I'm still posting about NYWC. Things were so busy and I was so tired that I didn't post about everything at the end of each day.
At the second general session, there was a comedy peformance by Joby Saad - "the village idiot" A band called 4th Avenue Jones performed a genre they call "hip rock soul" or something like that. They closed with something that I think was a cover of Smells Like Teen Spirit. Ted & Lee performed a drama imagining what process of arranging the room for the Last Supper could have been like. The drama was phenomenal at the convention.
David Crowder Band led worship, with a set that went something like this:
* He Was There
* Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing
* Amazing Grace
* You Are My Joy (This was awesome... at Passion '05 they had a video wall which made the tidal wave so... huge... it was wild)
* Oh Praise Him (All This for a King)
Doug Fields, of Saddleback youth fame, spoke at this session. He talked about a problem that's all too common in youth ministry, and in ministry in general, and in life in general. Our lives spin out of control with busy-ness. He talked about saying "No!" in ministry.
Doug compared our lives to trains running down tracks too fast in places that require going slow.
Some of the things that lend to us falling into this trap:
* Seeing students mess up, and thinking that if we did more they wouldn't have messed up
* Conflict (I don't remember in what context he referred to conflict now... my laptop battery was dead or dying and I took notes in the dark, on paper, of all things. Who uses paper anymore???)
* Guilt -- feeling that we don't measure up
But what gets sacrificed in our busyness is this: our heart, our soul, our family, our relationships.
He listed warning signs - we laughed at the first few because they apply to so many of us and it seems comical. The laughing stopped in the latter three. Probably not because they didn't apply to us anymore, but they weren't so comical.
* Constant clutter (office, desks, etc.)
* Addiction to speed
* Extreme multi-tasking (I'm writing this with the television on, a book at my side which I need to write a review of, I have my church email open in a different tab, and a course syllabus with information on the paper I'm supposed to be writing. Am I learning)
* Superficiality - our hurry is the enemy of depth
* Relationship fatigue
* Spiritual emptiness - no time to give attention to our own relationship with God
Questions to ask yourself as a youth minister:
* Who have I become because I'm doing youth ministry?
* Do I like who I've become?
How do we stop this lifestyle?
* Stop being impressed by the busyness of other people. "So, you been staying busy?" That is not the measure of success.
* Cut out the noise - develop a habit of silence and being reflective
Why do we want to say "yes" to more ministry?
What's the worst thing that could happen if we say "no"?
What's the worst thing that could happen if we say "yes"?
* We can lose our marriage
* We can lose our kids
* We can lose our heart for God
I hope this is not a message I soon forget. It seems like Doug pointed to very little Scripture, but the message seems to be huge. It still rings in my ears and I hope it continues to do so. Things are so busy. And odds are, for the most part, it'll not get easier but harder. I don't want to look at myself in 2 years or 4 years or 10 years and see a man who has given to so many in so many places that he has little to give, and gives less to those that mean the most.
The final question is: to whom or what do I need to say 'no'?