Friday, February 22, 2008

NYMC Day 1

WOW-so far awesome is all I have to say. I think the coolest thing is the intimacy level that occurs at the conference. I use that term loosely of course, but it really is odd how interactive the conference is. Normally when you go to a youth conference it is uncommon to see the speakers and trainers out and about-not so with this one, I think I had about four conversations today with leaders of the event and observed several others. I really appreciate that, but I am also a little nervous about the intimacy aspect too as it is not always easy for me to come out of my shell in a group of people and share with those I don't know, so pray that I am stretched in this area this weekend and that I will feel comfortable sharing my heart.

Coach Tony Dungy was the speaker this evening and it was awesome as expected, his testimony and challenge was quite an encouragement. Three things he hit us with that are applicable to my ministry...
  1. Learn your craft- Basically I need to know as much as I can about my ministry and the students I work with and also how I do this. I do think this is relevant to working with teens, but I am not as concerned about this aspect this weekend. I try to stay as fresh as I can about youth culture, so I don't expect to get as much of this during the conference. I am praying for an open spirit though that God will show me some new things while I am here.
  2. Make it personal- Be yourself and take a personal interest in the students you work with. I think I have some to learn in this area. Even after 12 years in youth ministry I still am trying to figure out who I am sometimes and how I can reach certain groups of kids. I am asking God to show me who I am this weekend-even more so than already. Do I have to look or be a certain way to be an effective minister or just be who I am? Also how do I reach the rough kids-how do I draw clear boundaries and still reach those who I don't connect with?
  3. Recharge-Rely on Christ as my driving force, walk as close to Him as possible, and trust the Lord when you experience setbacks. I think THIS as I said yesterday is the reason I am here more than anything. It's not that I am not walking with the Lord or struggling with some deep sin, it is just that I need some refreshment. I am praying that God shows me this weekend what I need to do to recharge.

So day one was awesome....just one more thought I am working through that I'll try and put into words later...just what does the perfect youth worker look like. That is meant more for humor than anything-but I am on the lookout this weekend for that one person who has the "look." I'll try and get that blog on later as well as a picture if I find him/her. Thoughts on what I should look for or today's thoughts in general?

Time to go to sleep-I skipped the late night sessions tonight because I am EXHAUSTED...I know I must be getting old.

Seeking to go deeper...


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