Transform Your Life and Ministry by Attending the Right Conferences
Don’t end up drained, burned out, and alone.
It’s an exciting thing to begin in ministry. The vision is so glorious and the purpose so compelling, that I can’t help but serve. I begin with passion, but eventually, something changes. Time passes. Excitement dies. The vision fades and all I can see are problems that need to be solved and flaws to be fixed. I start to feel exhausted at the very thought of the ministry. I burn out.
Maybe you’ve felt the same way before. The ministry that once invigorated you now drains you. While you were once vital to the team, now you’re ignored. You used to be excited to contribute, but now you feel spent.
We were made to minister. We were designed to serve. But if we’re not careful, we can end up dull and chipped like an overused tool.
We need to be sharpened.
In order to stay inspired and effective in ministry, we need to invest in ourselves. We need to put ourselves in the way of quality sharpening that will reinvigorate our sense of purpose and equip us for more fruitful service than ever.
I am convinced that we can find this sharpening and transform our lives and ministries by attending the right conferences.
What’s so great about conferences?
Let me be very clear. Not all conferences will serve this purpose. In fact, many are a complete waste of time.
Many people think bigger conferences are better. This is a myth. Here’s what really happens when you go to the huge conference with the big-name speakers:
You sit in a crowd of thousands.
You hear some well-crafted teaching.
You feel a moment of inspiration.
You go home.
And nothing really changes.
There are 2 critical things you miss at large conferences
Instead of looking for the biggest conferences out there, instead look for ones that provide relational training.
Relational means that the event is designed in such a way that you actually get the chance to learn one-on-one or in a smaller group with instructors. There may be teams you will be placed in for the week, or there will be smaller breakout sessions where you have a chance to get your questions answered. Basically, you want to have the opportunity to ask someone, “Here’s my current situation, can you help me apply what we’re learning.”
Training is more than teaching. I’ve heard a lot of great teaching at a lot of conferences over the years, but here’s the problem. You can get that same teaching by sitting at your home and watching online.
A conference that trains is a conference that actually makes people work. It might have a workbook with assignments you have to complete during the conference. Even better, it will require you to apply what you’ve learned immediately and practice in front of coaches who will offer you critique.
Conferences with relational training will leave you equipped, inspired, and with a new network of individuals you can reach out to for advice.
I attended 3 conferences this year, and all of them were transformative for my life and ministry. While they were all drastically different than each other, they were effective in offering relational training. Let me give you a brief snapshot of each.
Best Year Ever Live
At this conference, Michael Hyatt shared his personal, and well-researched approach for setting challenging goals and actually accomplishing them. I left the event with a workbook full of next steps and a map through which I would live the next year of my life. The results have already been staggering. My wife and I have blown through financial goals that we previously thought were impossible. My health is the best it’s been in years. I’ve been reading more than ever, including the Bible. Additionally, I’ve had successes with my online ministry that I never thought would have happened.
Big Idea Nashville
This was a Church Communications conference where we learned extremely practical skills for church ministry like how to make quality video on a tight budget and how to design a missional church website. They had tons of breakout sessions where we could learn about specific, practical topics that applied directly to our ministry. I came away from this conference with a year’s worth actionable ideas to continually improve my church’s ministries.
Apologetics is a huge part of my ministry and at the Advanced CIA they brought together some of the best apologists such as Frank Turek, Greg Koukl, and J Warner Wallace to train us to be effective in our own apologetics ministries. There were only 27 students in attendance and the instructors were able to personally dive into our lives and ministries and show us how we could improve.
Don’t be content
If you don’t like your status quo, make a change. If you’re feeling stuck, do something about it. If you want to transform your life and ministry, go sign up for the right kind of conference for you.
“But my ministry needs me and I shouldn’t take the time off.”
You should take the time off. Your ministry needs you to be sharpened and energized.
“But I can’t afford the conference”
I understand not having a lot of money, I really do. But you can do it. Sign up for a conference 3-4 months away and start saving now. Also, don’t be afraid to reach out to the conference and ask for a scholarship, or see if your ministry will help pay for your trip.
Conferences cost money and traveling is hard, but quality sharpening always requires a little discomfort. Believe me, it will be worth it in the end.
A small investment in yourself can mean a world of difference for your life and ministry. The results will not only benefit you but will sharpen your ability to minister to others and ultimately glorify God. Start looking for your next conference today.
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