It has been a busy couple of days since arriving in Nashville for the Youth Workers gathering. I have been able to hang with Sarah from Cambridge UMC, we are working on a training event for the winter. It has been great to share a couple of general sessions together. I also ran into Paul from Crossroads in Parker. I gave Paul my cell phone and hope to catch up with him. I miss Paul and all of the youth workers in Parker.
I always love the opening session this year with a gathering 7500 people were packed in the arena. Worship with Crowder is amazing. This year first keynote speaker was Mark Yac…. It had to be special for him to be a speaker at this year event. Mark spoke on Luke 7 11-15. I remember one of his lines which are still rolling around in my head at this moment; the line is “Trust my presence is enough”. I love that if we have God Presence we have all that we need . Truly I need to work on his presence more in my life.
The Skit Guys were with us each of the sessions and they are on fire this year. I love all of the skits, and will need to maybe get some of their CD’s
Doug Fields spoke on Friday Night. This was one of the 2 nights I was stroked about. First Crowder, was Crowder, I love his stage presence and he just has a blast singing. I love his “You are my Joy”. I took a couple of moments and just stared at the crowd, 7500 people, who are there for 70000 youth singing “You are my Joy”.
I love Doug preaching style, always have a couple of slides, always great stories and solid advice for going into the world. I think of all youth preaching style, I try to be like Doug’s in style. On the funny side he made a comment about a cult that haunts all of us in youth ministry – the cult- Home School Parents. It might have got the best laugh of the whole weekend. Doug talked about train wrecks in ministry ( like Doug- I am tried of seeing train wrecks in people in ministry), Doug main theme was that we need to learn to say no, to say yes. The concept is we need to say no to all of demands that invade our ministry area so we can say yes to slowing down our pace of life. This really spoke to me, we always try to be people / church pleasing people in ministry. Doug had a great illustration of saying no when asked to help with the membership class at his church. Doug held is ground in a way I do not have the courage to, maybe in the future I will have the courage. Another of my favorite lines, he wanted to stress as a veteran youth worker, he wants us youth workers to be balance in our lives. Doug had a Senior Pastor who told Doug in his younger years never took take anytime off; the Devil never has a day off! Doug response was that the devil is not his model. Jesus work to slow down his life, to be alone to be with friends. Jesus (100 % man, 100 % God) left work undone, people unhealed and took time to be alone. I need to work on that. I also need to focus harder on doing my work during the week, and refocusing on my days off. I need to do less phone calls and less emails on the days off. Doug talked about the use of the off buttons on our emails/cell phones and such. Doug and I have both been in ministry when we were able to do ministry without both of these items in our ministry, they are blessing and a curse at the same moment.
The Jesus painter was on stage as Crowder played Wonderful Cross, I cried. Those are great Jesus moments. I am wondering why I cry at great worship? The last time in worship was at Tomlin concert.
Last night I spent an hour in the prayer chapel, which was rewarding
Saturday was a fun day I still need to process tonight, so more on that later.
I enjoyed watching the OSU game. I found a sports bar next to the Hotel and had tons of youth workers watching the game. It great to watch a game with people who are passionate about the game, it helps that OSU won in the last 30 seconds !!!!!
Well the Pizza should be hear soon, after espn I am going to look at John in the bible