I am all for the youth worker conference. Any time you can get youth workers together for networking, training, mutual encouragement, and refueling, I'm for it. It's why I have been such a fan and promoter of conferences and conventions like the National Youth Workers Convention and the Simply Youth Ministry Conference. But now, there is a conference happening that's a little closer to home!
This coming Friday, October 30th, 2015, youth workers from across western PA and the surrounding area, will gather for a day of awesomeness at the Pittsburgh Youth Workers Conference. While I will not be able to make it to this years conference, it's still an event that I want to applaud and promote here in the local youth ministry area.
Youth Workers, we need events like this! You need events like this!! Opportunities to be educated, challenged, and sharpened. Time for us to meet other youth workers, develop relationships, build networks, and share in the call to minister to students! Places to be filled, refueled, and renewed.
I have attended the afore mentioned conference/convention for years. They have been some of the most profound times of training, growth, and introspection. They have helped to shape how I do student ministry, how I think about and understand the student heart and mind, and how I respond to my call of being a youth pastor. If you have never attended a student ministry conference, you must! And if you can't afford to make to one of the bigger ones, might I suggest you check out one in our very own backyard, the Pittsburgh Youth Workers Conference.
This years conference will take place at Christ's Church at Grove Farm, located in Sewickly, PA. I am sure that if you live in western PA, you've heard about Christ's Church at Grove Farm. A good friend of mine, Walt Mueller, and youth ministry guru, Doug Fields, will both be in attendance and speaking as general session speakers. Walt Mueller is a master of cultural thought and the author of numerous books that help youth workers, parents, and students learn how to engage the culture, think through what it offers, and make right decisions in how we deal with its influences. Doug Fields is the youth pastor of youth pastor, writing a ton of books that share his wisdom, creativity, and experience as a youth worker!
The conference begins this Friday, at 8:30 a.m. with registration and then 9:00 a.m. with the first general session. You can visit the Pittsburgh Youth Workers Conference website at, www.PYWC.org. I believe they are still taking registrations ($45 per person, which includes lunch).
And while I will not be attending the PYWC, I will be attending the NYWC, coming up later in November in Louisville, KY. But for you who do attend the PYWC, I know you will be blessed, encouraged, and renewed! So have a great time!
Jay Higham is a 24 year veteran of student ministry; having worked with students in the local church and Christian camping settings. Jay is currently the Youth Director at Hickory Church, located in Western PA. Jay has been married to Amy for 19 years. Together, they are raising 5 kids, 4 boys and 1 little girl. You can learn more about their ministry to the family by visiting their family blog at, www.TheHighamFamily.com!