Speaking Topics

Click here to inquire about having Mark DeVries speak at your church or event.

SusatinableYMSustainable Ministry – In the world of  ministry, there are a handful of  factors that are a constant in ministries that thrive over the long haul.  This seminar introduces participants to those factors and offers a strategic design for instilling these foundational patterns into the fabric of any  ministry, regardless of its model.


FamilyBasedMinistryFamily Based Youth Ministry – Over the past twenty + years, “family-based youth ministry” has become a highly popular but seldom understood (and sometimes even maligned) term, often creating more confusion than solutions for youth leaders.  This seminar identifies the peculiar crisis facing youth ministry in this millennium as well as offering a clear picture of the key components of youth ministries most likely to develop life-long disciples of Christ.  


EmotionallyHealthyMinistryThe Emotionally Healthy Youth Worker – The good news is that more and more young people in our churches are now led by adults equipped with programmatic expertise, magnetic charisma, and a growing level of theological sophistication.  The dangerous news is that far too many youth workers lack the self-awareness to recognize their blind spots and identify their favorite “games.” Even less of us know how to live with emotionally healthy rhythms or relationships. This session offers participants the opportunity to reframe and reconsider their own practice of ministry, beginning first with the faithful stewardship of self or considering the person of youth ministry before the craft of youth ministry.


PlantingOakTreesGeneration to Generation: Planting Oak Trees – Deuteronomy 6:4-9 and Hebrews 12:1-2

Investing in the next generation is not an assignment only for people who were hired for the job or even just for people who have “gifts with kids.”  Investing in the next generation is a responsibility that belongs to the whole congregation.  Dt. 6 is not a command to parents only.  It is a command that belongs to all of God’s people for God’s children.

God never intended parents to have to do the raising of Godly children alone.  But our culture has created that expectation by isolating kids from adults and by isolating parents from other Godly adults denying them the opportunity to walk with each other and with their kids.

Kids always do better when they are surrounded (Hebrews 12:1-2) by Godly adults.  But a great cloud of witnesses will not be there for kids unless we deliberately gather them.

If we want to create comfort in our church, we keep people in horizontal relationships (people all at the same stage of life gathered together).  If we want to create momentum and faith that sticks, we move people into vertical relationships (people of different ages together).


StackingTheStandsParenting Seminar – “Stacking the Stands” – During the season of life when most youth have a strong need to pull away from parents, we can actually stack the deck in their favor.  Drawing on the imagery of an athletic event where the crowd can influence the outcome of the game, “Stacking the Stands” provides parents and youth workers an opportunity to learn the incomparable leveraging power of weaving a web of life giving, intergenerational relationships for teenagers. Parents will walk away from this seminar knowing they are not alone equipped with one of the most powerful tools for parenting


MarrageMarriage: The Ultimate Reality Show – What if couples worked on their marriages less and learned the secrets of playing the game of an amazingly satisfying life together? This seminar will offer couples the option of taking themselves just a little less seriously in order to achieve the life they dreamt of when they first got married.



Searching for Issachar:  How Missional Entrepreneurship Can Turn Hair-Brained Ideas into Sustainable Ministry

Young adults bent on committing themselves to “something that matters” are more apt to turn to Tom’s Shoes than the church.  Millenials’ entrepreneurial spirit is widely touted, but the world’s first missional entrepreneurs may have been the early Christians, whose innovations contributed to the common good.  As contemporary churches wrestle with rapid cultural changes that have influenced institutional giving patterns, we are radically re-imagining how youth ministers–and Christian ministry in general–are to be funded.  Is it possible for next-generation leaders to follow in the footsteps of Issachar, who “knew the times and understood what should be done” (1 Chronicles 12:32)?  Can congregations learn to faithfully “hack the giant hairball,” borrowing business principles for mission, without losing our souls…or our shirts?


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