So great to see my family! I love going places and seeing people, but I really, really love coming home. I gave out the presents I brought home for Tim and Cathie (click their name to see what they got), and they were both happy about that, but more to have me home. I missed a a lot – including Cathie getting a new personal best in the backstroke in her meet on Sunday, and Tim receiving his acceptance letter from The College of Saint Rose on Saturday.
Because the exhibitor role was so time intensive (perhaps more so because we’re new at it), I didn’t see or hear a number of the speakers and artists I’d hoped to receive from. I’ll give my impressions of those I did get to take in.
- Andy Stanley – a fine message on the right use of power, and recognizing when we have it and how to use it for the good of the Kingdom in any given situation.
- Flatfoot56 – fun! I knew they’d be exactly the sort of band Tim would love, and when I talked to him about them he said, “yeah, I was on their stage crew at Soulfest, they’re insane.”
- Louie Giglio – I was on the verge of tears from the way his message was connecting with life of late and even some of the thoughts in my head before the session started. I heard about half of his message and had to meet up with Adam to get set for his workshop.
- Doug Fields – gave a solid message about envy and how it plays out in ministry people. I think it was an important message, challenging and interesting (especially since I’d somehow managed never to hear him speak personally before).
- David Crowder Band – they were great, as always. Their style and music never disappoint, though it was a bummer they didn’t play more than one song off their new album. Didn’t stop me from a much needed time of worship, but was definitely an after thought.
- Marquis Laughlin – is amazing. His delivery of the massive amounts of scripture he has memorized is fantastic. I think having that as a general session speaker is a little risky, but I liked it more than my initial reaction indicated I might. I did come away thinking, man, I should memorize more scripture…
- Leeland – it was a happy thing to see them again, and see/hear how much they’ve matured on stage since I first met them 18 months ago. Amy did an interview with them one afternoon, and I’m looking forward to seeing what’s new for them.
- Lost and Found – classic. They just make me happy.
- The Skit Guys – are so, so funny. They had a hysterical thing going on with the sign language interpreters, and it completely distracted them from the point of one of their pieces then carried over to the next days’ as well. Memory makers there for sure.
- Steve Fee – first time I’d heard him. Liked him a lot, didn’t know any of the songs, so the spectacular graphics confused me as I was trying to get the lyrics. The second time he led worship was less confusing because he repeated a couple of songs.
- Michelle – an adult who is a former Compassion sponsored child completely slayed everyone present. Her story is promised to be available as a download on YS Underground after Thanksgiving.
- Zach Hunter – had very cool things to say. His best quote is one that my own son uses so frequently – “my mommy thinks I’m special” – made me homesick immediately.
- Dan Cathy – the president and COO of Chick-fil-a (headquartered in Atlanta) came up on stage to talk about his company partnering with youth workers. I’m not sure he ever actually did talk about that, but he did throw some cows into the crowd. It was an odd segment.
- Mark Oestreicher – brought a very interesting talk about the past-present-future directions of youth ministry, specifically about a shift a lot of people are sensing in the “forces” that drive how we “do” youth ministry. It was good stuff, and unfortunate that there were some tech issues that broke the rhythm for Marko. I took some notes, and when I’ve emptied my backpack of the debris of traveling, I’ll try to decipher them.
There are a couple of mp3s I intend to get for two of the speakers I missed, Phylis Tickle and Louie Giglio (for the other half of the message!).
Now, to sleep in my own bed. There’s no place like home.