By Youth Specialties on October 23 2013
I’ve been attending the National Youth Workers Convention for five years now and my repeat attendance has taken me to four different locations (Atlanta, Pittsburgh, Dallas, and San Diego). Why do I keep going? With its ever-changing and growing content, NYWC is something I don’t envision that I will ever get bored with.
During my first three conventions, I tried to do everything—and I mean EVERYTHING. I would go to all of the Big Room Sessions (and I still do) and as many seminars, mini-seminars, late-night options, and early-morning-prayer times as possible. I would even run around the convention centers, pop my head in to each of the seminars I wasn’t attending and take the notes handout for that particular speaker. I wanted to learn as much as I could. It was exhausting. It was information overload.
Because of my frenetic fear of missing out (FOMO, for those of you who work with youth… ), I appreciate Mark Matlock’s introduction to these conventions immensely. Mark starts off by saying that one person can’t possibly attend everything and he encourages attendees to focus on what they need to get out of the programing, even if it’s a nap or an extended dinner with friends or your youth ministry leadership team.
Once I started to listen to Mark’s advice, I realized that doing the conventions how I used to do them was draining and I came home more tired and burnt out than when I had left for the convention itself. For the past two years I adopted a new method of doing these conventions: I still go to every Big Room session, but I only go to a handful of the seminars. This helps me to truly focus and soak up whatever topic I need to get the most out of.
But, there’s a part of me that still wishes I could hear it all, without getting burned out! So, instead of tiring myself out for one weekend, I’ve turned the NYWC into a year-round thing: At the end of the convention, I purchase the entire download (thanks to my church). That way, when I go home, I can listen and learn throughout the year (and avoid FOMO!).
And then I can be reminded over and over why the NYWC is one convention I never want to miss. Who’s with me?
- Paul Georgulis, Pastor of Student Ministries, Doylestown United Methodist Church, Doylestown, PA
Check the blog next week as Paul will share with us the second part of this post and his reflections on what the Lord did in his life and for his ministry while he attended NYWC in San Diego earlier this month.