Youth Ministry

Shift – Day Two

The second day of  the Shift conference consists of three break-out sessions followed with a large group worship and teaching tonight.  I’m signed up for three break-outs and decided last night to skip the first one today.  Mike Yanconelli gave me permission.Mike and Karla Yaconelli

Several years ago at Youth Specialties’ National Youth Workers Convention,  Mike greeted us the very first day.  In Mike’s unique way, he told us that we had permission to make the conference what we needed it to be.  If that meant not attending a single thing, then don’t.  If we needed refreshing time alone, stay away.  (As an introvert, I really appreciated that.) If you needed to work on your marriage, stay in the hotel room. (As a single, I was envious.)   He then introduced a guy and brought him up on stage.  The youth minister shared the story of how he attended the National Youth Worker’s Convention the year before and how his marriage was strained under the toil of ministry.  When Mike told them to get a room, he and his wife did that.

At this point, a picture of a baby was displayed on the screens and the youth minister shared that this is what he took home from NYWC last year.  Everyone applauded.

So, today I’m taking Mike’s advice – I’m making a baby.  Not literally, of course.  But I more than a breakout session, I need some time to process, to think, to dream. I’m breaking out.  Just for awhile.

Thank you, Mike.  As always, you still continue to teach, inspire and convict us youth ministers. We miss you.

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