- October 5, 2018
- Christian Living
Big lights, loud bands, and fog machines. These are just a few of the things you’ll find at Christian youth conferences. Over the last few decades, the local church has tried more and more to appeal to kids in middle school and high school. This is because they understand how important it is to build up the next generation before students graduate and head off to college. While the approach may have changed over the years, the idea of training teenagers to read their Bibles, be active in the church, and share their faith is a solid one. No matter how big your church is or where you live, there is a good chance you have been a part of Christian youth conferences. These events are typically hyped for months, partly because there is a lot of preparation, but mostly because this is the time when many kids will come into a relationship with Christ or commit their future to whatever God is calling them to do. Do we still need Christian youth conferences, though? Surely the fancy production values and “cool” speakers won’t have TOO much of an impact, right? We would say, “yes, these conferences do still serve a purpose.” Here are some reasons why Christian youth conferences are still important.
Christian Youth Conferences are Exciting
There’s no way to get around saying it: sometimes kids think church is boring. We’ve all seen the younger kids placating themselves with coloring books and older kids napping or frequently checking their phones. Sometimes it’s just hard to concentrate for an hour at that age. This doesn’t mean that we have to turn the worship center into a skate park, but we should be thinking of ways to reach young people. Youth conferences mix things up by turning a weekend full of preaching and small groups into a combination of New Year’s Eve and the Super Bowl (minus the refreshments, of course). When a child enters a youth conference, she is greeted with loud music with good beats, kids running around, and an engaging speaker or host kicking things off.
All throughout the weekend, youth are encouraged to shout, dance, run, wear comfortable clothes, and do a bunch of other things typically forbidden on a Sunday morning. Not only are the conditions great, but the worship and preaching are also catered to what they like. Instead of a dry 20-minute biography of St. Francis of Assisi, kids are learning about famous sports stars and laughing out loud at the speaker’s funny stories. Away from the main sessions, teens are playing football or laser tag, competing against other youth groups in dance-offs, or any other activity that makes them sweat. Christian youth conferences are a time of fun and games and excitement.
Christian Youth Conferences Introduce Kids to Solid Teaching
For the vast majority of speakers, there is a certain audience where they can connect the best. Some people who have lived through dangerous circumstances and experienced amazing conversions may work best at a men’s conference or in a juvenile home. A famous female author may captivate the audience better at a women’s conference than in a small middle school chapel. Everybody is different.
When teenagers hear solid preaching that is aimed at their life experiences, it can completely change the game. Instead of hearing the pastor’s message as something that only applies to their grandparents, they may come to see Jesus as someone who cares personally about them. After hearing a message like this, they may want to examine scripture for themselves or apologize to a friend they have wronged. The Christian life is totally different once someone shows you that the teachings of the Bible can be related to a 17-year-old just as much as a 70-year-old.
Teens Meet Like-Minded Peers at Christian Youth Conferences
Any family expert will tell you how important a child’s friends can be. Even the best-behaved teenager can be poorly influenced by a group of friends. That’s why you’ll want your son or daughter to attend Christian youth conferences where he or she can find like-minded peers who love the Lord and are committed to living a lifestyle set apart from the world’s standards. Sadly, the connection between parents and kids is often strained in high school and college, so whoever your child considers a friend it vitally important.
We, of course, must acknowledge that some kids who attend youth ministry events will be better influences on your child than others, but getting your child connected to a youth group is a step in the right direction. Once teens have found and made friends at these conferences, they will be more excited about going to church. It’s just easier when you have people in your life who are interested in the same things you are and will hold you accountable.
Christian Youth Conferences are a Launching Pad
These conferences are more than just an event on the calendar. They are instrumental in launching the spiritual lives of young Christians. Because of a youth conference, a teenager may decide to become a pastor or it may affect which major she chooses in college. If youth conferences are the tent revival of the 21st century, think back on how many famous preachers came to Christ at a young age thanks to such an event. What makes these conferences so important is that they are a time of renewal and decision making. During the weekend, a young Christian may finally understand the importance of reading his Bible or in sharing his faith. It is a launching pad that, with continuous discipleship, can radically transform a life.
Christian Youth Conferences are Good For Everyone
You can find all kinds of benefits to taking part in these Christian youth conferences. We believe we’ve already mentioned plenty of reasons why teenagers need them, but did you know they can be beneficial for the greater church? Youth events allow for adults to engage in young people’s lives, serving as counselors, staff, drivers, and so on. This mixing of mature Christians and younger believers can lead to great discipleship opportunities where kids can see the ways in which God is at work. Conferences are also great for the home church of the youth ministry because it is training up its members in the truth of God’s word. If you want a more Biblically literate group of young people, you should value these conferences. The stronger these young Christians are, thanks to their youth pastors and conferences like these, the greater the impact they can have on their communities as well. We’re not saying that Christian youth conferences are the only ingredient, but they are part of a larger plan of training up young people.
We hope you can see the vital role these Christian youth conferences play in the church. It doesn’t matter if we’re talking about a major event where tens of thousands will gather in an arena or something that will bring in a smaller number. These gatherings are a great opportunity for churches and their young people.
At the K-LOVE Fan Awards, we certainly understand the draw of big events. Each year we bring together the most popular names in Christian entertainment for the ultimate fan experience. Spectacular performances and access to the hottest musicians make this an event you’ve got to be a part of. Find out how you can join us for the K-LOVE Fan Awards by clicking on the link below.