Navigating Periods of Transition in Youth Ministry

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Building a thriving youth ministry can be hard work, and it can feel even harder when your church or ministry is experiencing a significant change. In the wake of the pandemic especially, transition seems to be a reality for more and more church groups as leaders change and dynamics shift. However, while transition definitely presents its challenges, it also presents ministries with the opportunity to try something new and embrace God’s calling more fully. Below we’ve outlined a few ways that you can shake up your approach to Montreat Youth Conference, specifically, with the goal of finding a level of involvement that makes sense for your specific context.

Your Youth Leader has changed since the last time your group attended Montreat Youth Conference

Trying to navigate the registration process can feel intimidating if you’ve never done it before. Where do you even start when trying to organize a group? Luckily, we have staff members who are available to walk you through the process and help you find solutions to any questions or concerns you might have. Additionally, if you would rather do some research on your own, you can find a wealth of information and answers to common questions in our MYC Guidebook.

Your group is lacking high school students, but you have lots of middle schoolers

This is really a great problem to have! Middle schoolers are bold, curious, and energetic. Plus, they are at a pivotal stage in life where they are starting to form significant relationships and really discover who they are. That makes nourishing them spiritually a top priority. So, while a lack of high schoolers does mean that Montreat Youth Conference may not be a good option for you right now, Montreat Middle School Conference could be a great opportunity to strengthen your younger students’ faith and allow them to grow together as a group. Our middle school conference takes place at Maryville College in Maryville, TN, and offers youth who have completed fifth through eighth grade the opportunity to explore and engage with God’s word with other young believers.

Your group is small or you only have a few youth interested in attending 

Your group does not have to be large in order to attend Montreat Youth Conference! In fact, attending a conference can be one of the best ways to energize and nurture a small youth group. Those who attend will form close friendships and return home excited for an upcoming year of youth programming. (And that excitement can be contagious!) If you feel like the size of your group is keeping you from attending, let us know! We can help to connect you with other groups that are willing to act as partners for housing or share the responsibilities of adult leadership, solving many of the logistical problems that smaller groups encounter.

Your group is made up of both high school and middle school youth

If you don’t feel like you have a large enough group to attend either Montreat Youth Conference or Middle School Conference, we are piloting a small program during MYC weeks 1 & 6 that allows middle school students to attend the conference with a group of high schoolers. All youth will participate in worship, keynote, recreation, and back home discussions together, but middle school students will participate in a small group specifically designed for them. If this sounds like a solution that might work for your group, please contact Susie Burns ( for more information and to determine availability.

Let us know how we can help!

Whatever your situation, we want to do what we can to support you and your ministry. Please reach out to a member of our staff and let us know what we can do to help!