Thursday evening I flew down to Cincinnati for the National Youth Workers Convention, which everyone seems to call YS — Youth Specialties. I love speaking to youth pastors, in part no doubt because they are just one step removed from our seniors. At least most of them are.
It was fun to see so many old faces and meet new folks, but I got to spend time with Jana Riess of Westminster John Knox Press, Mike King of YouthFront in Kansas City (he’s involved with all sorts of cutting edge ministry groups), and I got to have lunch with a bundle of young leaders — or leaders of emerging groups — in South Africa.
My schedule was full and I was there for two presentations, and I consider the first one, called “a new perspective on evangelism,” is one of the most important presentations I’ve made in a long time — I’ve been working on “gospel” for a long time and this was my first time to take some of those academic ideas and deliver them in a more public and pastoral setting. My second talk, one I keep improving and working on, is how to teach Jesus: in the Story of Israel, in the Story of the First Century, and in the Story of his own life. 1.5 hours is never enough for such a talk, but that’s long enough to wear me out and get enough thoughts on the table.