Well the first day of the NYWC is officially over, and of course it was amazing as expected. There were three key times that were a part of the day, so I'll make each of them an individual blog post to prevent one large one. So we'll start with Mike Pilavachi's message in the general session.
The premise of the message-or at least what I took away from it focused on the idea of making sure we are making disciples and not just consumers. Our kids are consumers by nature and if we aren't careful they will just come to our program until something better comes along. No matter how hard we try we cannot entertain our students into the kingdom. When I heard that concept it shocked me, because for so long, I have thought that the best way to do relational ministry is THROUGH the program, but truthfully we need to do ministry in spite of the program. He used the illustration of the disciples and how they walked WITH Jesus when he did ministry. They experienced it with him, they didn't just hear it from Him.
Something else that challenged me from his message was the reminder that it is not about us. Too often I find myself trying to make sure that I am the "coolest" so the kids will want to be a part of our ministry. However, it doesn't matter how cool I am, if the kids don't know I care about them by being where they are and including them in the ministry that we do at our church.
Finally, he challenged us to not be afraid to release our students to do ministry. Again he used the example of Jesus and the disciples when they went to cast out demons. There was one time when it went really well and another when it didn't we have to allow our students to serve, and even make mistakes the whole time walking beside them and encouraging them to continue. During these times we have to encourage them, correct them when necessary, and love them the most. I was really challenged to step up this are in my ministry. We have some student involvement, but I think I have held back because of fear of failure with the students in ministry-again probably more out of fear of looking bad myself. I am praying that the Lord will help me to expand my student led ministry when I return home in a few days.
That's my thoughts on Pilavachi's message (which the British accent just made that much cooler) Anyone else with thoughts?