NWYC – Monday and wrap up

Steven Furtick spoke today and he looks like a 19 year old. His message was inspirational. He talked about really believing that God could do great things in your life. I love this quote, “If your dream isn’t intimidating then it may be insulting to God.”

Monday morning I got to eat with Mark Matlock with about 11 others. He is great guy and we talked about the convention and the changes to YS. Learned many things. For example the bands and showcases that come to YS come for free and pay their own expenses. That open space cost more than having speakers. Youth Works is a company he believes in and feels that they have the Yaconelli heart.

I loved the conference this year except one big thing. In the big room YS had hired Big Stuff to run everything there. The speakers where great. The best overall in 3 or 4 years. The environment, structure, and feel were drastically different. So here are my list of grievances: 1) Lanny Donoho over explained everything. The frisbee deal was ridiculous. I mean seriously we are adults not 15 year olds. 2) One of the highlights of YS was the love and compassion they showed to youth ministers. Not this year. No affirmations, prayers for people, hooking someone up with a free trip here, etc. No instead of praying for people we played cheesy games and gave out frisbees. 3) Could Lanny promote Big Stuff Camps anymore than he did? I mean he made sure to work it into his introductions, interviews, talking points, ect. This speaker comes to BS, this kids has come to BS, we do this at BS, this band is at BS, go to BS website for this resource.

I hope that Youth Works will put the soul and heart back into the convention that Big Stuff ripped out of it. But overall the convention was great!


3 responses to “NWYC – Monday and wrap up”

  1. lanny says :

    Hi Pettus,
    Lanny Donoho here. Sorry you felt the way you did about the conference. We as a team do all we can to try to create the best environment we can for the majority of people. I know it’s impossible to please everyone. As for Bigstuf ripping the heart out of the convention. i would kinda like to respond to that in that Bigstuf is the reason that each speaker was there. You seemed to like most of the speakers. Bigstuf is those speakers. Bigstuf was the developer of the music and it seemed from the responses we got at each city that people loved the worship. Bigstuf though isn’t really an entity that can rip out or put in the heart of a conference. Bigstuf is just the name of an organization who loves students and leaders and has been blessed by God to have the opportunity to work with a lot of people. Fortunately those people who you heard really are the “us” of Bigstuf. As for Frisbees. We have found that lots of people just get excited about playing for a few minutes. And getting free frisbees. You would be amazed at how many adults clamour to get them. Sure, not everyone want to play but, it’s one way we try to create a little energy.
    I agree with you about the need to encourage and tell life stories and give away trips. Actually I am the one who started that for YS about 15 years ago. We do it at all of our camps. That’s why we asked YS to send out letters a number of times so that we could get those stories and really try to build up youth pastors and help the hurting. I was sadly disappointed that no one sent in letters and there were no stories given to us that allowed us to do that. Our hope is that as YS continues on, that there will be some systems put in place to help that to happen a lot more. Our role was to find speakers, musicians, etc and help to create all that happened in the big room. We do the same thing for Catalyst and Orange and a few other conferences. As I said, i know you can’t please everyone all the time. Wish that we could. The last thing is a note about one more thing you mentioned. We actually talked to numerous people after the convention who didn’t know we do camps and didn’t realized that the people producing the Bigroom was Bigstuf. We wanted people to know that we have an incredible opportunity that is changing thousands of kids lives every year. So, it’s alway hard to know whether you have said enough to let people know how you hope to help them as they influence kids…or if you have said too much. And, as you can see, even that is hard. Some never heard it, some heard it too much. Our goal was simply to take the budget we had and do the best we could at fulfilling the requests made to us by YS. We know we can always do better. Sorry it wasn’t what you needed.
    Feel free to write me a note if you want …probably best on my email donoho7@mac.com take care, and blessings on your ministry.

  2. pettus says :

    Thanks for the comment. I was thinking tonight what would it look like if my students had blogs and commented our events. At that point I was freaked out.

    The truth is that it is easy to be critical and there is no way to know all the inner workings or why things happen the way they do. Lanny thanks for some of the explanations. We have all had complaints but no one knew what we knew. Also we all change things that need to be changed and then people like me will not like the change.

    Second it is easy when being critical to overstate. Saying the heart and soul was ripped out was an overstatement. A better way of saying this was that the intimacy and emotional connection was not there for me. So my apology for the overstatement. There are things I didn’t like but in the end the convention was great, plan on being back next year and the next and the next.

  3. Matthew James says :

    The conference had a different feel in the big room. It was less personal and more gimmicky. The speakers were good, the band was good, but no personal touch.

    I think Big Stuff does a good job with their things but they used things (themes, video, etc) from other events they did and made them fit the NYWC. They forgot the core value of YS was loving, caring, and embracing youth ministers not frisbee give aways. They may not have ripped the heart and soul out but the connection we had in the past was gone.

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