Lessons I Learned At NEXT

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The cool thing to do these days is to share the “lessons” you learned from an experience, and no experience is too small. Do a Google search and you’ll find “7 Lessons I Learned While Running A Marathon”, “4 Lessons Learned From Changing the Oil On My Car”, “Lessons From a Colgate Toothbrush”, “A Lesson Learned About Eating At a Buffet Just Before Going to Bed”, etc.

I recently attended the NEXT Conference, and because I’m bleeding edge cool, I want to share the lessons I learned.

NEXT Is Not For the Fainthearted

It turns out that the old proverb “Late to bed, early to rise, makes you feel like scum”, is actually true. By the end of the conference I was totally tanked. But it was a good tanked. The kind of tanked that comes from hours of passionate singing and listening to one incredible sermon after another. Next year I’ll be in better shape. Or bring a Sherpa to carry me around.

D.A. Carson Is Da Bomb

If you don’t understand street talk like I do, that’s okay. ‘Da bomb’ simply means ‘the bomb’ which in turn means ‘awesome’. D.A. Carson’s message on the character of God was simply unbelievable. Even though Dr. Carson is smarter than a homeschool convention, his message was very easy to listen to. I came away from his message with the following conclusion: God is God and I am not. You can download his message here.

The Local Church Really Matters

NEXT is a wonderful conference, and I’m so grateful for it. But the more I go to conferences, the more I’m aware that the local church is far more important than any conference. True, lasting change doesn’t happen over a three day period. It can start there, but it must be worked out in the local church. Change happens as we live out our lives in the company of other believers.

Clapping In Sermons Must Be Timed Very Carefully

There’s something known as the ‘lone ranger clapper’ syndrome that everyone should be aware of. A sermon reaches a high point and you feel an irresistible urge to clap your hands. You begin banging your hands together, confident that everyone else feels the same passion and will follow your bold lead. But they don’t, and suddenly you’re in no man’s land, and everyone in the auditorium feels mildly embarrassed for you. Sometimes the speaker will try to encourage you by saying something like, “Yes, that is worthy of applause,” but that doesn’t usually happen. So time your claps carefully.

If you are between the ages of 18-29, I highly commend the NEXT Conference to you. You can find more info here, and you can download all the sermons here.

What lessons have you learned at conferences?

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  • Patrick

    Was there any "Don't say amen to that" going on? I heard a radio program once where the pastor said that.

    I think the only conference I have attended was one of a professional nature (American Water Resources Association, Pennsylvania Chapter, Fall 2007). An important lesson I learned about professional conferences is that they are great places to make contacts for future employment opportunities (it opened up a door for the possibility of an internship in Harrisburg this summer, but I already had a job lined up).

    And I am hoping to go to NEXT sometime (probably after grad school).

    • http://intensedebate.com/profiles/yellerdaisiez yellerdaisiez

      Patrick, sorry you missed the conference. Check out the messages and the blog. It' almost (almost mind you) like you were there.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/StephenAltrogge StephenAltrogge

      Hey Patrick, sorry you couldn't go to the conference. The water conference sounds almost as awesome though. And interesting.

  • http://etimodnar.livejournal.com Kathryn

    I live too far away to go to NEXT. Thankfully, The Don (as we call him) is coming to me!! http://www.afes.org.au/nte

    *slow claps to third point about local church* Boo-Yeah!

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/StephenAltrogge StephenAltrogge

      Nice! D.A. Carson is come to you guys? Enjoy!

  • lisa

    Didn't go to Next — I'm WAY too old — but I wholeheartedly agree with the bit about the local church. Also the clapping. As Popeye would say, "How embarraskin'."

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/StephenAltrogge StephenAltrogge

      Yeah, I always feel slightly embarrassed for the lone clappers. It's not their fault, but they just end up in no man's land.

  • http://intensedebate.com/profiles/yellerdaisiez yellerdaisiez

    Throughout the conference I was reminded of God's grace and strength. And also the amazing truth that God answers prayers. I had the amazing privilege to serve during the conference. I was concerned that my wimpy body would not be able to keep up. I prayed for grace. My church prayed for grace. And quite unexpectedly I found out the Next prayer team was also praying for me. I sailed through the conference and was in awe of God's care for me and how often He answered our prayers.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/StephenAltrogge StephenAltrogge

      Thanks for all you did to serve the conference!

      • http://intensedebate.com/profiles/yellerdaisiez yellerdaisiez

        It was so much fun, I really don't think it counts as serving. :)