Walking the line between nerd and cool.

NYMC: Day 1

Basic overview so far:

  • Doug Fields welcomed us to the conference. He’s a funny guy.
  • We got to play with interactive live voting devices. Cool stuff for the tech-dork in me.
  • Tony Dungy, the head coach of the Indianapolis Colts, spoke with us.
  • Sara Groves shared some music with us.
  • We participated in late-night activities. Phil and Paul watched a video highlighting research about the faith life of teens. Heide, Alicia and I went to watch the Simply Youth Minsitry Podcast broadcast live.

Some of our Quick-Hit Thoughts:

  • Tony Dungy missed part of the NFL Scouting Combine to be with us this evening. Football fans realize how significant that is. I’m impressed.
  • Skit Guys were here, but only in video. Kinda disappointing. Or really disappointing. They’ll be here on Sunday night live.
  • Tony Dungy encouraged us to Learn, Connect, and Recharge while here.
  • Tony Dungy mentioned that the family was key to passing on God’s Word. 4 out of 5 NFL prospects come from one-parent households. We need to help families nurture their kids. Yay Sue, Wendy, Carlin, Pam, Marsha and everyone else involved with Everyday Faith.
  • Tony was honest when he admitted that sometimes his devotion to football got in the way of their family. We shouldn’t let our ministry get ahead of our family.
  • Youth workers should not be afraid to tell the kids some pretty direct stuff. Don’t be afraid of alienating the youth short-term and miss their long-term best.
  • We need to plant seeds and have patience, waiting for them to grow.
  • According to the video, the most important impact on a kid was their relationship with their parents. If the parents have a strong faith life, the kids are much more likely to have one as well.
  • The church needs to get serious about reaching kids with disabilities. Someone wrote into the SYM Podcast asking for advice about working with children that have severe disabilities. Saddleback, a church that worships 25-30,000 people each weekend, has 3,000+ kids in their student ministry, has only 6 kids with disabilities. They were at a loss for what advice to give. We need to figure this out.
  • We need to have a plan for the special needs kids that will be coming up into our ministry. And what about the kids who fit in “mainstreamed” but don’t at the same time? What can we do to let them know that they are special to God and loved by Him?
  • When do we really get on the kids’ level and ask them what they really believe. What about sitting down with kids and asking them what they really believe in? Possibly do interviews with some kids on a regular (yearly?) basis to see how their faith grows? Maybe we do a 1-on-1 interview with kids and a group discussion as well?
  • A button response system allows us to find honest opinions from kids without putting them on the spot. And it would be real time.
  • Sara Groves realized that there was more for her to do in life after her trip to Rwanda. How can we duplicate that in our church with the youth? How can we achieve spiritual renewal in our kids? Do our service events really deliver that feeling to our youth? What service project would help facilitate that renewal?
  • Rick Lawrence said, “My daughter was waiting for years to be baptized.” How sad. I love that we offer baptism for infants. Do we need to look at early Communion for kids? Are parents the ones that identify when their kids are ready for it and then they come for instruction? Why does Confirmation have to be 8th grade? Hmmm…
  • Remembering a student’s name can make all the difference in their life. They are looking to connect with someone.
  • Tony Dungy said, “The Indianapolis Colts make our organization better by asking what we can get from draft picks and new players. The church is made better by focusing on what we can give.”

8 responses

  1. Chuck Whited

    Sounds like a packed evening, but good stuff.

    February 23, 2008 at 10:05 am

  2. Jaime

    I am so (so! so! so!) excited about the disabilities stuff. Yay, Simply Youth Ministry for asking the questions. Lots of good stuff happening… I’m excited for you! Take pictures!

    I’m off to spend your money now. 😉 Love you!

    February 23, 2008 at 10:18 am

  3. WHAT A GREAT POST!! I am so excited for you all!! Keep up the info. Post a pic so we know it’s really you and Alicia and Phil and Heide and Paul! 🙂

    February 23, 2008 at 10:54 am

  4. sweetsoup

    What I really want to know???!? DID ALICIA WIN A SACK CHAIR??!???

    February 23, 2008 at 11:24 am

  5. Karen Cassidy

    Wonderful stuff! It sounds like a great conference!

    February 23, 2008 at 6:19 pm

  6. Darcy F

    Jason’s nerd side really wants those button pusher-thingys! No surprise there! Sounds like a great event and I am encouraged just by reading what you are learning! Can’t wait to hear all about it!

    February 23, 2008 at 10:03 pm

  7. We haven’t won a sack chair… yet… See our new post for our attempts to win one…

    February 24, 2008 at 1:29 am

  8. Tracy

    I am sitting here waiting for the Oscars to begin and prepping for my workshop tomorrow – classroom response system! I am playing wiht the clickers right now! I have to return them to my office but we should play with them sometime.
    So glad you guys are having a great time at the conference.

    February 24, 2008 at 8:07 pm

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