This past weekend I went to the National Youth Workers Convention. It’s one of my favorite times of the year for several reasons:
I get to spend time with a lot of other youth ministers for a weekend. The most fun people in the world are youth ministers without any kids around (via Mark Matlock). This is the truth. I have a blast every year connecting with old friends, developing more relationships and meeting a ton of people. This year my friend WreckEmTech was out for the weekend, which was a blast. As all/both of my readers know, I’m terrible with keeping up with friends from college, so getting a chance to hang out is always a huge blessing. I usually take at least one day of NYWC to chill solo, but this year I surrounded myself with people the entire time. After several months of office-ing from home I think the Lord knew I needed to be around the YM crew. I’d love to share some jokes from the weekend but they’re either waaay too inside, possibly inappropriate when out of context, or simply don’t translate when read (i.e. ‘senior pasture’). Fun was had, friends were made, theology was discussed, and shorts and flip flops abounded.
The worship this year was incredible. There are very few things like being in a room full of men and women on fire for God focused on worship. Bonus points for Shane & Shane leading worship on Saturday night. Unreal good time.
Other highlights include great sessions with top-tier speakers, checking out the latest and greatest stuff in the YS store, watching a rough cut of the Blue Like Jazz movie, and all the free swag (original definition; stuff we all get – michael scott) you can handle. And, since NYWC has taken up permanent residence at the old convention center which is right next to the fashion valley mall, it’s the only time all year where I say to a group of guys, “let’s go to the mall” (to eat).
Lastly, every year I use NYWC as a time to choose a personal theme for the up coming year. I like to choose one word to focus on, and run with that word for the year. In the past, words like story, rise, enjoy, peace, know etc have been major parts of my life. This year the word is ADVENTURE. I’m not sure how that is going to affect my life, but I am very excited for what the next year holds.
My thanks to all of the people who spend their lives in youth work and come together to create this great time. Also, to YS and their crew for putting together a great event every year. They really know how to speak to youth workers, and always seem to have their finger right on the pulse of what we need to hear. A big thanks to my friends that I love like family, for all of the joy you bring to my life. From deep discussions about missionology to the awesomeness of having a kid fart during small group, I wouldn’t change our conversations for the world. And finally, a big thanks to God for being the tie that binds us all together.
One love, one heart.