So, the final day of the Awakening Conference was unbelievable. The day kicked off with some amazing, heartfelt worship that could have gone on for hours - literally. Then, the leaders went into a leadership session that was led by Mike Servello where he just took some time and encouraged youth leaders. I sawy youth leaders in TEARS during this segment. Very encouraging stuff. He then started talking about the idea of youth church, but he ran out of time because he spent so much time encouraging us. Both very much needed. Good stuff. During that session we missed hearing from Jordan Boyce, but all of my youth say that it was INCREDIBLE. Many of them say it was the best part of the conference.
Then, we had the pleasure of being in a leadership session with Darren Whitehead of Willow Creek. For me, the session wasn't necessarily "eye opening" but very encouraging personally. He spoke about some of the modern adjustments we need to make as youth ministers and youth ministries. The ideas were concepts I've been speaking to some of my leaders about, but it was REALLY encouraging for both me and my leaders to see that I'm not COMPLETELY crazy for thinking about these concepts. Awesome stuff.
Then DW spoke in the afternoon session. Emmensly encouraging! Hearing an Aussie preach gives a very interesting perspective on the North American view of Christianity that I have (and I am trying VERY hard to KILL that view). His message was impacting but the part that did it for me was when he said "Is this what you want to give your ONE AND ONLY life for?" WHOA! One and only life...I honestly don't remember much of that message because that concept captivated my mind for a while.
Lastly, conference host Marco DeBarros closed out the conference. He's a good friend of mine, but I had never heard him preach before then. We talk. He preaches to me (when he doesn't know it) when we chat on the phone or in person, but I had never heard him do his do. Incredible and challenging. This was the most impacting of them all. He asked the youth leaders to come and pray for their people at the end and WHOA! God moved something mighty that night. I heard people stayed around until 1 AM just talking and praying. 1 AM!
So that's it. That's the cliff's notes of the Awakening. If you live in the NorthEast, TAKE YOUR YOUTH MINISTRY TO THIS CONFERENCE!!! Its incredible. I'd even suggest going to this over some of the more well known events (that I will not name for the sake of not sounding like I'm bashing the others.)
The only other conference I would recommend NorthEastern ministries attend is the Generation Conference.
Now, I'm done being reporter for the events, I can get sharing some of the new ideas I've been having. Can't wait to share.