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Mike Yaconelli

February 26, 2008

A good friend turned me on to Mike Yaconelli yesterday. Now I will tell you that my friend probably mentioned him before and I had probably already heard about him but yesterday was one of those days when I really heard my friend talking about Mike Yaconelli.

I went to the web last night and read some articles about him and some comments by him. Here are some of my favorites.

“What is the deal with Christian colleges, anyway? Shouldn’t they be graduating students who are revolutionary, anti-institutional, anti-cultural extremists? Isn’t anyone else upset that most of our Christian colleges are graduating compliant, materialistic, irrelevant students who don’t have a radical bone in their bodies? Who will push the envelope in the generations to come?”

in the subtitle of this book, because if someone were to say to me, Mike, why are you a Christian? Well, it’s not because of the Bible. I’m sorry. I mean, I like the Bible, I believe in the Bible but it’s not because of this book.

It really bugs me that we have decided in our churches to come up with the management model and that is the model we’re using to govern most of our churches. So we got to have a strategic plans. We’ve got to have a missions statement. We’ve got to have little forms to fill out to put down what we are doing. Give me a break! The church is not IBM!… Who in the Hell came up with that idea?!

And, you know, the testimonies are all made sure that they’re right on time and that they only have 3.6 minutes to give the perfect testimony. Where in my church, the reason my church is the slowest growing church in America, and that’s not a joke, and the reason that it is, is because we don’t edit out that kind of stuff. So you never know when somebody is going to stand up and interrupt, say something totally out of line, and two visitors are there going I’m out of here, you know, I’m gone.

Here is what struck me. When I read about Mike Yaconelli they always tell you that he started Youth Specialties and was the co-owner of the operation. They mention that final quote about the slowest growing church in America but no one ever talks about that church. No one ever mentions the name or where it is or profiles what was happening, they always talked about Youth Specialties, its size and impact.

Without something big like Youth Specialties would we even know who Mike Yaconelli was? The irony is that his words came to be quoted because he was a part of something big,not because his passionate and authentic focus on Christ kept something very small.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. February 26, 2008 6:37 pm

    He was such a blessing to my youth ministry. His materials and resources have helped in so many ways. He makes things so practical and applicable. YS is one of the best resources avaliable to youth ministers. Mike is such a godly man and influence on many youth ministers and ministers today. Darin, thank you for sharing this post with us. God bless you brother and hope you have a great week.

  2. February 26, 2008 9:10 pm

    The commentary on Christian colleges is brutally correct.

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