A week or so ago, I got to spend time at The Youth Cartel‘s new experiment Open Seattle. Experimentation is the life blood of youth ministry, so when Adam started promoting this event, I knew I wanted to be a part of it. If for no other reason, this is why The Youth Cartel needs to exist. They embrace the ethos of youth ministry: the willingness to try new things solely for the purpose of ministering to others.
Open Seattle brought together 150 or so youth workers in the space of a day to encourage each other and share stories. It reminded me of the Cornerstone Music Festival. I always went to see a couple of favorite artists, but knew I was going to see several I’d never heard of that surprise me (Ahem… Morgan Schmidt and the Youth Collective).
If you were there, you know what I mean. There was a vibrancy that comes from the collective tribe. We know each other on sight. Community like this doesn’t just happen. It’s built through the struggle of youth ministry. Open Seattle provides an place for all of us to be known and appreciated. Open Seattle=the collective we.
I left feeling like I’d been to something more than a youth conference. The speakers were great, but it was more that they were actually sitting in other sessions rather than retreating into a green room. Maybe this is part of the new paradigm of youth ministry. It feels so much more collegial. If you missed it, try to get to Open Boston.