Tuesday, March 08, 2011

THE STUFF THAT STUCK WITH ME

Today was my first full day home from the Simply Youth Ministry Conference in Chicago. This was my second year at the conference and my first year teaching some workshops.  Dang did I have a great time.  I loved connecting with new and old friends from all over the country and even the world.  (I met a guy from Japan and another from Germany contacted me on Twitter- go figure!!)  Anyway, it fills and overflows my heart when something I'm processing or learning in life as a youth pastor can help someone else doing the same thing. That's awesome and feels like Kingdom teamwork to me.  Love that so much.

As much as I loved the chance to teach, I also loved the chance to learn too.  So here's my top 7 learnings from the conference... in no particular order.  (I started this post with only 5, but I kept thinking of more and more)  It's the stuff that has stuck with me and I've been chewing on for days now...

JESUS DID AMAZING THINGS ON THIS EARTH.  I WANT TO SETTLE FOR NOTHING LESS. 
I was reminded that Jesus healed the sick, raised the dead, welcomed the hurting, pissed of the self-righteous, loved the lost, and brought a new Kingdom with him. I was reminded that God wants to do that today.  I was reminded that I want nothing less than to join him in doing that in Student Ministry and I cannot simply settle for what is instead of what could and should be.

ALL GREAT PREACHING MAKES A BEELINE FOR JESUS.  
I was reminded through Spurgeon and Rick Lawrence that my goal in teaching is to live out 1 Corinthians 11:1.  I need to get out of the way and usher people to Jesus.  I don't want my own kids, my students, my staff, or my dog for that matter to worship me.  I want to be the guy who takes a passage of Scripture, rightly and relevantly teaches it, and every time... shows how it leads to Jesus.  I don't always do that last part well.  That's really unacceptable.  If people don't get pointed towards Jesus through my teaching, then I left them in somewhere less than where they need to be. 

HUMILITY SHOWS UP IN MY LIFE NOT BY THINKING LESS OF MYSELF, BUT BY SEEING MORE OF GOD. 
This was a profound truth that Louie Giglio helped me to see with fresh eyes.  He reminded me that every time someone sees God in the Bible, their default response is falling on their face, true humility, and genuine repentance.  In the same way, when I see God for the Holy being God is, I also see myself the the truly unholy person I am.  Humility is not a character trait of the christian masochist, it's the trait of those who have truly met God.

GOD'S KINGDOM IS PRESENT IN ME SO THAT IT CAN BE PRESENT THROUGH ME. 
This was the theme of Sunday night through a speaker I had never heard before, Glenn Packiam.  He inspired and challenged me that God put me here on this planet to bring the Kingdom of God into my day. It is the sole function of why I'm here.  

SWEAT THE SMALL STUFF, CUZ IT ALL ADDS UP. 
I was in tears several times this weekend at the amazing grace of God.  I'm so blown away at what God has done around me through what seemed like such a trivial decision at the time.  I deeply moved several times by my friend Doug Fields and his words to me personally and at times to me generally as a member of the audience. As I reflected on a series of small but life changing choices, I was blown away at how God has changed my life by the simple decision to move to San Diego. Wow, God does crazy things with small steps of faithfulness. 

LAUGHTER IS SO GREAT AND SO IS GUNGOR.   
The skit guys literally almost made me pee my pants several times I laughed so hard.  Gungor, a new grammy nominated artist group has epic sounds and played a concert on Saturday night and they did not disappoint. So good. You should check out their crazy sounds.  Then the next day when talking about the concert, Tommy from the skit guys said he'd never heard of them.  Then he said what everyone was thinking. He said, "I thought it sounded like a rash. I went to the doctor and he was like, you have Gungor".  Then I laughed and peed.  Oh man music and laughter are good for my soul. 

IT'S BOOK TIME.   
For months now God has been nudging me about some of the stuff all bottled up in me.  It's why I started blogging again in January... and more than I ever have.  Cuz it's time to write.  Seriously, I'm not exaggerating when I say that after my seminars, at least 10 attendees of those seminars have asked me to write a book. This was crazy and never happens. But this time, it was confirmation of some stuff in me already.  I made some goals for myself recently and this one was on my in the next 12 months list anyway... so I decided that it's time.  Pray for me.  I have 3 ideas and well, here goes... uh... yeah.  

3 comments:

Joel Mayward 5:23 AM  

Awesome insights, it's sweet to live SYMC vicariously through you with this!

And write the book! I'm buying a copy--or a box of 'em--when it comes out. Love and appreciate your heart for the youth ministry tribe.

Chris Harkins 7:31 AM  

Great stuff Brian love your heart man!

Terrace Crawford 8:27 AM  

YES! Some of the same exact thoughts I had on these things. Brian, it was great connecting with you at SYMC. Glad we got to hang.

//TC//

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San Diego, CA
Husband. Dad. Jesus Follower. Friend. Learner. Athlete. Soccer coach. Reader. Builder. Dreamer. Pastor. Communicator. Knucklehead.

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