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Reflections of the NYWC part 4 November 24, 2008

Filed under: youth ministry — Dj @ 11:52 pm

My seminar stunk today.  I don’t want to say who or what it was about but I wanted to leave the whole time.  

But that’s okay, because the final general session made up for it.

Marko kicked the crap out of me…in a good way.  I”m so guilty of what he was talking about.  I kept thinking about the “If onlys” I’ve built into my brain for ministry.

If only we had this nice youth room.
If only we had extra staff.
If only…
If only…

But we already have exactly what we need for a successful ministry, the rest of those things are simply distractions.  I needed to hear that.

All in all an amazing convention.  Thanks so much for everyone at YS and all the hard work you do and all the prayer and time you put into in investing in youth workers.  Thanks!  See you at YSOneDay!


Reflections on the NYWC part 3

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dj @ 12:11 am

After 2 full days of stuff on Friday and Saturday, I decided to take a quieter approach to my convention today being as that my typical Sunday is 12 hours long.

So I went to the conversation series today about Rural/Small town churches with Adam McClane (Hey thanks for signing my grant info sheet!) and got a lot out of it. Sometimes serving in a small rural church can be so incredibly frustrating and it was great to see that other people have the same struggles I do. It was great conversation.

I made a point to skip the main sessions today to rest, take in some time for reading and just kind of mull over some of the things I’ve learned the past 2 days.

This afternoon I tried something different…something that’s completely outside of what I’m used to: The Labyrinth. I don’t want to go into full detail about what it is because I would take a while, I took 10 minutes just trying to tell my wife about what it was, but it’s a journey through a labyrinth that takes you from your outside distractions, to the center of God’s presence and then back out with the focus to the outside world. It was great! I found myself rested, almost cradled in the arms of God. A whole new world of worship was opened up to me.

So tonight, as I said, I’m skipping the main session to have some alone time, watch some tv (24!!) and do some more reading. Great day, I got a lot out of it even though I didn’t do a whole lot of “stuff”.

Still hoping to get a photo with Marko before I leave, but that’s probably not likely.


Reflections on NYWC part 2 November 23, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dj @ 6:27 am
Tags: ,

Tonight I don’t want to focus so much on the content of today…but more on some observations.

First…some negatives/rants

  • People please…please…PLEASE turn OFF your cell phones! Put them on vibrate.  In my first seminar this morning someone’s phone went off and he let it ring 3 or 4 times.  2 minutes it rang again!  Silence the phones!  I think it’s so ironic that one complaint of youth workers is that students text while in youth group and then their youth workers come to a conference and do the same thing!
  • Saving seats.  Man…its impossible to get a decent seat.  You have these huge groups that come in and take huge sections of seats before anyone even has a chance to get one!  It’s very discouraging.
  • I’ve met lots of other youth pastors this weekend.  But almost every time they have asked me the same question: How big is your youth group?  Man that’s so frustrating…

An observation…

  • The different dynamics of the arena sections are interesting.
  • The first night I had the opportunity to sit up front, right next to the stage. People are pumped…getting all excited, jumping around, going crazy!  It was awesome!
  • This morning I sat back a little more and people were standing up, participating, but it was a little more reserved.
  • Tonight I sat up in upper sections and when it was worship through music time, our whole section stayed seated, a lot more reserved.  Now, don’t think I’m ragging on this group because I’m not–they were worshipping just as much as those in the front.  I often like to just stop singing and just listen and watch others worship.  It’s great!

A personal confession…

Geez…I am overwhelmed!  I have so much to wrestle with!  I get so frustrated about all this stuff that I’ve learned about the nuts and bolts of ministry.

I keep realizing how much I need to learn, but at the same time I keep thinking to myself: “My goodness…how am I ever going to do all of this?  How am I going to continue to work on being a good communicator.  How am I going to manage all of our volunteers.  How would I institute an application process and background checks.  How am I going to make sure I connect with a few students each night when I have so many people vying for my attention?

I feel like I can’t do it all!  How in the world are these people able to do all of that and still manage to keep a life?  It makes me feel so puny, overwhelmed, and untalented.  Like I’m never going to be able to accomplish all of that!  I’m giving serious thought about not attending anymore “ministry oriented” seminars.

Completely unrelated…

I’m totally loving Family Force 5’s new album.  Love it!


Reflections on NYWC part 1 November 21, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dj @ 10:50 pm

I’ve been in my hotel for literally, 10 minutes and I’m sitting down to put my thoughts onto here before I lose them.

First about General session 1…Wow!!

I found my way to the Arena about 2 hours early and grabbed a seat in the very front row, stage right.  I’ve never had an opportunity to be in the front row because huge churches send one person to grab 50 seats so I always miss out.  This time…those big churches weren’t going to knock me down!  I probably wasn’t supposed to be there that early but no one said anything to me and Tic even made the comment that we grabbed our seats WAY early.  I figured if Tic didn’t say anything…it was okay!

YS always does a wonderful job in making youth workers feel welcome and appreciated and I just love that!

One phrase that Marko said that really stood out to me (and this is a paraphrase): “Remember the holiness of wasting time…”  I always feel pressured to go to every single seminar I can while I”m here, and I needed a reminder to go at my own pace to where God is leading me.  Right now, I’m skipping the seminar so I can write this and get settled into the hotel.

Mercy Me was amazing, as expected.  I know their more popular stuff so there was a song or two that I wasn’t familiar with.  It was great none the less.

Joe Castillo FLOORED me with his sand art interpretation of the prodigal son.  At first I didn’t know exactly what he was trying to say and then it hit me!  At the very end, he made the sand picture of the father and the son, and turned the son into a lamb, and the father into Jesus.  I nearly cried.

Francis Chan was the speaker.  I wasn’t familiar with him before this afternoon but I will make sure I hear some more of his stuff.  He kicked the crap out of me!  He talked about cowardice and how we just don’t say what we need to say and we don’t do what the church should do!  I plan to buy the sermon and listen to it again so I can really write down some of those thoughts.

And of course who could forget the David Crowder Band.  Personally, they are my favorite…and they never disappoint.  Seems like they were having some technical problems while on stage but that’s to be expected, but you couldnt’ tell, they were spot on.

General session 2 is up at 7:30.  For now, I’m off to find some food!