These words have been stuck in my head for the last 18 hours or so. I woke up whistling them. I had a dream about playing the song on my ukulele (which I do not actually know how to do…yet). I need to feel new because right now I feel emotionally worn out.
PCTC was this past weekend, and it was awesome.
I feel the speakers at PCTC were truthful, God-fearing men, whose hearts were to see youth come to know Jesus or grow in relationship with Him. I was impressed by all three main speakers and by several workshop leaders whose sessions I was able to catch small parts of. Julia Owens, as always, was amazing, and The Deep Space Network was incredible and a blast to hang out with. I am immediately going to start finding a way to share a stage with them again in the near future. It was awesome to bring my Revolution Annapolis friends to get in on the action! I hope they keep coming.
There are certainly parts of the convention I would like to have a redo for, but for the most part, I feel it was one of the best, most challenging conventions we’ve had in a while.
The problem isn’t the convention. It’s me. I’m a people pleaser and part-time perfectionist, and I want nothing less than a convicting, gut-wrenching experience in everything I plan. I want people to walk away from worship music I’ve laid out with their souls bare and hearts wide open. I wanted people to walk away from PCTC with a tremendous energy and sense of unity as a body of believers prepared to face the world bravely and with love born of confidence in Christ.
I think the convention succeeded, mostly. Certainly not through me. I am imperfect and can only cast a vision and plan to a certain extent. At a point, I must release my grip and watch as, like wind carrying balloons, God takes the convention where He sees fit. He saw fit to cancel a concert I was unbelievably eager for. He saw fit to bring struggling teens, in tears, to Gregg Jennings for protracted conversation and prayer. Through so many people at the convention, He made His presence undeniable.
And yet, as I read surveys about the convention, I can’t take my focus off the few with varying degrees of criticisms (from mild/unavoidable to harsh and personal). Sometimes, I disagree with the criticism and at times, I’m sad that the criticism exists at all. Sometimes, I shake my head along with them and say to myself, “Yes. That should have been better.” Either way, I cannot help but reevaluate every decision that has gone into the last 18 months leading up to the weekend to see if there was a way I could encourage, affirm and even enhance unity and joy amongst the people at the convention. I do not simply walk away from PCTC overjoyed at the positives. I also walk away concerned about unity, struggling with defensiveness (at times), and more than anything else, focused on how God can use this and what I have learned through this to glorify Him. I am so glad for discernment, which is ever sharper, so that I may accept what complaints are valid and learn from them, and step away from futile arguments. I can’t wait to help make next year’s convention (Reckless with President Mike Russell) even more challenging and encouraging.
Sure, like I said, there are things I would have liked to have done better. There were things that in hindsight, I could have offered to improve the experience. That, I cannot and will not try to deny.
Lives changed this past weekend. Teens who were lost in darkness, in cutting, in addiction, bad relationships, in depression and hopelessness have found hope. I know because I have read their cards and comments. This overjoys me and gives me encouragement and humility.
I need to be better at pursuing perfection but not feeling defeated when I inevitably am not perfect. I wish I could be president for PCTC again. Honestly, I wish I could be on the executive team forever. It has been incredible, and the successful execution of this convention has begun to mean so much to me year after year.