NYWC Day 1


I’m not sure if the right word is blessed but I’m so glad to be me. I am at the beginning of one of the best weeks of the year. I love the National Youth Workers Convention. Maybe other conferences would feed my brain and soul while rejuvenating me but why try to find something else when NYWC is amazing?


I don’t completely know what to expect out of the trip. I never do. I tried once to enter into this convention with goals and an agenda. It didn’t work so why waste the energy on setting myself up for a guess at what will happen. I know enough to know I’ll be things like cynical, hopeful, thankful and challenged. I’ll learn some practical things. I’ll engage theology. I’ll refine my vision for youth ministry and my calling.


This time around, I’m looking forward continuing the conversation about the connecting across generations. I see that happening in my church and it’s so freaking cool. “Sticky faith” is intriguing though messy. I hate sticky fingers (yet not toddlers… hate the sin, love the sinner.) I’m hoping to get to Kara Powell’s seminar “Moving Away from the Kids Table Catastrophe: Changing Your Church Culture so Kids Feel Welcome.”


I’m also planning to go to Heather Flies “Effective Programming for Middle School Ministry: Celebrating Chaos and Implementing Structure.” Our middle school youth group is amazing this year—I want to be able to encourage them in their faith. The pursuit of balance between chaos and structure kills me sometimes. I’m sure a 2 ½ hour seminar will fix that. 😉


I’m excited to see what Adam McLane has to share in his session Free and Awesome Communication Tools for Youth Workers. He’s a genius when it comes to that stuff. I wish I could make it to more of his sessions here but I’m striving for balance. (Confession: last year at NYWC I went to pretty much everything Marko. I couldn’t afford his coaching program but I know he and I share a wavelength so I wanted to absorb as much of his brain as I could. That sounds creepy. It wasn’t. He shared almonds. They were yummy.) Even if the Youth Cartel hadn’t promised horse head delivery in a tweet on my birthday, I’d love what they’re up to these days.


The nerd in me is stoked about “Theological Issues Impacting the Christian Formation of Adolescents,” a forum led by Andrew Root, Jeffrey Keuss, Mark Hayse, Amy Jacober and Jim Hampton. I like big words and there are several in the title. I’ll be smarter for attending the forum. Maybe I’ll wear glasses instead of contacts so I’ll look smarter, too.


Big Room sessions should rock. David Crowder? Lost and Found? Superchick? Skit Guys? Yes please. And I’ve already decided I love Kenda Creasy Dean because of Almost Christian—that’s without hearing her speak.


So yeah. I’m thankful that I get to be here. My life is ridiculously good. And I’m in a hotel room with the NFL network so I gotta go watch the Broncos and my football crush. (You thought it was going to be Tebow, didn’t you?)

About SaraBSutter

I serve as the pastor of United Presbyterian Church in Goldfield, Iowa. My husband Steve and I are excited to be in a friendly small town and look forward to the years ahead. In addition to nerdy church stuff, I love reading books, writing, good coffee, cats, and football.

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