- November 1, 2016
- Christian Living
For any believer that is looking for a spark in their faith or to instill a certain discipline, Christian conferences are often an easy way to address those needs.
Before thinking about attending a conference, it’s important to remember that these events shouldn’t be treated as a bandage for serious spiritual problems. Prayer, Bible reading, and talking to someone at your church may be a better option to help you with that issue. Don't expect a conference to fix you.
That being said, there are many wonderful Christian conferences that are focused on important topics like marriage, evangelism, discipleship, and more. Let’s discuss a few of them...
Youth and Young Adult - Christian Conferences
Youth conferences are a huge part of any young Christian’s life. Whether it is an event put on by the local church or a national conference, these are usually high-energy events. Young adult conferences are meant to give young believers a spark in their Christian walk.
Youth and young adult conferences are basically a pep rally. There is a lot of emphasis placed on either a) kids coming to know the Lord or b) teaching kids how to make a difference with their faith.
The latter is a message that is particularly well-done through the Passion Conference, usually held in Atlanta, GA. This event takes place in a large arena and has attracted attendance numbers reaching 60,000 in 2013.
This conference excels through the different ways it connects college-age kids with nonprofits that are doing work around the globe. This doesn't come from pamphlets or a quick blurb on the screen. Instead, the attendees can actually raise money and see the effects of their giving. These causes range from providing medical care to orphans, ending human slavery, and sending Bibles to areas of the world that need them.
Like many conferences for young adults, you may want to look into whether your registration fee covers lodging or other expenses. Passion Conferences’ fee, ranging from $99-209 depending on how early you register, only gets you into the programmed events.
This conference is only one of many that are making a mark on the lives of young Christians. While Passion is only for 18-25 year olds, there are also many regional conferences throughout America that do similar events for younger kids.
Generally, conferences for high school students are organized through your local church. Churches are often better equipped to deal with the logistics of a conference.There are all kinds of questions about lodging, who the leaders are, etc. We encourage you to see what options may be available at your church and ask the youth office any questions you may have.
Women’s and Men’s Conferences - Christian Conferences
As Christians mature and grow older, the conferences that are available tend to become more specific than in the youthful years. Back then, speakers would typically unpack a simple Bible story or explain the importance of standing up for Christ at school. Worship bands would be the main hype of the conference as they tended to reach kids better than a 30-45 minute sermon.
Christian conferences as an adult usually spend more time on practical steps and digging deep into the Word. While there is usually music, the speakers are the main draw. Men’s and women’s conferences are often popular ways for the Church to address specific needs that each group has.
Take, for instance, Lifeway's The Main Event conference. Coming to New Orleans, Nashville, and Greenville, SC, in 2017, this conference “encourages men to embrace God's calling, challenges them to take action, and equips them with truth so they can live extraordinary lives for God.” It’s harder for adults with kids to travel to an event, so the conferences that have several locations are often easier to attend. Often times, churches in large cities will also host their own men's conferences each year.
For women, there is no shortage of speakers and conferences to help you grow in your relationship with Christ. Starting off, Beth Moore has an entire organization of events that cater towards women. These can be attended either through simulcast or physically going to the event.
Another popular conference is Women of Joy. Featuring speakers like Jennifer Rothschild and Christine Cain, this traveling event also has strong musicians like Lauren Daigle and Natalie Grant.
Similar to Beth Moore, author and speaker Priscilla Shirer has a series of live events that she holds for women’s ministries. Priscilla Shirer Live is available for simulcast in your home or church, but you can also attend one of her events in a nearby city.
Women can expect to find empowerment and a better understanding of the Bible through many of these events.
Leadership Conferences - Christian Conferences
Another popular event for Christian adults and young people are leadership conferences. These tend to be more male-centered but there are some that cater to women as well.
Catalyst is one of the biggest leadership organizations in North America. Catalyst conferences are really aimed more for the younger crowd, but there isn’t the same age restriction that Passion has. These conferences focus on Christlike leadership in the church and in communities. Great leadership speakers like John Maxwell, Andy Stanley, and others have made an appearance. Check out the details here.
One aspect of leadership conferences is that you should be challenged by the speaker’s ideas. Very few conferences do that like Q. Styled similarly to the popular Ted Talks you may have seen online, these Christian conferences feature a large number of speakers giving short talks on issues like race, the penal system, evangelism, and other tough discussions. The idea behind Q Conferences is to challenge our ideas and strengthen our belief through having well-rounded knowledge of issues. This is a conference for people looking to be faced with tough questions.
Spiritual Development - Christian Conferences
When it comes to the Christian life, there are so many different aspects to be explored, improved upon, and examined. Conferences focused on spiritual development exist to address these needs and help us to grow as believers.
With evangelical conferences shrinking in number, now seems like the appropriate time for churches to remember the importance of attending Christian conferences that teach us how to share our faith.
The Send Conference is another great event that will help equip you to become more comfortable with evangelism. Featuring speakers like David Platt, this is an event that can leave a serious impact.
Church Development - Christian Conferences
Lastly, there are conferences devoted to strengthening churches as a whole through educating their members. No matter if you are a pastor or just the guy sitting on the back pew, there are people out there discussing ways that you can be more effectively living out your calling.
For those leading worship on Sundays, you may want to consider the National Worship Leader Conference. Held in several cities across America, here you can experiment with different styles of worship, brainstorm with other musicians, or just have some time to relax and learn.
For young pastors and speakers, the Cutting It Straight conference is one where you can learn from veteran preachers how to improve your speaking. The Godly wisdom of these pastors will help you to be a well-rounded leader.
The ETCH Family Conference teaches those working with childhood development in the church how to better serve their church members. Meet with other pastors and volunteers working with kids to discuss how to reach them with the Gospel and build them up in their faiths.
Lastly, those looking to become church planters can register for Exponential conferences. With incredible speakers and experienced planters, this series of events can give you the boost you need to reach a brand new community. They provide great resources for those seeking to make a lasting impact for the kingdom of God.
How Do I Choose Between Christian Conferences?
It can be difficult to choose which conference is right for you, especially since the registration periods are often months in advance. One idea is to sit down at the beginning of the year and research the different conferences you may attend. Examine the purposes of these conferences.
While it may seem easier to follow the well-known bands and speakers, you should really think about what areas of your walk could use improvement. If you are a new believer who doesn’t understand prayer, go to a conference that highlights that. Perhaps you’re a more experienced Christian who wants to better engage in disciple-making. There are plenty of options when it comes to Christian conferences.
For many people, finances or work might be an obstacle. Plan well in advance, pray over the different opportunities, and try to work an area of your faith where you have been lacking. At the end of the day, just about any conference is better than sitting at your house.
If you’re thinking about attending a Christian conference, you might also be happy to know that there is a one weekend a year when all of the big names in Christian entertainment gather together. At the K-LOVE Fan Awards, you can see the hottest names in Christian music as well as filmmakers, authors, and athletes that profess the name of Jesus.
To learn more about how you can be a part of the ultimate fan experience, click on the link below.