Is your youth ministry relevant to the church today? Is your church relevant to youth ministry today?
These are questions that we must always be willing to ask. Now, we’re not talking about the kind of relevance that caters to particular preference but one that consistently evaluates Great Commission effectiveness…then evaluates it again and again.
When youth culture changes, the local church youth ministry has a responsibility to lead teenagers and their parents toward a response based on the truth of God’s Word. But what do we do when the cultural changes involve intense assaults on the family, radical changes in methods of communication, ever-shortening attention spans, and a shift in temporary values? How should local church youth ministry respond?
The world of adolescents is a different animal than it was in 1987 when I graduated high school. (Two decades from now it will look completely different again.) There are methods that have remained effective in discipling teenagers and strengthening parents’ ability to lead the spiritual growth of their children. But there also methods that need to be filed away for the memory video at retirement.
Experts have said that youth culture changes at a blinding speed. Some would say that we can see significant cultural changes in youth culture every 6 months while others would pin it down to 6 to12 weeks. In either case, youth culture changes at a pace that dizzies the mind of any adult.
So, with that as the backdrop, we ask the question, “Is youth ministry effectively reaching teenagers and their families today?”
What does the Bible teach us about the primary purpose of youth ministry? Throughout the last half of the 20th century the church struggled with how to handle teenagers both inside the church and outside the church. Philosophy of youth ministry has been at the center of that struggle. But has youth ministry changed to meet the needs of today’s teenager and their parents?
You can also find registration and conference info at events.sbts.edu/reinvent
You can also find registration and conference info at events.sbts.edu/reinvent
re:invent, a youth and family ministry conference, will equip you to become more effective in leading transformational youth and family ministries in the local church. It will also equip your youth ministry volunteers to practice effective ministry with teenagers and their families while unifying your team for maximum effectiveness.
re:invent will host nationally respected leaders in youth and family ministry that will challenge you and will encourage you to be faithful to the task of reaching and discipling teenagers and their families.
Dr. David Adams, Professor of Youth Ministry, Boyce College; Associate Director – The International Center for Youth & Family Ministry
laying the foundation for effective youth ministry: a youth ministry strategy
Start from the beginning and build a vision for youth ministry that is biblically based and Great Commission focused. You will be equipped with a timeless strategy for local church youth ministry.
Dr. Gary Almon, Assistant Professor of Christian Education, Boyce College; Associate Director – The International Center for Youth & Family Ministry
kids hurt, Christ heals: ministering to teens in crisis (breakout session one only)
The American teenager is in crisis. The changing influences of our culture produce positive and negative impact on every young person. How do we view these influences through the biblical standards and principles? The youth minister must be equipped to recognize root problems and develop a meaningful strategy for helping the hurting teenager.
a theology of youth ministry (breakout session two only)
Youth ministry is many things…challenging, enthusiastic, cross-cultural, exciting, discipling, evangelizing. Before it can be anything, it must be theological. Learn how youth ministry is a vivid expression of biblical mandates and how your youth ministry must connect with those commands in practical ways.
mobilizing your students to be on mission…everywhere!
21st century teenagers are cause oriented. They are driven to respond to global needs and meet the real needs of people around them. Hear how you can develop a student movement to carry the Gospel to hurting people while meeting real needs.
helping your students navigate the landscape of American spirituality
Secular American culture is rampant with spiritual pursuits that are anything but biblical. In this pluralistic climate that teenagers are swimming in, how can you lead them effectively to understand what is not the truth? Help your teenagers see through the maze of false spirituality and be equipped to give answer for the hope that is within them.
from ideas to execution: aligning your strategy with your resources
Take your vision to new heights by aligning your resources with your ministry strategy. Don’t miss the mark by spending energy on efforts that don’t propel the vision of local church youth ministry while depleting resources from those most critical.
Dr. Jim Burns, President of HomeWord; Executive Director of the HomeWord Center for Youth & Family at Azusa Pacific University.
how to be a hero to parents in your church (breakout session one only)
What are the basics of good parenting and how can youth leaders help? To counter the usual trial-and error methods of parenting, find time-tested advice and strategies for today’s families. This session will help youth pastors and parents understand what it means to parent teenagers successfully.
Mark DeVries, Associate Pastor for Youth & Families, First Presbyterian Church, Nashville, TN; Founder of Youth Ministry Architects
sustainable youth ministry
What would it take to build a youth ministry that withstands the revolving door of youth ministers? Pinpoint the problems that cause division and burnout then learn practical tools and structures needed to lay a strong foundation for youth and family ministry—one that isn’t built solely on a person.
Dr. Dan DeWitt, Dean of Boyce College at Southern Seminary
reaching the skeptics in your student ministry
How do we know that God exists? Is the Bible really true? If God is good, then why did my parents get divorced? Teenagers are filled with questions. Then there are teenagers who don’t believe Christianity is true. They question the existence of God, the deity of Christ, the resurrection, and validity of the Bible. This session will equip you with answers and strategies for reaching the skeptics in your youth ministry.
Kelly Knouse, Student Pastor, Idlewild Baptist Church, Tampa, FL
intentional youth ministry…how programs accomplish the mission of your student ministry
Youth ministry has seen many changes in the 21st century. One thing that hasn’t changed is the need for effective programs. Youth ministry is so much more than activities and events. These programs are necessary, but must be purposeful. As a youth minister, you must intentionally design programs that accomplish the mission of the youth ministry. Purposeful programs are powerful programs. Streamline your youth ministry while maximizing your effectiveness.
building an effective youth ministry leadership team
Youth ministers are called to live out Ephesians 4:12 every day. Equipping the body to serve requires and active, intentional strategy that must recruit, train, and place believers in positions to serve the mission of the church. Gain critical principles and strategies for developing a labor force that will effectively disciple teenagers and equip them for the mission.
Download: teaching teens to filter their media choices
Whether kids are 8 or 18, popular music serves as a soundtrack and guide to their journey from childhood into adulthood. This seminar will focus on the world of popular music and the powerful role it plays in students’ lives while providing informative and practical principles that can be applied to all popular media. You will be challenged and equipped to think and respond in a Christian way to today’s music and media as you’re trained with practical tools you can use to teach the kids to do the same.
Dr. Alvin Reid, Professor of Evangelism and Student Ministry, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, Wake Forest, NC
leading your students to reach their friends with the Gospel
Keep the main thing, the main thing. The Gospel changes everything and you can equip your teenagers to see God change their peers from the inside out. Learn how to effectively equip and encourage your students to share the Gospel with their friends and see God turn your youth ministry upside down.
navigating youth ministry landmines & living to tell about it
Youth ministry is the greatest position in the local church…hands down! It’s also one of the most tenuous positions. Why? Youth ministers face challenges to serve students and their families as well as lead their own families. Leadership for the youth minister does not come without its landmines. But how do you avoid or survive those landmines?
how to enjoy parenting teenagers (breakout session two only)
Someone else may know the Bible better or they may be a better mentor, but no one knows your teenager better than you. With a multiplicity of influences in your teenager’s spiritual life, no one is in a better position to lead your teenager to a living and active faith in Christ than you. This session will challenge parents of teenagers to enjoy their role as primary spiritual caregiver.
Randy Smith, President/Founder of Youth Ministry International, Louisville, KY
international student ministry…in your community
The world is young. Young people remain the most receptive to the message of the Gospel. How are you equipping teenagers to reach the world right in their community and in their schools? This session will help you see the harvest around you and give you a strategy for sending your students into the mission field both domestically and internationally.
Dr. Randy Stinson, Dean of the School of Church Ministries, Southern Seminary, Louisville, KY
what parents need from local church youth ministry
Youth ministry’s mission is to see teenagers mature spiritual in their walk with Christ. Youth ministers use a variety of resources to accomplish that mission. But youth ministers must not overlook the greatest resource in the discipleship process…parents. Find out what parents really need from youth ministers that will propel your ministry of discipleship with teenagers.
Rick Young, Middle School Pastor, First Baptist Church, Woodstock, GA
building a small group curriculum plan
We all teach in our Sunday School, small group discipleship programs. But if we have a teenager from 6th grade through 12th grade, what should they know about God, the Bible, and the faith when the graduate? How do we lay out a strategy to train our teenagers to be lifelong disciples? What are the resources that will help us get there? Here’s a practical process to help you answer those questions and more.