local member who God raised up in our midst and has called to serve our community. She’s effective. God is definitely using her! She’s also a mom of two little ones; one is in diapers and the other one is “INTO” everything. Hehe. Honestly, I don’t see how she does it all … especially on our whopping salary of $100 bucks a week?? So, that being said – as her pastor, “I would love to see her build a wealth of tools on how to engage, understand, and aptly address the issues of our community teens.”


    Paul Anglin
    400 Linden Street
    Ludlow, KY 41016


  25. After 20 years in student ministry, I would love to attend a conference like this to explore other youth workers methods to working together. Our students attend same school(s)and yet we as leaders have yet to find the common ground upon which to build effective outreach into one of the largest mission fields, our schools. I believe we need to strategically approach teachers, coaches and board members and be more intentional with our methods.

    We need to take our message to the students rather than only expect them to come to us.

    Campus focus, campus based, is the way of the future. I’m not throwing out the way we have done ministry over the past 20 years, but it is time to add this new chapter to spreading the message (not changing the message).

    Don Meckley 609-276-0972
    Emmanuel Community Church
    331 Wheaton Ave Bayville, NJ 08721

  26. Hey Walt

    I’m that old time youth worker! I am old…for a youth worker…I am tired…I don’t ski like I used to…I don’t play a guitar…I stink at Guitar Hero…I love God…I love youth ministry..and I need a refresher class! I started in ministry in the late 80’s and we all know how much youth culture has changed…and yet God stays the same. I need help in finding new ways to relate to youth in todays culture about how God loves them and that is a promise that will not be broken. Help me get revived and rested!

    Jane Heinzmann
    Salem Grace UMC
    Salem Illinois
    618 548-2810

  27. Walt, I feel like we’re old friends because I’ve been reading your ENGAGE since it started when I worked in Pittsburgh with the CCO doing youth and college ministry. Since then I have married, moved to rural upstate New York, had two kids and yet have continued to work with YOUTH. I can’t help it; it’s in my blood. I wouldn’t be able to stay current without your (CPYU’S)help. Thanks for helping me be relevant and “bilingual” to these kids.

    Our church is small and I am just a volunteer; the only volunteer! I would love to learn how to grow this ministry from the inside out. Why is it that the ones who need this ministry don’t come? I don’t want these kids to merely listen to the word, but to do what it says no matter the cost- even (and especially) in this culture!

    I’m just not sure how to go about it since I live up on a mountain and the youth are in town; I am not getting paid, and my primary job is a wife and mother. I believe this conference would answer a lot of questions and give me the tools and encouragement I need to “go and make disciples” in THIS nation. Thanks for all you do. God bless you!

    Beth Czerniak
    Rock Rift Mtn. Rd.
    Walton, NY 13856

  28. Walt,
    I have been at my current post for a little over a year and have spent much of my time dealing with hurting students. I have had a crash course in students who cut, who live in abusive homes, and some who deal with abandonment issues. My wife and I are getting ready to launch SYM Life Hurts, God Heals. We feel we could use some help with this. We know they offer the seminar at the NYMC.

    Bill Jones
    Associate Pastor of Youth
    Evangelical Free Bible Church
    Clarks Summit, PA 18411
    (570) 586-5557
    wajical @ gmail . com

  29. walt – i’ve never been to the conference, but i would love to come. however i’m am a volunteer youth pastor living in detroit…the end. grace and peace. caleb mcclarren


    Harvest Bible Chapel
    45570 Maben Rd
    Canton, MI 48187

  30. I would love to go to NYMC for the opportunity to learn more about youth culture and youth activities. I have been in my current position for two years and have not had the opportunity to get out and learn more about youth. The ability to go and learn from some of the best in youth ministry will be a great opportunity as well as what i learn there i can bring back to my staff and parents/gaurdians to help them better understand what the youth/ their youth are dealing with to help deal with the stew that teens are simmering in.

    Matt Ross
    Ephrata 1st UMC
    717-940-5038 (o)
    68 N. Church St.
    Ephrata, PA 17522

  31. Hi Friend,
    I’m Daniel Nandwa from the Reformed Church of East Africa. I work as the national youth Director. Our working approach inrelation to the existing administrative structures seems to be unique. One case in point is the that i run both the youth and sunday school programs inliason with the congregational volunteers. My church has empowered me to get more about the other youth ministries globally, through facilitating my youth studies at Kuyper college in Michigan in 2005-2006. Currently i work within the African context in the kenyan setting. I would appreciate to exchange ideas and learn on how we can effectively deliver the holy scriptures in the context of the young people despite the the current life challenges facing the young people. It is for this basic reason that i would appeal for your facilitation to partcipate in the conference.
    Currently i can not meet the cost of travel and accomodation to the conference. Based on the financial position of my congregation, which who were affected. This has been facilitated by the post election violence that took place towards the end of 2008.
    My attending will be a big boast into the reconciliation ministry that we have initiated as a church.
    Let me know the position of my request.

    Rev. Daniel Nandwa
    RCEA Youth and Sunday Director.

  32. Hi,

    The reason that I would love to attend a NYMC is because for the past two years, we’ve had an intern who has worked mostly for free just trying to get a feel for youth ministry. I have been working with her very close (kind of like a Padawan Learner) and if I won an entry, I would send her to the conference so that she could get a feel for what is out there, all the different types of resources and ministries. We don’t have the money to send her right now, and I think it would be a great experience for her, I know it was for me when I attended.

    Thanks so much for doing these conferences, they are just a great refreshment and encouragement!

    Michelle Jenks
    Grace Church
    3626 HWY 31
    Racine, WI 53405

  33. The reason I would like to attend this confrence is, I have been a youth pastor for 14 years and have been to 3 training events. The 3 I have been to were gifts from people that have believed in my ministry. I have only served at 2 churches in the last 14 years. My ministry at this new church is growing very fast. I have been blessed to have some people join my ministry to help. I am in dire need to get to a place were I can get some help in equipping my new leaders. Understanding the culture and trends is a basic thing we need help with. I have no budget to get there. The only way For me to attend is to take money I have raised for the student ministry and I do not want to take away from the students. I have been poring into this group of students and with great success. 20 students have accepted Christ in 3 years and they are growing and now are ministering them selves. The pitcher I have been poring from is running dry. I need a time to refill my pitcher.
    Thank you for offering this opportunity.
    Randy Smith
    Leola United Methodist Church
    7 West Main Street
    Leola, PA. 17540
    (717) 656- 7600

  34. Why would I like to attend the NYMC free? The bottom line is that I am out of my element. I am a 38-year-old fulltime youth pastor living in Portland, OR. I have been here for one year (and fulltime for one year). I am a little out of touch with the youth culture and way out of touch with big city life. I’m a small town conservative country bumpkin called to serve in a liberal city. It’s tough but God is faithful. In a nutshell, I want to improve my effectiveness and reach these kids with the Gospel. Thanks,

    (503) 760-6272

  35. My wife Charity and I have been married for 2 years in June and have been youth Pastors for 1 year now. We LOVE our youth and are VERY excited about this conference. We’re expecting it to rejuvenate, inspire, encourage, and equip us in our ministry to the next level. We would like to attend free because it would be a great savings! We’re saving to buy our first home this year.

    David Robinson
    Chandler, Arizona

  36. Hey Walt and CPYU folks,
    I would really love to go to the NYMC this year-here’s why:
    Although I graduated from Westmont College last May with a degree in Biblical Studies, my academic education didn’t fully prepare me (at all!)for the youth pastor position I took this last October. I know that this conference is not the answer to any and all problems in my ministry (or shortcomings in my education), but it does sound like an amazing opportunity to get more equipped to do what I have already come to love doing better.

    My heart is to try and instill in my kids a passion for Jesus and a willingness to follow Him wherever He might lead them. From reading Jesus Centered Youth Ministry by Rick Lawrence, it sounds like there are a lot of you guys who share that passion: you just really want to help kids get to know Jesus. I want to do that, and I want to do it well. In a nutshell, that is why I want to go to the conference.

    Like so many others, my church doesn’t have any wiggle-room in the budget this year for me to attend this conference, so thank you so much for this opportunity!
    Yours in Him,
    Luke Heirendt
    Creekside Community Church
    PO Box 1208, Elizabeth, CO 80107

  37. Walt,

    16 months ago we took a step of faith and planted a new church with a group of 10. In that time God has grown us to a healthy small church with almost 40 each Sunday. We meet in a local high school, but have not been able to effectively reach students. We cannot afford a Student Pastor due our small size. My wife and I have worked with students in past churches and have accepted the challenge. Admittedly, we are probably in over our heads. We need help.

    Dan Chaney

  38. Walt,

    Two years ago I joined in fellowship with a local small church, very small! The usual attendance is around thirty on any given Sunday. About eight months ago I was nominated for the Younger Youth Sunday School leader, which I humbly accepted. I thought it would be easy to connect with these teens, get to know them and answer any questions they had. Not typically so. They’re dealing with issues I didn’t have to. I NEED YOUR HELP, PLEASE!!!
    Chuck Cole

  39. Hey Walt,

    I’m currently into my third week of full time ministry! I’ve been hired to be the full time youth minister at Jefferson Street Christian Church in Lincoln, IL. My desire is to be able to not only attend the NYWC, but also bring my friend who leads the junior high ministry. During the transition time from the last youth minister until me, my friend had been put in charge of 7th-12th grade ministry – and he’s only in his second year of college! He’s a newly wed and has poured his heart into the church. I want to encourage and bless him by taking him to a youth conference this year, but my budget doesn’t seem like it can support an additional person attending the NYWC.

    Getting to encourage and thank my co-worker would be a blessing for me and him both.

    Thanks for this opportunity (regardless of who you give the free admission to!).

    Kyle Alt
    (217) 732-9294

  40. Walt,

    I’m in a seminary class with someone you may know and what we’re studying is the role of students in revivals and awakenings. While we’ve only met for about 2 weeks thus far it is clear to see that a revival/awakening is on the heart and mind of my professor. This professor is in fact going to be at the Conference this year on an ‘insider’s track’ and will be meeting with the other leaders of this conference.

    An awakening is needed not only in our students but in our churches…more specifically in our youth ministers. Currently I’m an associate for a student ministry here and what’s great about being in this position is the ability to step back, look and evaluate. I have the time for that. Full time staff don’t.

    I have one more semester left of seminary, I still am in a great learning position and this conference would be an opportunity to continue that learning process. Change happens from the inside out but we first have to know what the inside looks like…both in our students and in our ‘field of profession.’ Awakening, I believe, starts with us, the so called ‘leaders’…let’s gather together and change. This is why I want to come…

    As already mentioned, thanks for all you do and the opportunity you have afforded to us!

    Alex Armstrong
    (817) 995-5540
    First Hurst
    1801 N. Norwood
    Hurst, Tx

  41. Hello Walt,
    I just started as a youth pastor 4 months ago at a church in Baltimore, MD. This is my first ministry job and I have never been to a youth pastor conference. I’d love the opportunity to figure out what I’m doing since up until now I haven’t quite figured it out yet. The conference sounds great and haven’t had any formal training for youth ministry. It would be great to go. thanks for the opportunity for a free admission. Jonny Loveless, 85 Chapeltowne Circle, Nottingham, MD 21236

  42. Walt,

    The reason I would like to go to the NYMC is because of the time of refreshing for my own soul I experience. This year, like so many others, our church has had to cut back. So it is not possible for me to go.

    This really bums me out, since I really feel like I am drowning right now. I am in that place of feeling like it is time for something to give, but I am not sure what that something is. Given my frenetic pace of life as a youth & education pastor, it is difficult to make the time & space to take a deep breath and hear from God. I would relish that time at the NYMC to make space to hear and listen for my next step.

    Todd Maupin
    Youth & Education Pastor
    Warren Woods Baptist Church
    Warren, MI

  43. Walt & CPYU Gang,
    I would love the opportunity to attend the NYMC. As a “dinosaur” in youth ministry in my area (i have been in ministry at the same church for 12+ years) i have come to a realization over the past couple of months. In order for God to continue to work in our midst in terms of youth ministry, we need to almost “re-invent” the ministry to better meet the needs of our present students and the students in our community. As I have pondered this thought it has hit me that after 12 years I have question as to whether it can be done. Don’t get me wrong, I feel confident that I have the gifts, talents, and skills to lead the ministry to this NEW place, but I feel run down, somewhat burned out, and question whether I have the desire and drive to seemingly “start over” I believe the NYMC could play a vital role in helping me revive a passion for youth of my congregation and our community. I long to make an impact and would love the opportunity to attend the NYMC for that reason. Thanks for reading.

    Chris Lynch
    Director of Youth Ministries
    Trinity UMC, Anderson SC

  44. Walter and the CPYU team:

    This reference is not for me but for one of my staff members. For the past few summers I have had the opportunity of hiring the same young man as an intern. This past year, following his bachelor degree he came on as part-time staff here at the church while working towards his teachers degree. Andrew is a real blessing to our ministry but he is still struggling with the question of whether God is calling him into full time ministry or to be a teacher in the public school system as a witness there. A few days away at this conference would be a real blessing to him and, as always, a blessing to the students to whom he ministers. I long for him to know God’s will for his life but before that, to know He is God’s child who can reach into the hearts of people no matter where he is. Please consider him for this gift…he is a poor student who is getting married soon too!

    From Kevin Van Dyken
    Orangeville Baptist Church
    Orangeville, Ontario, Canada

  45. Bottom line and skipping the fluff: I desire to make fully devoted followers of Jesus even at the teenage level. I believe teenagers can look and live like Jesus commands. I would love the opportunity to think outside MY box and learn many practical ways of doing my youth ministry better.
    Sean Tanner

  46. So why do I want to go? Well, I have only been in youth ministry for a year now. I am a full time/non-paid youth pastor at a small church. I really don’t have the funds to go to this conference. I would really love to go to get the training I need and be able to communicate with vetern youth leaders for advise while I am there. I would love to have a chance to meet Doug Fields for I really see him as a mentor. Reading and listening to him. He entertains and encourages me. And Walt, I love your E-Culture Newsletters I get. They help me stay aware of the culture around me. Thanks and God Bless You all for all your help and ministry!

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