I have not had the opportunity to post the last couple days, but for good reason. A couple months ago I was honored to be invited to a mini-conference in Rome, Georgia. It would probably be better to say that I was invited to a conversation.
About 30 years ago a group of Youth Ministry leaders (a relatively new field of ministry at the time) gathered in Colorado Springs to discuss how Youth Ministry organizations could partner together to reach all students with the Gospel. Ministries such as Young Life, Youth For Christ and other Church/Parachurch organizations were represented. Out of this meeting an umbrella movement and later an organization was formed. The National Network of Youth Ministries.
Fast forward 28 years after the official beginning of the NNYM and many of these same original leaders are still apart of the conversation. Only their conversation lately has been asking the question, “what does the future of the NNYM look like and who will carry the torch?”
As I mentioned, I was honored to have been about one of 15 Youth Ministry leaders under the age of 40 invited to a roundtable discussion with the older leaders. All told, about eight or nine of the younger guys made it and another eight or nine currently on staff with NNYM made it with a third grouping of about six to eight who are associated with NNYM and currently leading major ministries.
The conversations were rich. I believe the current leadership is doing the right thing in asking the younger generation the important questions about their role as they look for the person who will eventually take the lead (founding President, Paul Fleischman is stepping down in the near future).
I’ll post more about this in the next day or two because I came back from this meeting so enthused about some of my conversations (at the table and away). I’ll also post about the retreat facility as well and about the blessing of being with the man I asked to mentor me through this process of moving from Youth Pastor to Youthmark.
Good stuff, now it is good to be home!