Over the last several months I had the privilege of traveling with Youth Pastor Summit to five cities to inspire and equip youth leaders. We traveled to New York, Orlando, Dallas, Orange County and Nashville.
During this mini-tour I got to know the people behind Youth Pastor Summit (with the exception of its founder Dr. Jay Stack…somehow we missed each other on this tour.) And, now, I feel a duty to reveal their secrets and spill the beans on just what Youth Pastor Summit (and the team that pulls it off) is really all about.
1. Brent Crowe, Jeff Wallace and the entire YPS team are the real deal.
Sorry to disappoint but Brent Crowe is a fabulously self-effacing and effective leader and Jeff Wallace may be the nicest man on the planet. The entire YPS team (including the always-on-point Nikki Hoffpauir) practice what they preach. They are effective leaders who love others deeply and serve others humbly.
For the last 26 years I have toured with our Dare 2 Share team, energizing and equipping teenagers to share their faith. Everyone works together. Everyone is there to serve the teenagers and youth leaders. And everyone pitches in to do what it takes to make it a great event. No prima donnas are allowed.
The team at Youth Pastor Summit has the same vibe. They are there to serve the youth leaders, not themselves.
2. Youth leaders really do attend for free.
This is unheard of in youth ministry conference circles. You can tell that some new youth leaders come into YPS waiting for “the catch.” But there is no catch.
YPS is a totally free event. Although, personally, I think they could charge a little something and still be fine, I have no vote :)
Having done training events for the last quarter of a century I can tell you this, it’s free for the youth leader but not for YPS. Whether its money raised through donations or partnerships, Jay, Brent and crew have to bring in a significant amount of money to underwrite these high quality events.
This means that the leadership at Youth Pastor Summit do a ton of pre-work of bringing in the funds to pay for this the event so they can have the privilege of inspiring and equipping youth leaders at the event. They literally pay for the privilege of training youth leaders!
3. They are serious about evangelism and discipleship.
In a youth ministry world where evangelism tends to be marginalized and theology tends to be minimized, YPS stands out as a great and glaring exception.
This team takes the Gospel seriously. I’ve had tons of conversations with Brent and Jeff about the need to Gospelize youth ministry and they want to play a significant role in doing just that. That’s one of the reasons they asked me to speak at YPS. They wanted someone to help them bang the Gospel gong to youth leaders.
As a matter of fact we are working together (along with a roundtable of other national youth ministry and denominational leaders) to energize 30,000 churches to mobilize hundreds of thousands of teenagers to Gospelize ever single one of the 26 million teenagers in the United States by 2025!
If you’ve never attended Youth Pastor Summit put it on your calendar for next year. I’ve kicked the tires and checked them out from top to bottom and their whole team is amazing.
They, like the team at Dare 2 Share, love teenagers, youth leaders and Jesus. They are passionate about seeing the next generation reached with the Gospel. They are the real deal and we at D2S count it an honor to partner with them!