this is big news.
we’ve added two speakers to the line-up for the 2012 middle school ministry campference. but they’re more than just two interesting speakers. both of these guys will add so much to the entire experience of the weekend, well more than the 40 minutes of their main session talks (which will also be fantastic, i’m sure).
tic long, as many of you know, worked at youth specialties for something like 138 years (give or take). he was the president for eons, and completely shaped the national youth workers convention. he loves youth workers. tic can be deep and wise, like the sage that he is; and he can be playful and wonderfully juvenile, creating absurdity and fun out of thin air.
when we asked tic to come to the MSMC, we asked that, in addition to speaking, he would be an instigator, and that he would spend time sitting with youth workers. he was stoked. all that stuff is smack dab in the middle of his wheelhouse.
mark dowds is a wonderful and strange mash-up of knowledge, experience, and insight: a youth worker who raised the ire of local pastors in belfast for his successful and inventive dance club outreach to teenagers, an organizational consultant who can size a person up and identify seemingly hidden motivations and priorities in a matter of seconds, a tech entrepreneur with a yoda-like insight into how people in organizations connect with each other in spaces of meaning, a tri-athlete who runs stupid-long trail races (even after shattering his leg a year ago and being told he might not run again), and a crazy irishman who loves to push peoples’ buttons and laugh like a wildman.
like tic, mark will also be with us for the entire weekend of the MSMC. he’ll speak in a main session; but he’ll also be a roving pot-stirrer, an internal truth revealer (if you are courageous enough to know the truth about yourself), and a tribal party participant.
along with the crew of amazing middle school thinkers like kurt johnston, scott rubin, brooklyn lindsey, johnny scott, katie edwards, marko (hey, that’s me!), and others, this year’s MSMC is shaping up to be the learning party to end all learning parties. if you like middle schoolers, well, then you belong at this thing. registration is open, and we need you there october 26 – 28. your voice matters, and our tribal gathering wouldn’t quite be the same without you.