1. To Learn, Share, And Create with Like-minded People.
Long before I was involved in leadership at YS, NYWC was for me an incredible time. Not only were the seminars and Big Room gatherings inspiring, but the in-between spaces became huge moments in my life. I can remember running into Doug Fields for the first time in the hallway and in the less than five minutes we talked, his personal words led to a significant change in the direction of my life. I’m never surprised anymore when I hear others share of similar moments that are taking place all throughout NYWC that are unplanned, sacred moments. Bring people together and good stuff happens.
2.To Be Stretched
I rarely ever come away from NYWC feeling completely validated… and that’s a good thing. There is always someone who annoys me with their perspective or their practice of youth ministry or someone who is doing a much better job than me in something.This uncomfortable feeling is why I have always loved NYWC. Whether I agree or disagree with those around me, I always feel like I am moving forward in my own journey with Jesus and leaving wanting to be different. Personally, I rarely grow without some discomfort. I know it sounds weird to have to pay money for an event and potentially feel uncomfortable, but growth just doesn’t seem to happen any other way.
3. The Intensives and Pre-Convention Events
This year we again have a very solid menu of pre-conference learning opportunities. I’m really encouraging my youth ministry friends to come early and learn from Mark Yaconelli, Kara Powell, Doug Fields and Bo Boshers. PLUS, since leaders have to be constantly learning, we are trying to better understand more about teens and their sexual identity as they grow in Christ. This year we are offering a very unique opportunity to interact with some Christian psychologists who have conducted vast research in the area of sexual identity and spiritual formation. They speak from research, field work, and personal experiences of navigating the complex world of sexual identity and faith. This is not a debate on what is right or wrong, but rather an opportunity to help and care and shepherd those whose sexual identity differs from the norm. Mark Yarhouse will lead this time (and while it will be controversial for some—which is not our goal) to help us explore how to help teens follow Jesus. So, there’s several different options and I’d highly encourage you to consider coming a day early. (Learn about all the Intensives HERE)
4. The Family Rooms
We took a huge risk last year and introduced Family Rooms to the conference. This is a short time to connect with other youth workers and attempt to learn in a different way than traditional lecture. Based on feedback we’ve made many changes to this experiment and are excited to have better refined this experience. We listened to the evaluations and have added an additional Big Room gathering on Saturday morning so no one will need to give up that experience to participate in our Family Room environment.
5. Worshipping Together and Spending Time With God
Regardless of everything else that happens at NYWC, I walk away feeling like I have had time with God. NYWC has become so important to youth workers for their spiritual rejuvenation. Joining together and singing and praying with thousands of youth leaders does something to the soul.
Now it's your turn. Tell us what makes you excited for NYWC!
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in the YS Blog are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or position of YS.