And the winner(s) is (are). . . .

Okay. This wasn’t easy. Last week I posted a blog inviting you to give us your reasons why you should be the person who wins the free registration to next month’s National Youth Ministry Conference in Columbus, Ohio. If you’re not already familiar with the conference and you’re looking for a training event that will inspire, educate, and encourage you, then you need to join us in Columbus.

So today is Friday and I promised that we’d be picking a winner. Again, not easy. Our staff gathered early this morning and after some discussion, we made our decision. For the most part, everyone gave us great reasons and we wish we could give away 45 free registrations. . . okay, 44 free registrations. Dave Decker. . . . your reason was a little bit lame! Still, you had the guts to verbalize what many youthworkers were already thinking. We had to throw your entry over the rail and onto a pile of sack chairs. Dave, you might just want to spend the weekend at home. Get up early Saturday morning, throw your mattress out the window, and then jump out after it.

So now we’re left with 44 entries. The good news is that thanks to the folks at NYMC, each of you had your chances increase from 1 in 44 to 1 in 22. That’s right. . . they threw in a second free registration for us to give away. After reading and evaluating all the entries, our criteria quickly crystallized: we chose two winners who are working in youth ministry alone, doing it as a volunteer, and balancing all that with the demands of raising a growing family. Before announcing the winners, you need to know that if you were not one of the two chosen, there’s still a chance you might win. You see, this is going to work out a bit like the Miss America contest. If for some reason our winners are not able to fulfill their duties and responsibilities, we will pass the NYMC “crown” onto another deserving youth worker.

Okay. . . . drum roll please. . .

Our first winner is, at this point, nameless. We don’t know her name as she didn’t nominate herself. She was probably too busy doing youth ministry. However, She was nominated by her pastor, Paul Anglin. We’ll pass her name on to you as soon as we know it. Paul, thanks for nominating this amazing lady. We pray that her attendance at the conference will bear great fruit in your inner-city church’s ministry to urban youth.

Our second winner is Beth Czerniak from Walton, New York. Beth is also the lone youth worker at her church. Her ministry context is one that’s rural. Beth, we look forward to seeing you in Columbus.

We’ll be in touch with both these folks today to be sure that they’ll be able to attend. Thanks to everyone for participating. There’s still some openings at the conference so I would encourage you all to register as soon as possible.

I’ll see you in Columbus! And to Dave Decker. . . if you happen to be at the conference, come and get me before you jump over the railing and into those sack chairs. I want to watch.

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