FAQ About The Dec 6 UnConference

So far there has been great response to the Youth Ministry UnConference we’ll be hosting in Dec, including youth ministers in several other cities wanting to do the same in their communities. Many questions have come my way about this event, so I’d like to answer them now (please ask more if you have them).

Is this only for youth workers in the DFW area?

No. Absolutely not. In fact, we already have registrations from youth workers coming in from other states to join us on this day. If you can make it to DFW please come.

What is an “unconference”?

If you’re like me when I go to conventions some of the best moments are not the general sessions and seminars (although I do believe they have value). Often I find the real energy at a convention to be the “in between” spaces like meals and breaks when paths cross and spontaneous meetings happen. That’s when the sparks fly! The “unconference” format attempts to build an event that is made primarily of “coffee break” energy.

There are no speakers or seminars. The event is based on a loose set of principles  that allow the event to take shape based on who shows up and what is important to them. Rather than a person or committee planning the direction of the event from the top down, the event “self organizes” from the bottom up. You’ve probably never experienced anything like this, so you need to come.

What is the advantage of doing this?

The idea behind this gathering is to get around some of the limitations at other events that hinder innovation. One of the primary beliefs driving this format is that the whole of people in the room are better than one person in front of the room. So together we identify problems and find solutions rather than one person doing this from the top down. Having a diversity of experiences and talents in a focused environment allows for inovations and breakthroughs. Come prepared to be surprised.

What does the room look like in an “unconference” setting?

Chairs are arranged in circles that fill the room, people are moving from circle to circle, people are having animated conversation, others are listening, some are taking notes to share with everyone. It’s electric.

Why two days?

Sometimes the best ideas come after “sleeping on it”. So we want to be sure we give ample time to collaborate, think, play and rest too.

What happens Monday night?

I realize some people will live close by and want to go home, others may choose to stay in hotels. But many of us are planning on eating together and hanging out to keep conversations and relationships moving. If you have to go home, that’s fine, we’ll see you Tuesday morning. If not, we’ll be hanging out. Several youth pastors and local church families are hosting others in their homes so there aren’t hotel expenses. If  you’d like to host or be hosted let us know.

What do you hope happens?

One focusing question will launch our work together for the day: “What do we need to learn, share, or create to meet the spiritual needs of teenagers?” My hope is that we leverage the wisdom of those attending to answer this question. While I imagine we will solve some problems on location, our time together may be the trigger for results in the days and years that follow.

Is it really free?

Yes, you must register as space is limited, but the event is free. There are no pitches or marketing messages from sponsors of any kind. Obviously any gathering costs something (including your time to attend). Irving Bible Church is graciously letting us use their building free of charge, and many people are donating their time to organize the event. So for some it isn’t free, but their gift is making it free for those who attend (meals, lodging, travel of course is your responsibility). You can register here –> http://www.eventbrite.com/event/981743421/Email

More questions? Ask away.

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