Last week I was in Dallas for the National Youth Worker’s Convention. I have made it to 6 Conventions since 2002 and I almost always leave refreshed and encouraged, and sometimes even challenged. (As I sit here I cannot think of a year when I did not leave encouraged or refreshed). Some years the theme resonated well with me (Sanctuary, Storyline, Adventurously Expectant), and other years it did not leave much of a mark (Jump, Seriously Ridiculous)… but I still used the theme in my own ministry.
This year’s theme really hit me deep in my soul. I was not sure of the idea of Wonder leading up to the convention, but once Mark Yaconelli stepped onto the stage to open with a message of rediscovering our sense of wonder, I was hooked. Over the past few years I feel that I have indeed lost my own sense of wonder and have approached ministry – and even my life – as more of an academic practice. I have not had much of an authentic sense of wonder lately, and I realized this is the hole I have been feeling in my life.
It seems funny to me to think that I need to work to rediscover something like wonder… but I do. And this season of life and of ministry that I am entering into will be a very interesting one to commit to this. It will not be easy. But it will be well worthwhile.