Don't read between the lines on this one, ok? ;)
(And incidentally, this is book #54.)
I picked up "Getting Fired For the Glory of God" when I was in Sacramento. It's a collection of some of Mike Yaconelli's writings that showed up in Youthworker Journal over the years. The book also comes with a DVD and some MP3's of a few of the talks that he had given over the years.
I never met Mike, but we did trade emails once. And even in that brief communication he stayed true to everything I have ever known or heard of him. Wise, to-the-point, and extremely blunt.
Mike had a way with youth workers in particular, that was always guaranteed to stir something up. I have always found myself challenged, encouraged, engaged, inspired, reprimanded, annoyed, and informed by his words.
Most of this book I had read at one time or another over my years of working with students. But that didn't change a thing. I constantly found myself looking at my own ministry and my own heart and wondering if maybe I'm missing the mark at times. Maybe I'm guilty of creating a ministry that focuses too much on numbers, fun, and entertainment and too little on Jesus. Maybe I'm forgetting about my own soul as I try so hard to look after everyone else's
Yeah...big stuff. And I'm slowly working my way through it.
Actually, these last few weeks have seen me doing a mental review of our ministry (and my personal life) and trying to evaluate. I'm trying to hear God's whisper in this slower season. What does He want us to do with these students in 2009? What does He want to do with me?
Either way, Mike's words have once again been a source for dreaming and reflecting. I only hope that other youth workers will continue to learn from this man. It's too bad he's no longer with us, but I'm sure glad that his heartbeat is still felt in the student ministry community.