This is about a week late.  Deanna and I got to attend Youth Specialties’ National Youth Workers Convention in Atlanta, GA, last week, and we — as always — had a blast!  I generally try and blog live from the convention, but this year I needed more rest than usual because of my recent health issues.

I believe this is our 7th YS convention.  I look forward to it every year.  Why?  Because I love the music (David Crowder, one of my all time faves is an event staple), the powerful times of worship (with 3,000+ crazy youth workers = AWESOME), lots of freebies, tons of resources to pour over in the exhibit hall, connecting and networking with other people who “get” me and my calling / passion for student ministry, powerful speakers (the line-up this year was incredible), practical training and labs (I received some incredible Photoshop training this year), and the best encouragement overdose I get all year long.  I always come back feeling refreshed and like I can take on the world!  I’m so thankful that we get to go.

This year, I’m just gonna share a few TwitPics to recap the week… enjoy.  Don’t miss the video at the end.

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My name tag with an added “O” added in memory of Marko.

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The always entertaining and somewhat crazy Exhibit Hall (much bigger than it looks in this pic).

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The “Big Room” sessions were quite a walk this year and the escalators always looked like this after exiting.

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Oh yeah, I forget.  Good eats is always a favorite part of traveling, too.  Including finding some good BBQ!

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A surprise visit from Jeff Foxworthy.  He was hilarious!

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The Daraja Children’s Choir was simply, heart-wrenchingly wonderful.

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Adam McLane, everyone’s favorite tech and social media guru, doing his thing on the set of the After Show with the Cheeseball Chick.

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Deanna, stage-front for the David Crowder Band.

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I love worshiping and rocking out with the Crowder boys!  The “guitarmonies” were saaaaweeeeeeet!

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Our view from the hotel room, overlooking Atlanta’s Olympic park.

God spoke to our hearts so much through so many people at this year’s event.  Too much too share here.  So thankful for all the folks that put together this year’s event.  THANK YOU!


Shawn Michael

Husband, father, musician, pastor, Internet junkie, and Foursquare District NextGen Rep for the Gateway District