The conclusion of the NYWC

Wow, what an excellent weekend at the [tag]NYWC[/tag]! Dana and I are both safely home and, although very tired physically, we’re both emotionally recharged and feel better equipped to reach teenagers for Christ. God used many speakers, songs and conversations to give us direction and clarity concerning the future direction of our lives together in ministry. It was really pretty exciting to watch it all unfold.

I still have one more thought from Lilly Lewin’s “Creating Sacred Spaces” seminar. She was making the point that not all people are auditory learners and asked for a show of hands of how many people can remember 10 [tag]sermons[/tag] they’ve heard in their lifetime. Out of the hundred or so people in the room, only a couple hands went up! I was shocked! This was a room mostly filled with people who serve in churches as a vocation, not just a group of average church attenders. If anyone should remember sermons they’ve heard, it’s us pastors, especially since a lot of us have been in church for most of our lives. I wonder if the sermon is still the best way of communicating God’s truth? Is it leaving the lasting impression we think it is? In no way do I think that preaching and teaching should be eliminated, but it’s clearly not having the impact that merits it being the focal point of most church services. Something needs to change. This can obviously be done better.

Marko talked how youth ministry is “soaked in arrogance.” He gave some reasons for why this might be so, such as the underdog status in our churches making us feel like only the top ministries can survive or because we think that numbers in ministry is due to our own brilliance. He pointed out that Jesus regularly touched the untouchables, including us! For Jesus, categories like that didn’t even exist — he reached out to everyone.

He defined humility as “the acknowledgment of our true selves” and gave seven active steps to take for working toward humility.
1. Reverence for God (we are not peers with Him)
2. Doing God’s will
3. Obedience to others (be a part of intentional community)
4. Enduring affliction (where most learning and humility comes from)
5. Confession (name our sins and become broken before God)
6. Contentment (don’t compare our ministry to other ministries)
7. Silence (those who talk a lot think they have something worth saying; those who are quiet are open to hearing God)

Our youth ministries need to be marked by humility.

It all came to a close with Tic giving us a moment of silence to reflect over the week and all that God has done in our lives. Then he had us group up with people sitting around us to share those things with each other. Dana and I grouped up with a sr. pastor, a youth director and an adult volunteer, who were all very cool and great to talk to. After our time of sharing, Tic read the story of Jesus and His disciples partaking of the Lord’s supper together and gave us an opportunity to expand our group to about 10 people and do the same. We passed around a glass of grape juice and tore bread, each serving the person to our left. After praying together, Jeremy Camp came out and led us in a final song of worship before Marko and Tic sent us off. What an excellent way to end such a fantastic weekend.

[tags]Youth Specialties, National Youth Workers Convention, Jeremy Camp, Sacred Spaces, Lilly Lewin, Mark Oestreicher, Tic Long, preaching[/tags]

Posted on October 9, 2006

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