each year, for five or six years now, about 20 of us who have been in ministry to young teens for a long time get together for a few days. it’s become a group of close friends, many of whom i didn’t know prior to this thing starting. this year, we’re being graciously hosted by forest home, which is generously providing our lodging and accomodation. very cool of them. we start tonite and wrap up wednesday.
we usually take about 24 hours to do a life catch-up, including questions like:
– what did you struggle with in your ministry this year?
– what are you thinking of changing this year?
– as well as book recommendations and personal updates.
then, after a handful of years of setting the agenda together once we started, three years ago we decided to invite a special guest to join us for a half day. that person provided fodder for what we would talk about the rest of the time. that year, chap clark joined us, and we talked about his research for the book hurt, and what the implications were for young teen ministry. last year, we met at a gorgeous private ranch in estes park, and scot mcknight joined us. he talked about the gospel, giving us some new language and expanded ways of thinking about the gospel (really, out of his book, embracing grace). it rocked our ministry worlds: seriously, i’ve had so many of the attendees talk about how they’ve changed things in their ministry this year as a result of that three days.
this year, we thought it would be interesting to talk about the adolescent brain. a few of us had read the primal teen, and were intrigued by the huge implications for those in youth ministry — particularly young teen ministry. so we did a bit of research, and found dr. todd clements, a phsyciatrist and brain specialist in socal who happens to be a former youth worker with an mdiv. it will be very intresting to see what he brings us. i’ll be blogging the notes, so you’ll see ’em.
for those who are interested, i posted at length from last year’s time with scot mcknight. here are those posts:
the open letter we wrote the very first year we met
initial reflection on scot’s stuff
notes, part 1 (scot gets going)
notes, part 2 (defining the gospel)
notes, part 3 (atonement)
notes, part 4 (questions and topics we’d like to talk about)
notes, part 5 (Defining the Gospel in a young teen context)
notes, part 6 (Framing Young Teen Decisions with the Long-View in Mind:
Parts or Whole? Thin Slicing?)
notes, part 7 (Ministry Around “Love God, Love Others” and how to know if we are achieving it)
notes, part 8 (evangelism and outreach imlications)
attendee book reommendations
oh, and here’s scot’s post about his time with us, including a tense moment during discussion.
oh! and, no internet or cell coverage during this thing (dang, forest home!). so i’ll be off-blog ’til wednesday night (though i do have two posts set to go live each day while i’m gone).