Monday, November 19, 2007


Emily and I spent this last weekend at the National Youth Workers Convention in Atlanta. Besides the fact that we had to drive into downtown Atlanta and traverse the largest building in the world (Georgia World Congress Center) we had a really good time. It is a really cool conference because we were in a place where 5,500 people had the same passions as us and we could all relate to many of the same struggles.

I feel like I am walking away with a lot of things to think through and be challenged by but there were a couple of really cool things that were worth noting:
  1. Joe Castillo- An awesome artist that tells the story of Christ through this weird sand art. It is really hard to describe but go to or check out a clip here.
  2. Walt Mueller- He is a youth culture guru that really challenged me on being up with the culture in order to better serve the youth in Gainesville. I am currently reading Engaging the Soul of the Youth Culture and thoroughly enjoying. A must for all youth leaders and parents of teens.
  3. Shane and Shane's song "Burn Us Up"- I love the story of Shadrach, Meshac, and Abednego and they performed a song they wrote about it. It is so sexy! Go to their myspace page and listen.
  4. Doug Fields-Secretly I have always hated Doug Fields for that mustache/soul patch combo that he rocked but he turned out to be a really funny and compelling speaker (plus he shaved). Him and his wife's Q & A about marriage and ministry was the most helpful seminar Emily and I went to.
  5. Shane Claiborne- He was a speaker for one of the general session and he got up did a fire breathing routine then read the Sermon on the Mount and then walked off. It was really weird but it made a cool statement.

Overall, it was a great learning experience and there was the best of the best as far as christian music and entertainment go (no offense Slaten I will take you over Tomlin any day of the week).


Aaron said...

i am so glad you got to go to the conference! you will benefit over the next few months as you continue to unpack everything you heard.
I did the same thing with doug fields.
Thanks for the compliment.

oh and on "burn us up" we talked about the persecuted church the other night and i thought "if someone was threatening to kill me and my family for our faith, i want to look them in the eye and say BURN US UP!" honestly i can't say that i would though.
much love to you and your bride.

andy nelson said...

I love the idea of talking about the persecuted church. our youth need to get a big picture view of their faith outside of our little bubble.