BIG NEWS! wow – i’ve been wanting to blog about this for months! it’s been killing me not to talk about something that’s so major in my life, and in the lives of so many people i love: zondervan has purchased youth specialties.
but let me give a little back-story: youth specialties and zondervan have been partners for more than 30 years, almost since the beginning of YS. they’ve always proved their belief in our mission. and we’ve developed a significant amount of trust and friendship over the years. we like them; they like us.
i mean, let’s be honest: any 30-year relationship has its share of bumps and disagreements and inadvertent insults (like the time i asked zondervan, “do these jeans make my butt look fat?”). but the cool thing is that we’ve made it through those times and grown stronger for them.
i can say this with absolute and complete candor: there is no other publishing house in the world i would rather work for and with. our missions are compatible and i respect their strengths and abilities. but even more than that – as the guy who’s responsible for the future of YS – i’m confident about zondervan allowing youth specialties to keep being youth specialties. we’re not moving to grand rapids; we’re not eliminating our staff or handing over responsibilities to them; we’re not changing (or being asked to change) our values or mission, culture, vibe, staff, tone, resources, events, or occasional irreverence and childishness. i think this little video tic and i shot hints at that. what we’re doing is getting a whole lot more resources behind us to allow ys to expand and keep pushing the envelope on products, events and services.
for me, personally, it means a few more trips to grand rapids, a bit more accountability (which, frankly, i could use), and some great opportunities to learn and grow (my new boss, the president and ceo of zondervan – doug lockhart – is an amazing guy, and i’m pretty pumped about the fruit that will be showing up in my life because of my regular interactions with him).
so that’s the big news. ah – it feels great to have that out in the open. now i can get back to blogging about every annoying detail of my life!