I look forward to this week all year long. It might be one of my favorite weeks of the year.

I’ve learned something very important in the second decade of vocational ministry. Never do ministry alone. There’s too much that we can learn from each other. One of the best investments of our time is to spend a little bit of time with someone else who does what we do. That’s why conferences, seminars and networking groups are so important. For the most part, they’re plentiful in the kidmin world.

However, I’m a NextGen Pastor. The first 3-4 years in this role, I only knew 3-4 other people who did what I did. None of them were very close. For 8 years, I was a NextGen Pastor in Austin and and it wasn’t until my last two years that I found a couple locally. Sometimes it is really hard to lead in a role that very few people have and when those people aren’t very accessible.

This is why I love NEXT. It’s the first of it’s kind, and it’s simply amazing. For three days, 99 NextGen pastors will gather from all across the United States and Canada in Atlanta, GA. We’ll spend three days learning from some amazing thought leaders, sharing our experiences in multiple discussion groups, and growing within the context of this new relationships. This is the third year for NEXT and it’s going to be the best yet.

Never heard of NEXT? Well, it’s only for NextGen Pastors, staff who are in charge of all age groups, birth through high school. NEXT is also an invite only event. It’s very relationally driven, so the opportunity to attend comes out of this context. If you happen to be in this role and you’d be interested in attending NEXT in the future, let me know and I’ll get you connected.