We’ve held a Purpose Driven Youth Ministry (PDYM) Student Leadership Conference here at Saddleback Church the past several years, and right now we’re taking a little break from it in the current season. I imagine it’ll come back again soon, details of it’s return will be here first, but what are other great options for your core students to get some training. Google is sending a lot of searchers to my site looking for the answer – so here are some thoughts on great student leadership events coming soon:

  • Student Leadership University (official website) – I’ve been to a couple of Jay Strack’s Student Leadership events with students and had a total blast. He has a unique and memorable teaching style and each event is set in a unique location. Lots of tracks available, including some advanced international stuff. Not something for a ton of students, if you’ve got some hungry kids looking for workshops, community and challenge, this might be some good stuff.
  • Converge 2011 (official website) – I’ve never been before, but love the lineup for this event in Indiana. I was privileged to record a “digital presentation” for the event. Sounds like a really great program they’ve got planned with some serious names teaching.
  • Dare 2 Share (official website) – I really like Greg Stier – he’s a one message kinda guy, but he’ll challenge your core students to reach out to their non-believing friends with the Gospel. High energy, conference-like event, with a ton of locations all over the US. Not something I would necessarily go to every year, but could be a solid challenge for your students.

What other great student-leadership/core-kid event, training or conference isn’t on my radar? Post it, promo it, plug it in the comments!

JG

Tell me you’re going to the Simply Youth Ministry Conference in March 2011! Just had a conference call today about some of the creative elements – I’m counting on God using it to shape and inspire me – I hope you’ll join us. Last chance for the early bird rate this week, it jumps $40 Halloween night. Be there!

JG



Phil is back again this week with great learnings about how to budget for an upcoming youth event like summer camp, a retreat or help pull off a student leadership conference. Reading over the list, I can assure you these are born straight out of some experiences in the past year – it’d do you well to look it over to help you develop skills with numbers. Here’s a few of them, worth the trip to get the rest:

11. Think about whether you need to make a scouting trip before the event. You may need to factor in money for this as well.

12. Do your research. If you are thinking about providing a “takeaway” at your event (perhaps a water bottle or wristband with the theme Bible verse printed on it) then figure out a realistic cost, don’t just guess.

13. Look for fixed cost items (rather than costs related to group size). If you can find items or activities that are a fixed cost this will help you as once you reach your target number, additional registrants will be bonus.

14. Factor in leader/volunteer cost. If you cover the cost of volunteers at your event, make sure you factor that in early.

15. A large event needs a buffer of 5-10% of the total budget. This will hurt to add but it will hurt you more if you don’t. If it’s the first time you’ve run this event or the first time at a new venue make your buffer ~10%, if you’ve done it before you might get away with ~5%.

JG

I’m so glad Amanda is back to blogging! After too long away from it this summer, her blog Married to a Youth Pastor is back and better than ever. In addition to a funny new contest giving away a spouse registration to the Simply Youth Ministry Conference, she is back with some insight and raw learnings about youth ministry from a wife’s perspective. Honestly, turn your spouse on to her blog, it is so good – if I find one as awesome for husbands, I’ll be sure to post a link. Here’s a clip of a post called Swept Away where she talks about dialing in the youth ministry calendar with their family one:

We (Jeff and I) HAVE to take control of our schedules and family again. No more excuses of “seasons”. Something “important”, and “urgent” is always going to come up. We have to exercise our “NO”. I have to take responsibility of this as well. I let myself get lost in the shuffle. In no way is this only Jeff’s issue. I have a voice as well. And a smart brain that listens to God’s voice and can hear what’s good and bad or unhealthy for myself, my marriage, and my kids. I really got swept away (and right under the carpet).

I say this a lot… “After 14 years in full time ministry, you’d think I would have this down!”

JG



Excited about an event I’m recording a digital presentation for in the morning – Converge 2011 is a student leadership conference in Indiana in early 2011. If it is something you may take your students to, be sure to check it out!

JG

Back again. Doug, Josh, Matt, and Katie begin the show discussing Josh’s theatrical side and the dueling blogs (Morethandodgeball.com and LoveGodLoveStudents.com). Doug also introduces the first members of the 00 club and if someone can be a “recycled podcast virgin”, plus a brand new intro song. Don’t worry, they still get to your questions and talk about: calendars and scheduling, writing things down, starting with a clean program slate, why matt is cold, guidelines for meeting alone with students, having kids from juvenile hall in your ministry, and the Simply Youth Ministry Conference.

JG



Want your very own More Than Dodgeball shirt? Of course you do! So far they’ve been given out at a few conferences and events, if you missed one of those rare opportunities you can now get one of your very own with just a few clicks (and a few dollars) online. Be the envy of your youth pastor friends. Dominate your next network meeting! Forget the website, do it for your love of the game.

They’re brand new and available right now from 180living.com – this is a limited run so order yours today!

JG

Are you coming to the Simply Youth Ministry Conference this March? It is going to be so much fun – come join us. If you are and want to help spread the word, consider adding a Twibbon to your Twitter profile pic. On Facebook, too!

JG