convention end

whew. made it through my talk. is was 100% suprised by the fact that our staff had filmed my kids giving an intro of me. totally caught me off guard! at one point, they asked my kids which of my many hairstyles they disliked the most, and max went into this long, articulate description of when i occasionally wear a headband these days, and liesl added, “he’ll probably wear it in front of you guys.” i’m wearing the pickin’ headband today.

then, when i was describing an arrogance-fueled, but ultimately embarassing moment from my past involving break-dancing, i mentioned that the only thing i was good at was “the strobe”, which is moving your body to look like it’s under a strobe light. the audience started yelling “do it!”, to which i responded, “i don’t know how anymore. really. i can’t do it.” they cheered louder and louder, and it became horribly, terribly, terrifyingly obvious that i was going to have to do the strobe after 20 years of not doing it, on a stage, in front of a couple thousand youth workers. i was talking about humility, so, well, it didn’t exactly seem like i could keep saying ‘no’ to protect my ‘dignity’. and, as one would expect, they all had a good laugh at the middle-age fat white guy attempting a break-dancing move he was clearly unable to perform. :o)

the convention’s over, and this is always the depressing afternoon. well, not ONLY depressing — because there’s a deep-seated sense of fulfillment and wonder and satisfaction, that youth workers are going home encouraged and challenged. but it’s depressing because they’re all going home. and our staff will tear down and pack up and wander around the now-empty halls, viscerally feeling the absence of the youth workers who brought life to this convention center.

i fly home tomorrow. anaheim convention is in three weeks, or something like that!

18 thoughts on “convention end”

  1. I loved your talk this afternoon, I have to confess I was the person who started the “Do It” part of the chant. I am acutally staying over the night to just relax and be revealed. Assume you are swap with YS staff, but if you are depressed and want a break let me know, after all we talk about how great the OSU/Michigan game will be.

  2. oh i’m so glad it went well – humility/humiliation – it’s a narrow road sometimes isn’t it?

    i sure hope they got the strobe on tape so it can be added to the intro for the following conventions!

  3. Marko…Great YS in Austin! Thanks for the opportunity to lead a few seminars and chat with you in the breakout room.

    Jeff Baxter

  4. The convention was awesome! Thanks so much for hosting it and for what you did for me and my wife. We feel revitalized and better prepared to minister to our teens and those out in our community. God bless!

    P.S. I’m assuming the interview with your kids should stay off YouTube also then, huh?

  5. hey tic & gang-

    my wife and i just got home from austin. what an amazing conference. really. thanks so much for setting the standard and doing everything with excellence. can’t wait till next year!

    o.k. i know you’re busy but i went to my wife’s myspace and i thought you’d like to see her take on the 4 types of youth pastors…enjoy. i still don’t know if i’ve been directly insulted or not.

    Friday, October 06, 2006

    youth specialties part 1
    Current mood: tired
    Category: Religion and Philosophy

    I promised myself I would take the time to blog during the Youth Specialties conference this year. I promised myself the same last year and never got around to it. Since I have my own laptop this time, it’s a little easier.

    We got here yesterday, and are (thankfully) staying in the hotel adjacent to the convention center. We brought Punky with us, so the ability to come back to the room often is really nice.

    We are learning that there are four types of youth pastors. It’s pretty comical, actually — it’s like they went to a class to learn how to be that particular “flavor.” What’s funny is that I know one of every type, so every time we see someone that matches the “type,” we look at each other and say, “Look, there’s Andrew again,” or, “Look, there goes Blake!” The Four Types are as follows:

    First, there’s Shaved Head Youth Pastor. This guy is actually not a youth pastor, but a “Minister To Students.” His favorite clothier is Old Navy. Flip flops are a staple in his wardrobe. Backpacks and baseball caps are the favored accessories. Loves David Crowder and Chris Tomlin. Generally this guy is Baptist. David cringes every time he sees Shaved Head Guy, falling into a deep depression because he feels that he looks like every other Shaved Head Guy out there.

    Next, there’s Portly-But-Hip Youth Pastor. This fellow is, well, we’ll say “cornfed,” but without the cornfield. Generally this youth pastor enjoys cool, trendy shoes, cargo pants, Christian T-shirts that say edgy things, trucker hats, and watches with extremely wide bands. Facial hair in any form is acceptable and welcome. This guy is generally either Presbyterian or Lutheran. Third Day is a staple in the CD player in his Bronco.

    Thirdly, there’s X-TREME!!!!! youth pastor. He is non-denominational, and his church generally enjoys his X-TREME!!!!! personality. This guy is all fuel, says “stinkin'” a lot, and does wacky things. He is an outdoorsman, loves skydiving and bungee jumping, and never sleeps.

    Lastly is Mr. Hardcore. He has many tattoos, has incredibly intense facial hair, and has giant holes in his ears that have been manipulated by extreme piercing and stretching. He may even have an eyebrow or a septum ring. This guy loves Tooth and Nail Records, takes his youth group to Cornerstone, and has a Hardcore pirate Christian radio station. He is mostly Charismatic or Willow Creek.

    Every single guy here fits into one of these four categories. It’s hilarious.

    But it’s been a good conference so far. Crowder rocks my socks. I won an iPod Nano. Tomorrow I am planning to go to the prayer labrynth at some point. I hope that I can shut up enough to let God speak to me in cool ways.

    Mike Pilavachi spoke tonight. He’s hilarious. Bible stories are always funnier when told in a British accent. But he said something profound: “It’s messy in the nursery. It’s neat and tidy in the graveyard. Let’s choose to exist in the nursery.”

  6. Marko,
    Thanks for your words today…In a world where the question is so often “How many are ya’ running?” and we feel such a need to puff ourselves up to prove that what we do is legitimate and real, your challenge was very much needed. Thank you for what you guys do. This is my third year to be at YS and I look forward to it all year long. Keep serving the kingdom by investing in all of these men and women who are just crazy enough to think that God can use us to impact the lives of students!

  7. Thanks so much for making this weekend possible! Your words are very encouraging and challenging. Your seminar on change got me thinking a lot. Thanks for all you do!

  8. We were sad to drive home. I’m back in a world where not everyone “gets” me. Thank you and everyone at YS for an amazing weekend. My brain is still simmering with all that I experienced and every few hours something connects, and I realize what God revealed this weekend.

    If you need a pick-me-up, and you’re still in Austin, go hit Amy’s Ice Cream on 6th St.

  9. marko – after attending 3 years, I was unable to go a few years ago (not able to afford it after losing my job.) last year I lucky enough to be able to volunteer in Pittsburgh, and told you I felt like I was home.

    After it was over – I had that same feeling. I know what you’re going through – I can’t believe you guys do it 3 (now 4!) times each year… I remember the excitement building up to it – everything taking shape, and then 5 days of craziness, fun, and inspirational – godfilled fun…

    the time when it was done – was so incredibly sad.

    I’m sorry I didn’t volunteer soon enough this year – I really thought I’d be able to go, and unfortunately (as of yet) can’t… I’m with you in spirit though as you begin your next convention and onward!

  10. Marko – Prayed for an awesome convention and you know you are doing the strobe in Cincy now, right?
    I couldn’t get on e-mail, but I have one offer on the table. We’ll know everything by Oct. 20th. Now, time to rest until Friday. KEEP PRAYING!

  11. Marko,
    Much thanks to all the YS staff, bro! This year in Austin was perhaps the best so far (to me, at least). On a personal level, the general sessions were exactly what I needed to hear from God. It was a wonderful time of feeding and recharging–it’s renewed me in several ways that are probably too long to comment here. (Guess I’ll bore people with it on my blog in the next few days…)

    Anyway, much love and grace to you guys from Austin! I’m currently on a mission to learn to strobe!

  12. Marko: we’re all like middle schoolers, so if you tell us you can do something, we have to see it! Can’t say anything un-positive about the convention in Austin, and I’ll be praying for you and the team for the rest of them. It was great to meet you this week.

  13. Thanks Marko (and YS’ers) for coming to Austin! We loved having everyone here and hope y’all will come back soon!

    Your talk yesterday was right on — and those of you going to the other cities should DEFINITELY insists on seeing “the strobe”. ;)

    Because you were here, we were able to send our church’s youth staff and several of us volunteers. (First time for everyone but me.) All weekend, my youth director kept saying how glad she was that she was there because she was learning so much; and yesterday she said she was leaving the convention feeling so AFFIRMED (something she’s really been needing!)… While we were driving home yesterday, my husband said “it’s nice to know that we’re not the only ones dealing with all of this stuff.”

    I could go on and on, but I just wanted to affirm you guys because what you do does make a difference in our lives and in ministry to our kids. Thank you so much!

  14. bringin’ back the break dancing! go-go-marko
    most excellent convention. i’m charged for eternity, but will still hang out with you guys next year.

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