Tag Archives: nywc

things you won’t hear at the national youth workers convention

let me just give you youth workers this little heads-up, this little hint, this little tease: we are rethinking EVERYTHING about the nywc this year. seriously. we’re nuking it, and rebuilding from the ground up. i’ll have more on what that means in the weeks and months to come.

but, i saw this little video over on adam’s blog (didn’t even know we made it!), and thought it was fun.


“seriously ridiculous” stuff for free

every year, ys gives away the graphics and screens and videos we create for the national youth workers convention. this year’s theme was “seriously ridiculous”, and there’s some great stuff.

click here for the download page. the seven “scripture videos” alone would be worth so much.

we hope this stuff is really helpful to you in your ministry!

(oh, and here’s a link to the page with the four previous years of downloads:
2007: storyline
2006: reveal
2005: jump
2004: wide open)

nywc nashville wrap-up

another national youth workers convention is over, and i have that familiar post-event combo of deep satisfaction, joy, and sadness.

it was a great event, and i know people were blessed, encouraged, and challenged. people told me, as they do, how the event is like a lifeline for them, keeping them in ministry another year. rookies were wide-eyed with wonder about this resource, and the feeling of belonging to a tribe of people who understand them. vets who skip lots of stuff to make room for connecting with friends and taking care of their souls talk about the reality that there is no other place that provides this for them.

the sadness is really, i think, just a normal post-partum type of thing. we work so hard and long to birth this baby, and there’s some natural sadness when everyone leaves the hotels and the convention center is empty.

i’m also sad — and this is NOT a “woe is me” thing! — by those attendees who aren’t in a place to be served by this event. those who write angry emails about our “liberal agenda” (which, most of you know, is just not the case). we deeply desire to serve the whole church, all youth workers — mainline and evangelical, conservative and liberal. and we think the mix of speakers, attendees and perspectives is a beautiful scent to god, a time when we temporarily stash away our differences and come together around our common calling in youth ministry. i know we anger people on the liberal end for being “too conservative” — but they don’t tend to be the angry email writing type. they just don’t return. but the handful of accusational, angry emails from those who think we’ve “gone liberal” bring sadness because i so deeply desire for them to experience the beauty of an inquisitive position (that doesn’t require agreement), the grace of enjoying different perspectives, the growth that can come from wrestling with ideas that our different than our own.

things i particularly enjoyed about this nashville convention:

the general session room: the arena creates this amazing vibe that, although there were 5000 people there, has an intimacy to it. every sees someone else.

the attendees: there was a level of excitement and engagement that was electric.

crowder: david was with us for two sessions, and this is never a bad thing.

sam and ruby and matt wertz:
i’d heard sam and ruby perform at a small club show in san diego, and knew we had to have them at the nywc, in nashville, where they live. they did a 20 minute pre-session, and were so amazing. i’d never heard of matt wertz prior to this event, but he brought a fantastic john mayer-ish vibe to his set that was humble and really good.

shane and shane and the skit guys: shane and shane are becoming ys regulars, and i just dig their live performances. rarely do two voices blend so perfectly. the skit guys have become like crowder – it’s hard to imagine a ys convention without them. and i’ve genuinely grown to value them as friends.

francis collins: there were some who were ticked about francis collins’ talk, and other who were bored with it. but i found it fascinating. and i loved that whatever he talked about, he kept grounding it in his love for god.

hook-ups with friends: meals with matt maher and and old college buddy who’s a literary agent here in nash, and a nice meal with eli ruggles, a wonderful dinner with british youth ministry leader matt costley. coffee with chap clark (a dear friend) and roger kamstra, and old intern of mine. a great backstage conversation with dan kimball. visits to my suite by lars rood, steve taylor, and others. all great opportunities to connect with friends.

going out on a limb with my closing session talk: as i did in pittsburgh, i used very few notes, and really talked from my heart about both the intersection of communion and mission, and about the reality — described by jesus — that we have everything we need to be successful in youth ministry, because “we are the equipment”. it was a scary, risky place to be, but it felt like the right ending to the convention.

monday morning update

the weekend that was: nywc in nashville, baby! awesome. i’m wiped out, as i should be.

where i am at the moment: in my room, preparing for my closing general session talk.

on my to-do list this week: wrap up the convention, have dinner with the ys staff who are here, then fly home tuesday. a day of writing and catching up in the office, then a few wonderful days of relaxing with my fam over the thanksgiving weekend.

procrastinating about: nuttin’ in particular.

book i’m in the midst of: anne rice’s spiritual autobiography, called out of darkness

music that seemed to catch my attention this past week: i downloaded a wad of old favorites from the 80s christian music scene (from this website), and put them all in a playlist that i have listened to, with great joy, all week: undercover, altar boys, 77s, riki michelle, adam again, mercy seat, daniel amos, vector, lifters, the call, and many more.

next trip: home, tomorrow! then, i head to our canadian convention mid-week next week.

how i’m feeling about this week: looking forward to some rest!

blogging and twittering from the national youth workers convention in nashville

here’s a list of people who are blogging from the national youth workers convention in nashville national youth workers convention this weekend. i’ll add to it as i find more, so check back. also, two new features on this post this time around:
– live blogging
– and, twitterers

we’ve added live blogging this year. a handful of bloggers will be live blogging (in real-time) from seminars and general sessions.

here’s the nashville nywc live blogging page.

bloggers who say they’ll be blogging from the convention:
mike kupferer
kyle from popple
josh cook
molly carr
rusty pettus
chris hansen
phil shields
ryan nielsen
mandy jones of bible across america
jenn ruggles
steve carter
seth bartlette
shawn shoup
kevin klas
steve argue
sayward elliott
dan kimball
emily capes
kevin eckert
scott ball
jason raitz
adam cramer
andy thompson
jay voorhees
lilly lewin
postmodern pilgrim
dj butcher
lars rood
eric willits
mark helsel
will penner
adam mclane
mike king
andrew marin
eli ruggles
ys blog
and, of course, me!

twitter feeds of those who say they’ll be twittering from the convention:
mike kupferer
josh cook
molly carr
ryan nielsen
mandy jones
bible across america twitter
jenn ruggles
shawn shoup
david wiggins
jonathan wright
brandon davidson
sam halverson
terry linhart
danielle brown
emily capes
john pyle
andy thompson
eli ruggles
lars rood
eric willits
adam mclane
mark matlock
ian robertson
chris davis
adam’s official nywc twitter
and i will be also!

you can also click here to see the nywc twitter feed (anyone including #nywc in their tweets).

monday morning update

the weekend that was: nice weekend. friday night was mostly chill — helping jeannie get ready for the spiritual retreat she was leading the next day, and a few other odds and ends. saturday was jobs around the house, and i took max and a friend to see madagascar 2 (funny!). in the evening, i got caught up with jeannie about her retreat. wrote a magazine article and a book endorsement. then, when she went to bed early, i went with a buddy to see quantum of solace (wow!). didn’t set an alarm for sunday morning, and slept in way later than i ever do: 10:30. which meant i wasn’t going to make it to church. dinked around the house until friends came over to watch the frustrating loss of the chargers at the hands of the steelers. it was 87 degrees here, and funny to see them playing in snow. that’s gotta be a little shocking to our sunny climate chargers. in the evening, we had a great home church — deep sharing about why we’re meeting and where we want to head. oh, and i’ve been working on dropping a few pounds this week — lost 6 so far.

where i am at the moment: at the office for a couple days before leaving for the nashville nywc. actually, i’m at cosmo’s, my local coffee shop, in the mornings, working on writing middle school ministry. then i take the trolley to work for the rest of the day.

on my to-do list this week: nashville nywc, baby! my days in the office until then are all about getting ready, really.

procrastinating about: hmm, nothing strikes me this week.

book i’m in the midst of: finished dave livermore’s upcoming cultural intelligence (feb 09 release), and started reading the abstinence teacher on my kindle.

music that seemed to catch my attention this past week: my friend bob gifted me some cool itunes music by a band called styrofoam. cool stuff.

next trip: nashville, wednesday through next tuesday.

how i’m feeling about this week: pumped!

blogging and/or twittering from the nashville nywc?

i’m a little bit afraid of what compiling the list is going to be like, since the previous two cities were LONG lists, and this site has twice as many people attending. but… let me know if you’ll be blogging and/or twittering from the national youth workers convention in nashville this coming week. i’ll post the list on thursday.

monday morning update

sorry i TOTALLY spaced on posting my monday morning update last week. in the midst of the pittsburgh national youth workers convention, it didn’t even cross my mind. more particularly, i was in a wrestling match with god (losing, i might add), and an update post was seriously the last thing i was thinking of last sunday night and monday morning.

but here we go, back to it…

the weekend that was: after a few busy ones, this was a nice, low-key weekend. friday night, max, jeannie and i went to trader joe’s, and all chose whatever we wanted for dinner. given that max had, the day before, declared “the four major food groups of max” as chocolate lava cake, lasagna, orange juice, and syrup, he decided to make those four his dinner (much to our chagrin and amusement). i had a pre-cooked beef roast, some cubed sweet potatoes (to which i added butter and brown sugar), and some rice pudding for dessert. we watched ‘journey to the center of the earth‘ on pay per view, then i stayed up way too late catching up on some tivo’d stuff.

saturday was my kids’ school’s ‘harvest faire’ (they’re kinda into seasonal festivals for the whole community). it was a stunning day, weather-wise, and we had a nice relaxed time, chatting with peeps and such. in the evening, we all read books, then liesl and i caught up on 4 episodes of ER!

sunday was church (to which i hadn’t been in weeks), the san diego chargers game at our friends’ house (with chili, which was perfect for a cooler day), and ‘to do list’ stuff in the evening. i’m writing this sunday evening, and we have a fire going in the fireplace, jeannie and max are reading harry potter, liesl is studying in her room, and life is good.

where i am at the moment: in my writing spot this morning, then off to work. but this is a new week in many ways. i sold my mini cooper on friday, and we’re going to try to live through the end of the year with the one car. since jeannie has to drive the kids to school down in san diego, living with one car basically means i’m the one with no car. i have writing mornings planned most days this week, and my writing spot is 5 blocks from home and one block from a san diego trolley stop. there’s also a stop about two or three blocks from ys. it’s $5 round trip, which is a bit of a rip off, but should be do-able. i’m asking for a longboard skateboard for christmas, which would make the walks on either end a bit quicker. it’s going to force me to slow down a bit more — i can’t just say, “hey, i need to be at work in 7 minutes,” and leave. i think there’s a chance i will enjoy this, once i get used to it a bit; but i could be wrong, it might drive me crazy!

we’re pretty sure we’re going to buy jeannie a prius in january. our other car is a saturn vue. i’m toying with selling it while it still has a little value, and getting a vespa, or (maybe?) a piaggio mp3. since i only drive about 5 miles to work, and the weather here is almost universally nice, it seems like it would be practical much of the time.

on my to-do list this week: it’s mostly a catch-up week. but i have 3 or so hours blocked off every morning (except one) to work on the middle school ministry book. i really need to keep making significant progress on this, if i’m going to finish by january 1. i have four chapters done now, and about 9 to go for my half of the book (i’m co-authoring with scott rubin of willowcreek). i also have to re-write the opening session for ys one day this week (third or fourth revision).

procrastinating about: oh, not a whole lot, really. i’m finally making good progress on the middle school ministry book. jeannie and i have some work to do on our taxes, and we’ve been seriously procrastinating about that.

book i’m in the midst of: two, i guess. i’m a few pages away from finishing christopher moore’s island of the sequined love nun; and i’m about a 100 pages into dave livermore’s upcoming release, Cultural Intelligence: Improving Your CQ to Engage Our Multicultural World (which i’ve been asked to read and write an endorsement for — that’s on my “to do” list this week also!).

music that seemed to catch my attention this past week: ok, this is a wild one. an amie street email (my favorite website for exploring new stuff) suggested a band to me a week ago. the band is called “king kahn and the shrines.” the album is “the surpreme genius of king khan.” i have listened to it non-stop most of the week.

how to explain? combine old skool funk and blacksploitation music with a bit of the rougher edge of dave matthews, with some doses of rolling stones, the doors, and a bit of punk sensibility. i don’t know, but it’s infectious, and i recommend giving king khan a listen. tasty morsels of fuzzy, buzzy, crunchy goodness.

next trip: nothing this whole week! woo-hoo! my next trip isn’t until the following week, when i head to nashville for the next nywc.

how i’m feeling about this week: okee-dokee! nothing freaking me out too much — should be a good one!