What A Ride

There are many posting about Mike Yaconelli this week. Mike, the founder and former president of Youth Specialties went home to be with his Lord four years ago this week. I never knew Mike. I wish I had. He was a man who embraced who he was, embraced Jesus and loved the ride!

He had a heart for people and a real heart for youth workers. I love what Justin wrote on his blog about his experience meeting him. It gives a real glimpse into his heart.

It was just days before Mike was killed in a car accident on October 30, 2003, that he said at the Charlotte National Youth Workers Youth Convention, "If I died right this minute, I would be able to say, 'God, what a ride! What a ride!" When I stand face to face with my God, I want to say the same.

As I reflect on my own ministry over the years, and look at where it has been, where it is now, and where it is heading, I am growing more an more convinced that it is not about programs. We are great at creating programs, but it is not programs that changes lives. It is serving. It is serving our God, in community with one another, that brings about real life change and a smile on the face of our God. If you can spare 9 minutes, I hope you will spend them watching this video. It is primarily clips of him speaking at the National Youth Workers Convention, and is amazing. One of my favorite quotes is, "If we gave up a bunch of our programs and just got kids serving then maybe Jesus would show up in a way that we never thought possible." Agree.

May we all enjoy the ride.


Matt Singley said...

I made several trips down to Mexico with Mike, his wife and daughters in the early 90s for mission work. He was an awesome man. I agree, what a ride!

The Thief said...

I never got the pleasure of meeting Mike personally, but I sure do miss him. I can remember reading his books and thinking, "WoW!! Somebody GETS it." I can remember his talks at YS conventions and how obvious it was that he loved what he was doing and that he loved the Lord.

He was a spiritual mentor for a whole lot of us.

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