Sunday - was my "my church payed for this conference so darn-it, I'm going to run my self ragged and try to take in anything/everything all at once" day.
- Rick Lawrance rocked our socks off with a message on "Improv" complete with a great contemplative picture exercise. Each day, Rick has challenged us to practice "play" with God and every single time, God has spoken to me through the exercises.
- Marv Penner blew me away with the "Helping Kids Whose Hurts Are Deep" session of the Counseling Youth 101 track. We talked about unchallenged assumptions and how they can lead to a cycle of brokenness. If you were at the conference, you will want to purchase this audio as well as the next session on self-injury and give it to all of your youth leaders.
- My worship affinity group was amazing.
- My brain officially reached meltdown while attending Dan Webster's seminar on "Learning to Lead From Quiet." It wasn't what I was hoping for, but it was still good.
- For dinner, I joined with other youth pastors/workers from my denomination: the Christian and Missionary Alliance to honor our retiring denominational youth director Kent Julian. Kent did a terrific job at directing our Alliance Youth and has prepared the denomination well to minister to our teens in culturally relevant ways. Kent is one of those guys with his finger on the pulse of youth culture. We will miss his hard work and inspiring vision (as well as his shiny bald head).
- Greg Stier challenged us to have...er... "Challenging Conversations." I loved 90% of what Greg had to share, he's definitely an evangelist at heart. The reality show clip he showed was very interesting. I just hope that in our passion to share the good news through challenging conversations that us Christians stop acting like jerks about it.
- Kutless rocked hard...very hard. I got to jump up and down like an idiot. It was great. I wasn't the only one.
Monday Morning - Last day... *tear*
- I pushed myself so hard Sunday, I decided to sleep in, pack, and check out during the morning seminar time. I was really looking forward to attending Kent Julian's seminar, but I didn't have enough time to do everything I guess.
- The closing worship session was the best time of worship (besides Kutless) all conference long. We watched a clip about Craig DeMartino - a professional climber who has an amazing story of pain and redemption. Our exercise in "play" involved exploring the challenges that lay before us. God rocked my socks off once again.
- I got to stop at Chipotle on the way home :)
For those of you from Birmingham, you may not have been introduced to the slice of Heaven that is Chipotle... well here's what it looks like