Months ago when The Cartel announced the Open events, I remember reading through the Manifesto and thinking to myself how tailor made this event is to a New England audience. I am so excited for February 2nd and what is going to happen at Open Boston!
If you have done any ministry in New England, you know that things are just a bit different up here. We have more tradition and sacred cows to work through as churches can be a couple hundred years old. The first church I worked at had drums in the building for the first time…in 2004! We are the most unchurched region in the country and have some of the first third-generation unchurched families in our communities. A megachurch in New England is defined by having more than 2,000 members and there aren’t that many which means that ministry budgets are smaller…if you have any budget at all. Our region has more volunteer or bi-vocational youth workers running ministries than full time workers.
Before you think I am complaining about this, I’m not. I mean at times we do look at many of these things as curses in New England. However, I think they are a huge blessing! We are forced to think through ministry differently. The challenges here create some fantastic opportunities to be innovative and forces a more relational approach to ministry. Talking with a well known guy in youth ministry a year or so ago, he shared that he thought a handful of years down the road the rest of country would be looking to New England as an example for revival and practicing youth ministry. God may it be so!
Over the last few years, I have been really excited about the increased attention national youth min folks have been giving to New England. And I hope that continues! However, I couldn’t be more thrilled about an event that gives the New England youth worker a voice and a chance to present and speak into the culture we have here. Not only will be benefit one another and the ministries that we serve, but I think the broader youth ministry nation will benefit as well!
I for one can’t wait for February 2nd and I hope you will put that date on your calendar and join us…even if you’re not from New England! It is going to be a fantastic day of learning and growing together and it is going to awesome to see what God does.