We know that you pour your life into kids, and we want to make sure you get some life poured back into you! The National Youth Workers Convention is all about you. It’s a place where you can get a much needed respite from your everyday (and evenings!) duties as a youth worker so you have a chance to be refreshed, renewed, and recharged. It’s a chance for you to connect with other people who understand your unique challenges and who are as committed to teenagers as you are. It’s a time for you to feed your soul, equip yourself for effective ministry, and come back to your ministry with energy, vision, and even more passion for impacting a generation of teens for the kingdom of God. But how does all that happen, you ask? Let us explain…
At NYWC you’ll find...
A Packed (or not-so-packed) Schedule
At NYWC you’ll find plenty of time to get training in more than 80 seminars, get inspired with 6 exhilarating Big Room sessions, laugh big time at late night comedy clubs, make new friends, or just get some time alone (whether that’s completely alone, alone with your spouse, or alone with God). Sometimes we all need to take a little time to care for ourselves, and this is a place where you can do that—guilt free!
Opportunities to Connect with God
It’s ironic, isn’t it, that we often spend so much time talking about God to our kids that we forget to actually be with God ourselves? At NYWC we give you plenty of places and ways to connect with God. You may find that you reconnect with God during the worship during our Big Room sessions (where you have zero responsibility for programming or playing guitar!), while spending time with a spiritual director, by sitting quietly in the prayer chapel or in the Sanctuary room in a quite worship/prayer time--experiencing a connection to God that is unattainable in your everyday craziness of life.
Chances to Connect with Others
We know that youth ministry can sometimes be a lonely place. You’re misunderstood by most of the other adults in your church because you actually want to hang out with teenagers. At NYWC you’ll find thousands of other people who are as crazy as you are, and who will embrace you with open arms! You’ll find opportunities to connect with other youth workers who share your passion for youth ministry. You will find other newbies or seasoned veterans. You will also find people who share a love for a specific area of ministry be it middle school, rural ministry, leading worship, discipleship, whatever. Participate in the fish bowl dialog centered learning experience, go to a breakfast club with a speaker and small group of other youth workers or just strike up conversations and set up times for coffee or meals with newfound friends. Some people keep coming back to NYWC because of the relationships they’ve built over the years. It becomes like a family reunion (for a very strange, energetic, fun-loving kind of family!)
Training, Training, Training
Did we mention that you can learn a lot of things at NYWC? We intentionally pack our schedule full of amazing seminars that are sure to help you with programming, leadership, understanding teens, care for your own soul, and so much more. You’ll find gifted speakers, professors, in-the-trenches youth workers, and thoughtful leaders teaching in the seminars. Whether you’ve been in ministry a few weeks or a few decades, we have something that will meet you where you are and provide practical help. This year you can seminars that fit your learning style. You can go to lectures, workshops, discussions or panels. For those of you who have been in youth ministry a while this year we are offering Theological Forums to wrestle with some deeper issues.
We also cram our schedule full of seminars so that your church leaders will be impressed with all that you will learn, and will gladly send you to NYWC to be equipped to lead the youth group even better than you do right now! (Of course, if you get to NYWC and realize that you just need to reconnect with God or others, you can still get the seminars on CD or MP3…so you still go home with the lessons from all the training!)
Experts who Want to Help You (for free)
Set up a one-on-one meeting with a convention pastor or youth ministry consultant. With our convention pastors, you can have deep, confidential conversations about issues you may be having in your church or in your own soul. Our youth ministry consultants will take the time to understand what struggles you may be dealing with in your youth group, and will help you lay out a plan to make the necessary changes. These are people who care deeply about youth ministry, but care even more about helping you as you are carrying out the work of youth ministry.
Early Morning & Late Night Options
We’ve got something for you whether you’re an early bird or a night owl. Get up early and join in a speaker breakfast and interact up close with one of our speakers,attend the Morning Prayer services in the chapel or go to a morning Bible study with Les Christie. Stay up late for special concerts, laugh at comedy performers, or take part in any of the other numerous late night options.
There’s no wrong way to participate in the National Youth Workers Convention (unless, of course, you don’t come!). So join thousands of other youth workers for a time to celebrate your calling as a youth worker, be encouraged and equipped, and reconnect with the God who called you to this crazy, wonderful world of youth ministry.