I will be attending the Youth Specialties National Youth Worker’s Convention this weekend! I hope to post updates in pictures, quotes, and other awesome things during the weekend. The conference is at the Duke Energy Center in Cincinnati. There will be a series of big rooms, seminars and labs, late night options, Open Space Saturday (where attendees shape the conversation and experience) an exhibit hall, a Youth Specialties store, and a dinner hosted by the General Assembly office of the PC(USA).
Vallerie is going with me. It’s a blessing to be able to have someone come to help me learn as much as possible. Plus it will be fun! We leave tomorrow (Thursday) as soon as we can both get done with our work. The conference starts Friday morning with a Lab and then the first big room with Reggie Joiner.
Speakers I’m Excited to Hear:
- Tony Campolo
- Andy Root
- Donald Miller
- Jordan Foxworthy, Jaime Colman and Zach Hunter (teenagers doing big things)
- Liz Murray
- Jon Acuff
- Reggie Joiner
Other Exciting Things:
- Late night worship with Shane and Shane
- Open Space Saturday. Open Space seems to be a new trend in conventions and I am looking forward to experiencing it to see why. It’s basically participant led discussion groups. I have no idea how it works or what it means, but I like the idea of learning from each other.
- Spending time with Vallerie. I will insist on continuing to call her my “non-paid assistant who has an important actual job but agreed to tag along with me to keep me company and carry my coffee.” Well, just kidding about the last part. I’ll say it, but I won’t actually make her carry my coffee.
Thing I’m Not Excited About:
- No Mark Oestreicher. I was going to attend one of his labs and I was really looking forward to it. But he’s not going to be there anymore.
Mostly, I’m excited for a chance to reflect, learn, relax and plan. I’m hoping for some clarification on my calling in ministry. I’m looking for some fresh creativity and perspective. I’m anxious to hear about what other youth workers are doing in their ministries. I’m expecting God will grab hold of me and smash any current plans I have and then (hopefully) replace them with what God actually wants me to do. I do appreciate your prayers–that I would be a faithful participant and make good use of the Church’s investment in me attending the NYWC. It’s going to be a great weekend!