a long and ever-reforming friendship

i’d heard todd temple’s name a few times as a young buck youth worker who attended youth specialties conventions and got their catalogs in the mail. i knew he’d been the vice president of student events at one time. but i’d not met him. so when i was sitting in a planning meeting for the junior high track of dcla 94 (the meeting was taking place in 1992), and he and his ministry partner darrell pearson (now a youth ministry prof at eastern college) were mentioned as some guys who might be able to help us with programming a late night program for junior highers, i remember thinking, “hey, i remember him.”

todd attended our next meeting, at a small upstairs suite in a residence inn in the tech center area of denver. and a friendship was birthed. a few months later, todd and darrell brought their traveling junior high program (eventually called “wild truth”) to my church in orange county and i hosted them.

the years that followed included lots of dcla planning meetings in various parts of the country, a handful of actual dcla events (including absurdly late nights and the closeness that comes from hard work side-by-side), bringing todd in as a speaker for various events, a hundred conversations and dreams and a growing mutual deep level of respect.

about the time todd and darrell parted ways, and todd started a content development ministry called 10to20 (later renamed flannelgraf), he and i started talking about me writing a book for a new publishing company he was going to start, called 10to20 Press. we landed on the idea for what became wild truth journal, with darrell — who had inherited the ‘wild truth’ name from their former events — giving us permission to use that phrase and concept. before i started writing, youth specialties asked me to consider writing something for them. i suggested noel becchetti, then the publisher at ys (now the ceo or exec director of center for student missions), and todd talk, and see if our little book idea could become a ys book — which it did.

over the years, then, todd and i collaborated on 8 more books in the wild truth line. i did the writing, but todd concepted each of the three sub-series. (btw, i never had a book contract with ys on any of those 9 wild truth books: my arrangement was always with 10to20 press, which had a contract with ys.)

then todd started this little thing called mediashout. and about that time, i came on staff at ys. we started using mediashout for the core, and added it into a handful of ys products. todd helped me concept every picture tells a story, and i helped him concept various projects he was working on, and asked him to write a couple books for ys. his personal company, flannelgraf (as opposed to mediacomplete, the company he founded and was president of, but not sole owner), was contracted to provide media support at all the ys conventions for years, and i had reason to hang out with todd 6 or 8 or 10 times a year, all over the country. oddly enough, we both live in the san diego area, and only see each other about once a year here.

three weeks ago our core team was in reno, nevada, for the core premiere. todd was there to make sure all our presenters computers were working well for mediashout this year. and, while he was there, he got engaged. his new fiance, marna, lives in reno, coincidentally. then, one week later — less than two weeks ago — todd called me and asked what i was doing on saturday the 27th. shockingly, i had nothing on my calendar. he said he and marna were getting married that day (gotta love a 3 week engagement!), and wondered if i would perform the wedding. i said yes, of course, that i would be honored. and that’s when he mentioned that the wedding was in reno, not san diego (sneaky dog).

so, i’m currently sitting in the san diego airport, waiting for my delayed flight to leave, so i can perform the wedding tomorrow morning for my long time brilliant friend, todd temple. what a sweet honor. all that said, i’ll be really glad to be home tomorrow night, and will be home for an entire week!

6 thoughts on “a long and ever-reforming friendship”

  1. I have known Todd ever since I took a group to a “Grow For It” event in Charlotte in 1987, and every year we get to share a few moments at the conventions. So yes, I remember when he was a Fabio look-alike! Give Todd my best.

  2. I too want to wish Todd the best! I have known him since doing Pine Summit (a Christian camp in CA)Junior High camps in the 90’s. I too have checked in on him at YS conventions, and have appreciated his care for what is up with me during those short moments! Send Congrats from an old youth guy in Michigan.


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  4. I am soooooo curious….Was Todd an AFS student with me in Tasmania in 1976??????? He lived in Hobart and I was in Ulverstone. I remember his family lived in Balboa and mine was from Glendora. I will write more later if I have the right guy. Lisa Martin-Dimond

  5. Hi Lisa! Mark just emailed me about your post. Yes, I am who you remember. Coincidentally, just a few months ago I was going through a bunch of old photos I hadn’t looked at in 20 years, and I found a picture of us at a picnic in central Tassie somewhere. Please email me so we can reconnect. You can reach me at todd [at]mediashout.com — Todd

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