Saturday morning’s general session was pretty fantastic.  Annie and I arrived late because Ellie needed to eat so we missed the artists before but we caught the tail end of Lincoln Brewster’s final worship set and it was great.  I really appreciate that after the set was over, they just stayed on stage, eyes closed, hearts focused on God and remained in silence for quite a while.  I think it is something unique and cool to be led enough by The Spirit to just remain in silence.  The temptation is always great to speak or do something or leave, but these guys remained, and helped to keep us worshiping in silence.

We then heard form Phyllis Tickle, a great writer and speaker whose intelligence and wit are both sharp as a knife.  She is a seventy-five year old gal with more spunk than many teens we meet.  I will say that am I actually right smack dab in the middle of Phyllis’ book, The Great Emergence, and her speaking topic was literally the same as that of her book, yet she is able to get more in depth in the book (I HIGHLY recommend this book to any Christian).

To Tickle’s credit, even with knowing the first half of her talk, I was not bored for one second.  Her talk was incredibly scholarly and academic, yet her combination of jokes, folksy and pure blessings towards all people and her edgy humor kept me rapt the whole time and absolutely wanted more.  She did a great job of explaining Christianity’s tendency toward major upheaval every 500 years and explaining why and how we are in the midst of one of those now.  The best thing she did was exhort and encourage us that since we know we are in it, and since we can learn from the past, we can avoid the large-scale bloodshed that has literally followed each of these great shifts throughout history.

BTW.  Tickle made a really funny joke about how she wanted to have some words with the apostle Paul when she gets to heaven, and then joked that they might not be in the same place.  Many misunderstood this joke as her saying Paul wouldn’t be in heaven but the funniest part was the joke was that she might not be in heaven because she doesn’t follow all of Paul’s teachings about women.  I know it’s random, but I wanted to clear it up, since some people thought otherwise and it really not what she was saying.

Saturday afternoon brought super seminars and I went to Doug Fields’ seminary on small group ministry from start to finish.  I was very affected by this seminar and particularly by Fields’ commitment to small group ministry.  Fields explained that he only got to go to one YS conference this year and out of that he only got to speak at one thing; he chose small groups because they are that important to him.

Likewise one of the videos he presented showed this ridiculously cool timeline.  It started with his wife sharing her testimony of being a small group leader in the early nineties, she talked about a certain student she connected with. They then moved to that student’s testimony, she shared how effected she was by her small group and leader, and how she then became a small group leader and connected with a certain young girl.  The video moved to the third young girl who was in HS in 2000, and she talked about how great her relationship was with her previous leader and how she wanted to also do that, and so she did.  The video then talked about a relationship she made with one of her girls, Fields’ oldest daughter, and she shared how impacted she was by small group ministry and the third leader, and then she went on to minister to jr highers and shared one of the jr highers story where she thanked the leaders all five steps back to Fields’ wife and the first small group.  What a cool and powerful illustration.

Saturday night finished for me with an evening in the hotel room.  The family (Grandparents, Great-Grandparents and Aunties) went out for dinner and I stayed back while Ellie slept and then she woke up and decided to scream instead of sleep for the last hour of her nap; awesome.  Anyway, the fam came back and I was finished so we stayed in the room that evening and had a good time with the Burdettes and Auntie Cait.

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