Intensive Learning Labs occur pre-event and dive deep into leading topics in youth ministry today. Each intensive is curated and presented by topic experts.

Building a Successful Marriage and Youth Ministry

Marriage isn't easy, and ministry is tough. And when the two are combined, it can make both even more difficult. Doug and Cathy Fields have spent their entire marriage in youth ministry and have lived to tell about it! This intensive will offer practical ideas for how to keep your marriage growing—even during times of ministry stress.

Growing Young: Helping Young People Discover and Love Your Church

You’ve probably heard ominous reports of the demise of faith: the disillusionment of young people, the aging of the church, the rise of the “nones.” But what if there are bright spots breaking through the clouds and revealing energized churches brimming with young people? The Fuller Youth Institute (FYI) spent three years studying congregations who were effectively capturing the hearts of young people ages 15-29. Looking at more than 250 diverse congregations, FYI uncovered six core commitments that the most effective churches held in common. This intensive will plumb the depths of those findings. You’ll leave with a host of doable ideas to help your church right now.

LGBTQ Youth: Ministry Beneath the Surface

This intensive will examine ministry to LGBTQ students in terms of an iceberg metaphor. Most efforts in ministry focus on what is above the surface, while effective ministry to LGBTQ youth occurs beneath the surface. In this intensive we’ll identify common mistakes and ineffective behaviors and responses, and we’ll look at concrete and specific strategies for taking your ministry into areas of greater significance for LGBTQ youth.

Middle School Ministry

Whether you're brand new to middle school ministry or a seasoned veteran, it's easy to see that middle school ministry doesn't work quite like other ministries in the church. Together, we'll look at how the minds of young teens work, and we’ll discuss the keys to building an incredible middle school ministry.

Taking Einstein to Youth Ministry: Faith, Science and the Faith Formation of Young People

For many, the scientific story about a massively expanding, 14-billion-year-old universe with black holes and supernovas has made belief in a personal God difficult. Science seems to engage with what we can see, touch and measure, while the Christian faith asks us to believe in what ancient texts tell us about an immeasurable spiritual experience. How should Christians engage the relationship between faith and science? What does youth ministry have to do with Einstein and Darwin? In this seminar, Andrew Root of Luther Seminary will lead an important conversation about the relationship between youth ministry, faith and scientific theories.

The Racial Reconciliation Experience

The Racial Reconciliation Experience presents NYWC attendees with opportunities to learn about and engage in conversation around current, historical and systemic issues of race and how these impact adolescents and their communities, as well as youth leaders.

The RRE has two parts:
• Learning Experiences include the National Civil Rights Museum; Stax Museum of American Soul Music; a roundtable discussion between an imam, rabbi and evangelical pastor; and conversations with congregations pursuing social justice.
• Sharing Experiences involve small-group gatherings allowing for intentional discussions around practical ideas between fellow youth workers.

YS 101 Bootcamp: Core Training for Your Ministry

The 101 Bootcamp is ideal for those who are either new to ministry or looking to firm up the core foundational elements of youth ministry. This intensive will focus on core how-to’s regarding relationships (students, parents, leaders, congregation); events (outreach, discipleship, service/mission); communication (talks, studies, administration); and soul care/self-care. Participants will leave with key systems and strategies for long-term ministry success.