The Youthwork Summit is now into its third year and back in London. It’s well worth a day trip for Christian youth workers (both paid and voluntary). Read on to find out why!
First of all, the basic info:
Dates: Saturday 19th May 2012 (and Early Day on Friday 18th May 2012)
Venue: Jesus House, Brent Cross, London (and London School of Theology for the Early Day and ‘Big Chill’ activities)
Cost: £30 for just the Summit on Saturday, £30 for the Early Day, or £50 for both.
Now I must confess I’ve not actually made it to the previous two Summits (although I had a ticket for last year our second daughter arrived early), so can’t endorse the event from first-hand experience. I can tell you though that I’ve heard nothing but good things about it from those that have been, and you can see some of the presentations from last year on the website. As an aside, the website is very cool, but not very practical for finding info quickly.
The previous two years the Summit has been in the late Autumn and pretty close to Youthwork The Conference, so I’m pleased to see it has moved to May to give both events some breathing space (I’ve got tickets for both). It’s also migrated south again which is great for me, but not so amazing for everyone above London (it was in Manchester last year). However I hear it will be moving north again for 2013 – maybe this alternation is deliberate.
But what is the Summit and what makes it different and worth going to than other Christian youth work events? Really it’s because of the way the programme is structured. From the website:
Since 2010, we’ve been organising a unique annual one-day convention for every kind of Christian involved in every kind of work with young people. Why unique? Because over the course of just one day, you’ll hear more than 20 diverse voices presenting their big ideas about Christian youth work. For 5, 10… 15 minutes at the most, we ask a mix of world-leading experts and grass roots practitioners to take to the stage for a series of high-impact presentations – then create an atmosphere of interaction and engagement to ensure their ideas are accessed and developed by our delegates.
It’s this TED-style approach that makes the Summit different to other conferences. Not better, but it serves a different purpose. Whereas I go to Youthwork The Conference to meet other youth workers, worship, go to longer seminars and get recharged, I’ll go to the Summit to hear new perspectives, be challenged and spark ideas.
Now that the programme has been released, I’m even more excited and looking forward to going. The theme is ” Visions & Dreams” but there’s so many contributors during the day on a huge variety of topics, it’s difficult to pick anything out to list here. You’re best bet is to download a copy of the programme here.
Last year, the Early Day speaker was Mark Yaconelli. I was gutted about missing that day so plan to make the most of this one! This year the guest keynote speaker is Mark Oestreicher, the former president of Youth Specialties (in the US), founder of The Youth Cartel, and prolific blogger. I’ve followed many of Marko’s adventures over the years, so am keen to meet the man face to face. His focus for the Summit is:
exploring together what it means to create a vision for our youth ministry that takes a wide-angled, long-term transformational view. We’ll look at at how adolescence is rapidly changing, how every context is different, and how to craft values that both allow for great practice and create space for God to move. A practical day that gives you a chance to take stock, learn, and dream for the future.
Sounds great, so go get yourself a ticket!