Let us help you with your First “Few” Years of Youth Ministry

Join us for helpful, practical training, access to personalized coaching, inspiration, idea-sharing, laughter, smaller learning options, people who get you and do what you do… and so much more! It’s an all-access three-day experience in Southern California.


years of youth ministry experience to learn from

What qualifies as “First Few Years”?

We’d rather YOU decide that than dictate it ourselves. Only you know whether you need the help we’ll be offering. You might be a 15-year veteran who never learned the foundational principles of health and you want a fresh start—if that’s you, join us. If you know you’re kind of a newbie or rookie—you’re who we’re targeting. We want you to do GREAT ministry for a LONG time. We know healthy actions during your first few years will impact your future.


October 16-18, 2023


$349 for the month of April! (reg. price $399)


October 16-18, 2023
Starts: Monday 2pm
Ends: Wednesday 3pm



Mariners Church
Irvine, CA


(SNA) Orange County Airport [10 min from Mariners]
(LAX) Los Angeles [70-200 minutes depending on traffic]

General Info

Come and learn

  • 7 Primary Reasons Youth Workers Quit Too Soon
  • How to find, develop and keep volunteers
  • How to cast vision that people will follow
  • Programming essentials for a healthy youth ministry
  • How to evaluate & change (if necessary) your existing programs
  • Tips for managing your time and deepening your spiritual life
  • How to win when working with others (church staff, senior pastor, volunteers) 
  • 5 essential leadership skills you’ve got to develop

Smaller, breakout sessions

In addition to several large group gatherings we’ll have a few breakout sessions where you get to pick and choose from a menu of topics including:

  • Helping parents win
  • Proven communication principles 
  • Managing conflict
  • The essentials of pastoral care 
  • Helping students develop evangelist habits
  • Developing student leaders
  • Discipleship ideas that are time-tested
  • How to develop great programs
  • Understanding culture
  • Keeping your ministry safe

Why this event?

We (Doug Fields & Josh Griffin) have a combined 60+ years of youth ministry experience working in the church and love helping youth workers. In addition to founding DownloadYouthMinistry.com we are both working in the local church and want to continue to pour into the next generation of youth workers. We’ve learned that when youth workers gather together great things happen… and not only are we gathering with you, but we’re inviting some of our youth ministry friends to join us to invest in your future!

These friends are veteran youth workers who will teach, listen, consult, pray and come alongside you for any help you might need. Some are nationally known, but many are just long-term youth workers who said “yes” to sitting at a table with you and being all-in for whatever you need. Think of it like available-veteran-on-site-coaching (that’s included in the price of registration).

Why limit space?

We’ve run national conferences with several thousand youth workers that have been amazing… but, we like this size best. Why? Because it fits comfortably at our church, it’s small enough to meet everyone and yet it’s big enough for memorable, lively, and fun crowd dynamics.

Table groups & personalized coaching

One of the benefits of limiting spacing is TABLES… we prefer tables to rows and we will capitalize on this by having vetted, veteran youth workers at each table. This table-lead will be available at every session to help you in whatever you need–personally or professionally. Plus, the type of leaders we are choosing to facilitate are also the types that will be there for you long after the conference is over.
If you’re interested in being a table-leader at this event–click here to fill out a short survey and we’ll be in touch with you.

This year’s speakers include…

Doug Fields

Youth Pastor

Josh Griffin

Youth Pastor

Jessica Sanchez

Youth Pastor

Sean McDowell


Kristen Lascola

Youth Ministry Coach

Mari Trapp

Youth Pastor


I’m part-time at my church, will the content apply to me?

Does a one legged duck swim in a circle? 100%… for sure it will.

I’m in a rural church, will the content apply to me?

Is the Pope Catholic? Yes! It will definitely apply!

I’m like 5 years in, will the content apply to me?

Does Burger King have a Burger Queen? Actually, we’re not sure about that one, but we’re 100% sure this content will be helpful for you if you’re a youth worker who is eager to learn.

I’m more of a veteran youth worker, can I still come as an attendee?

This event is not really created for you. We’re sure you’d learn something, but our target audience are those who are new-ish. BUT, if you would like to register and serve as a table leader or help us run the conference, you can check out the requirements here. We would love to talk about the possibility of you being a table leader or a pseudo-staff!

I’ve heard of legendary events you’ve put on in the past (DYM100)... is this event going to be like the others?

Kinda… but, not really. Each DYM100 was unique and full of surprises. With this conference we’re shifting gears a little and focusing more on a specific type of training (Your First Few Years)… BUT, there will be some similarities to DYM100 (fun, accessibility, etc…). We’ve been telling DYM100 veterans that this event will have less “Wow!” and more “Content!”

Is it true that Justin Bieber is returning this year as a special guest?

No, he couldn’t make it this year, but we’ve got calls into Chris Rock & Will Smith to see if we can help them in their leadership!

Are meals included in the price of the conference?

Some are! (Monday dinner; Tuesday & Wednesday lunch)

Where should I stay?

AirBnB if you like being recorded while you sleep, or at a hotel, or with a friend, or on Doug’s couch. It’s up to you! When you sign up you will get access to a private Facebook group and you can jump in and talk details like room or ride-sharing. We’re also working with a couple local hotels in search of deals and will post them on this site ASAP.

Is this a DYM-thing?

You bet! DYM (aka downloadyouthminsitry.com) is our baby! we’re also the lovely faces behind Youth Ministry University YMUniversity.com and the National Day of Volunteer Youth Ministry Training TrainMyVolunteers.com. Same people. Same heart. Same vision to serve youth workers. Slightly different team pulling off the events.

Some of our sponsors

Still have questions?

Email us! [email protected]

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