What Is Summit

A two day conference designed to ENCOURAGE, EQUIP & CELEBRATE Youth Ministry staff and volunteers.


Jeff is currently serving on the Student Leadership University Team as the Executive Director of the LIFT Tour and Youth Pastor Summit.

Jeff is nationally known as an urban ministry communicator, innovator, and leader.

Jeff Wallace
Executive Director of the Lift Tour and YPS

Kurt Johnston has been in youth ministry since 1988 and currently leads the student ministry teams at Saddleback Church which include 14 local and 4 international campuses.

Kurt Johnston
Saddleback Church

Ryan has over 11 years of experience serving students in the local church. Currently, he serves as the Director of Students & Young Adults at Christ Fellowship Church; a non-denominational multi-site church with 8 locations across South Florida.

Ryan Mcdermott
Director of Students & Young Adults, Christ Fellowship Church

Jeremy has been in youth ministry for 15 years and is the Youth Pastor at Faith Baptist Church in St Thomas, ON and the Director of FEB Youth. Jeremy also publishes youth ministry curriculum through downloadyouthministry.com

Jeremy Best
Pastor, Student Ministry - Faith Church

Ellen Duffield is the Director of the Leadership Studio at Muskoka Woods. With 30+ years of church, camping and organizational leadership as well as involvement in international research and training initiatives she is passionate about the role leaders can play in transforming communities and nations. Ellen loves canoeing, snow shoeing, dancing, good conversation, good stories and good friends.

Ellen Duffield
Director, The Leadership Studio at Muskoka Woods

Mark is the GO Pastor at Parkdale Baptist and has been involved in full time ministry for 16 years. Mark and his wife Elisabeth are foster parents which give them a unique view into the lives of families.

Mark Hymus
GO Pastor at Parkdale Baptist

Dave is the Youth and Family Pastor at Temple Church in Sarnia. He has been in youth ministry for over 25 years. Dave is all about helping students to own their faith, live their faith and share their faith. He also has a deep passion for encouraging and equipping youth workers as they engage with their students. Dave is married to his beautiful wife Laurie and has two teenage kids, Emma and Bobby.

Dave Lane
Youth & Family Pastor - Temple, Sarnia

Jay Sandiford is the Lead Pastor at Willow Creek Baptist Church in Midhurst, ON. Before moving to Midhurst in May 2012, he served as the Youth and Associate Pastor at Springvale Baptist Church in Stouffville, ON for 13 years.

Jay Saniford
Lead Pastor - Willow Creek Baptist Church

Eric has been in youth ministry for 16 years and is the Student Ministry Pastor at Bethel Baptist Church in Strathroy. Eric is passionate about establishing and building up healthy youth ministries in churches that reach their communities with the gospel.

Eric Veen
Pastor, Student Ministry - Bethel Baptist

Master of Ceremonies

Dwayne began full-time pastoral ministry at Summerside in London, where he directed youth and worship. Dwayne then served almost ten years as Pastor of Student Ministries at Calvary Baptist Church in Oshawa. He joined the Harvest team in 2016 and now resides in southeast Barrie and enjoys easy access to the nearby beaches.

Dwayne Francois
Connections Pastor - Harvest Bible Chapel


April 28, 2017

6:00 pm: Registration Opens


7:30 pm: Session One - Jeremy Best


8:30 pm: Break


8:45 pm: Session Two - Ryan McDermott


9:45 pm: Dismissed

April 29, 2017

8:00 am: Registration


9:00 am: Session Three - Kurt Johnston


10:20 am: Break


10:45 am: Session Four - Jeff Wallace


12:00 pm: Lunch Provided


1:00 pm: Breakout Sessions A


2:10 pm: Breakout Sessions B


3:30 pm: Session Five - Ellen Duffield


4:30 pm: Dismissed

Breakout Sessions A:

Middle School Ministry - Kurt Johnston [Main Stage]

You never know what to expect when Kurt Johnston talks about middle school ministry! But you can count on feeling equipped, empowered and encouraged to confidently minister to this incredibly important age group. Along the way, you'll laugh a lot and maybe even cry just a little...or not...because you never know what to expect when Kurt talks about middle school ministry!


Three Things that Changed the Trajectory of our Ministry - Ryan McDermott [Breakout Room #1]

How to create a culture, cultivate student leaders, and foster a sense of collaboration.


Idea Exchange - Hosted by Dwayne Francois [Breakout Room #2]

The Idea Exchange is an opportunity for you to hear from other youth workers and for you to share about what's working for you in your ministry. Specifically, we're looking to hear about the best program/event/activity you do, the best resource you have created or used, and also encouragement that you'd like to share with other youth workers.


Breakout Sessions B:

The Untapped Youth Ministry Opportunity - Mark Hymus [Main Stage]

Parents and teens who struggle with disorders like ADD, ADHD, Autism … are looking for places to belong, places that will embrace them. Our youth ministries have an amazing opportunity to step into these places and not only change that teen’s life, but affect a family for Christ. Join us for a discussion on what to do, what not to do, and what opportunities are ahead.


Creating an Atmosphere of Discipleship – Dave Lane [Breakout Room #1]

In the fast-paced world of youth ministry, intentional discipleship can get lost in the shuffle. It is clear from scripture that Jesus calls us “to make disciples”. But the question is … how do we do it? We are going to spend time looking at what that might look like within our youth ministries.


Leading Your Leader - Jay Sandiford [Breakout Room #2]

One of the toughest groups of people to lead are those who have authority over us, yet this might be the most important group of people we must lead if we are to accomplish the ministry God has called us to. Whatever role we play in ministry, this session will focus on how to better lead those who lead us.


The ABC's of Building a Healthy Youth Ministry - Eric Veen [Breakout Room #3]

Building a Youth Ministry is tough. Building a Healthy Youth Ministry is even tougher. Whether you’re starting out or assessing where your ministry is at, join us as we look at the foundational pieces of developing a healthy youth ministry.


Registration CLosed

We hope to see you next year.

April 27 - 28, 2018

YMS 2018 will again be hosted at Temple Baptist Church in Cambridge ON

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