I wrote this last year before attending the nywc in Nashville. The danger is still very much a reality for me.
Why NYWC is a dangerous place...
...well, at least for me.
In fact any place where there are other youth workers who do what I do can be a struggle. You see, I struggle with all kinds of pride issues. It seems God uses gatherings like these to shed a huge spotlight on the places that may be in the dark.
I love to be noticed.
I am naturally competitive
I play the comparison game
I typically feel I'm a little better than others
I typically feel I'm a little worse than others
I want to be seen as important
And yes, "I" was used with intentionality. Those of you who don't struggle with these same issues please don't judge, you have your own.
My hope and prayer for myself and others who struggle with insecurity and ego is that this weekend will be a time we genuinely walk in humility and "esteem others as better than ourselves". It is true, God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble.
I can't afford to miss what I can receive from others and the little I can offer.
Now, on to Atlanta
This year as I'm thinking and praying for Atlanta here are some things I'm very excited about.
I'm going to connect with a lot of old friends.
I've been in youth ministry for around 25 years. Yes, I'm ancient. Some of my closest friends are men and women I've worked with over the years. I'm not great at keeping old relationships fresh but I'm trying to learn. These relationships are important to me.
I'm going to learn a lot.
I have a fear. As I get older I'm afraid I will stop learning. I'm afraid I'll be that old fart that knows everything and can learn nothing. With that in mind I'm going to seek to learn everything I can this weekend. I'm going to learn in seminars and through conversations. I'll be coming home better equipped to serve and lead the next generation.
God is going to speak to me.
When I get away and focus on my soul God always speaks to me. I need to hear from HIM.
So yes, nywc is still a dangerous place for me but the gospel is good enough to break through my crusty heart and move me closer to the heart of God. Please say a little prayer for me and all the youth workers who will be in Atlanta.
May youth workers be better equipped, more connected to Jesus and more passionate as a result of what Jesus is going to do.