Youth Specialties Part 1

I promised myself I would take the time to blog during the Youth Specialties conference this year. I promised myself the same last year and never got around to it. Since I have my own laptop this time, it's a little easier.

We got here yesterday, and are (thankfully) staying in the hotel adjacent to the convention center. We brought Punky with us, so the ability to come back to the room often is really nice.

We are learning that there are four types of youth pastors. It's pretty comical, actually -- it's like they went to a class to learn how to be that particular "flavor." What's funny is that I know one of every type, so every time we see someone that matches the "type," we look at each other and say, "Look, there's Andrew again," or, "Look, there goes Blake!" The Four Types are as follows:

First, there's Shaved Head Youth Pastor. This guy is actually not a youth pastor, but a "Minister To Students." His favorite clothier is Old Navy. Flip flops are a staple in his wardrobe. Backpacks and baseball caps are the favored accessories. Loves David Crowder and Chris Tomlin. Generally this guy is Baptist. David cringes every time he sees Shaved Head Guy, falling into a deep depression because he feels that he looks like every other Shaved Head Guy out there.

Next, there's Portly-But-Hip Youth Pastor. This fellow is, well, we'll say "cornfed," but without the cornfield. Generally this youth pastor enjoys cool, trendy shoes, cargo pants, Christian T-shirts that say edgy things, trucker hats, and watches with extremely wide bands. Facial hair in any form is acceptable and welcome. This guy is generally either Presbyterian or Lutheran. Third Day is a staple in the CD player in his Bronco.

Thirdly, there's X-TREME!!!!! youth pastor. He is non-denominational, and his church generally enjoys his X-TREME!!!!! personality. This guy is all fuel, says "stinkin'" a lot, and does wacky things. He is an outdoorsman, loves skydiving and bungee jumping, and never sleeps.

Lastly is Mr. Hardcore. He has many tattoos, has incredibly intense facial hair, and has giant holes in his ears that have been manipulated by extreme piercing and stretching. He may even have an eyebrow or a septum ring. This guy loves Tooth and Nail Records, takes his youth group to Cornerstone, and has a Hardcore pirate Christian radio station. He is mostly Charismatic or Willow Creek.

Every single guy here fits into one of these four categories. It's hilarious.

But it's been a good conference so far. Crowder rocks my socks. I won an iPod Nano. Tomorrow I am planning to go to the prayer labrynth at some point. I hope that I can shut up enough to let God speak to me in cool ways.

Mike Pilavachi spoke tonight. He's hilarious. Bible stories are always funnier when told in a British accent. But he said something profound: "It's messy in the nursery. It's neat and tidy in the graveyard. Let's choose to exist in the nursery."


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