Another year and another round of Youth Specialties National Youth Workers Convention in the books. I don’t know about you but conference for me are life giving because of all of the knowledge you receive and take in and all of the conversations you have with other youth workers, but it is a little overwhelming because you now have so much information the question is, “Now what?”
What do you do when you get back from something like NYWC? How do you actually go back and begin to apply what you heard, what you were challenged by, what you were convicted by and go back and make the change at home? I hope these three tips can be helpful:
Let it settle: I would suggest not changing anything right away. Make sure you go home and get some rest (because if you’re like me, conference are for late nights and food comas), debrief with the people you went with, or if you went by yourself grab someone to talk through you learnings with, and just and pray over all the info you wrote down. Let it settle. Let the Lord speak to you on how to prioritize the things you feel you need to head towards.
Don’t go crazy. Pick one thing: The last thing you want to do is go back home full of all this information and begin to change everything you feel that is wrong with your ministry. People will look at you and think, “Wow, they must have just gotten back from a conference.” You don’t want that. After you have let it settle and you have had time to think, begin a game plan for one big thing you know you need to tackle. You will be more effective in implementing change if you do one thing at a time with a well thought out plan of attack. Change is good, but great change goes slow.
Stick with it: If something came up at a conference and you truly felt convicted to head in another direction or implement a change, stick with it. If you ever have tried to change something before, you know not all people are welcome to change (at first at least). If you let it settle, if you begin to pray for one thing to make a change with and begin to get at it, stick with it. Change takes time so don’t be discouraged when it feels like it’s not going anywhere. If it came from God, it will happen and it will be healthy move.