"Posture yourself for surprise..." - Marko
I had the opportunity to go to The Summit Youth Ministry Training Event about 3 weeks ago. The Summit was set up a little like TED talks but with a youth ministry risk and twist. The weekend, in my opinion, was to help shake up people in youth ministry. To help us see our teenagers just as they are and to come alongside of them. To take risks that might make a few people raise their eyebrows. To dream about the possibilities within our ministries to actually be the hands and feet of Jesus.
I honestly didn't know what I would get out of the weekend except for seeing dear friends and getting to be a part of something new and different in the youth ministry world. I brought one adult from my youth ministry and two friends from a different ministry in town. I knew that they would just soak up any information that would come their way. But I...I feel like I have been extraordinarily fortunate to have been able to continue to learn throughout my ministry in so many different ways. Through graduate work and other youth ministry conferences - there is a lot of info that I have been able to learn.
As well as last year I was a part of Marko's 2011-2012 Nashville Youth Ministry Coaching Cohort with 9 other incredible youth ministers from around the US. I got to experience in a small group - what I think that Marko and Adam were trying to do on a bigger scale with The Summit.
Marko, Adam and Tash (the event emcees) welcomed us all with a few words and then Marko invited us to posture ourselves for a variety of things - I honestly don't remember most of them - I just remember thinking I hope everyone else hears what he is saying and postures themselves to be ready for anything!
But I was struck by the statement, "Posture yourself for surprise...".
I wrote that one down and underlined surprise. I haven't been surprised a lot lately. "Surprise?". In what way could I be surprised? I was blown away with the internal struggle that I felt. I want to believe - that I can be, that I deserve to be, that I can hope to be surprised in a good way. But if I'm surprised - how will I handle it? Will it be a good surprise? But I typically pretend I know what's going on most of the time so I never appear to be caught off guard or surprised.
So I asked God to help me posture my self for surprise.
And I was surprised.
In lots of different ways. I was paying attention to the little things. The ways that people responded to speakers. The ways that people honored each other. The way that others experienced complete perspective shifts. Oh, and Uncle Wally playing his ukelele - what a blessing he was to the community during the weekend.
But the biggest surprise was my very own. World Vision's 30 Hour Famine partnered with The Summit and had an amazing team there for the weekend. I had some extra time at the beginning of the event and was able to hang out, help them set up a bit and enjoyed getting to know them!
They gave away a free trip with World Vision to Zimbabwe at the last session. I joked all weekend with my friends that I was going to win the trip.
And then. I did win it.
I was surprised.
They picked me and I ran up to the stage with no shoes on.
God picked me. I get to have an experience that will broaden my perspective even more. In January I get to meet people and see programs and hold and play with children. And I will pray.
So guess what I've been posturing myself for since we left The Summit? Surprise. And I'm having a ball along the way.