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Student Youth Ministry Conference

I had a stimulating time with a group of youth pastors today in Atlanta. My friends Larry Lawrence and Roger Allen of First Baptist, Jonesboro, GA hosts a youth pastor’s conference each year as a ministry of their church.

Brent Crowe of Student Leadership University began the conference dealing with “Five Myths that Cause Ministry Syndication.” He exhorted us to guard against our youth ministries becoming “just” a job. One of the things that really resonated with me was his statement, “You cannot outsource ministry.”

I addressed the topic of “Four Marks of Authentic Leadership.” If our ministries are to be effective then we must deal with ourselves at the core. Our goal is to imprint lives with the image of Christ. Paul said, “Imitate me just as I also imitate Christ.” 1 Corinthians 11:1.

Stimulating “round-table” discussions were strategically placed between the general sessions. These discussions were more than topics with pithy titles, they were pointed and practical.

Benny Proffitt of First Priority ministries capped the day “Redefining Success in Student Ministry.” He called upon his vast experience as a youth pastor and consultant to share some great insights.

I came away from this day with some observations about youth ministry and youth pastors.

1.     There are still people in youth ministry who believe that the Word of God is the answer and are committed to teaching its truth.

2.     There are still some youth pastors who are committed to evangelism, discipleship and missions.

3.     Youth pastors need encouragement and someone to stand with them as they work in the trenches reaching youth.

4.     Youth ministry matters, it is important and churches need to increase their investment in this area of ministry.

5.     Youth ministry is the coolest ministry on the planet.

6.     Youth ministry has the potential to change the church, this nation and the world.

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