Christian youth sometimes feel detached from the adult issues often discussed in church. Holding a Christian youth conference can help to solve this problem by connecting youth to God and the church in applicable ways. Conferences are also an ideal time for teens to meet Christian friends and find healthy peer groups to support them in the rugged terrain of adolescence. Your planning can ensure that the conference is well-publicised, affordable, organised, enjoyable and relevant to the kids' everyday lives.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Challenging
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Determine the budget for your Christian Youth Conference. Look at the money you have in order to determine how much you can afford to spend on the conference. Raise any additional funds ahead of planning your budget so that you are not spending any money that you do not have in hand.
Decide on the date and location for the Christian youth conference. Consider planning it for a long weekend when the kids have some time off of school. Look for locations that are within your budget. If you are short on money, you may need to hold it at your church. If you have money to spend, you might investigate booking a hotel or conference centre.
Pick a theme for your Christian youth conference. You might coordinate it with a series of sermons covering love, forgiveness, healing or another such topic. Themes such as relationships, peer pressure, sex and substance abuse are also relevant topics for teenagers, provided that they are approached within the context of God's Word. Attending college and excelling in school can be ideal themes for youth conferences intended to build up and encourage the youth.
Plan the food for the conference, deciding on whether you will have the conference catered or ask participants to bring their own food.
Decide on the activities for the youth conference, guest speakers and being sure to allow for large group and small group time. A large-group speaker event might be followed by smaller breakout sessions to allow for processing. Time for recreation should also be included. Consider showing movies relevant to the conference theme, giving the kids time for physical activity or hosting a pizza party.
Print flyers advertising the upcoming Christian Youth Conference and display them in prominent places within your church and community. Include information on the conference in the church bulletin, mention it in youth Sunday school and Bible study classes and call the teenagers in the church to personally invite them.
Collect any registration fees or donations as applicable and purchase any materials needed for the conference. Store everything in labelled boxes so that it is ready to go when the time comes.
Create lists of duties for all involved in facilitating the youth conference so that everyone knows what his or her responsibilities are. Pray together in advance of the event, asking God to direct the activities of the weekend and show you how to best lead the youth.
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