REFRESH Youth Leader Conference

by Office of Marketing | Mar 12, 2013

Valley Forge Christian College was pleased to host a one-day conference on February 9, welcoming local youth pastors and leaders as they gathered for REFRESH – an annual event that focuses solely on recharging those who minister to youth. Professor Phil Baker, VFCC Youth Ministries Specialist, and the VFCC Youth Studies team, led the event.

The conference consisted mainly of worship and seminars but included time for fellowship and food as well. David Hertweck, New York District Youth Director, John Davidson, Oaks School of Leadership Director, and Dr. Earl Creps, Lead Pastor of 360 Church in Berkeley and author of Reverse Mentoring and Off-Road Disciplines, were featured speakers at REFRESH. Participants were led in worship by Dan Sarna, Worship Pastor at Glad Tidings Church in Reading, Pa.

According to Professor Baker, the mission of the conference was simple: “At the end of the day, I want all of you to say, ‘I’m refreshed!’” The event was not meant to give leaders a long to-do list, cause reorganization in their ministries or discourage any current activities; rather, the purpose was to recharge leaders and inspire new dreams for youth ministry.

After a kickoff session of worship, Hertweck addressed the participants during the morning seminar, delivering messages about preaching and teaching to teenagers. In both sessions that he led, Hertweck stressed the importance of the Gospel narrative, and how it must remain at the center of every sermon; he further encouraged attendees to dive deeper into the teachings of Jesus Christ, and to learn to incorporate the story of His redemptive actions into every service.

In the evening service, Davidson and Dr. Creps led a seminar entitled “REFRESH: The Dream." During this session, the duo discussed the importance of dreaming and vision casting in ministry. For the majority of this time, audience members engaged in round-table conversation, focusing on personal dreams, ideas, goals and plans. Dr. Creps and Davidson then proceeded to encourage attendees by guiding them in processes of ministry evaluation and development.

All in all, regional youth leaders spent eight hours at REFRESH – getting the opportunity to recharge, receive encouragement and seek wisdom from experienced ministers. There is no doubt that attendees left the VFCC Flower Chapel saying, “I’m refreshed!”