Everything You Need to Know About Youth Conferences

Church youth conferences are a great way for teens to let loose and have fun, but also learn more about themselves, their peers, and their relationships with God. Youth conferences are a great place to make everlasting friendships, memories, and connections. Teens walk away with new friends, skills, and insights. Youth conferences are a great way for teens to learn about important sermons and lessons within God’s word. By fostering a positive experience, teens learn more about God, the bible, and the world around them in a way that’s fun and sustainable. In this article, we break down what exactly a youth conference is, what kind of activities take place at a youth conference, and how to host one. Keep reading to learn more. 

What is a Youth Conference?

Youth conferences are a great getaway for teens who want to make new friends, develop new skills, and tune into their spirituality. A youth conference typically takes place somewhere near home or a few hours away, usually surrounded by nature, where teens can truly break away from their daily routines. 

Youth conferences are usually centered around a specific theme that can tie together lessons and sermons. Typically, these lessons are related to the topics such as love, forgiveness, or confidence, drawing from the context of the bible. Otherwise, teens are taught about peer pressure, safe sex/abstinence, or drug use, all in ways that are relevant to the scripture.

Each youth conference will have a series of fun, team-building activities, icebreaker games, and challenges. If the youth conference is held outside somewhere, there will be plenty of time spent playing outdoors.

Youth conferences can be anywhere from a few days to two weeks. Transportation, food, and housing are provided. 

What Happens at a Youth Conference?

The main goal of a youth conference is to foster a sense of community, purpose, and guidance among young people. With plenty of exciting activities, youth conferences are a fun way for teens to learn something new about themselves, their peers, and their relationship with God. 

Teens are encouraged to get to know their peers and youth leaders through a series of activities. Typically, there will be public speaking events and breakout sessions for listeners to process and digest new lessons and information. In the meantime, there are plenty of confidence-building exercises and group activities to solidify the theme of the youth conference. 

What Kind of Activities Do You Do at a Youth Conference?

There are many fun activities that take place at youth conferences. Whether they are individual skill development activities or team-building exercises with a group, there is plenty of fun to be had and plenty of new lessons and skills to be learned.

While each youth conference will curate its own activities and lessons, there are some common exercises and games to play. 

Ice Breakers

The best way for youth conference attendees to get to know one another is by organizing a series of ice breaker challenges. Between this-or-that prompts or truth-or-dare questions, teens can get to know each other and build team confidence. This is a good way to get them to think more introspectively about themselves and others. 

Physical Activities

If there is anything that teens have a lot of… it’s energy. Getting their excessive energy out before getting them to settle down for lessons will allow those sermons to really stick. There are plenty of physical activities that can do just that – get their energy out while letting them have fun and be themselves. Anything from life-size tic-tac-toe, cops and robbers, freeze tag, and more. 

Arts and Crafts

Allowing teens to express themselves creatively is a great way for them to let loose. Creating yarn-wrapped letters to then use as an aid in teaching a particular message or theme is often a good way to involve both teens and youth pastors. 

Spiritual Exercises

Spiritual exercises don’t have to be long or tedious lessons. They can be quick reflections on bible verses or prayers. Teens can be asked to elaborate on their favorite verses or discuss previously learned sermons to see if they can relate them back to their daily lives. 

How to Host a Youth Conference

If you’re interested in hosting your own youth conference, there are a few things you need to do to make sure everything goes smoothly! 

  1. Plan a date

Planning in advance will ensure that more teens, pastors, and organizers can attend and truly make the youth conference a success. Plan a date and the duration of the conference and notify parents and teens way in advance.

  1. Determine a Budget

Outline your budget, so that you can factor in all necessary expenses. Typical expenses include transportation, food, housing, first-aid supplies, and materials and supplies for activities. 

  1. Decide on a Theme

If there is a certain theme or lesson you want to teach, your youth conference can be centered around that topic to develop a stronger sense of togetherness. 

  1. Plan Out Activities

Last-minute planned activities can be a bit messy. Fun activities that are planned in advance will create the lasting memories you want your teens to wake away with. 

  1. Print Out Fliers

The final step is to notify everyone of the upcoming conference! Printing out fliers is a great way to spread the word. Hang these up at your church, local recreation centers, and schools. Include all the important information and a contact number for additional questions. 

Conclusion – Everything You Need to Know About Youth Conferences

Youth conferences serve as a positive way for teens to learn more about God’s word in the context of their lives and those around them. These are a fun, collaborative getaway where teens can make new friends and gain a deeper understanding of their spirituality and connection with God. Young people who attend these conferences walk away with more confidence, connections, and insights. Between some of the many profound lessons and super fun activities, youth conferences are a great way for teens to learn something new.