Tag Archives: ysk

a few korea pics

our time in korea last week was wonderful in so many ways. i’ll likely post more about the trip, but here are a few pictures:

tic and i with ralph and judy winter outside sarang church

judy with the debris from a typically wonderful korean meal

the stage of the convention. this group was a trip! they were a wild combo of traditional korean music mashed-up with a punk attitude, performance art, and a dash of rock music

me outside the korean folk museum

monday morning update, may 18, 2009

the weekend that was: got home from korea around noon on friday and had a wonderful family weekend (with a little work thrown in). had a nice lunch with jeannie and friday, then picked the kids up from school. in the evening, we took off as a fam and got pedicures (yes, it’s manly). i have a nice bright shade of glittery dark blue toe nails now (and very smooth heals, thanks to a paraffin wax treatment and some seriously filing and routing). then we ate dinner at one of our favorite family joints: bj’s. we dropped liesl off at home (she had homework), and jeannie and max and i went to see star trek, which we really enjoyed. i slept pretty good friday night, since i hadn’t really slept on the flight home from korea.

saturday, i did homework alongside max. he was working on a report on haiti, while i worked on final edits for the middle school ministry book. this took me much longer than i expected, and i worked on it on and off until 1:15 in the morning. in the evening, jeannie and i had our first date night in way too long. we tried out a great italian restaurant in the little village area near our home, then went to see angels & demons. we’d both read the book, and really enjoyed the movie. i liked it SO much better than da vinci code (both in book and movie form). in da vinci, the people of faith were all either idiots or had evil intents. and all the good characters were people of no faith. but in angels & demons, there were good and bad people on both sides. i stayed up late working on my edits, then still wasn’t tired (reverse jet lag!). so i watched tv until 3:30am, and made myself go to sleep.

sunday morning i was pretty tired, but we were off as a family to attend the baptism of the son of some good friends (beth and joe slevcove). then a reception at their house, followed by running a bunch of errands (mostly grocery shopping for our ys leadership team retreat). we had our home church in the evening, and watched an amazing short film called “the man who planted trees”. wow — just a stunning animated story about the invitation to us to join in god’s ongoing creation work in the world. i’ll have to blog about it in more length at some point. sunday night, late, i drove up to oceanside (the very north edge of san diego county), to join the others on the ys leadership team for a 4 day working retreat.

where i am at the moment: in oceanside, california, on a ys leadership team retreat. we have a lot to do this week, and it should be great. i go home thursday night.

on my to-do list this week: the leadership team retreat will take up most of my week. then i’m in the office on friday, and have to make some serious headway on packing my office for the upcoming ys office move (two weeks away!).

procrastinating about: now that i’m done with my middle school ministry book edits, i’m procrastinating about a magazine column i have to write (that’s already late), and packing my office.

book i’m in the midst of: almost done with what would google do?, and still getting going on stuck in the middle.

music that seemed to catch my attention this past week: nothing, really. i listened to very little music while i was in korea. oh, i did download the new green day album, and enjoyed listening to that on the plane.

next trip: after i get home from this retreat, i’m home for a week. i have a ys one day team retreat a week out, but it’s local, and i don’t think i’ll spend the night at the hotel.

how i’m feeling about this week: great! (though i wish i weren’t away from my family again so quickly.)

monday morning update, may 11, 2009

ysk_logo3the weekend that was: i’m in seoul, korea, for our yskorea event. got here friday evening, and the event didn’t start ’til monday morning. so it was a weekend of great food and jet lag. we had varying forms of korean barbecue every night (fri, sat, sun), and other wonderful stuff along the way. ralph winter (producer of all the x-men movies, fantastic 4 movies, and so many other) and his wife judy, arrived saturday morning, so we’ve spent much of our time with them. they’re wonderful people, and we’ve had great conversations about film, faith, church and everything else under the sun. henneyone of the stars of wolverine is a young korean-american actor named daniel henney (originally from michigan!), who lives here now. he hosted a dinner for us saturday night (because of the connection with ralph). i sat next to him, and it was fun to get to know him a little bit. really, really nice guy, and surprisingly normal and unjaded by huge fame. people say he’s the “brad pitt of korea”, which was fairly obvious as our dinner was regularly interrupted by people taking photos and asking for autographs (which he graciously gave).

where i am at the moment: yup, in seoul. it’s actually monday afternoon as i write this in korea, but sunday night back in cali. our event started this morning, and i was the speaker for the opening main session. i was a little concerned, because i’d taken a strong sleeping pill last night (i’d not slept well saturday or sunday nights), and was still feeling really groggy and disoriented this morning. but the fog lifted, and i had a good interpreter, and i think it went well. our attendance isn’t what we’d hoped, but the word is many people were going to start coming tonite.

on my to-do list this week: i’ll be in korea until friday, so that’s most of my week!

procrastinating about: at the moment, i’m seriously procrastinating about getting ready for the full-day critical concerns course i co-lead on thursday. not ready in the slightest bit! i also have to do the final checks on the middle school ministry book this week, and write a magazine column.

book i’m in the midst of: making progress on what would google do?, and re-started “stuck in the middle” (a collection of cartoons about the middle school years).

bluegrassworshipmusic that seemed to catch my attention this past week: haven’t had much chance to listen to music, but i’m listening to a very fun album called “bluegrass worship” as i write this, and it’s cracking me up.

next trip: i get home friday noon from korea, and am home a couple days. then sunday night, i drive up to oceanside (the very north edge of san diego county) for a ys leadership team retreat, through next thursday night. it’ll be a bummer to leave my family again, but i’m really looking forward to this strategic time with the ys leadership team.

how i’m feeling about this week: pretty good, though i’ll feel better when i get some plans in place for the critical concerns course i’m teaching on thursday.

off to korea

ysk_logo2i need some seoul, baby.

so today, i fly to seoul, korea, for our first-ever ys youth worker event there: the next wave convention (feel free to check out the site, but it’s in korean).

i went to seoul a couple months back on a set-up trip, and had an amazing time. really looking forward to this event. we’re hoping for something around 1500 attendees. it will be a slightly different crowd than we have at our events in north america. most attendees will be paid church leaders, but will cross over from youth ministry to young adult ministry and some senior pastors (there are actually tracks for all of those). we’ve had wonderful partnership on this event, mostly from large churches in seoul, as well as some parachurch orgs. our host church is young nak church, and they’ve been very gracious with us.

our korean partners were insistent on a format with koreans doing all the seminars, and outside guests doing the general sessions. so the six general session speakers are: me, brian mclaren, len sweet, dave gibbons, mike pilavachi, and ralph winter (producer of wolverine!). tic long, from ys, is coming along with me, and i’m sure we’ll have a great time together.

please pray for us and those attending this event!

posting to my blog might be a little light while i’m gone, though i’m sure i’ll at least have something every day. but who knows, maybe i’ll post like crazy!

choosing ministry partners

some time ago, a friend who leads another ministry asked me how we (ys) considering possible ministry partners. we do this quite often, particularly with our international work, but also with stuff in the states. at times, i’m sure it seems we’re a little picky. we’re willing to try stuff and fail — that’s noble and valuable, imho. but we don’t want to constantly be throwing pasta at the wall to see what sticks.

i thought about my friends’ question, and responded that we use three metrics:

1. cultural fit
2. theological fit
3. opportunity to further our mission

i responded, further, that it’s critical for any possible ministry partnership to have a strong connection on at least two of these factors (if not all three).

i’ll give an example…

ysk_logowe’ve flirted with doing ys stuff in asia for a long time. we did a bunch of contract events in singapore a number of years ago (i think i went four times). but nothing further ever came of those. we’ve had inquiries from several others in other asian countries. but it wasn’t until charles kim came to us with the suggestion of starting ys korea, that things really started to make sense. we know charles, and have found there’s a cultural fit (which is funny to say, given that this is cross-cultural stuff). and we know that there’s a good theological fit (in other words, what’s important to us at ys is also important to charles; and what’s not important to us aren’t a big deal to him either). then we had to consider the opportunity to further our mission (that being: serving, equipping and resourcing christian youth workers). and charles’ suggestion just made sense. he drew up a little business plan, and we batted it around a bit; but we knew in our gut that this was a risk worth taking.

that’s why we’re launching youth specialties korea (YSK). we’re not interested in “bringing our bag of tricks” to another country, as much as we’re interested in coming alongside some likeminded people and serving them in their efforts. we’ll be intentional about korean language youth ministry resources. and, as you may have read on my blog back when i took my set-up trip to seoul, we’re doing our first korean youth workers convention (called “the next wave convention”) in seoul next months. we have an official partnership organization (called “young 2080”), and have a half-dozen staff working in an office there now. we let our partners take the lead on what the event would look like, and they were very particular about having koreans do the seminars, but bringing in americans as the general sesssion speakers. so, we worked with them, inviting people off their “wish list”. we have dave gibbons, len sweet, brian mclaren, mike pilavachi, ralph winters, and myself as general session speakers. we’re hoping for a sell-out crowd of 1800 at this inaugural event, but will be good with 1000. we have a half dozen church helping to “sponsor” the event, and a bunch of senior pastors endorsing it.

anyhow – that was a long example. back to the question of partnership criteria. what do you think of those three considerations? any you think we’re missing?

korea trip, via pictures, part 2 (of 2)

here are another 4 pics from my recent trip to seoul:

goofing with a sheep hat from a street vendor. i ended up buying this for liesl. the “feet” are little mittens!

being annoying with the ys korea banner at the press conference.

me and charles kim (our ys korea dude) at one of those japanese restaurants where you sit on the floor (my legs were in the process of going completely numb as this photo was taken).

the ys korea team, out for dinner on my last night, at a freakin’ amazing korean barbecue joint.

korea trip, via photos, part 1 (of 2)

just a few random pics from my korea trip last week:

lunch at a sushi place where you grab the little trays of food you want as they wisk on by on a conveyor belt. that giant stack of plates are from the stuff we’d consumed. that’s charles kim, our ys korea dude, on the right.

me with the current senior pastor of yoidi full gospel church (membership = 700,000!), pastor lee.

in the courtyard of sarang presby church, one of our sponsoring/partner churches. seriously, they have a jumbotron in their courtyard with a live feed of the service.

the live translation schedule at yoidi full gospel church. this was just outside the “foreigners elevator”. there were “foreigner guides” (with little badges that said that) outside the elevator, in the elevator, and when you got off the elevator, taking you to the foreigner balcony. they wore white jackets, like angels.

street snack vendor. would you like some fries with that big hunk of squid?

korea update, 4 (final)

it’s tuesday morning here in seoul (monday at 4:45 in san diego as i write this), and i’m about to pack my bags and head for the airport for the long trek home. it’s one of those weird “crossing the international date line in an easterly direction” things where i leave seoul at 3pm and arrive in san fran early the same morning. then i catch my flight to san diego, and arrive home — still before i left korea — at 12:30 in the afternoon. crazy.

yesterday was a good day, and not as frenetic as the previous one. i walked to a coffee and pastry shop by myself for breakfast. then, closer to noon, i met charles and we drove back to young nak presby church for a press conference. there were about a dozen reporters, all with laptops and cameras, and four video cameras. these were from a variety of christian and secular press sources. the whole thing was only about 45 minutes long, so i didn’t get too bored! i was asked a couple questions about youth and youth culture, but there weren’t very many questions. after the press conference, i did a couple short interviews (one on video, one just a stand-up mtg with a reporter). then we all (including everyone who attended the press conference) went to lunch. that was quite an experience in and of itself, as we went to a japanese (they told me it was a korean version of japanese food) restaurant, and all sat on the floor around a very long, low table. about 30 of us. massive quantities of food kept arriving: sashimi and sushi (which i love), and a wide variety of things i did not recognize, some of which i tried.

we went back to the church, and shot some promo video stuff. then the ysk secretary took me shopping for my kids. we had a fun time bumping around a tourist section of seoul, where i really didn’t find much. but she helped me find a massive music store (like, the size of 3 guitar centers), where i was able to find a great korean instrument for max (he has a collection of percussion instruments from around the world that i have bought him on trips).

after a nice break at the hotel, we headed out for dinner with the ys korea team (there are about 7 people working — full time or part time — in the temporary ysk office). we went to another fantastic korean barbecue place, and had large quantities of some special kind of pork. man, it was so good! oh, and for some reason no one could quite explain, all korean chop sticks are metal, not wood.

in the evening, charles and i went to a nice hyatt on a hill for drinks and final debriefing. we met up with a friend of his who’s a top fashionista in korea. the guy was a kick, and it was good to laugh. slept great last night, and am overdue for a shower and packing right now.

what an amazing trip. i really look forward to returning here in may for the convention!