Workshops | UMC YoungPeople
Connecting young people and their adult leaders to God, the church, and the world
About YOUTH 23 Registration What's New Media Kit
About YOUTH 23 Registration What's New Media Kit


Workshops at YOUTH 2023 are each one-hour in length and happen on July 26 and 27. Everyone will have the opportunity to attend up to three workshops per day. Each workshop will be offered multiple times. Every member of your group does not need to attend the same workshop. In fact, we encourage groups to let their attendees find what most interests them and compare learnings! All workshop rooms are in the Ocean Center, and most rooms will seat between 75-150 participants.

There are two "workshop" opportunities that require advance registration: the YOUTH 2023 Mass Choir and the "Tech Track" – those opportunities will take place at various times during the YOUTH event.

This page will receive regular updates that will include times, leadership, and further descriptions as the event start date gets closer.

YOUTH 2023 Workshops:

Discerning Your Calling

A deeper sense of calling as‚ being, not doing. Gaining practices and tools of discernment to explore vocation. Using spiritual gifts, personality assessments (Enneagram/MBTI), and passions to meet needs in your community.

Connecting the Discord Generation

Leverage platforms and apps to better connect youth to each other. Experience the reality and difference of this generation and their gifts as you become part of healthy socialization and interaction.

How to Lovingly Disagree and Coexist with Others

We will focus on 1 Corinthians 13:1-3 where Paul tells us that Love is more important then talent, knowledge, and service, as well as the two greatest commandments that Jesus gives us. We'll talk about how that truth calls us as Christians to love everyone, even when we disagree with them. We will call out "hurtful" ways that Christians disagree with the world, and call ourselves to be better.

Community Resiliency Model - Helping Yourself and Others

The primary focus of this skills-based, stabilization program is to re-set the natural balance of the nervous system. The Community Resiliency Model's goal is to help to create "trauma-informed" and "resiliency-focused" communities that share a common understanding of the impact of trauma and chronic stress on the nervous system and how resiliency can be restored or increased using this skills-based approach.

Methodist Gaming: Twitch, Digital Ministry, and the Market Cross

Learn how to be a streamer with the numerous ministry possibilities on Twitch, for both gamers and non-gamers alike. Discover the practical how-tos and best practices from Methodist Gaming, a leading United Methodist digital ministry throughout social media. Explore the theology of digital ministry as it relates to our United Methodist history and doctrine. Empower yourself to build a positive online community for Christ.

IGNITE Communities: Collaboration as the Future of Youth Ministry

We will provide leaders with thought provoking evidence about moving their ministries for young people beyond the walls of their church. This workshop will provide leaders with examples, inspiration, action steps and vision for not only sustaining their individual youth programs but also growing the Kingdom of God through grass-roots, collaborative ministry in their local communities. After attending this workshop, leaders will have renewed encouragement about the future of their ministries, vision about the reach of youth ministry within the local church and action steps for how to begin leading collaborative ministry in their local community.

Third Culture Kids: What it Means to be a Global Nomad and Ways You can Help Roots Grow

Learn how to bridge the gap for youth leaders on ways in which they can serve third culture kids (TCKs).

Third Culture Kids are unique and have their own challenges. TCKs have a different idea of culture, the world, and religion. TCKs live with a village mentality that is often different than American individualism. TCKs often share a mobile upbringing (military, refugee, missionary, etc.) and that upbringing creates needs leaders may not be aware of.

Living a Palms Up Life: How Letting Go Changes Everything

This workshop gives students a daily practice to show up to their lives with a framework for spiritual growth, decision-making, and deepening trust in themselves and God. Students can expect three key learnings: 1.) I can show up to my life, especially the painful parts I'd rather avoid, 2.) I feel empowered to make difficult decisions, and 3.) God is at work in my life and I feel equipped to notice this movement.

Pioneering a New Conference Youth Ministry

Youth leaders will hear about the Great Plains Conference's restructure of youth ministry after combining into three conferences. They will learn about the new CCYM model: Leadership Lab. They will receive key concepts to be applied to their context and be inspired to pioneer a new innovative approach to youth ministry.

Trauma Informed Youth Ministry

Does it feel like you are dealing with more behavioral issues every time your group meets? Some of this may stem from unaddressed trauma in the lives of your youth and community. Together will be address the basic features of trauma and behavioral concerns and discover ways to transform your youth ministry into a place of healing and wholeness.

An Outsider's Welcome

The workshop will concentrate on the narrative of Ruth and Boaz from the Epic of Eden. The majority of Old Testament stories revolve on patriarchal societies or mostly male insiders. In this workshop, young people will read, talk, and learn about how God's kingdom uses outsiders who are different from the status quo of society and the Church. Ruth, an outsider, was blessed with a lineage that gave birth to David, the second king of Israel. I could not imagine of how the incarnate God would come to earth if it were not for the welcoming of strangers. Jesus came through the hospitable lineage of Boaz.

Faith in Action: Fueling Civic Engagement and Activism with Religious Values

This workshop, designed for older and younger youth, will introduce attendees to our United Methodist Social Principles and how to use them in their efforts to affect change in their communities

Taking the Weights Off Children's Life in Guatemala

Youth have the opportunity to learn about the realities of life in Guatemala. For those who do not know what life looks like in other places, this education can be eye opening. We also want to equip youth to realize they can make a difference in the world, no matter their age.

Learn from Each Other. Steal from the Best!

Twenty Minutes of presenter talking about youth ministry as a whole and why we continue to love teenagers. Forty minutes of colleague collaboration. Tables will be set up with various topics for participants to share ideas, including but not limited to:

  • Volunteer Recruitment and Training
  • Fundraising
  • Mission Trips
  • Mental Health (theirs and yours)
  • Weekly Programming
  • The Struggle is Real (a safe place to seek advice)
  • Burn Out and How to Avoid It; Self Care.

A Ministry Strategy That Works

  • Youth Ministry doesn't have to be hard. (Grow strategy)
  • Youth Ministry serves a greater purpose. (Hebrews 12:1-2)
  • Kids and Youth Ministers can work together. (Helping incoming middle schoolers)

Using Your Gifts to Generate Good

Our workshop aims to equip older youth with information that will help them discern their calling in life. The top three takeaways are: 1). You have a purpose. 2). Your gifts and talents should be used to make the world a better place. 3). There are ways to find fulfillment in your life through The United Methodist Church connexion.

Telling Your Story: Writing for The Upper Room Daily Devotional Guide

This workshop is designed for participants to engage with the ministry of The Upper Room through devotional writing. Participants will learn more about the ministry and mission of The Upper Room and practice their devotional writing skills through an exercise designed to help them tell their story. Participants will be encouraged to reflect on the significant events, people, and places that have influenced their relationship with God and shaped their spiritual journeys.

The Godbearing Life: The Art of Soul Tending for Youth Ministry

Would you like to rechart a course for youth ministry that fuels the faith of young people and the adults who love them? Ministry with young people can be more about holiness than effectiveness, more about charism than careers, and more about soulfulness than savvy. Come experience a bit of sabbath for your soul and discuss together a new way of being that sustains you for your calling.

Mindfulness Practices for Youth

Using The Upper Room's high school study, "The Awakened Life: Finding Stillness in an Anxious World" this workshop will introduce youth to tangible practices for incorporating mindfulness into their daily lives. Practices may include awareness meditation, Lectio Divina, body prayer, and centering prayer. This workshop is intended to be a space where youth can try out a few new practices and will encourage youth leaders to use the full curriculum with their youth groups.

Cultivating a BOLD Voice: Writing for Worship

This workshop teaches processes and disciplines to help participants nurture and develop their gifts and graces for writing prayers and other liturgies for use in corporate worship. Students will have an opportunity to practice what they learn and receive feedback from one another during the workshop by writing prayers around the same scripture or theme. The goal is to equip students with tools that help them exercise and develop their voice in ways that can contribute to corporate worship in their communities/contexts.

Who Can We Be Together? A Biblical Exploration of Luke 13

We want to engage the teens in studying Luke 13. Youth will find joy and excitement as we work with them to go deeper in their study of Scripture. Where do we see Jesus? How is Jesus calling us to respond and how can we find healing and wholeness in Christ's love?

What Really Matters to Young People: Highlights from a 2022 Research Study

Share learning from research (among UMC and non-UMC youth ages 15-22 year old) designed to understand what younger members love‚ and what younger generations seem to want regarding faith, religion and spirituality. The workshop will share a summary of learning and implications, as well as a snapshot of youth inside and outside the UMC denomination. Attendees will walk away with new, relevant and possible unexpected information about this vital audience of young people.

Jurisdictional Youth Ministry

At least 3 of the 5 current Jurisdictional Secretaries have attended multiple YOUTH gatherings over the decades. These denominational leaders will host a panel conversation and dream with participants about what the future looks like for larger connectional ministry.

What's a Methodist? It's All in the Details!

Participants take a short online survey with questions ranging from: Christ's physical presence in communion, does worship HAVE to be on a Sunday, women in ministry, Biblical inerrancy vs. inspiration. The survey then lets students know what denomination they may align with. We'll tackle that survey question by question and explore in detail, what denominations typically believe what, and why I find myself in the Wesleyan view point of the topic. This has been really fun to do with my leadership students! Find the beauty of UMC theology, gray areas of theology, and areas we feel passionately about.

YOUTH 2023 Mass Choir

Joining the YOUTH 2023 Choir is an opportunity open to all youth participants at YOUTH 2023. No experience is required, just a desire to sing as part of a large and diverse group of youth voices as part of our closing worship. It does mean committing to prep and rehearsal time on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday during afternoon free time, AND being on stage to sing on Thursday night as part of our closing worship. If you are interested in joining, we will provide music and the opportunity for you to be part of an amazing experience, joining your voice with hundreds of others for this one-time performance! No limit on participation and this does not interfere with other workshop schedules. It takes place during free time. Please sign up by April 30, 2023. Click here to learn more!

Tech Track

YOUTH 2023 involves major production efforts for our big room worship sessions. Have you ever wanted to get behind the curtain and learn about what it takes to put on a worship production for thousands of people? Thanks to our production team from The Adams Group, up to 40 youth can have the chance to be a part of the onsite preparation and learn about a variety of production roles, hands-on, during big room worship times! This experience may overlap with other workshop opportunities or free time.

Opportunities include getting to shadow and learn from production staff in:

  • Camera operations
  • Sound/Mixing
  • Lighting
  • Backstage production
  • Screen management

This opportunity is limited to 40 youth participants, and will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis. Click here to learn more!