Yesterday I shared some of my thoughts on SYMC mostly talking about the labs and seminars. Today I want to continue with my final thoughts, even though I do not think I can ever put them down in words.
One of the main things that blew me away this past weekend was the main sessions. The music of Shane & Shane and Tim Timmons was just truly pure worship. There were no guitar solos or any comments by either group saying that a song was from their latest album. They were there to worship with us and not put on a worship concert. Too often at conferences, it has become more about the artists, their solos, them trying to dress and act to impress the audience. But this past weekend I experienced the first authentic worship in a long long time at an event. It was so refreshing for my soul and for my time away from the noise. It allowed me to breathe in God.
I also really enjoyed the Skit Guys. I have seen these two for years and own every DVD and almost every download video the have out. But how they were this weekend, was just what I needed. I have seen and watched several of the skits they performed over the weekend, but after being in authentic worship and transitioning to them I got more out of their skits than I ever have before.
The speakers this weekend were just amazing. They covered every area that most of us youth workers are dealing with in our lives and ministries. Talking with many fellow youth workers over the weekend they felt they same thing. I just really loved watching them from a distance as outside of them on stage I saw them engage with youth workers, be in full worship, praying to the side, and not trying to be an “All-Star” “Super Star” main stage speaker.
Overall it was great to see the leadership of SYMC caring for youth workers. Kurt Johnston, Josh Griffin, Kami Gilmour, Matty McCage, Jake Rutenbar, Andy Brazleton, Rick Lawrence, Len Evans, and everyone else that is a part of leadership I want to thank you for being amazing and loving God and loving Youth workers. You guys were real and it wasn’t about selling us anything or having vendors who were down our throat trying to sell us things. It was all about taking care, encouraging, empowering, and getting to know us. It was a fresh take on Conferences. And almost think you should rename it the Simply Youth Workers Retreat. Because that is what it really was. It was a time for us to have our time being the campers more than it was being conference attendees!
Here is part of the email that I sent Matty McCage thanking him for inviting me to SYMC 2012.
It is so great to be part of something so authentic. Between the amazing worship, talks that were perfect for anyone in their journey in ministry to seminars from youth workers in the trenches who were not about self promoting themselves or their products to being a part of soul care and mentoring younger youth workers. It was truly the best conference/training/soulcare/time with God that I have experienced in 14 1/2 years of ministry.
Over the past couple years I have lost my brother, my wife had a miscarriage, and at many times felt separated from the church. During the past year at my new church I started to trust the church again. And this past weekend put the icing in the cake with falling back in love with being in ministry. I will never be able to repay you for your great friend or the invitation to SYMC but know I would if I could.
And here is what I wrote to many of the leadership team of SYMC.
I talked with Matty on Sunday Night and Josh on Monday afternoon and the only word that summed up the weekend was Authentic!
- Authentic Worship
- Authentic Speakers
- Authentic Staff
- Authentic Care
- Authentic Leadership
- Authentic Vision
I will see you in Indy next March!!!