Church conferences are designed to give pastors and church leaders the opportunity to learn, connect and refuel. Attending a conference is an investment of your time and resources. Therefore, it is crucial that your time at a conference is well spent, and you come back transformed and strengthened.
Here are a few tips to help you make your time at a church conference more valuable, memorable and engaging.
Choose the Right Conference
Over 350 church conferences are held across the country every year! Your time and resources are limited – choose the conferences you want to attend wisely and prayerfully!
Think about what you and your church need currently. Do you have a desire to see your church multiply? Do you need encouragement to grow in your leadership? Perhaps, you feel exhausted and need to be uplifted?
Keeping these questions in mind will help you zero down on the right conferences for you. And of course, you need to consider the dates, budget and location.
Do Your Homework
Think about why you are planning to attend a particular conference and what you hope to achieve from it. You might want to connect with certain leaders or get answers to specific questions.
It’s also a good idea to take some time to reflect and prepare for the conference. Consider reading about a subject that a speaker will be addressing at the event.
Remember to research and read up on the speakers beforehand. There might be some key speakers whom you want to connect with. You could reach out to them via social media or send them personalized e-mails, introducing yourself and requesting for a time to connect at the conference.
Register early to get confirmed seats and avail any early bird prices for conferences that you are really keen to attend.
Most conferences share a list of speakers, topics and a schedule of their sessions and workshops beforehand. Therefore, you can plan to attend sessions led by specific speakers, or workshops around relevant topics.
A large number of conferences offer pre-conference sessions to help pastors prepare for the upcoming event. Conferences like Gateway and C3 also have mobile apps with timely updates and information regarding the speakers, schedules and locations.
Be intentional about attending the sessions. Remember to take down ample notes, so that you have enough material to reflect upon afterwards. As tempting as it may be to check your e-mails or get distracted by social media, consider leaving that for the break.
Pause and Reflect
A full day spent listening, learning and networking can be exhausting! Therefore, try not to plan any activity in between sessions. Rather, take some time to reflect, pray and fellowship with other Levi tribe members.
Simply Youth Ministry Conference designates time for its attendees to soak in the message from the sessions and to spend quality time in prayer.
Make New Friends
A church conference brings you together with other pastors and leaders. There is, perhaps, no better opportunity for you to contact, connect and communicate with your peers.
Mealtimes are also fantastic opportunities to network with other leaders. Grab meals with as many different people as you can. A number of conferences such as Sticky Teams and ARC Conference wrap up a power-packed day with an after-party, where leaders can have fun and get to know each other.
Benefit from the Exhibits
A conference typically has several booths with relevant materials, tools and books that are significantly marked down in price. The Proclaim 16 – NRB, Children’s Ministry Expo and WFX Reach Conference are just a few of the many conferences that bring hundreds of vendors under one roof.
These exhibits are a great way to get introduced to new ministries and resources that can bless you and your church. The complementary giveaways, incentives, handouts and informational packets are an added bonus.
We hope that these tips will help you make the best of the vibrant church conferences in the US. After all, the shepherd too needs encouragement and nourishment to lead his sheep further!
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