back in the day, i did these ‘monday morning update’ posts every single week. they included a little update on the past week and what was ahead, what book i was reading, what music i was digging. stuff like that. it gave me a chance to update stuff that didn’t deserve a whole post. i kinda miss that, even though i have no intention of bringing it back. but, at least today, i’ll try a “random order life and cartel update.” maybe it will become a semi-regular blog feature; maybe not.
– adam and i are having a blast with The Youth Cartel. we work fairly autonomously, but touch base pretty much every day via text, email and phone. we use online software (like google docs and dropbox) for all kinds of collaborative work. i totally trust him, and am stoked by how “he completes me.” yes, i wrote that.
– that said: we’re growing so quickly, i’m concerned about our sustainability. we don’t have any margin right now, and we’re going to have to make some tough choices this year about risk.
– i’m planning on launching the 2012 plans for the youth ministry coaching program in the next week or two. the four cohorts (of 10 youth workers each) i’m currently leading are the highlights of my working life. plans are set for new cohorts starting this fall in san diego and nashville, plus the possibility of cohorts i would co-lead (i’d be at 2 of the 6 meetings) in either atlanta or denver, plus one in greenwich/NYC, and one in vancouver/calgary. i’m also in discussion with 3 denominational groups (1 national, 2 regional) about closed cohorts for their tribe (2 of my current cohorts are this model).
– i’m so over-the-top excited about an announcement i’m going to make in the next couple weeks about who’s coming to the middle school ministry campference. sorry to tease.
– a couple weeks ago, in response to someone’s silly suggestion, my beard got it’s own twitter feed and facebook page. so far, the twitter feed is beating the facebook page in likes/follows, 47 to 33.
– an old photo of jeannie and i somehow made it onto the fail blog this week. so random. it was from the 2006 ys staff christmas party. we had a prom theme, and costume competition. jeannie and i came as protestors, based on the protestors we’d had at the nywc that fall. but — hey — getting on the fail blog is, like, bucket list stuff for me!
– adam and i have made some “it’s time, let’s do this” decisions in the last few weeks about The Youth Cartel publishing. we want to provide resources that others wouldn’t provide, by authors others wouldn’t consider, in ways that others wouldn’t provide them. the Extended Adolescence Symposium Ebook was us dipping our toes in the water, and adam and jon huckins’ Good News In the Neighborhood is a more serious swing of the bat. but the other day i sent out contracts to 6 authors for books i hope you’ll see from us in the next 6 months. this doesn’t mean i’m not going to write for other publishers. The Youth Cartel is passionate about being very open-handed and non-exclusive. i have my first book coming out with SYM in less than 2 months, and 6 more (2 of which are written, 4 of which aren’t) over the next 9 or 10 months. i’m stoked about The Way bible i developed with tyndale (seriously, have you seen it!?), and about my last book with zondervan, Understanding Your Young Teen.
– my family and i leave today on a 9 day vacation. we’re heading up to washington state (3 cheers for airline miles!), where we’ll hang with family friends for half our time, and just our family the rest of the time. we’ll be in a timeshare condo on lake chelan, in the middle of the state. it’s a bit of a bittersweet vacation in this way: family vacations have been a really, really big deal to us, and this might our last one. liesl graduates in june, and heads off to her job at a summer camp the next day. she’ll be home for a couple weeks at the end of the summer before heading to england, scotland, and india, for a 9 month gap year (volunteering in various capacities). when she returns next year, she’ll be heading to university of redlands. so, this is it! this vacation must rock!
– i had a blast yesterday with my fellow middle school ministry volunteer (at journey community church) dan coronado (i’ve always thought his name sounded like a fake hollywood name; like, the name of a cop from a 70s tv show). dan is a brilliant professional photographer and videographer. i asked dan if we could have lunch to get caught up, and if he would shoot a new headshot for me. i was starting to find that people were constantly commenting about how i didn’t look anything like my current promo shots. dan took a ton of ’em (he’s so good, it’s fascinating to watch him at work), but here are two of the early samples he sent me: