What privilege to participate and serve at the NYWC. I long to be totally present the next few days as I serve, listen, learn and reflect.
So, here’s my pre-convention pep-talk, 3 pieces of advice I’m praying through as I prepare my heart for the days ahead.
1. Listen More / Talk Less
Maybe you don’t have this problem, but when I’m around “my tribe” (youthworkers) my pride and ego can flare up. It can be insidious and I need God’s grace.
It comes out by talking about all the stuff I know or have done. Sure, God has graciously provided me with experience (I’m old) and access to gifted leaders (I’m blessed), but if I’m spending all my time thinking and talking about me I’ll miss key opportunities to learn and encourage. My heart’s desire is to truly “esteem others as better than myself”.
By God’s grace I want to spend the next 3 days asking questions, learning from younger men and women who are seeing ministry through fresh eyes and encouraging anyone who crosses my path.
There’s no doubt many who attend this year have deep pain, tough questions and a sense of hopelessness. May this weekend be a place where we carry each other’s burdens not compare each other’s successes.
2. Find Time and Space to Reflect
As I listen to colleagues and am challenged in my personal life and ministry it’s important to find space to reflect. With so much going on and the circus that is NYWC, it’s easy to jump on a plane Sunday feeling like you’ve just taken a sip from the fire hydrant.
Different people process differently. Maybe time to reflect means getting some time alone. Maybe it means being intentional with your team or perhaps it means grabbing some time with a close friend to share what you’ve been hiding in your own heart for years. There’s no better time than NOW to reflect, share and maybe even confess.
Whatever God has for us, whether it be personal or professional, let’s make time and space to reflect, write and share. As we do what we learn will take root and impact deep in the future.
3. Have Fun
Ok, this goes without saying, but I want to take the pressure off.
Of course, your church administrator knows how much money you’re spending to go on this trip. There are unbelievable seminars and opportunities for you to receive great instruction and insight on how to be more effective in ministry.
So go to a lot of seminars and every main session but stay up a little later than you normally would and sleep in a little later than you normally do. Connect with old friends and make new ones. Laugh a lot.
I know you will but I’m going to say it anyway, HAVE FUN!
Again, we are unbelievably blessed to attend such a great event where we get to be around people who do what we do.
Don’t waste your convention! Listen, reflect and have a blast in the process.
See you there!