Home Youth Leaders Youth Leaders Blogs Post-National Youth Workers Convention

Post-National Youth Workers Convention

well, the nywc is almost over. only the final ‘big room’ to go. i’ll be heading down in a few minutes to attend that whole session, in support of my friend tic long. after more than 30 years at ys – most of those years leading the nywc – tic is doing his first-ever general session talk. i know what he’s going to talk about (fear), and think he is the right person at the right time with the right message.

this convention, here in nashville (as opposed to the earlier one in san diego), has not caused anxiety or weird feelings for me. honestly, it’s been wonderful. i’ve had a very full schedule, but have deeply enjoyed my time here. i haven’t been able to make it to the general sessions much, due to so many appointments — the one session i made it to did feel a little weird for me, as that space has so many memories and is so deeply connected to who i am and who i was. but, really, being here has been awesome.

i spoke 4 times:
– a ‘fishbowl’ dialogue called “soul care for busy non-contemplatives”. i really enjoyed this one — lots of great interaction and participation. i love the fishbowl format, and really felt we had a “we’re in this together” vibe in the room.
– a brand new seminar called “leading without power”. i think this one went well — i got good feedback. i’m planning on a blog post series with some of this content in the weeks to come.
– a 2 1/2 hour ‘grande seminar’ called “youth ministry 3.0″. despite the remote location, we had a decent turn-out, and great interaction.
– and a late night discussion on “the future of youth ministry”. this had a super-small turn-out, and some of the dialogue was a bit odd; but it was still worth doing. i have a blog post series planned out of this one also.

and i had dozens of meetings: time with friends getting caught up, time with youth workers who asked for an hour, time with current and potential ministry partners cooking up cool new things for youth workers (ooh — i’m so excited about some of the stuff i’m gonna try in 2011 and 2012).

in the end, this convention didn’t feel as much like closing the loop on a past reality to me as much as it felt like framing and realizing the good, new reality. i think the ‘leading without power’ seminar title is a good metaphor for my place at nywc, and it’s good.

i hope i get to come back next year!

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moestreicher@churchleaders.com'
Mark Oestreicher is a 30-year veteran of youth ministry, and the former President of Youth Specialties. Marko has written or contributed to more than 50 books, including the much-talked-about Youth Ministry 3.0. Marko is a speaker, author, consultant, and leads the Youth Ministry Coaching Program.