- “Spark” (and many other words and versions of this idea) is already used as a label for several ministries, curriculums, conferences, and even online dating sites.
- Building on past successes and current initiatives, we felt like we needed a new label that described the unique forward-thinking developments that should enable Crown to become one of the "next” great training centers for "next” great youth workers in North America and around the globe.
- “NEXT” communicates our biblical desire for “one generation to proclaim to ‘the next’” the greatness of God and the Good News of Jesus. So the event can accomplish its goal of encouragement simply by refreshing our hearts and our focus on equipping ministry for the next generations.
- “NEXT” is also a little bit of a cheesy way to play on words (e.g. Hey, dude, what’s the next youth workers conference I should go to?) and have a little fun at our own name-changing expense.
We’re adjusting some of our schedule to provide more interaction with speakers and also more workshop options based upon evaluations from last year. We’re also planning to offer a post-conference option to interact further around dinner and discussion with some of our speakers and with Crown’s youth ministry partners. So the major difference, besides the name change, will be an increased opportunity for connection.
Well, that’s a trick question. As a local youth pastor shared with me recently, “Nothing in youth ministry is new under the sun.” This is so true! In fact, everything we’re doing at Crown is emphasizing the enduring biblical concepts of generational transference. We are very committed to basing what we do at the NEXT Youth Workers Conference according to God’s patterns for generational ministry. That includes the “what’s” and the “why’s” and the “who’s” as much as it involves understanding best practices for the “how’s”. So while innovation is not stressed as our goal, we also expect innovation to be a natural, frutiful product of faithful commitment to our creative God in ministry in particular contexts (through things like prayer, discipleship, worship, fellowship, etc). In terms of reaching and equipping the next generation for faith and leadership, we have a lot to learn from each other… and that is what the NEXT Youth Workers Conference is all about.