If Your New And Anxious Being At #SYMC

Courtesy of Patrick Kelley, U.S. Coast Guard/ Creative Commons

Landed, arrived and started reconnecting.  If you’ve been to the Simply Youth Ministry Conference you know it’s the time to meet face to face with all your Twitter followers and Facebook friends.  It’s a time to be iron sharpening iron and to be refueled and filled.  If you are new, you can do all of that too; but, breaking the ice isn’t always easy.  The first time I attended one of these conferences I had a few fears:

  • I never received a formal youth ministry education.
  • I’m the only one from my denomination.
  • I’ve never been to one of these things.
  • I didn’t know I had to wear plaid.

The fears were scary but as soon as I stepped in, I found that people were quick to connect and easy to engage in conversation.  If you are new and feeling a little anxious, here are a few Do’s and Dont’s to break the ice and connect with others.


  • Do take opportunity of workshops, deep tracks, half tracks and peer panels to introduce yourself.
  • Don’t sneeze on your hand and then offer a handshake.
  • Do spend time in the bookstore talking with the reps, they’ll connect you with like minded youth workers.
  • Don’t steal the cheap stuff (It isn’t worth it).
  • Do ask people if you can sit with them if they are eating a meal.
  • Don’t eat their meal.
  • Do chat it up in the elevator.
  • Don’t jump in the elevator (Unless everyone else is on board, that’s fun).

In all reality, it’s simple just go up, introduce yourself and use questions like:

  • What’s your name?
  • Where you from?
  • How long have you been in ministry?
  • Who’s your favorite ninja turtle?

And get ready to meet people who will cheer you on, pray with you and encourage you in your journey.

Veterans to the conference, how would you recommend breaking the ice?