Saturday was (for me) a day of connection & conversation.
The day started with general session #2 – Rick Lawrence reminding us that Jesus is the connecting thread through all of Scripture. Louie Giglio challenging us to think about and answer the question “What kind of culture are you creating?” Louie said he felt that past youth ministry culture was more about cynicism and immaturity than anything else.
What our culture should look like:
- Humility (which is simply seeing God)
- Honor (we honor because we have been honored)
- Jesus (it all comes back to Jesus)
Takeaway quote: “Circumstances are not an excuse for cynicism.” (read that again and think about how it applies to your current situation.)
I sat in the Effective Branding class. A few things to remember when working on branding your ministry are: know who you want to reach, be intentional, be consistent, & keep it simple. <- Much easier said than done! But completely doable no matter what your budget.
I ended up walking out of a class because it wasn’t what I thought it was going to be. I ended up having a great conversation with a friend about transitions in his ministry and some of the similarities between what we are trying to do and what he is trying to do. It was very encouraging.
Sometimes at the conference, I like to eat meals with people I don’t know. Sometimes this turns into a rather quiet meal, but the rest of the time it is great. Today at lunch was one of those great endings. I ate with a couple I didn’t know and started talking about ministry. We had a great conversation about what is going on in their ministry and how to try and handle some of the frustrations they are facing. I walked away encouraged.
I got to talk with a hurting youth worker, too. We talked about some struggles he is facing and how he can better balance his full-time job, his part-time youth ministry position, his family, and any other free time he might have. I hope some of the ideas I shared will help him balance his life and reduce some of his stress.
At the evening general session, I felt I needed to spend time away from the crowd. So I walked out early (fully expecting to rejoin) to simply spend quiet time with God. I had spent most of the first day and a half “doing” the conference and had neglected to take time to simply “be” with God.
Ahh. I needed that!
And the final part of my day was probably my favorite 4 hour stretch of the entire day. I sat in a chair talking with a small handful of friends (two I’ve known for years, 1 I just met), plus a steady stream of bitesize conversations with people as they walked by. We laughed, talked about ministry, laughed, talked about our personal lives, laughed, and I think at some point I almost cried I was laughing so hard. It was such a refreshing reminder of what friendship within the body of Christ looks like. I am so glad I didn’t miss this moment. It was a much needed blessing & a great end to an awesome day.
What will Sunday bring?
Will you be watching for God?
What can you do to hear God speak to you?