Let’s be honest.. There are real pro’s and con’s to going to Saturate this weekend.
Pro - an incredible conference that has been in the making for over a year for your students.
Con - all the sweaty teenagers who don’t wear deodorant.
Pro - you know your students are going to have a great time
Con - the auditorium smells like the boys locker room, because they don’t wear deodorant.
Pro - You get to see that cute youth leader who is still single because let’s be honest, you checked their relationship status on FB before going.
Con - Did I mention the lack of deodorant?
Pro - You’ll see Mark the Italian Stallion having a lip sync battle
Con - You’ll see Mark the Italian Stallion having a lip sync battle
Regardless of what your youth group smells like, I wanted to give you 5 ways that you as the youth pastor can get the most out of the Saturate Conference this weekend.
5. Ask great questions!
One of the best ways to hear how your students are processing the weekend is by preparing a few questions ahead of time. Have your student leaders lead connection times over breakfast or over lunch. Having great questions can lead to greater takeaways for you and your students. Also, if you need a refresher of how NOT to handle these conversations, check out Cindy’s post here.
4. Enjoy yourself!
Every week you are required to set up the youth room, prepare music, a game, a devotional, clean up etc. But during Saturate (or any youth conference), all that is required of you is to show up! Instead of you doing all of the work, this is an opportunity for you to sit back and be a participant. There is always great music and incredible speakers and regardless if you are 14 or 140, I know that God has something He wants to speak to your heart. So enjoy someone else’s work and receive it as gift.
3. Learn and Copy!
Now I’m not suggesting that you become a forger and rewrite the book you just got for free, but I am saying engage with the workshops and be ready to replicate what you’ve heard when you head back home. Maybe you loved the spoken word and you know a teen who has that gift, or the workshop just introduced a new idea about how to engage your students in their school. Many speakers are willing to let you have their powerpoint slides for free so you can go and teach the workshop to your leaders at home. As you listen and learn, think through how you can incorporate certain principles at home or how you can model them in your own ministry.
2. Don’t wanna be all by myself!
We’re always telling students to choose their friends wisely and the same goes for you! We need to be men and women who are choosing friends that push us closer to the Lord and to have a deeper and better ministry. We all need other people to understand our struggles, celebrate our victories and speak truth when the lies come in. Saturate is a great time to connect with other crazy youth pastors that you don’t know. Some of the most heartfelt conversations have come over a cup of coffee (ok, lots of coffee) in the midst of a conference. It’s an opportunity for you to connect with other leaders who understand where you are and have walked through it before. What other opportunity do you have to have so many youth leaders in the same room? They can’t leave! So don’t miss the chance of connecting with other leaders around you and building lasting relationships.
1. Be ready!
We know that when students are excited about conference and have expectation that God is going to move, God ALWAYS shows up. And one of the best things you can do for you and your students is be prepared for God to move. Hype them up! Remind them that this is going to be one of the best weekends of their lives! God is going to speak to your students and do some pretty radical things but I know He wants to speak to you this weekend as well. Many times we come to a conference and we wait to see what He does in our students but He also wants to bring life to the weary heart of a youth leader. When we come with expectation and open hands, we open the door for the Lord to do a greater work inside us. He wants to bring life to your ministry but most importantly, God wants to connect with you one-on-one.
So be ready! It’s going to be a great weekend!
Darci Black is a graduate of Elim Bible Institute and College. Darci has been serving with Campus Target for the last 6 years living in Asia and America and she currently serves as the Intern Director with Campus Target in Lima, NY. She is a writer and a photographer and loves traveling the world. You will easily find her reading, writing, extroverting, watching classic b&w movies and always drinking coffee.. all of the coffee. Darci’s heart is to see broken and hurt young people know the love and power of Christ.