Youth Ministry Lab offers something for everyone in 45th year

Youth Ministry Lab offers something for everyone in 45th year

FORT WORTH, Texas (SWBTS) – No one gets left out at Youth Ministry Lab (YML). After months of preparation, seminary students and professors come together to hold a conference for all things youth ministry, offering training to anyone involved in any aspect of youth ministry. This year’s event, April 5-6, marked YML’s 45th anniversary.

YML co-captain for 2013, Sara Lynn Winburn, said YML offers something to everyone from full-time student ministers to part-time student ministers to student ministry spouses to volunteers to parents to student leaders.

“Youth Ministry Lab is such a blessing to many different types of people,” Winburn said. “I love watching how student ministers leave with a renewed passion for ministry, a refreshed spirit and better training to address issues regarding students today.

“Youth Ministry Lab is such a blessing to many different types of people. I love watching how student ministers leave with a renewed passion for ministry, a refreshed spirit and better training to address issues regarding students today." Sara Lynn Winburn

“It is a blessing for the student leaders who come with their student ministers.  They are taught not only how to lead in their student ministries today but are given the necessary tools to become biblical leaders in their churches for the future. And not surprisingly, YML is a blessing for those who plan it!  It is the most humbling thought that God would use a team of 40 seminary students and a few professors to put together such a powerful and life-changing event. The value that Youth Ministry Lab adds to the training for ministry, for both seminary students as they plan and for student ministers as they are further trained, is priceless!”

This year YML trained several hundred people and helped them refine their focus in ministry, reminding attendees of the essence of life and its frailty, said Jeremy Houf, Winburn’s co-captain.

“This year we are answering the question that every one of your teenagers are asking: ‘What is your life?’” Houf said in a pre-conference video. “James 4:14 tells us your life is a mist. It’s a vapor. You’re here, and then you’re gone. We hope to awaken the next generation and equip you with the tools for the end of high school, for the end of this life and even for the end of this age.”

The David Gentiles Band led worship, and Clayton King, national speaker and author, led the main sessions for the event. He encouraged students and ministers to focus on the things in life and ministry that will have eternal significance.

The weekend included breakout sessions for those serving in Korean ministry, Hispanic ministry and girls’ ministry as well as for student praise bands, volunteers and youth ministers’ wives.

“We focus on the heart of leaders, believing that when they go deeper in Christ, that will splash all over those they lead. We give youth leaders practical ways to connect teenagers with parents and the full congregation—believing that leads to deeper transformation than keeping teenagers in a youth group silo.” Richard Ross

Nearly 50 seminary students comprised the team that served in various leadership roles for YML, under the coaching leadership of professors Richard Ross, Johnny Derouen and Paul Stutz. Ross said this year’s event saw 12 accept salvation in Christ and 47 commit their lives to vocational ministry. He said YML seeks to minister to the hearts of leaders so that they can then turn around and minister to their youth.

“We focus on the heart of leaders, believing that when they go deeper in Christ, that will splash all over those they lead,” Ross said. “We give youth leaders practical ways to connect teenagers with parents and the full congregation—believing that leads to deeper transformation than keeping teenagers in a youth group silo.”

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    4.06.13_AK_YML 0037.jpg

    Students and youth workers attend a break out session at Youth Ministry Lab, April 6. (SWBTS Photo/Alyssa Karr)

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    YML_JD_04.05.13_28.jpg

    David Gentiles Band leads worship at Youth Ministry Lab, April 5. (SWBTS Photo/Jason Davis)

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    YML_JD_04.05.13_54.jpg

    Clayton King speaks during a main session at Youth Ministry Lab, April 5. (SWBTS Photo/Jason Davis)

Established 1908 Fort Worth, Texas