yesterday, i had the honor of speaking at andy jack‘s ordination service, at christ church of oak brook (chicago area). andy is a great middle school pastor and friend. i’ll post my short talk in the next few days. it was really a cool ordination service — andy had lots of middle schoolers involved, reading scripture, telling stories, and leading prayers. the whole thing was a great affirmation of a calling to young teen ministry.
then, last night, our 7th or 8th annual jh pastor’s summit began. andy is hosting us in chicago this year, and his church is graciously picking up the tab. we’re staying at the beautiful hyatt lodge at hamburger university (the mcdonald’s headquarters). this group first met, years ago, in monterey, california, to draft an open letter to the church on the importance of early adolescent ministry. that open letter is posted here, on the ys website.
for the last few years, we’ve invited a special guest to join us, to provide discussion fodder. our first year of inviting a guest, chap clark joined us and really stirred our thinking and discussion. the next year, scot mcknight helped us think about the gospel in different ways. and last year, we had an adolescent brain specialist join us.
this year, we’re stoked to have christian smith join us for a half day. chris is a sociology professor at notre dame, and the author of the watershed book, soul searching (and the excellent new documentary movie of the same title – i’ll try to post about this film separately in the coming days).
this summit crowd have become a great group of friends, as we gather every year, and have developed a camaraderie that goes well beyond the fantastic discussions we have about young teen ministry. i’ll be posting all the notes from our gathering in the next week or so.
notes from the last couple years: