Surviving the Conference Hangover

fb-orangeLast week over 11,000 total ministers and volunteers were at conferences in Atlanta, Georgia for the Orange Conference or in Tampa, Florida for the Exponential Conference.  If you were at either one of them, or even watched online, there was a ton that you learned about how to do ministry better.

UnknownThe question now is…with all this new information percolating in your brain, how do you survive the hangover of information you just received so that your ministry can in fact be better because of the conference you just experienced?  Conferences are great because of all the information you receive but you now have to do something with it.  So, here are a few suggestions based on what I learned over the years:

  1. Review Your Notes, by yourself. Take some time and look over your notes. As you review your notes, look for things that really stand out to you and start to process what some next steps are for you in those areas.  Its best to do this alone so you can let God speak to you about these items.
  2. Review with your Team.  Unfortunately, not everyone has a team. But, if you do set up a team meeting as soon as you can.  This is where you can debrief your team of what you learned and start forming a plan on how you all can incorporated some new ideas or strategies into reaching your target audience.
  3. Work together with your Team on an implementation plan. This is very important.  You don’t want to come in and TELL them what you are going to be doing because of the conference.  Rather, it is best if you invite them along in the process of coming up with ways to implements some new ideas.  If you come up to them and tell them what the program will do because of what YOU learned, it could be countered with a lot of resistance.
  4. Don’t overreact. It’s easy to go to a conference and come back thinking your ministry needs an major overhaul based on some of the conversations and discussions you have had.  But be careful.  Don’t get sucked into thinking that what God is doing in one part of the country at one church is exactly what God wants to do in your church or ministry.  He may very well be leading you to do that.  OR, He may have a completely different plan for your ministry.  So, be discerning, be patient and do not overreact by making an unnecessary change in your program.
  5. Pray.  I know this seems like a Jesus Juke to you (thanks Jon Acuff), but seriously the only way you are going to make sense of the conference you just attended is to go before God and ask Him to lead you through it.  Because the honest truth is He led you to that conference (made it all happen with finances and the appeal) and He has an ultimate plan on how you can use this conference to benefit your ministry. So, go to Him and ask Him what our next steps are.

These are just a few simple things you can do to debrief from your conference experience and survive the conference hangover.

But they aren’t the only things you could do.  How do you survive the conference hangover?  Share below or on social media using the hashtag #ymsidekick.

Tom Pounder

A father of 4, Tom is the Online Campus Pastor as well as Social Media Director at New Life Christian Church in Chantilly, VA. He blogs, vlogs, periscopes and podcasts regularly about student and online ministry stuff. Check out his work at and on iTunes (search YMSidekick).

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