PlanetWisdom Student Conference


March 8, 2008 by Stephen

We returned earlier this evening from attending the PlanetWisdom Student Conference at the Hylton Memorial Chapel in Woodbridge. The theme this year was Become More… and it was excellent! This was our first PlanetWisdom Student Conference. I’ve heard Mark Matlock speak before and I’ve seen The Skit Guys many times, so I knew it would be good. Hearing Mark share his heart periodically with the youth leaders during the weekend only confirmed the trust I felt heading into the weekend. Mark shared a little about a new parenting initiative WisdomWorks is working on – Real World Parents. It sounds like it will be good and helpful – and it is needed! Can’t wait to find out more! Addison Road led musically in worship and Sean McDowell also taught a few sessions. Fewer personalities, all of which are directly involved in some way in local church ministry, contributed to a very focused conference and I appreciated that.

Only six of us attended, but I signed our group up again for next year because I really felt the quality of the conference is well worth experiencing again. Next year, Dutton Band will be a part of the team. I enjoyed seeing and hanging out with Chris, Mary Beth, Steve, Lane, and Darren. I also got to meet Brian Coday, the Mid-Atlantic Regional Coordinator for the National Network of Youth Ministries. We were Facebook friends, but hadn’t met in person until today. Brian is passionate about what he does with helping connect ministries together to reach more students. I look forward to getting to know him better in the future.

The theme was the reason why I encouraged our Ministry Group leadership that we should attend the conference this year. Our ministry theme for this year has been “Whatever…Do Something!” The Whatever part is from last year’s IMPACT Virginia! – “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him (Col. 3:17).” The Do Something part came from the One Life theme – “You Have One Life, Do Something!” I felt that the Become More… theme of PlanetWisdom fit it nicely with our ministry theme. After all, if you are becoming more, you’ll definitely be doing something for Christ!

The metaphor of the potter and the clay and all the spiritual applications that come with those images made this a powerful theme. Friday night was especially effective as Mark sat at the potter’s wheel and ‘threw a pot’ as he taught. The visual was very arresting – several thousand people watching in rapt attention. You could have heard a pin drop! Mark took us through the steps to making a piece of pottery – centering, opening, pulling, trimming, shaping, glazing, supporting clay, and firing. Along the way, he shared spiritual applications for each step. Check it out below:


Sean and Mark did a great job today of giving us the rest of the pieces needed to lead a life of growth. I appreciated the solid teaching and I especially appreciated the simple, direct invitation Mark gave this afternoon that focused more on the relationship between the student and the local church, instead of numbers. There were no decision cards because the important thing was for the students to be able to have a conversation with a loving adult from their church about how God was moving in them during the weekend. I really appreciate that attitude and that commitment to the importance of the local church.

There are flashier conferences around, but I would highly recommend you choose a focused event more likely to bring life-change. In my humble opinion, PlanetWisdom is a conference you should attend. I don’t think you will be disappointed.

One thought on “PlanetWisdom Student Conference

  1. McYouthMin says:

    Planet Wisdom is one of the best in my opinion. There isn’t a lot of just ‘pump you up’ stuff that goes on. Their message is solid, and they come back year after year so our students have a chance to build a relationship with the conference. It was fun hangin with you there… And introducing you to Brian 🙂

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March 2008



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