Oh my gosh, you guys. God did something amazing yesterday!
I’m pretty sure that’s true every day. But I know it was true yesterday, because it happened at Lord of Life Lutheran Church in Maple Grove, Minnesota, and I was there.
I was there to hear Mark DeVries lead a workshop for pastors and (later in the day) for youth leaders on “sustainable youth ministry”. (Since I am a pastor without a paid youth leader, I went to both workshops.)
Now, this is already amazing, because even when I was a youth minister (okay, technically, “outreach coordinator”), I almost never went to events like this. Partly because there are only so many hours in a day, but mostly because when I did go, it was often a lot like this. (A great video that Mark DeVries showed today–you watch it, too!)
But guess what? There were all kinds of youth ministers in Maple Grove today. As my friend Merri, the youth minister who invited me to the event, said, “I love that youth ministry has no age.”
And guess what else? Mark DeVries was a great speaker, with great insight not just for youth ministry, but for ministry in general. He talked about systems, about the architecture and alchemy of ministry, about how to be a healthy and effective leader. And I’m not saying it was all brand new information, but it was just what I needed to hear. I left invigorated and inspired! (Cheesy but true.)
I got a free copy of Mark’s latest book, Sustainable Youth Ministry: Why Most Youth Ministry Doesn’t Last and What Your Church Can Do About It. So far, I am loving it! I am also adding an earlier book of his, Family- Based Youth Ministry, to my Amazon wish list (hint, hint).
Here are some of my favorite quotes from today, along with a few images of the very lovely setting, Lord of Life Lutheran:
“If we’re not concerned about numbers, let’s don’t pretend we’re concerned about kids, because every number has a kid’s face on it.” Know how many kids are “yours”, like a shepherd knows how many sheep he has. “Jesus knew how many kids were in his youth group: 12.”
“To trust the process, you have to have a process.”
“Don’t pole vault over rat droppings. (Be strategic in battle.)”