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An Open Letter To Youth Workers

Hey there . . . Itâs me, Andy. For some of you reading this right now, I donât need to introduce myself. Iâve had the pleasure of meeting you in person over the last few years. (And I mean it when I say it, it is a pleasure to know you.) For the vast majority of you whom I have not met, Iâm the guy who leads all of our content creation here at ym360. (Nice to meet you. You look great by the way. Is that a new shirt?)

Why the introduction? Iâd like to ask for three minutes of your time for a little heart-to-heart chat.

If youâre reading this, thereâs a high likelihood that you are one of the youth workers who makes up the ym360 Community. One of the greatest privileges we know is getting to partner with you to help you lead students closer to Christ. And I mean that with all my heart. Daily, weekly, monthly you stop by the blog, share a post on Twitter, leave a comment on Facebook, or call or email us. You purchase our Bible Study resources. You attend a training workshop. You put our free stuff to use. 

You are one of the many people who are both drawn by and bring to this community a desire to see teenagers experience life transformation through an ever-deepening relationship with Christ. I think this unifying purpose is as important now as it has ever been . . .

I believe the cultural landscape our students currently find themselves on may make developing a meaningful faith as challenging a prospect as it has been in the history of being an American teenager.

Now, Iâm no alarmist. I believe too strongly in the power of the Spirit and in the power of the Church. Iâm also no expert (far from it). But I am a sponge. I soak up as much pertinent research about culture and young people as I can; I seek out people much wiser than me to listen to what they say about spiritual formation; and through meaningful relationships with teenagers I listen to what they deal with . . .

As a result, Iâm 100% convinced that as the people tasked with leading students in their spiritual growth, we must make some changes to the ways in which we go about it.

Which brings me to the real purpose of this heart-to-heart. I want to ask you a favor. Iâd like to ask your permission over the nextt several months to work through some of these questions here on this blog. Out loud. In the open. Together.

Why do I bring this up? Itâs simple, really. I donât have the answers. Heck, there may not be any one person that does. But I think that WE, this strong and dynamic community of youth workers, can move the conversation in a really great direction. But that means weâll need to push and pull on each others thoughts a little. It means I might put some thoughts in front of you that arenât perfectly formed. I might not ask the right questions all the time. And I might propose some solutions that miss the mark. But Iâm willing to think out loud if youâre willing to engage in a conversation about what needs to happen.

You are the ym360 Community. You have a tremendous amount of knowledge, experience, and passion. I believe together we can ask the right questions. And I believe together we can meet the needs of a changing culture with the timeless and powerful truth of Christ. Iâm looking forward to it . . . Glad we had this talk.

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