5 Reasons I will go to SYMC next year

Okay, let’s just be honest, I am a bit guilty of coveting and lusting about the many tweets and facebook posts regarding the Simply Youth Ministry Conference. I have been tempted to defriend or unfollow many of them, because they were rubbing it in. Okay, I am totally kidding. I actually enjoyed it, because it as close as I can be this year. First of all, I have never been to the conference. Secondly, I WANT TO GO SO BAD! Our budget has struggled to produce the funds to go, but I spoke with my wife this weekend, and next year, I am making arrangements to attend. Here are a few reasons why I will be going (at least really try to go) next year:




  1. Encouragement– Wow, I have already been so encouraged by the challenges in the discussion panels as well as the general sessions. Francis Chan is beast, and threw out a challenging message. I was not able to see the message online so I had to read all about it on the tweets and the different bloggers who blogged about the message.
  2. Practical Student Ministry Conversations– From what I have heard, this is the best conference on providing practical youth ministry conversations. I love the panel discussions with guys who are doing student ministry in different settings and environments; it is just practical discussions on the different problems and challenges of student ministry in today’s generation. I could discuss student ministry all day, and this is basically what you do at the Simply Youth Ministry Conference.
  3. Laughter– This could fall under encouragement, but there have been some funny guys in the panel, and I have enjoyed them.
  4. Refreshment– This seems to be a refreshing conference. It seems to be a very laid back conference for you, and it can refresh you personally, spiritually, emotionally, and physically.
  5. Connections and friendships– Wow, this is one of the best things that I have noticed about the conference! I look at the trending topic of #SYMC, and I see how many different people have built relationships with other student pastors at the conference. I love meeting new people and building new relationships so this is one HUGE reason to attend or think about attending the conference.

If you could not attend the conference (like myself), check out the list of bloggers and read their blogs to find out exactly what is going on there! Shout out to Josh Griffith for listing the bloggers who are regularly blogging about SYMC. Check out the list here.

6 thoughts on “5 Reasons I will go to SYMC next year

  1. Agreed. Our other student ministries director and I missed out this year due to scheduling and budget concerns. We live in Indianapolis which is where the conference is going to be in March 2013. We’re looking forward to attending next year (especially since it will save on gas/lodging etc) and being a part of it all. I have to say, the incessant tweeting had me pretty jealous this year. Not to mention a personal jab or two from people I knew that were there!

  2. I went for the first time this year, and I would add a couple of reasons to the ones you gave. I didn’t hit #2 or #5 – I went to learning tracks instead of the peer panels, and we brought a small team (my wife and I and two college volunteers, i.e, unpaid interns) so I focused on deepening relationships with them instead of connecting with new people. the learning tracks are great; we went to some together and split up for others, but as a 13 year veteran of youth ministry, I was impressed at especially what I took away from Sticky Faith and Sustainable Youth Ministry. If I were to sum it up, the learning tracks took some ideas locked away in some great books and made them more accessible and implementable, and I hope to be able to share some of those now through reading and discussing with our church leadership.

    Laughter was huge – much more significant than I would have given credit for, but having the skit guys and Jon Acuff especially was a large part of the overall refreshment of the conference.

    I don’t know if we will be able to budget the conference for next year, and this is the first time ever that I’ve gone to more than a one day conference or seminar, but it was very worth it. Through some budgeting miscommunication, we ended up investing around 1/3 of our ministry budget into the conference; I was a little unnerved going into it, but I’m convinced that it was the best investment we’ve made to date.

  3. As much as I loved SYMC this year and the other three years I went, I would encourage you to not get hung up on just this conference. There are so many other conferences that are really good (and a little cheaper). Not bashing SYMC and I am hoping to attend again next year, but a lot of guys think this is the “one” conference and there are no others. I want to do Lifeway’s youth pastor’s conference. Heard it’s really good!

    1. Yeah I agree with Austin. I have heard that you should go to Simply Youth at least once for sure, and I have not done that so I am saying I am going next year for my “at least one time.” There are tons of other good ones out there though, and some smaller ones.

      I would say the only negative to the Simply Youth one is the expense of it.

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