I am in Nashville for the Lifeway National Youth Conference this week. It hasn't been all I had hoped. It is a small event and although that can be a good thing, it just needs to beef itself up a bit to be more worthwhile. I am looking forward to November when I will return to Music City for the YS convention. I have enjoyed most of the speakers. I was particularly impressed with Derwin Gray (The Evangelism Linebacker). He did a great job.
I was looking forward to getting to know some of the other youth pastors from Missouri that I came here with. The guys are all very nice. We just aren't gelling in the way I would like. It is hard for me. One of my fondest memories of being a YP in St. Louis in the past was the great network of YPs that the St. Louis Metro Baptist Association had. It doesn't exist anymore. I was hoping this trip would open up some doors for new relationships and perhaps it has but I am not seeing much of that sort of thing really come out of it.
So far, the highlight of the conference has been meeting up with a few Internet YP friends. Today I had lunch with Brian Senecal and Mike Lovato. These are guys I have been online buddies with for awhile. It was nice to meet them face to face. I have found over the past few years that a lot of my true networking has come from online communities. I have a lot of friends in ministry. I just don't have a lot of them in my area.
We head home tomorrow morning. I am hoping to get to church almost literally just when things are getting started for Reality Check tomorrow night. I tried to plan the service to rely heavily on music and SYATP testimonies because I knew I wouldn't have much time to prepare anything.
I am typing all this in the Rockettown Internet Cafe. I am waiting for the rest of our group to come out of the late night comedy club so we can go to the hotel. I realized how old I was on this trip when one of the YPs said, "Why is this place called Rockettown"? Sheesh! I am SO OLD!