COVID-19—Response from UYWI

 The COVID-19 pandemic is changing the way we operate in the world and is shaping what the future of the church will look like. Now is the time to rally together and support each other and this movement so that we can continue to reach urban youth with the Gospel. The world needs hope and we have the answer in Christ. We want to make sure urban leaders have the support to do the work of raising up the next generation that will lead the Church into the future.

We have admittedly been a little slow to come out with a  statement on the Covid-19 pandemic. This was not due to a lack of care. Rather, we have been hard at work planning and strategizing on how we respond to this crisis. We are a leadership development organization. We are called to lead and to help others lead. We rest in the assurance of Christ’s power over death and we are reminded that we are more than conquerors (Romans 8:31-39). It is the Church, the people of God that are on the frontline and we do not back down, even from a pandemic. I know few others that are as courageous and faithful as urban leaders are and yet we all need support. We all need to be reminded of who we were created to be. Sometimes, we need to be led so that we can continue to lead ourselves. We are committed to lead in this time because we believe in the leaders that God has given us to lead.

The future is NOW and we are committing to these 5 areas: 

  1. Network Now- Creation of Networks – Creating a stronger national and regional networks that can encourage, resource, and care for urban leaders throughout the country to continue to reach youth with the Gospel during this pandemic. Join our private FB group to get connect to your network. 
  2. Practice Now – Implementation of Best Practices- UYWI will help you discover and share the best practices for engagement with youth in a time of physical distancing.
  3. Speak Now – Conversations About the Future – UYWI will help you curate conversations about how today’s reality shapes the future of the Church and the movement of urban leaders.
  4. Collaborate Now – Collaboration for the Future – UYWI will continue to encourage you to collaborate with your fellow youth workers and create strategies around the effects of this pandemic for the future of the Church.
  5. Create Now – Creation of New Resources – UYWI will continue to make the most authentic, impactful and relevant resources, training, and coaching for urban leaders to usher in the future.

Now more than ever, we need your partnership to weather this storm together. We ask that you continue to pray, support us and join our efforts to encourage, care for, and resource urban leaders as they are the ones on the frontlines caring for the physical, emotional, and spiritual health of our youth Nationally.  

Tune in below to watch the Zoom Call we just held to begin our response.

Thankful for each one of you, 

Tommy Nixon 



UYWI Conference 2020

Thank you for your years of service to youth across the globe! We have been blessed to come alongside you all these years. We look forward to every time we come together, and we love hearing about the important work you are doing in your city!

As a leadership development organization, we train, teach, and coach leaders to make hard decisions. We wouldn’t be very good at what we do if we did not model that. As a team, we have prayerfully considered our options, and we have decided to cancel National Conference 2020. This decision is specific to 2020. It was a difficult decision and one we do not take lightly. Please take a moment to view the video below to hear more about the reasons behind this decision.

We ask you to stay connected with us this year through our other events, our online resources, and through training opportunities. Please continue to pray for us and with us. We look forward to continuing to support you in the great work you are doing for the Kingdom!

If you have any questions regarding this decision, please feel free to reach out to us at, and one of us from the team will reply to you immediately.


Tommy Nixon, CEO



Why was the event cancelled?
  • Our pace as an organization has been much too fast and needs to change for 2020 and beyond. Without making a change we will not do well in sustaining the organization nor accomplish all God has set before us in equipping of urban leaders. 
  • With our transition of leadership, we only had a 30% retention rate of donors. Our efforts to secure funding from other vital sources to reach our overall goal, fell short. This shortfall impacted the budget for National Conference.
How and when are you refunding attendees?

If you purchased a ticket to the National Conference 2020, we will be issuing you a full refund via Eventbrite. This will take place the week of January 20 – 24, 2020.

How are you working with conference partners?

We have done our best to communicate with conference partners, however, our leadership team is available to speak with any partners that have further questions. 

Will there be a conference in 2021?

We are exploring our options at the moment. We will have a decision on this in the Fall of 2020.

If you have any questions that were not answered here, please email them to us at