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.
Let us help you with your First “Few” Years of Youth Ministry
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
Starts: Monday 2pm
Ends: Wednesday 3pm
(SNA) Orange County Airport [10 min from Mariners]
(LAX) Los Angeles [70-200 minutes depending on traffic]
- Come & learn
- Smaller, breakout sessions
- Why this event?
- Why limit space?
- Table groups & personalized coaching
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.
Last year’s speakers include…
Don't take our word for it!
A few thoughts from other youth pastors...
“If you have been in youth ministry for more than 5 minutes, you know that it can be lonely. Ministry can be hard, but... you are not alone! I went to this conference expecting just another youth ministry conference and I left with new friends and a renewed passion for ministry. You can always learn new things from books or a website, but the care that Doug/Josh and team provide is something to be experienced... they know their audience.”Becky GilbertFirst UMC Homestead, FL
“20 years ago I read Doug’s book and I learned what was needed to build a foundation of health in our youth ministry. I’m so grateful to have learned the essential principles that I still implement today!”Anthony TaylorThe Chapel (Chicago, ILL)
“I’ve attended a DYM conference, and as someone who has been in Youth Ministry for 18 years this was like no other conference I’ve attended. It’s an intimate conference full of top-notch training, new friend making, tons of fun and laughter… but most importantly it helped to relight my flame for ministry. I am so thankful to the entire DYM team for planning this type of conference for new-ish leaders.”Andrea PlueddemanFirst United Methodist Church, Fargo, ND
“The personal care and attention for the entire DYM staff. I really appreciate getting to spend individual time with Doug, Josh, and others that hosted the event. I know DYM cares for youth leaders like me, but this conference blew me away.”Austin LohrliGrace Fellowship
“Everything DYM does is top notch! This company is made up of people who truly understand what Youth Pastors need and then meet those needs. This conference is unlike others I’ve been to. I was able to sit and talk to speakers as if we were just friends. I can’t recommend it enough and would go again in a heartbeat”Erin FagerNew Hope Presbyterian - Fishers, IN
“I went to my first DYM conference as a seasoned 20 + year youth ministry veteran. I came away from that conference with new skills that totally changed my ministry. It's still effecting the way I do ministry today. If you are new to ministry, don't pass up the opportunity to learn from and be invested in, some of the best minds in youth ministry.”David ReedForest Hills Baptist Church, Nashville, TN
“In 26 years of youth ministry, I can honestly say Doug & Josh and the DYM team put on the best conference I have ever attended. From practical training to soul refreshing encouragement to some of the most hilarious moments I can remember. Simply put, their conferences have been ministry-changing and life-giving.”Todd & Lynda PearageYouth Leader Oasis, Pottstown PA
“These guys know how to put on a conference—it’s so personal and you get to learn through great content, conversations and community. You’ll make connections with other like-minded youth workers and may forge friendships that will last a lifetime… that has been my experience.”Ansley HigginbothamWoodberry Forest, Virginia
“I’ve never been to such a fun, intentional, intense, laugh out loud, team building, new friend making, big conference speaker, spiritually refreshing conference ever. This will be a must for all the newer youth leaders I know.”Justin KnowlesSandals Church, Riverside, CA
“This conference was an absolute gift to me in so many ways. The teaching was relevant, encouraging, and equipping but the conference held so much more than top notch teaching. It was full of surprises, games, and experiences that reenergized my love of youth ministry and had me laughing and enjoying my time. Some of the most surprisingly impactful parts came from all the amazing one-on-one conversations and table conversations that happened throughout the conference. I am thankful for the intimacy, authenticity, and excellence that were present and I hope every youth leader gets an opportunity to experience that.”Shannon DunnDirector of Student Ministry, Malibu Pacific Church
“6 years ago I was looking for answers for my soul and youth ministry. Not only did I receive training and encouragement from the top youth leaders in the biz, I more importantly received love, compassion and the gift of being seen… and I learned a ton!”James SabinKingdom Community Church. Westover, WV
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.