This is a non-sponsored post with opinions and reflections that are mine and mine alone.
I share this post in an effort to promote the National Youth Workers Convention,
a ministry that I love, support and participate with.
Alright friends, you know that I have been a long, long, long-time supporter and advocate for Youth Specialities, National Youth Workers Convention. I write about the convention every year, sometimes, multiple times in a year, as well as sharing from the convention through the blog and my personal social media accounts.
I have walked with, prayed for, and through many, many conversations encouraged the YS staff through all the years of transition. From attendee to volunteer, NYWC has been, and I pray will continue to be a huge part of my ministry and career. And while the convention is still more than eight months away, I have got to start talking about this years convention in St. Louis, in November.
Yesterday, April 18, 2018, my friends at YS and NYWC dropped a bombshell. Have you since this yet?
Friends, this is crazy and awesome and unbelievable and gigantic and nuts and AWESOME!! (Did I just say awesome twice?)
This is what Youth Specialties posted on their Facebook page...
NEW LEADERSHIP...We'll talk about that later.
But $99 for the entire convention? I'm going crazy!!
If $99 isn't enough to make you register for NYWC, let me share 3 quick reasons why you should go to NWYC this year!
We all need ongoing training; someone who has been there, done that and now comes to share what they have learned with you. At NYWC, you will have the opportunity to be a part of some of the best seminars with real-life youth workers. These aren't people who just write books, but youth workers who get it and are giving it so you can be the best at what you do.
From the YS bookstore to the exhibit hall, you will have a chance to get hands on with the latest resources, books, tools, and ministry opportunities available to you and your ministry. Speak with organizations that lead mission trips. Get to know the creators of resources like Youth Ministry 360 (one of my favorites) and hear their heart as they share why they do what they do. Discover new ways to have fun and build community with your students as you talk with camps and retreat centers who work to provide students with Jesus encounters in wilderness settings.
Whether you're in worship with hands stretched out or meeting with a youth ministry coach; sitting quietly in the Sanctuary or on your knees in the Prayer Chapel NYWC is a place where you can care for yourself. We spend our days pouring into, caring for, crying with, and lifting up our students, their families, and our volunteers. NYWC is a place where you can take time for yourself, reconnect with God, be refreshed, be cared for, and be equipped for your ministry again.
As a reformed conservative, I have found a home and a family among my brothers and sisters from across Christ's church.
There are plenty of conferences you could attend with excellent presenters and valuable tools and resources. But one of the things I have always appreciated from the NYWC community is the "big-tent" mentality. NYWC gives space so that the diversity of the church has room to be who they are without the constraints of opinion or preference. It's a melting pot of theological difference and doctrinal diversity. But instead focusing on what separates us, we celebrate what brings us together and rejoice in the community and diversity of God's magnificent kingdom!
As a reformed conservative, I have found a home and a family among my brothers and sisters from across Christ's church. And I look forward to being with them every year!
An amazing conference at an amazing price, why would you not register! Join us in St. Louis, from November 15-18, and experience NYWC! Register on April 26th, for $99, and begin making plans for the National Youth Workers Convention! Click on the link below to visit the NYWC website and watch last years recap video. Then watch for more news on NYWC 2018, coming soon!
I will be in St. Louis, for NYWC 2018! I hope to see you there!
The following is an edited re-post of a series I published a number of years ago called, Youth Worker Tip of the Day (YWTD). Since I have revamped the blog, I am going through past posts and giving them new life!
Tip: Go for a walk.
There's nothing like the feeling you get when you return from a brisk walk! Whether your walking the dog, walking with friends, or walking to pick up your lunch, a good paced walk will help you feel great.
My tip for today is to go for a walk. Or, several walks! Every morning I try to set aside time to walk our dog. Each walk will range from 15 minutes to 45 minutes covering 1/4 of a mile to 2 miles! I grab my iPhone, select a playlist or artist, and away we go. It's the perfect time to simply be with God. Because I usually choose music that centers around worshiping God, it doesn't take long before I am worshiping as I walk along.
Aside from the exercise and health benefits, a good walk helps to clear your head. It can release stored up stress and tension. It can open up time to be with God, talking and listening. And it can break up the monotony of the work day. If you are close to public walking trails that lead you through woody areas, or have excess to a state park, take advantage of them. I find these areas to be great for spending time, alone with God.
So get out there and walk!l And have a great week!
This is a repost from November 2009.
This morning I shared breakfast with my YS roommate. Bruegger’s Bagels and chocolate milk, case you were wondering. Our discussion centered around the question, How do you know when God is moving you?
It's a good question and often asked when we feel the push to move on to a new ministry or call. As we talked, I thought about my own experiences and knowing when God was moving me from one spot to the next.
Here's what I've learned.
GEt on Your Knees and Pray
Without a doubt, prayer is the most important part of the process. Seeking God diligently is a must. Each time we thought a move was coming, my wife and I bathe the possibilities in prayer. We pray together, we pray separately, we pray for specifics, and we pray for the unknown. We’re not afraid to ask God to answer and provide the details. Like Gideon, we put out the fleece and ask God to send the dew.
And don’t forget, prayer is a two way street. Spend as much time listening for God as you do listing your requests and demands. God still speaks, we just have to learn to listen.
Seek Godly Wisdom
Wise counsel is priceless. Surround yourself with trusted, Godly men and women, who can give you unbiased and confidential advice and support. These need to be people who love you and can be strong enough to say no. Tell them what they need to know. Ask them to pray specific for you for a designated time frame, then set up a time when you can meet and hear what they think God is saying. And listen! The counsel they bring might not be what you want to hear.
Watch and Know
God speaks through what happens around us. Events and circumstances help to push us the direction God wants us to go. I am a firm believer that God opens and closes doors as He deems necessary. Watch what’s happening around. Too often, irony is the hand of God turning a door knob.
Know your history. How has God moved you in the past? How has He moved in others lives? How did He move people in the New Testament? How did He move people in the Old Testament? Our God does not change. The same God who moved Abram to an unknown country is the God who might be moving you into the unknown. Knowing how He works will help you recognize when He is moving in your life.
I can’t say that these three things were my own brain child. They were shared with my wife and I many years again when we were considering our first full time call to serve a ministry. We practiced each of these three points then, and God was faithful in revealing what we needed to know and where we needed to be. Since then, we have applied each point for every move we’ve made and we have been blessed.
The only other suggestion I would add is idea of total surrender. Two captains cannot steer the ship. Each one will have his own agenda and desired destination. With both at the helm, confusion reigns. The ship needs one captain and one first officer. The captain commands the ship. He sets the direction and navigates the terrain. The first officer’s place is to obey the captain, follow his lead, and stay on course even when the captain steps of the bridge.
Not too long ago, I staged a mutiny. My wife and I knew we were done serving a ministry and that it was time to move on. What we didn’t know was the where. For us, the when was as soon as possible. So we made some phone calls, did the job search, and let some people know we we’re looking. But really, our minds were made up. We were going back to Philadelphia. My office was packed into boxes, and in my mind, I was already planning for a new youth ministry. We did everything we could to make this happen. But despite all our efforts, nothing was working out. We pushed and pushed and pushed. But the doors closed every single time.
After four months of trying to force the square peg into the round hole, the final door was slammed in our faces. We were not moving back to Philly. This was a crushing realization for me. Because of the nature of the work I was doing, I had to resolve to do what I was called to do. I asked for a peace about everything and the ability to surrender the situation and wait on God.
Three months later, we heard the youth pastor who was serving the church we were attending had left. We went away for a weekend as a family right after hearing about the opening. My wife and I agreed to pray about the news and w would talk about afterward.
When we returned home, I made a call. Three weeks later, I had a new call. God moved me when He was ready to move me. He was just waiting for me to surrender to Him.
If you are at that point, the point where you ask yourself, Is God moving me right now? Take the time to pray, seek counsel, watch for the signs, and surrender to what God is doing. He’s got it all taken care of, you just have to let him Captain the ship, then enjoy the cruise.