Youth Workers Energized At National Conference

National Youth Leaders Conference (NNLC) ended the east coast conference last month and is now preparing for the west coast conference in L.A. Directed by Jeanne Mayo, President of Youth Source Ministries and Director of Oxygen Student Ministries, "Relentless" will equip thousands of Christian youth workers with new tools and a passion for the youth of today.

Darren Hileman, a speaker at the conference said, Youth pastors came up tired and burned out, "but I really believe that youth pastors [received] fresh vision and were encouraged emotionally and spiritually."

Close to 1000 youth pastors attended the east coast conference in Atlanta in February, and another 1000 are expected for the west coast conference on March 28, down from the last conference in 2001 of 3000.

In a video clip on the website, Jeanne Mayo, organizer of the event mentioned, "over 3000 leaders, not students, but leaders showed up from all 50 states, 40 different denominations, and 4 different countries" at the last conference. Mayo invited more, but said it seems unlikely to happen.

The conference still received high reviews from both attendees and speakers.

"[The conference] was outstanding," said Darren Hileman, Director of Master's Commission Atlanta, an internship program that allows youth to try out a career in church.

Further commenting about the upcoming conference in Los Angeles, he added: "If we could duplicate what happened here, I'd be a happy camper."

"It's not only the worship but the heart of the director, Jeanne Mayo, to impact and encourage and equip the youth pastors of this nation," said Hileman, and "That's carried on through the speakers."

One youth worker from Ohio said: "I was ready to turn in the towel before this conference, but these three days have reinforced … I'm going to do what God wants me to do."

Another from Georgia said: "I've been to many youth conferences, and this conference has been the best and most anointed one I've ever been to."

"When I got to NYLC, I was exhausted, drained, and pretty much burned out. I felt tired, overworked, and underappreciated. Through this conference, God has radically changed my life, my outlook, my passion, and my vision, said a a youth worker from Tennessee.

The conference was not just "an exchange of information," but "[the conference will] bypass their head and go straight to their heart."

From a "full blown drama" to illustrated sermons, the eighteen speakers energized the crowd of youth workers. "Even in that drama, they will laugh, they will cry, they'll see themselves on stage and identify with the characters on stage."

A range of speakers from various youth ministries spoke at the east coast conference and will also speak at the west coast conference - speakers such as Josh McDowell of Josh McDowell Ministries, Doug Fields, author of Purpose Driven Youth Ministries , Ron Luce of Teen Mania Ministries, Monty Hipp of We Care America, Matthew Barnett, Director of L.A. International Dream Center, Phil Dooley, Youth Pastor, Hillsong Youth Ministries, Thom and Joani Schultz, Founders and Presidents of GROUP Publications, Mark Oestreicher, President of Youth Specialties, Reggie Dabbs, youth specialist, Cameron Strang, President and CEO of Relevant Magazine, Pat Schatzline, President of Mercy Seat Ministries, Tom Greene, Assemblies of God National Youth Director, Roosevelt Hunter, youth specialist, Darren Hileman, Director of Master's Commission Atlanta, and Richard Crisco, youth specialist.

To upbeat electronic music the clip says, "In a society that is desperately looking for a reason - a reason to live, a reason to exist, looking for someone to follow," the conference challenges youth leaders to "become relentless" in leading youth.

"Revolutionize the way you touch the next generation," says Jeanne Mayo, the conference taking place during a Spring Break week.