the guatemala youth workers convention (i should say the youth workers convention in guatemala — because a full 1/3 of the attendees weren’t from this country) has come to an end. lucas spoke in the final general session this evening, and he BROUGHT it, again deconstructing many of the wrong-headed ideas that permeate the church in this part of the world (and in the states also!). he bashed the pervasive idea of wanting to be the top dog in a church, and held up barnabas as a great example. he talked about jesus smelling like sheep, while so many pastors seem to prefer to smell like a microphone. but it wasn’t a “negative” talk — it was extremely encouraging, but challenging.
he told me later this evening, at dinner, that he was praying ealier today, and asking god that we (ys) would be ready for the impact of and reaction to this event. he is — rightfully — concerned that we may not be ready for the time, people, and resource demand this will place on us, as a new-generation church revolution starts to pick up speed in latin america.
we had dinner tonite with several of the US speakers who joined us this week: wayne and marcie rice, rich van pelt, and others; and with several of our key friends who have supported these conventions through the years in argentina: junior zapata (from guatemala), jeffry de leon (from guatemala, but living in miami), german ortiz (from argentina), keith king (from the US), abel lopez (from the US), and others. we were also joined by a handful of the amazing volunteers who made this event happen in guatemala. these are just stellar brilliant people who gave of themselves to make this happen.
i spoke for four hours today, and am dead tired. i did a 2 1/2 hour critical concerns course on leadership and change. had a great time — the audience was very responsive; and i made it more of a workshop, with reflective exercises around many of the things i’ve learned in the past two years from bob carlton and mark dowds. luckily, my last 90 minute seminar was on young teens, probably my biggest passion, so i was able to get pumped up all over again, and had a great time. hardly any youth ministries in latin america do anything for young teens (youth ministry typically begins at 14 or 15 here), and it was great to be with 100 people who were HUNGRY for some validation of their odd calling!
i’ve said it before, but i really mean it: it’s just such an honor to be part of this thing, part of this obvious movement of god.