Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Abundant Springs

So this last weekend, I spoke in front of 700 people at a youth conference called Abundant Springs. I attended this same retreat years ago when I was a teenager growing up in Southern Manitoba. I can remember wondering at the time what it would be like to speak in front a large group of people like that.

Lots to reflect on as a result of that weekend. I really hope and pray that what I said was significant in helping people to consider what living the 'full life' Jesus promised in John 10:10. It is a pretty bizarre thing for me who is used to being able to talk to kids weekly about stuff and have them challenge me or seek clarification on topics that I teach on or that they are wondering about. As the mouth piece-I never really got that kind of feedback. It made me feel uneasy and not quite sure if I was hitting the mark-you know connecting with where kids really are at. Now don't get me wrong alot of people came up to me and expressed their appreciation for what I had said ---


I just wonder how these guys who do this 'speaking' thing get any sense of how they are connecting.


One of the things I did was invite several youth up on stage during my talks. I thought that would allow me to interact with at least a few kids and make some sort of connection. It amazing how a big stage can make you feel larger than life. But these guys were great - they gave me some good honest feedback and some straight up opinions. I think it helped to make the connection with the rest of the people.


I also had Vicky Berg with me up on stage. In every talk I had her sing/play a song that related to the theme I was talking about. She did a killer job of Keane's The Hamburg Song; Snow Patrol's Chasing Cars; Finger Eleven's One Thing; Shaun Groves' Jesus; and Julie Miller's How Could You Say No To This Man. And when I say killer-I mean she blew the whole place away.


We also ran the life sim. game called THE MASTER with all 700 people no less it was crazy but it worked so well. In this game every player in the game is supposed to try to get to heaven while blind folded out in an open field. There are minions who can only tell lies and one master who can only tell the truth. It's pretty simple but hugely effective in reinforcing the idea of how so many voices can mislead us from the truth.


Thanks to all of you who prayer for us and to the great people I met there. Thanks especially to my brother for helping to coordinate so many of the details of this experience for us.
Oh yeah and a few people were wondering about that Bono clip that I played in the last session so I will embed the youtube of it here

6 comments:

Ryan said...

Congrats Dale! 700 people?! Whew, that must have been a little intimidating. I'm glad that I can always say that I knew you before you reached your current "iconic youth-guy" status...

Outgoing... said...

lol
yeah intimidating is a good word

Mark said...

Dale: I have been to Abundant Springs several times as a youth leader and so I can imagine rather accurately what it was like for you on that stage! I have two of my former students who were youth leaders at the event and one has already reported to me that it was a very "amazing weekend" and that several of her students recommitted themselves to Christ. Sounds like there was some fruit from your speaking already. Be encouraged!
-Mark

Pastor Mo said...

Lots of positive feedback coming in. I wish we had video tape of the "I was walking myself to my babysitter, Diane's house..."

Outgoing... said...

thanks mark and mo
I trust people were drawn to deeper conncetion with Jesus Christ.

Paul Morgun said...

I am glad you took on the challenge to do that dale! I am sure it went well...