Bread and Butter training encourages and empowers youth workers


On August 27, 2011, more than 125 youth workers and youth leaders gathered at Trinity UMC in Homewood for the first Bread and Butter Youth Ministry Training. It was a day that featured Duffy Robbins as the keynote speaker plus a selection of breakout seminars led by youth leaders with a passion for their subjects and years of experience to share.

Both the planning team and participants agree, the day successfully met its goal to encourage and empower youth workers who play a critical role in local churches working toward the Conference ministry goal of empowering a new generation of Christians.

"To say that Bread & Butter: Youth Ministry Training was a success would be a gross understatement,” Rev. Clay Farrington says. “As a youth worker, I was able to take a small army of volunteer leaders to hear one of the great pioneers in youth ministry (Duffy Robbins) and to learn from some of the brightest and saltiest youth workers in the North Alabama Conference - all for around $100.”

He adds, “And as the Conference Youth Ministry Coordinator, I was ecstatic to see a room full of youth workers hungry for God and new ideas to become more effective in growing teenage disciples of Christ. Thank you to our awesome team that made B&B possible! The North Alabama Conference is truly blessed with some incredible youth workers!"

Dana Gilliam, Youth Pastor at Fayette First UMC, agrees. “The Bread and Butter event was great! Blessings to you for all your hard work! Thanks a million!"

The featured speaker Duffy Robbins is a bestselling author and a professor of youth ministry at Eastern University in St. Davids, Pennsylvania. He shared with the youth workers from his 35 years of youth ministry experience.

The day also featured a number of breakout seminars covering a range of youth ministry topics. These workshops were led by experienced youth workers - most of whom are in local church youth ministry in North Alabama. Workshops included the folowing:

  • Counseling Teens led by Vicki Mann
  • Small Group 101 led by David Thompson and Toby Chastain
  • Little church Big Ministry led by Lane Gilbert
  • Built to last led by Duffy Robbins
  • Mission Tips led by Matt Lacey
  • Worship 360 & Recruiting Volunteers led by Robin Blakemore
  • Gender Specific Ministry led by Clay Farrington & Julie Adams
  • Pass the Tradition led by Dr. Jimmy Jeffcoat
  • Youth Ministry Geek & Ten Things That Rocked led by Jeremy Steele
  • Rethink UMYF led by David Thompson
  • Confirmation led by Roxann Edsall
  • Beg, Borrow, Steal led by Beth Green
  • Show Me the Money led by Toby Chastain
  • Working with Parents led by Darin Miller & Vicki Mann

The one day training event was designed by a team of youth workers serving throughout the North Alabama Conference. Team members include  Amanda Annonio, Beth Green, Clay Farrington, Darin Miller, David Thompson, Nacole Hillman, Robert Mercer, Robert Sturdivant, Robin Blakemore, Sandra Annonio , Timmy Collins, Victoria Mann, and Toby Chastain.

Rev. Dee Dowdy, pastor of Flint Hill UMC in the Southeast District echoes the praise for the event saying, “Thanks Clay my folks said the youth event was great Saturday!"

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