Best Things I Heard at SYMC 2013: Day 1

desk-bell-icon1.  Wouldn’t it be great if interviews with churches were like speed dating…two words in and you could be like, “NEXT!”

Yes – yes it would….and I will most definitely be partnering with my friend who said this to write some additional blogs about what that might actually look like.  DING!  Please move on to the next one.


2.  Andy Blanks is a sissy-foot.

I’m just wondering if anyone has actually seen Andy Blanks, one of the founders of YM360?  ‘Sissy’ would not be in my top 360 adjectives to describe him.


3.  Draw a chalk circle.  Then stand in the middle of the circle and pray for revival for everyone inside the circle.

I didn’t draw the circle….yet.  But I am definitely doing the praying.  (I’ll draw the circle at home…where someone isn’t holding my credit card hostage for damages.)


4.  “Standing on ant hills trying to touch the stars – trying to contain the oceans in peanut butter jars.”

Awe.  Someone I used to know said ‘the word awesome should be reserved for God alone.’  Tonight, I heard that phrase in my head during this performance.  It was an amazing, nay awesome, reminder.


5.  “Darren, last year I was in a terrible place.  My ministry was not good and I was not good.  I came to a workshop you did on discouragement – and it changed everything.  I’m in a better place,  my ministry is thriving.  And I just thought if your encouragement to me was that profound, maybe you could use some of that, too.”

First of all – it’s a humbling honor to be able to invest in the lives of youth workers.  I marvel that God would let me do it at all, knowing fully who I am.  Second – you never know what the Holy Spirit is doing when you’re leading.  And third – God always sends the right encouragement at the right time.

As you lead students and families – remember those truths.  They’re universal no matter who the mouthpiece is — and it might just be you.

When the Lunchbox Becomes a Soapbox

It is decided.

I will be enjoying lunch at home today.  In my house – with my family.  Because at the end of the day, eating chicken nuggets doesn’t make my family any stronger than wearing a rainbow T-shirt does.  It’s the only place my voice is TRULY influential and I don’t need accouterments to send a message.

I won’t carry a picket sign in my dining room….for or against.   I won’t chant or scream or pontificate at the podium of  political correctness or moral absolutes.  I won’t fear that my freedom of speech might be misconstrued as a judgement of hate or a stamp of approval.

I’ll simply teach my kids this…wherever we eat lunch, love people for who they are, where they are.  It’s a message truly worth fighting for.

%d bloggers like this: