Four days, for change, for life…

Just got back from serving at a big student conference called ‘TCX’. That’s short for ‘Twin Cities Experience’, and it’s where over 1500 students from the upper midwest states (Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, the Dakotas) come together in Minneapolis for 4 days of spiritual teaching, worship, outreach and general college-student merriment. (The ‘Four days…’ thing above is the conference’s by-line…).

It’s a hugely strategic way for me (and others from Keynote) to invest in students. We took 9 student musicians from around the region who were total strangers, and made them into the band that led worship for 4 days of conference sessions. For them, it was a great experience as they served and grew a TON musically and spiritually.

For the students that attend the conference, it’s a life-changing event. They get to hear from really good teachers, and they get to participate in deeply meaningful worship times. They did a day of inner-city outreach where they served hundreds of families by distributing holiday food care packages. They also shared their faith as part of the outreach, and 80 or so people who received the ‘care package’ also made the decision to begin a relationship with Christ as well.

It all culminates with a big New Year’s Eve bash where we pray, worship and celebrate into the new year.

The highlight for me is always the conference session when the students were asked – soberly and without any human arm-twisting – to consider investing a year of their lives in mission by serving on domestic or international outreach projects. And when the time came, hundreds of them did, coming forward and placing commitment cards on the stage as an offering. I haven’t heard yet what the final numbers were, but it was amazing.

This was my 9th year to work the conference, and it was one of the best ones I’ve been a part of. For our family, it makes the holidays a whirlwind – we made the 11-hour drive to Minneapolis the day after Christmas, and drove home New Year’s Day. Everything has to get crammed into the week before the holidays. But, I can think of fewer ways to invest that week that would have as great of an eternal impact.

As always, I’m amazed at what happened there, and amazed at what will happen because of it. Still can’t believe this is my job.