I woke up this morning with a hint of jealousy and envy flowing through my veins. Now as I look out the window and see that it is shaping up to be a beautiful first day of October here in Southern Alberta…the emotions appear to be subsiding.
The hard truth is that I have numerous friends that have made their way to Southern California (San Diego) for the National Youth Workers Conference. Now do you understand my hint of envy? Let me clarify this ….I am envious of their location not necessarily their reason for being there (which they say is to learn something new – WHATEVER!!)
YES – our youth ministry team will be heading to Toronto for the Canadian Youth Workers Conference in December (chances are it won’t be quite as warm as San Diego is right now) The question has been asked by each and everyone of us on our team, “Why would we go to another conference”?
- are we being good stewards of our resources when we are spending thousands of dollars to hear people share about forms and methods of youth ministry that don’t appear to be working anymore? (rabbit trail: Have you ever wondered why so many presenters at these conferences – are no longer practitioners of their insights? So many appear removed from the day to day struggles of ministry…yet we see them as the experts?)
- are we not perpetuating the idea that “living out our faith” is actually more of an academic experience than “doing life” with each other?
- How often have you left those conference with a “truckload” of great insights and ideas (with great intentions to implement them all) and then 6 months later you look back and realize you left all those exciting plans in the truck?
(I will share at a later date why we as a team are going…)
I believe these Conferences still serve a purpose (check video below – particularly for those who are our volunteers) But for us as full-time youth workers/pastors…what truly is out motivation for more content?
I’d love to hear your feedback!
Are you conferenced out? What are you doing differently? How are you growing and learning within your local context? How are you “training” your volunteers? How are you defining “SUCCESS” these days?