My wife and I had an incredible time on Saturday (9/12) at the Urban Youth Workers Institute’s east coast ReLoad conference. An added joy: two of our teens from CPC in The Hill joined us in Brooklyn for the day event. Yes, our teens knew it was not a youth conference, but an Urban Youth Worker conference.
All the better.
They got to see a large group of committed Christian workers of all ages, of all races (and yes, I know there’s only one race—human—but you know what I mean), and from a wide range of backgrounds that have one thing in common: to reach, disciple, and care for urban young people just like them. And, they were also able to see various examples, stories, and creative efforts to reach urban teens from national leaders (some spoken, some even rapped). Our teens saw and heard the commitment to reach teens in neighborhoods just like the Hill. The leaders at the conference told me they were encouraged by the presence of our CPC in The Hill teens at the conference—they’re what we do this for!
An incredible day! What a privilege for my wife and I to spend Friday night and all Saturday with these two young men—our future leaders, even if they don’t know it yet! In fact after the conference, they said maybe they’d like to go through the urban youth discipleship kit (download) being offered at the conference. I am a 57 year old white guy and to these teens, it doesn’t matter. What matters is loving on them, being open and available—and caring about them. Jesus was clear: make disciples by teaching them to observe what he had taught. He didn't proscribe that certain people with certain characteristics disciple the same exact people (or else there would never have been cross cultural missions--like ever). If we follow Jesus' pattern, we just need to be willing to be incarnational "in their midst."