NYWC Days 3-4

Due to the fast paced nature of the convention and less than desirable internet access I was unable to post on days 3 and 4. Here are some of things I am still chewing on.

Day 3
Gary Haugen, president of International Justice Mission spoke and got me thinking seriously about following Jesus into areas that are beyond our control. Following Jesus is an adventure, an adventure into places that are dangerous and beyond our control. It is in those places that we will experience Him like never before. It is in those places that we must remember that His power is made perfect in our weakness. Following Jesus is not safe, but it is good.

Mark Matlock, president and founder of WisdomWorks Minstries, spoke on the Church and culture. He compared the values of Culture to the values of the Kingdom.

Culture Values
• Identity
• Controlling the process
• Critique of others
• Achieve outcomes

Kingdom Values
• Deny self
• Submit to God and others
• Serve others
• Trust God for outcomes

His comment to both of those, was both inditing and by in large, true, "The institutions that house the Church have become works of culture, not the Kingdom." May we strive to be more Kingdom minded and less guided by culture.

Day 4
Marko, Youth Specialites President, wrapped things up with a great talk on the future of youth ministry.

Youth Ministry 1.0 the early years of youth ministries in the sixties and seventies was Proclamation Driven. It was primarily driven by mass evangelism and numbers.

Youth Ministry 2.0 in the eighties and nineties was Program Driven. This era was driven by fancy programs, and even gimmicks all designed to attract.

Youth Ministry 3.0 (today) needs to by Not Driven. Instead of being driven we need to be present. We as youth workers need to be present with God and present with the students we minister to. Our ministries should be characterized less by numbers and programs and more by relationship. Our ministries should be more community oriented (I believe the word he coined was "communial") and incarnational. He based both approaches on Acts 2:44-46a and John 17:18.

We need to be willing to go against the flow of culture and past paradigms, and work toward contextualizing our ministry by making it more appropriate to our communities context.

He used this rather humorous yet poignant Wendy's commercial to illustrate what is taking place in the American church and how we need to be willing to make a change. The point isn't that the Church is blindly running itself into a hole, rather that we need to take a look at how we are approaching youth ministry and be willing to make changes to more effectively reach today's students. Powerful imagery.

Lots to think about. And those were just the General sessions! It was a great weekend. I am thankful Aaron and I were able to go and I am thankful to the YS Staff for putting together such a quality experience. I am better for it.


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