who we are

Here at Group/Simply Youth Ministry, we’re passionate about loving Jesus, youth workers, and teenagers. For decades we’ve been equipping youth workers with excellent resources for effective ministry—with books, curriculum, video and digital resources, mission and service opportunities through Group Workcamps, and the world’s most-read youth ministry resource, GROUP Magazine.

In 2007 we took a deeper faith-step into our calling and our passion—“Helping youth workers with what matters most”—and dreamed up a face-to-face training experience for youth workers that we hoped would be infused with something magnetic and life-changing.

We worked hard to create a caring environment that naturally deepens relationships—where conversations flow with authenticity, deep thinking and innovation are sparked, people are seen and valued for who they are, hearts are encouraged, souls are nurtured, and Jesus is celebrated in and through it all. It’s a life-changing “camp” setting for youth workers masquerading as a world-class training event, held in unique venues located in accessible and interesting cities.

We poured all of those dreams into the mixer and created the first Simply Youth Ministry Conference—an “unconventional” approach to learning and growing in ministry expertise and passion. From the beginning, we didn’t follow the traditional big-event format (it was easy to start from scratch since we really didn’t know much about the event business anyway). We simply trusted God and followed our passion for loving Jesus and loving others and built a conference around the rhythms and values of what we know best… youth ministry.

The Bible is more like a narrative than a handbook—it’s a collection of stories that chronicle the epic and messy and glorious redemption of the “apple of God’s eye”—the people He loves. Everything in it points to Jesus, in both Old and New Testaments. That’s why everything we do at SYMC points to Jesus—to know Him as He is, to worship Him in freedom, and to grow in our ability to help students learn how to follow Him. All of this happens in the context of our own ongoing narrative—we are, ourselves, a collection of stories.

And so, as an SYMC leadership team, our “spiritual act of worship” is to create and lead an organic environment that, once we’re immersed in it, opens us all to transformation in both our ministries and our own souls. You play an active role in fueling that environment—your questions and insights and gifts and experience are not only honored, they’re needed. God will leverage your story to change the trajectory of another’s story, and vice versa. Along the way, we’re going to have A LOT of fun, because laughter is the love language of heaven.

It’s time to gather together at SYMC to worship Jesus, to grow in our intimacy with Him, to deepen our youth ministry skills, and to help fuel a supportive community of ministry specialists who love being with each other. It’s a time to open ourselves to transformation, and to be a catalyst for transformation in others. We invite you to join us.

Today the Simply Youth Ministry Conference remains rooted in the same core values we believe are foundational in ministry. This is our commitment to you.