Conferences, Connections, Churches and Chapels…

Like any good Pastor I am sticking with a single letter theme for this post. The last week of my life has been bombarded by Christians of every kind, here is a quick review of my Thursday to Thursday and all the different C’s I was able to experience.

Conference: I attended the National Youth Workers Convention (NYWC) by Youth Specialties in San Diego. I would guesstimate that I have been to 10 different NYWC’s in my life and this one was certainly one of the best. A few of the things that stood out to me and what made it so sweet from my perspective:

  • Lower cost: More “teams” participated because YS made it more affordable.
  • Diverse, but less “controversial” speakers: All who spoke appeared humble and weren’t looking to just push the envelope but actually deliver a message that would equip, encourage and spur on those who are working with youth.
  • Friendship: I was personally blessed by growing deeper in conversation with many across the nation that I can call “friend.” I appreciated spending time with the likes of Eric, Lars, Mark, Jeremy, Sean, Tim, Mindi, Jeff (two of them), Jim, Len, EJ, Ryan and several others that I am certainly forgetting right now.
  • Partnerships: It is really fun to dream together as to “what can be” when people with a kingdom mindset gather. I look forward to seeing how Youthmark may partner with others who are passionate about seeing lost people trust in Christ!

Connections: Alon Banks (Youthmark and National Network) and I drove north on Sunday evening to meet with Hope Partners International on Sunday Night and Monday  (all day). We are so excited about what HPI is doing and enjoyed talking through the next steps of our partnership with them. It will be amazing to see what God does as prayers are lifted, financial constraints are shattered and the harvest workers are unleashed on some impoverished areas!

I was blessed to have Elisabeth fly down to SoCal on Monday and spend Tuesday and Wednesday with her talking to Spire Resources (our publisher) about several projects! I am so proud of my wife and love partnering with her on some new endeavors!

Church: On Tuesday I was able to meet with a large church in Southern California and do a brief consult about some student ministry visioning! It was a great meeting! I firmly believe this church “gets it” and doesn’t want to entertain students, but wants to see their students equipped to reach out with the gospel!

Chapels: On Wednesday afternoon I took a quick flight over to Phoenix to speak on Thursday at Scottsdale Christian Academy. SCA is our first Christian School partnership for Youthmark. This is the second time I have spoken for this school (I spoke at a retreat with them in August). I enjoyed seeing some familiar faces and look forward to seeing Scottsdale transformed through these students and staff!

My 5th C I’d like to add is the word CRAZY. Now that I have returned, I immediately turn around and speak three times at MissionsFest Seattle this weekend and end the weekend by welcoming in the initial Adelphia Bible School Class! I’ll be speaking twice at orientation on Sunday! Great stuff, but a crazy schedule!

It is so good to be back with my family, though it was just a week (my longest trip in a long-long time) it felt like way longer! So good to love on my family! Speaking of family, I have to conclude this post, Will and I have an appointment to wrestle!




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