Seriously, have you ever looked at your life and noticed how the string of the will of God makes a crazy unpredictable web? I was thinking today in light of some changes that were happening in the youth ministry world about how crazy it is that my life is woven into them. I mean really, I couldn't dream this stuff up.
God is crazy like that. Check this craziness out. I owe each of these people a HUGE debt of gratitude for their influence in my life.
ED NOBLE: A friend who we had brought 3 or 4 times to come and speak to our high school students (at a summer camp run by myself and another friend of mine) invited me to come and be the youth pastor at Journey Community Church. We said yes and 6 years ago we moved to San Diego after serving 11 years in Northern California. I had no idea what kinda web that God would start spinning in me with that decision.
MARK OESTREICHER: a long time friend of Ed Noble, was the president of Youth Specialties when I moved to San Diego. He was a volunteer in our Middle School ministry and was eventually my son TJ's middle school small group leader (today was their last group mtg) and has since become a treasured mentor and friend. Somewhere in there joined the YS Core and the launch of the Youth Ministry Coaching Program due to Marko's influence in my life.
TIC LONG: a president and founder of Youth Specialities recently resigned his post (sorta) and is working 1/2 time there and 1/2 time at my church... soon to become my full-time boss as the Executive Pastor at my church. I knew Tic well from my interactions with YS while Marko was president. Now he's in my office. That was crazy fun. Who coulda dreamed that up?
MARK MATLOCK: a friend of mine who I have served with through YS, became the president of Youth Specialties as a result of the Tic Long move. The other day he e-mailed me and asked if I would join the YSPalooza team. That was more crazy news. Of course I said yes.
DOUG FIELDS: Doug's name coulda gone at the top of this list because I met Doug like 15 years ago when he was teaching the first ever "purpose driven youth ministry seminar"- at that time it was a single day add onto the "purpose driven church seminar" that my church staff was going to at the time. We talked, started a friendship, and it has grown ever since. I've taught at several seminars for conferences that he's hosted and last year he asked me to come to the Simply Youth Ministry Conference and teach some seminars. I did and loved it. This has led to a column I write for Group Magazine and even a couple of book deals. But I put this at the bottom of the list because today, they announced he was coming onto the team of Youth Specialities. Ok... now this web is getting really crazy twisted and funny.
God, what are you up to? Oh yeah... spinning crazy God webs. My bad. I forgot.
Thanks Ed, Marko, Tic, Mark, and Doug. I owe each of you BIG TIME and I can't wait to see how God will use each of you in the future. I'm just blessed to score a fly here and there caught in the web God is spinning in and through each of you.