Monday, May 19, 2014

Open Vancouver


I'm so excited to officially announce that Open Vancouver is happening on September 26-27. It's a new and innovative youth ministry gathering meant for youth workers, volunteers, and anyone interested in dialogue, idea-sharing, dreaming, and learning about what Jesus is doing in the youth ministry world around Vancouver, BC.

Here's the Open manifesto:
There aren’t many places in the church where all ideas have the same opportunity to be presented. Everything is editorialized, shaped, and packaged. Every idea is filtered through a lens.
We think something is wrong with that. Deep in our souls we know the solutions to the problems we face today are already out there, waiting to be discovered.
Open is just that. Open. The Youth Cartel sets the table, plays host, and invites anyone and  everyone who has an idea to the table for a day where we all have equal value for our ideas. Whether you are a big dog with 20,000 people writing down your every word, a college student with some crazy ideas, or somewhere in between, the table is open–we will give you your shot and equal time to share your idea.

Now that doesn’t mean you will automatically be appreciated or celebrated. It’s an open table and you have the chance to play with the big boys. There will be winners and there will be less-than-winners. Just like everyone has the same shot, everyone undergoes the same scrutiny. The point isn’t that everyone will be equally received, the point is that anyone can have the platform.
No one gets paid to present at Open. Why? That wouldn’t be fair, would it? Those making presentations submit a proposal and chances are good that if they’ve got something to say that’s on topic, they will get a shot. Their only compensation is the chance to present their ideas, and free entry to the day.
So what does it cost? We’ve kept it as simple as possible. Tickets start at $25 for the day. If we sell out early then that’s it. But as we get closer to the day, tickets will naturally get a little more expensive.
True to the premise of Open, we aren’t out to make a lot of money. We are splitting any proceeds for the day equally with a local organizer and a local ministry recipient. We think that’s fair, and we will be 100% open about the money so you know who has made what.
From top to bottom we want Open to be a different type of event. We set the table, invite all, and provide a day where the best stuff filters to the top. Why? Because we trust you. We are in this together. We care deeply about impacting the Kingdom and we know you do too. And we know that low control, high trust openness is the way to get there.
Join us. Bring your ideas, bring your voice, and let's dream.

I love this manifesto! Contextualized, approachable, affordable, idea-sharing, and more than just megachurch pastors and well-known authors on the platform. Imagine shorter, TED-like presentations--around 20-30 minutes--with time for dialogue and questions afterward. Imagine extra time to chat in the hallways and foyer with a new colleague in ministry. From theology to program ideas to brain development to technology to social media, and everything in between: if it's youth ministry and happening in BC, we'll have fruitful discussions about all of it.

Here's what makes Open Vancouver a uniquely awesome youth ministry event:

It's local. The content is firmly focused on ideas, concepts, and best practices for developing a youth ministry for your context. The presenters and conversations will be from youth ministry practitioners in the Vancouver area. We want to have dialogue about what's happening in the youth ministry world right here in British Columbia. We want to have a distinctly Canadian Open event; this isn't about an American organization coming (though I'm admittedly American), it's about local Vancouver-area youth workers gathering to equip and encourage each other.

It's informal. While some events have special rooms for big-name speakers or large stages that put people at a distance, Open is...well...open. You'll have opportunities to ask direct questions and have conversations with speakers. The presenter you saw in a session might be learning in the seat to you later in the day. It's low-key and informal; we're all peers here.

It's inexpensive. This doesn't mean Open is cheap or shoddy. It just means we're hosting a fantastic event and we're not in it for the money. For $25, you get an all-day gathering on Saturday which includes a catered lunch at Trinity Western University. Yeah, we're gonna feed you.

I've participated in Open Seattle for the past two years and have greatly benefited from the conversations and relationships that grew from those gatherings. I love the organizing team we have for Open Vancouver in its kingdom diversity: Clay Imoo is a Catholic youth ministry leader and huge Canucks fan from Richmond and Matt Wilks is a lead pastor and Barefoot ministries guy from Calgary, AB.

Pastors, community youth workers, volunteers, parents--anyone who wants to share and grow, you're invited to Open Vancouver.

Check out the Open Vancouver website here. More info and registration will become available as the date approaches, as well as blog posts about Vancouver-area youth ministry. Registration will begin on July 1.

If you want to submit an idea for a presentation for Open Vancouver, click here and propose your idea! There are no speakers currently on the website, because we haven't picked them yet. Keep checking back at the website, as we'll be adding speakers as we get submissions.

If you want to be a sponsor for Open Vancouver, click here and contact us! We need a few awesome organizations to sponsor each of our session tracks.

Share this blog post and/or the Open Vancouver weblink with your youth worker friends in BC: vancouver.openym.org

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