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THE NATIONAL YOUTH MINISTRY WEEKEND
One of the things we really want to encourage at the National Youth Ministry Weekend is the idea of bringing your whole volunteer team with you. Yes, we know that comes as a financial cost, but what better way to recognise the invaluable support your volunteers give than by treating them (via your generous church or organisation) to a weekend away to engage together with the challenge of reaching, discipling and caring for teenagers?
Coming away as a team means you’ll be able to accomplish even more than if you attend the NYMW on your own. By co-ordinating your schedules, you’ll be able to attend more of the seminars and optional events across the weekend between you, but perhaps even more importantly, you’ll be able to spend some quality time together, processing what you’ve heard and learned, and dreaming together for the future of your youth work. What a fantastic investment!
To incentivise this, we’ve made a limited number of tickets available at the discounted price of just £79, when you book more than one place (usually £99). This amazing offer, generously subsidised by trusts and individuals who recognise the value of team investment, won’t last forever - so grab the best ticket deal we’re going to offer, right now. Just click here to book your tickets.
This may just be the NYMW’s best-kept secret. Over the course of the last year three key youth ministry-focussed organisations have been busily developing special new resources just for you. They’re deliberately diverse, and designed to support you in a different area of your work among young people. All three will be debuted exclusively during the main sessions at the NYMW, and here’s the best part… every delegate will get a copy of all three resources – absolutely free!
These high-quality resources, developed by Youthscape and our partners, have been robustly developed, piloted and refined. They’ll all be on sale at the event and beyond it, but as a ticket holder you’ll get copies of all three products as part of your ticket price. Who doesn’t love free stuff?!
Key reasons to come to the NYMW #1 - Encouragement and time out with other youth leaders
Youth ministry can be a lonely and thankless task. Even as volunteer leaders, we’re often left alone to serve young people - especially in churches where so many people claim not to understand them. Feeling like you - or your small team - are on your own can be draining and even demotivating. That’s why gathering together with hundreds of other youth leaders, from right across the UK, can be so important and life-giving.
Many of us still remember standing together in the hall at the first Youthwork the Conference event in Southport, way back in 2003. It felt electric to be among 600 youth leaders gathered in a packed theatre, all struck by the same realisation that we weren’t alone; that we stood there united by our love of God and our passion to serve young people. We want to create a similar moment on Friday 10th November this year, when a similar number gather in Birmingham for the first National Youth Ministry Weekend.
It’s not just about being part of the big crowd though - getting away for the weekend with hundreds of like-minded youth leaders gives unparalleled opportunities for networking, sharing ideas, and perhaps most importantly, making new friends. We can’t think of a better reason to invest in the NYMW - for you and your team.
You may have already noticed that we’re only offering tickets which cover the whole of the weekend, and that it’s not possible to buy single day tickets. We appreciate that this is frustrating, so we wanted to explain our reasons.
Partly, we really want the weekend to be a coherent journey for every delegate - we’re planning to explore and open up our theme over the course of the three days, and it’ll be a much more rewarding (and hopefully deep!) experience if you’re able to be at every session. Primarily though, this is a financial decision. We have worked to keep ticket prices as affordable as possible, but that means that in this first year, we’re not going to break even on the event. In fact, we’re going to make a sizeable loss, even if we sell every single ticket. That’s ok because a) we think it’s THAT important that we get the youth ministry community together and b) next year we’ll be in a larger venue and the finances will be more sustainable. But it does mean that we can’t compound our losses by selling day tickets – each of which would mean we couldn’t sell a corresponding ticket for the whole weekend.
We hope that makes sense. We really do appreciate that finances are tight everywhere, and we’re doing our best to organise low-cost travel and accommodation options. And - if you really, really want to come but you just can’t possibly afford it, please do let us know. We would hate for finances to be the only reason you didn’t come to the NYMW.
Yes, alright, we have taken our time a bit. And we’re sorry for stretching your patience. But today we can finally announce the first set of speakers and contributors for the first ever National Youth Ministry Weekend. You’ll find their beautiful faces on our Contributors page, along with some biographical details and a tiny, not-legally-binding insight into what they’ll be doing at the weekend. We’ve worked hard to gather a real mix of practitioners, youth ministry legends, brilliant emerging voices and world-class theologians – the line-up is looking pretty awesome if we do say so ourselves! Plus we’re excited that Tim Hughes and Andy Flannagan will be sharing musical duties across the weekend, leading worship in a variety of styles. We get that you’ve been waiting for this moment to book your tickets to NYMW… we hope you won’t want to miss being inspired, encouraged and envisioned by this amazing group of people.
Central to this new weekend conference is the idea of innovation in youth ministry. We’re convinced that if the church is going to effectively reach a new generation, then it’ll need new models, new ideas and maybe even a bigger vision. During the weekend we’ll explore how in 2017, everyone from tech firms to insurance companies are using innovative processes to find new ways forward, and we’ll take you through some practical tools that will help you to think creatively in your youth work.
As part of our commitment to innovation, and to resourcing youth ministry, we’re going to be unveiling three completely new youth work resources, designed and tested by three leading Christian youth work organisations. What’s more, delegates at the NYMW will get all three resources at the event – absolutely free; plus there will be workshops provided to help you work out how to use and get the best out of each of them.
Picking a location for a national youth ministry conference was always going to be hard, and it’s impossible to keep everyone happy (apart maybe from people who live in the place you choose). We’ve gone for Birmingham because of its centrality in England, and the amazing transport links which the city offers. Birmingham also has an amazing tradition of great churches and fantastic Christian youth work, some of which will be profiled at the event.
Our main venue, St Luke’s Gas St, is a brand new church in the heart of Birmingham’s city centre. The building is a converted warehouse which opened in February 2016, now home to the church for their Sunday gatherings and more. Led by Tim & Rachel Hughes, they’ve got big plans for more work in the building increasing their capacity for their vision to serve the city.
We’re really excited to be using the venue for the National Youth Ministry Weekend – it’ll be the home to our main gatherings as well as a hub for hanging out, exploring the bookshop and catching up with your youth work friends. Being so close to the centre of the city makes it ideal for nipping to other venues, exploring the area or taking a relaxing walk along the canal too.
This city centre square is right next to the art museum and features two statues staring pensively at a fountain. Why not join them for an hour or three and see if you can work out what they’re thinking about?
Move over Hollywood, Birmingham has it’s very own pavement-based hall of fame, honouring those from the city who’ve made significant contributions to sports or the arts and it’s just round the corner from our main venue. With stars celebrating Ozzy Osbourne, Jasper Carrot, the King of Bhangra and the world’s first left handed female Wimbledon winner, you’re bound to find one of your heroes here.
The National Trust have restored a series of 19th century houses giving you the opportunity to experience home life from 1840 to 1970. Trip Advisor reviews describe it as “a historic treasure” and “a way to immerse yourself in the life of your grandparents.” There’s even a 1930s sweet shop.