Two “Don’t Miss” Events for Anyone Associated with Youth Ministry


Parents, pastors and everyone in between that invests time in the lives of youth will benefit from several unique and interactive events planned for late August and September.
Back-to-school season provides an opportunity to refocus and reboot youth ministries for the year ahead. In the next few weeks the Texas Annual Conference has two candid conversations and targeted learning opportunities planned for any and all individuals associated with youth ministry.
August 30: How to Talk about Sex
This intensely practical forum dubbed a “Lunch & Learn” is being offered with Next Generation Minister Rev. Jeremy Steele on Tuesday, August 30 from 11:30-2:30pm at St. Paul’s UMC in Houston. Jeremy is on staff with Christ UMC in Mobile, AL and serves the Alabama West Florida Conference as Youth Liaison.

The often-taboo questions of the day will address the theological perspective of a sexuality education model that can be used with young adults. “Jeremy is very well known for helping leaders better prepare themselves and be more comfortable about addressing these very real youth issues,” notes Rev. Eddie Irwin, director of Youth/Young Adult Ministries for the Texas conference. “Jeremy has written curriculum and other resources to help youth ministry volunteers and church staff members address the topics of sex, masturbation, pornography and other aspects of the human body.”
Jeremy describes this topic this way. “There has to be another way to discuss sex besides true love waits and a promise ring. This is that seminar,” he says. Jeremy is the Editor and Chief of the Seedbed Youth Ministry Collective and the author of Reclaiming the Lost Soul of Youth Ministry, among other books, curriculum and resources.

RSVP by August 26 ($15 fee for lunch) to Eddie @

September: RELEVANT Talks
“We're excited to offer RELEVANT Youth Worker talks in Tyler and Kingwood that are local, affordable, and current, on youth ministry themes for full-time, part-time and volunteer youth workers,” adds Eddie. “Small group leaders, UMYF counselors, Sunday School teachers, whether they are brand new or been around since Moses, we'll all benefit from these occasions.”

These gatherings will feature about six mini 20-minute topics given in “Ted Talk” style by a number of “best practice” specialists from churches of a variety of sizes in each region. “We will have conversations around those topics and share success stories, resources and ideas.” The Friday 7-9pm session will include a worship service, and the Saturday session from 9am- early afternoon will provide more opportunities for practical interaction.
Derek Blackmon, student ministry director at First UMC Huntsville, was the inspiration behind these sessions. Notes Derek, “There are conferences all over that cost a fortune, so I teamed up with Eddie to develop a mini-version that would be convenient and affordable. We know enough seasoned experts with good information to share with folks that are new to the ministry or have been in for the long haul.”

Derek says topics will address how to bring scripture to life, leverage sermon content for youth ministry, tips to get started in youth ministry and how to balance ministry with life. “We are excited to have Rev. Wanda Bess, West District Superintendent, as our keynote speaker,” he adds. “We will all share what we know – from failures to successes and have a Q&A time so that everyone takes away useful information.”

“These are two amazing opportunities that are ideal for team discussions,” adds Eddie, “so bring as many leaders as possible to the location most convenient to you.”