This is the now-regular point in my year where I’ve had to learn to embrace chaos. There’s now just under a month to go until the 2013 Youthwork Summit – the event that Chris Curtis, Matt Summerfield and I founded in 2010. I’ll be honest with you: there’s a ridiculous amount left to do – from designing visuals to briefing some of the speakers; from tying down a couple of last minute extras to making sure the burger vans know our final numbers.
Numbers are always a particular source of joy. I think I’ve made my deep admiration and love for my fellow youth workers abundantly clear over the years, but if there’s one thing they can’t seem to do, it’s book in early. I don’t know if that’s because we tend to hold off for as long as possible in case a better offer comes along, or because we’re just not naturally organised. Anyway, by this stage – a month to go – we’re always sweating slightly over the potential variance in our delegate numbers. Are we planning for 900 people, or 1,900? Right now, we just don’t know.
As I say though, I really am learning to embrace the chaos and the uncertainty. And here’s why.
This event has been in the planning for twelve months already. We started that process by praying and listening to God, together seeking to discern what he might want to say to the youth leaders of the UK. For the first time, we believed that it was right to introduce a proper ‘theme’ to the event, which moved the day from a collection of great moments, to more of a journey. That arguably happened by holy accident in 2011, but this year we’ve decided to make it intentional. So as I say, we prayed, and then we felt we heard from God. A very clear theme. Some Bible passages. Building blocks with which to construct YWS13. Hopefully that will be very clear if you experience the day on May 18th.
God has something to say to youth leaders. And as long as we help that, rather than get in the way of it, YWS13 is going to be splendid.
So I’m not concerned at all, at least not about numbers, or logistics. Why should I be? We have a great team; we have delegates who come to us thirsty; moreover we have an amazing God intrinsically involved in what we’re doing. I have nothing to fear. I embrace the chaos with the deepest faith I can muster.
Come and join me at the Youthwork Summit. Whether you’re a youth worker, a volunteer, a teacher or a church leader, there’s loads for you. Bring your friends! Visit the website for more info, or book now by clicking here.