So this weekend I got to hang out at the Youth Specialties Team Training in Chicago. I had a blast. I got to learn. I got to meet a ton of new people. I love the team trainings because they are way smaller than the national gatherings and you can bring up to 15 people on your team for $399 total. It’s a pretty sweet deal. As I’m sitting in my hotel room, here are my top 3 highlights from the 2 day conference:

Message by Doug Fields:

  • Doug is the youth ministry guru. We know this, but he continues to speak to the hearts of youth workers. His message struck me in my core. It was simple, yet powerful. Doug spoke about how our youth ministry culture is one of “business” and how we need to slow down and focus on Jesus. We cannot lead to students to Jesus unless we are pursuing Him ourselves. It was a great reminder for me that I can only minister out of my overflow and I will be taking this back home with me.

Smaller Crowd:

  • I love the national gathering. I like big crowds. I like the convention settings. The trainings are held in local churches, so there is limited room but I love it. We sit in the main meeting area of the church, listen to the session, and then on breaks everyone goes out into the lobbies. It is way closer quarters and I met and had more meaningful conversations with more youth pastors at this team training than I have at the national gathers. It was so refreshing.

Planned Discussion Time:

  • The team trainings have 4 main teaching sessions, like most conferences. But at the end of each session, there is a good 10-15 minutes in which you can talk to your team about practical things to do in your youth ministry. On top of that, at the end of the second day, there were 3 mini teachings and time to discuss it with your team. I like this format because instead of getting a fire house of information and not knowing how to process it, it is within the program for you to decompress it all with your team. Such a great asset.

Like I said. Loved it. It was such a great time of meeting people and learning. I would recommend you going if it is going if it is coming to your area! Have you been? What was the best part?