Tuesday, November 25, 2008

more NYWC

first of all, some more thank yous...
-Gavin Richardson and FUMC, Hendersonville Student Ministry for letting me creep around their Sunday night program and "The Corner." it is awesome to see an awesome youthworker in ministry action with their students. Gavin, thanks for allowing me to lift you up as one of my student ministry heroes.
-Jeff McCormick for not providing me with things to do around Nashvegas, would have only stressed me out.
-Archie Honrado for leading an amazing prayer walk around downtown Nashvegas and all those who served as spiritual directors for the conference
-Dr. Matthew, Nancy, and Emma Sleeth for making the drive to hang out with 10-12 peeps and talk about loving the Creator by taking care of creation
-to the people of Nashvegas, especially those in the service industry; thanks for putting up with bad tipping coupled with a healthy dose of over-zealous friendliness
-Mark Yaconelli for reminding me to let go and just dance

after having driven ten hours and given myself the opportunity to process the event, still wondering if all the $$ and fanfare and travel is worth it. no offense to YS and NYWC, just reflecting on the multitudes of multi-national corporations i supported (or was forced to support) in taking part of this event. also wondering when YS will wake up to movement of youthworkers and student ministries seeking to live as open communities of conscious consumers and creative DIYers. seems that we are still getting together to speak about and seminar on what's going on NOW, risking wasting energy and time on possibly older, outdated paradigms for ministry with students and families. heard a lot of talk about transformative power of love and grace of God through Jesus Christ but still saw seminars on how to put together flashy presentations of the slick gospel of Christian consumerism. i know that i am looking at this too harshly but i am not giving up on the event, just praying that, as the years go by, God moves the leadership of this event through prayer and discernment to not get wrapped up on providing ways to do the next cool thing and find ways to lead youthworkers with sustainable options for reaching a diverse population of students and youth to show them how God is already at work in their lives. greatly appreciated the re-focus on getting back to Scripture and not just reading or memorizing it but allowing it to work through our lives so that our lives are our message (as Gandhi once said) and story; that others see our story through how we live our lives not what we say or how we can spout off proof texts.

as i continue to process, will continue to write. overall, a thumbs middle to up on the event as a whole. did not like the stadium atmosphere for general sessions and the cattle drive btwn the convention centers to get from smaller events to general sessions w/o getting rained on or frozen out. but really appreciated the focus on the contemplative, meditative side of ministry with students and families presented in the sanctuary, prayer chapel, labyrinth, and the presence of spiritual directors. as hard as i have been on this event, it is always a formative time for me, a time to plant ideas and allow ideas to be cultivated in an atmosphere i can only liken to a generative soilbed ready for growth. hang on CoH students, families and volunteers, i got a great opportunity to do some prayer and discernment on some plans that i think will work well with who we are and what we are about.

No comments: