What a difference a year makes

A year ago I was packing for NYWC and trying to convince myself that everything was going to be OK. I knew the facts but had to convince myself that they didn’t matter. With the pressure to perform numerically stronger than ever we watched in horror as the economy collapsed. Earlier in the year we’d let go about half of our staff. And preparations for convention just had a heavy, matter-of-fact feel to it. It was anything but fun. I listened to happy music all the time in an attempt to jack myself up.

I put on a happy face, I did my best to encourage folks, and riding the Amtrak to LA I had a feeling like the week could go either way. If I ignored the black cloud we’d be OK. But if I acknowledged it the whole thing would spin out of control.

What a stark contrast to the lead-up to NYWC this year!

First off, we’re not in the same place or under the same pressure as we were a year ago.

Second, Tic is back. He’s solid gold.

Third, it feels like we are taking less risk, in some ways, in the big room sessions. Last year, we had no idea what was happening on our stage!

Third, our creativity was unleashed on the program side… so I’m confident about what we’re delivering.

Fourth, the folks joining us from YouthWorks are so excited– it’s like they’ve been shot out of a cannon.

Fifth, we’re at home. It feels so good going into convention knowing that I’m like 10 miles from my house. Kristen and the kids plan on coming down and saying hello.

Sixth, I love the theme. I love walking into this in full knowledge that people are going to be ripping off our theme for years to come.

Seventh, I get to have normal conversations with youth ministry friends. The last two cities of 2009 felt a lot like a funeral wake. Phew, all of that is gone.

The last line of the video above… when I saw it in the script… I knew it was true for people doing ministry. But a little piece of me knew it was a line for me and about YS.

We’re right where we’re supposed to be. And it’s amazing.

By Adam McLane

Kristen and Adam live in Ahwahnee, California.

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