The good folks at YS invited me to their PIttsburgh NYWC and gave me two seminars to teach: one on how to shape the gospel and a second one about The Blue Parakeet: Rethinking How You Read the Bible
. There’s something about gathering with youth pastors … there’s hope in the air, a future to dream about, and new ideas that get tested. But let’s face it: attendance or speaking at conferences like this is about meeting people and personal relationships. So … a few thoughts.
I met Mike King and Tony Myles and met up again with Chris Folmsbee and had a chat with a young youth pastor from Washington DC and then had coffee with Andrew Marin and then more coffee with Karen Sloan and lunch with Tom Sine and then got to chat with Duffy Robbins and …. then I flew back but, when I got home I realized that I forgot my journal and Bibles and called Tony Myles and he found them for me and kindly sent them to my home. (Thanks Tony.) I chatted with folks who read the blog and who write me letters and with a father whose son writes me letters … it’s nice to know how this blog helps others.
We perhaps forget that the future of the church is shaped by youth ministry conferences like YS. So, we look to the wisdom and experience of folks like Mark Oestreicher, who directs YS. We look to the implementation and application of ideas and the embodiment of the gospel in youth ministries and youth ministers — like the many, many I met and chatted with in Pittsburgh.
This was my first YS. It’s my kind of gathering because I’m hopeful of what the Church can become. In some ways, at meetings like this I sense the future is now. As Kris and I took a long walk early Sunday, I told her that I resonate with these youth ministers.