I just got back from the National Leadership Conference for the Vineyard. It is my first one, and honestly I didn’t know what to expect. I must say, that I was quite impressed, and excited about the direction our movement is headed. I want to share a couple brief insights from the conference that I think are encouraging particularly for us as youth ministers. First, I think that you can tell a lot about a leadership by the topics they pick for their main sessions. A couple really struck me. They devoted an entire main slot to a profound teaching on the importance of children’s ministry. You can (and should) listen to the teachings here. They aren’t all up yet, but keep checking back.
They also devoted an entire main topic to the need to be refilled with the Holy Spirit—to keep the ministry of the Spirit to yourself as a leader, as a high priority. And also, they had a church planter speak of our need to get God’s heart before we get strategy. He talked about God’s heart for a city, but I heard “God’s heart for the teens in my area.” (The other three topics were actually quite great as well, but these I felt were especially pertinent to us).
Besides main speaking there were also two workshops devoted to discussions on youth ministry, and attention was given to the newly re-formed National Youth Task Force. Also, this very task force is actively working to create two new resources designed to better equip new and growing youth ministries. Why is this important? Because youth ministry is really on the hearts of the leadership, and in the prayers of many right now—it truly is becoming a national priority. This is a great time to be in youth ministry.
With all that said, I also want to testify that I received an even greater desire from God to be part of a community of youth pastors in the east who encourage, resource, and equip one another. I’m excited to be part of what God is doing in this region, and I’m proud to work with all of you as we advance the Kingdom in a very needy place—youth.