Last year I was invited to speak on student leadership at conVERGE 2011 at Huntington University. I was blown away by the conference’s tech-savvy highly-interactive format and its Christ-centered worship (having Tim Timmons as your worship leader certainly helps). When I came back I blogged that conVERGE broke the mold for regional conferences. Students who attended came away even more impressed.
This year, the good folks at conVERGE 2012 invited me back again to talk about global issues and to speak Sunday on our identity and character. I’m completely pumped to be a part of this. The lineup of speakers and musicians (digital or live) include Doug Fields, DJ Rhino, Josh Griffin, Derry Prenkert (student ministries pastor, Nappanee Missionary Church), Tim Timmons, Gabe Lyons (author of unChristian), Bob Morton (former Notre Dame football player), David Livermore, Jeff Eckart (Claim Your Campus), Carrie Badertscher (urban youth worker), and Seth Bartlette (of RemedyLive.com). Plus a ton more contributors via art, video, and photography.
Add in the high-tech digital hall, the amazing facilities of Gull Lake, and that an abundance of iPads for students to use will facilitate a constant dialogue throughout the conference and a heavy responsibility on presenters to not just drone on. In fact, I think the days of the 30+ minute lecture/sermon are coming to an end soon. Hopefully. Especially in youth ministry. Even more so in middle school ministry. More on that another time.
If you missed conVERGE 2012, keep your ear to the ground for this conference next year in middle Michigan. If you are a student or youth worker at conVERGE 2012 and you’re reading this, be sure to post a comment about how the conference is going for you. Maybe even post a photo (if the comment box lets you).