today i’m off to our first-ever canadian youth workers conference, in vancouver. i’m absolutely stoked about this thing, and have been dreaming and plotting and having meetings of various kinds about this possibility for about 6 years, i think.
whenever ys does stuff internationally these days, we are extremely careful about not importing american crap. we are not interested in colonialization. but we do think we have stuff to offer, as long as we can find a local organization in a given country who can help us make sure what we bring it culturally appropriate. after years of searching, we are excited to be partnering with canadafire, an organization that networks and resources student leaders on high school and university campuses in canada. particularly, we are partnering with canadafire’s leader, darian kovacs, a young visionary fireball, passionate about serving youth and youth workers, highly skilled at networking and giving stuff away. early on in our partnership, we encouraged darian that we needed to make sure this was a canadian event. to that end, we made a few commitments together:
1. a canadian planning team would decide on speakers and program, with our input. we’re helping, but they had the deciding power.
2. while darian and the planning team wanted us to bring “some american speakers”, we insisted that AT LEAST 51% of the general session and seminar speakers be canadians.
3. we wanted to make sure there was partnership beyond our two organizations. this is where darian really kicked in with this networking and partnering skills. this is the list of organizations who are official partners on the event (from the website):
Presented in association with:
Apostolic Youth Ministries International, Brethren in Christ, CBM Youth, Christian and Missionary Alliance, Evangelical Missionary Church, Fellowship of Evangelical Baptist Churches – BC & Yukon, MB Conference, Nazarene Youth International, North American Baptist, Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada, The Presbyterian Church in Canada, Sonlife, Salvation Army in Canada, and YFC Canada.
And with friends from:
City in Focus, Muskoka Woods, Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Vancouver, and Southern Baptist Convention of Canada.
i just like seeing the catholic archdiocese of vancouver and the southern baptist convention of canada listed side-by-side as partners!
i’ll be teaching a critical concerns course, two seminars, and giving the closing general session talk. please pray for this ground-breaking event. it sold out last weekend, at 900 attendees, which is absolutely amazing for our first-time out.