Merge Conference

What if you could attend one event that covers every base of your youth ministry?

Merge Conference is a Monday through Friday gathering of 500-1,000 teenagers with a unique blend of student leadership training for youth, separate training for leaders, powerful worship, and service opportunities that involve home repair and community service.

There's something for everyone and an opportunity for Jesus to meet you right where you are. Merge Conference is much more than just another conference or mission trip. It's a life-changing experience that will refresh, challenge, and leave you in awe of how great our God is.

  • ENCOUNTER GOD: Through incredible worship & guest speakers
  • EMBRACE THE CITY: By serving others
  • ENGAGE THIS GENERATION: By challenging students to be passionate servant leaders in their schools, church & world

What's Unique About Merge Conference? 

  • Students will receive a leadership certificate after 6 hours of training
  • Students will also receive a community service certificate after 25 hours of service
  • Engage in powerful teaching and worship
  • Learn key strategies to strengthen your youth ministry
  • Your choice of lodging and dining (not included in registration fee); Lunches are provided Tuesday - Friday
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Serve Alongside Local Partners

You'll experience the transformation that comes through meaningful projects as you serve alongside local partners. Your service at Merge Conference will meet the needs of all age groups—wherever those needs exist, impacting the community far after you leave.

Students will also receive a community service certificate after 25 hours of service.

Projects might include:

  • Assisting a feeding ministry that serves meals to the homeless and families in need
  • Visiting a senior center to engage in relationship with residents and help with tasks
  • Working with local nonprofits to sort food and clothing for support and distribution
  • Providing basic home repairs to low-income, elderly, disabled, or veteran residents
  • Leading a day camp for kids
  • Tutoring struggling children from low-income families

Typical Day

*Check-in will take place on Monday between 3:00 - 6:00 PM

8:00 AM Morning program
9:00 AM Student & leader training
10:30 AM Leave for service projects
12:00 PM On-site lunch
4:00 PM Return from service projects
7:00 PM Evening program
9:30 PM Youth group debrief

Be Encouraged. Be Equipped.

Student Training

In partnership with Kenny & Elle Campbell, co-founders of GROW Curriculum, your students will be challenged to be passionate servant leaders in their schools, churches, and world.

Student leadership training will cover topics such as:

  • The Basics of Student Leadership (Authenticity, Self-discipline, Honesty, Gratitude, Respect)
  • Practical Leadership Skills (Time Management, Excellence, Team-building, Setting Priorities)
  • Improving Relationships & Interpersonal Communication (Listening, Body Language & Non-verbal Cues, Building Lasting Friendships)

Students will receive a leadership certificate after 6 hours of training. 

Partnering with Kenny & Elle Campbell, co-founders of Grow Curriculum, for student training

Adult Leader Training

We know you care about the team of leaders within your ministry. Your adult leaders will learn key strategies through teaching topics such as:

  • What Makes an Awesome Leader
  • What's Happening in Youth Ministry Today
  • How to Thrive (Not Just Survive) in Youth Ministry
  • What Volunteers/Staff Need Most

Partnering with Ministry Architects for leader training

An Experience Like No Other

Every year, the Group Mission Trips team dedicates extensive time and energy to create a new Jesus-centered program intentionally designed so that you don't just look to a stage, but look to Jesus. This program theme is led by guest speakers and woven into morning and evening programs.

Each morning you'll gather for worship and training. After your day of service, you’ll return for a powerful and high-energy night of music, celebration, and teaching. As you engage in dynamic worship and Biblical teachings, students and leaders alike will be inspired and encouraged to build the kingdom of God in their school, community, church, and world.

The church host location is a place for participants to gather every morning for worship and training and to return to for a powerful and high-energy night of music, celebration, and teaching after our day of service. As you engage in high-energy worship and teachings, students and leaders alike will be inspired and encouraged to build the kingdom of God in their school, community, church, and world. 

Click any of the questions below to reveal an answer

You can find additional information on specific locations by visiting this page.

Merge is a gathering best suited for teenagers and youth leaders.

Yes, you must have 1 adult (21 years of age or older) for every 8 youth (20 years of age and under)

Yes, Group Mission Trips requires that all participants 18 years of age or older be screened and background checked by their church prior to attending.

  • Background checks must be national and no older than two (2) years from the start of the mission trip. 
  • 18-20 year olds are not considered “adults” during camp, however because of our commitment to safety, we still ask them to go through your church’s screening process and have background checks run.
  • Group Mission Trips requires a digital pastor signature on our Screening and Verification Form for every 18+ participant in order for them to attend the mission trip.
  • You may use any organization to run your background checks, but if you are looking for a reliable one, we recommend Clear Investigative Advantage. Their basic background checks start at just $12. They can be reached at 888.242.2503.

Groups must provide transportation to and from the mission trip as well as daily to and from the sites. (Mileage or fuel costs are not reimbursed for any transportation costs.)

3-6 p.m. Check-in
7:00 p.m. Opening program 

8:00 a.m. Morning program
9:00 a.m. Student & leader training
10:30 a.m. Leave for project sites
12:00 p.m. On-site lunch
4:00 p.m. Depart from service projects
7:00 p.m. Evening program

8:00 a.m. Morning program
9:00 a.m. Student & leader training
10:30 a.m. Leave for project sites
12:00 p.m. On-site lunch
2:00 p.m. Return from service projects
3:00 p.m. Final program
3:30 p.m. Depart for home

Safety is our top priority!

  • We require groups to bring 1 adult (21 or older) for every 8 participants that are under 21 years of age.
  • We require participants that are 18 and older be screened and background-checked by their church. Their pastor signs off that they meet Group Mission Trips' requirements and that they are approved to attend.
  • Every staff member has been screened, background-checked, and reference checked by Group Mission Trips.
  • We review safety procedures at camp.
  • Participants are not required to do any work that they consider unsafe.
  • Although we do serve in needy areas, we require crews to stay together at all times. No one should ever be left alone and all participants are back at the host church by their designated check in time.
  • Group Mission Trips' staff visit the crews every day so they are aware of where a crew is working and any issues in the area.
  • Every crew has the direct phone number to the GMT office and directions to the closest hospital. If an injury occurs on the project site, and is not serious, GMT staff will contact the youth leader and coordinate any transportation needed. If the injury is serious, the adult on site will call 911 and GMT staff will offer support and ensure needed medical forms are delivered to hospital.
  • Each crew will have a small first aid kit and a bigger one for every vehicle. 

Yes, there will be staff on site to organize and run the event.

Service opportunities may vary by location but will include things like light home repair and community service projects to help residents in need. Those projects might include providing meals for the homeless, helping lead a day camp, sorting food and clothing at a distribution center or working with children in low income neighborhoods. 

Lodging, breakfasts, and dinners are not provided at Merge. Lunches will be provide on Tuesday-Friday.

You will choose and book your own accommodations. Here are some suggestions—call local churches within your denomination to see if you can use their facility or look at the specific Merge location you’re interested in and search for hotels within close proximity. You could also look into camping options in the area and create a fun experience with your youth. We aren’t affiliated with any hotels but are always available to answer questions.

Once you register, a trip advisor will provide you with specific details on the conference location so you can book your accommodations accordingly. 

Programs at Merge include powerful and high-energy worship, celebration, and teaching after each day of service. As you engage in high-energy worship and teachings, students and leaders alike will be inspired and encouraged to build the kingdom of God in your school, your community, your church, and your world.

Register at any time. No payment due until October 31, 2019.

  • October 31, 2019: A deposit of $50 per person is due (nonrefundable).
  • March 15, 2020: Half of what is remaining is due.
  • May 15, 2020: The final balance is due. All payments are non-refundable after this date.

Payments can be made here online, by phone, or by mail.

Call us! If there’s space available at your Merge location, we’ll ask for necessary payment. If you have a cancellation, and you’ve exhausted all efforts to re-fill spaces, call us to make cancellations. We’ll adjust your balance accordingly. If you cancel a space before May 15th, 2020 you’ll just lose the $50 deposit. The entire fee is forfeited for cancellations made after May 15th, 2020. 

We recognize that unexpected events happen that can pull participants away from their original commitment. Please give us a call, we are happy to talk through ideas to recruit other participants and keeping your group intact.

If there is no other option but to cancel your group, call us by May 15th, 2020 to let us know. As long as you cancel by May 15th, you’ll only lose $50 per spot. All mission trip fees will be forfeited for any cancellations after May 15th.

We request modest clothing choices in our Code of Conduct. While Group Mission Trips doesn’t have a formal dress code, we serve local organizations that do have specific requirements for volunteers. Don’t be turned away from your assigned project due to inappropriate dress!

  • Pack plenty of t-shirts, longer shorts, capris or pants, and closed-toe shoes.
  • Many of our partner organizations don’t allow volunteers to wear spaghetti straps, shirts that reveal the midriff, short shorts or flip flops. And, of course, no clothing with offensive language or images.
  • Lunch Tuesday through Friday
  • Participant T-shirt
  • Powerful worship
  • Community service projects where your group will serve and help people in need
  • Leadership training for your students
  • Community service certificate for your students
  • Leadership certificate for your students after training
  • Youth leader training that will include key strategies to strengthen your ministry

We ask that all participants arrive on time and stay for entire time. Every part of the program is valuable and helps guarantee a life-changing experience. We really try not to make too many exceptions to this because it does effect other participants, partners, and work projects--so please check the schedule and make travel arrangements accordingly. Contact us if a situation arises.

  • Personal health insurance is not required to attend, although highly recommended.
  • If you carry personal health insurance, bring the appropriate information. It is needed if treated at any health-care facility.
  • All health-care costs are the responsibility of the participants or his or her parent/guardian.
  • If you have participants without adequate medical insurance and/or you desire to purchase trip protection insurance, you can purchase low-cost domestic and international insurance from any insurance provider of your choice.

All trips are filled on a first-come, first-served basis, so register early. However, if you register for a trip that’s full, we’ll give you a choice: Join the waiting list for your first choice, or register for your second-choice location. Call us. We’re eager to help! 

Absolutely! Don't just take our word for it. Give us a call (1-844-258-9616) and we'd be happy to connect you with other youth leaders who have served with us.

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Trip Details

Trip Type:
Trip Length:
5 days
registration price
$250 /person

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