it was fun to look over my calendar and blog for 2008 and think about all the great ministry stuff i got to be a part of! here’s my list of favorites (links are to my posts about them):
2008 will always be the year of youth ministry 3.0 for me. i wrote the book early in the year, posted major sections on my blog (and enjoyed the comments), saw it release in direct-only this fall, and started having fun with dozens of blog reviews.
the junior high pastors summit. this is a little invitation only group of young teen specialists i’ve been meeting with annually for about 8 years. we’ve become good friends, and the conversation is always extremely thought-provoking.
officiating at three weddings last summer for people i care about: my best friend from childhood, my cousin, and my niece. all three weddings were in michigan, which was a little bit weird.
speaking at the lifeteen catholic youth workers conference. of all my speaking engagements this year, this one was one of the highlights. i love these people (particularly those who put on the event, who have become dear friends), and the whole experience was just enough out of my normal experience to be particularly memorable and impacting (for me at least — whether it was or not for them!).
working on the content for dcla. i’m just blown away by how cool this thing is going to be. and it’s been energizing to be part of the team developing the thing.
preaching at my church. they’re pretty cool to let me keep doing this a couple times a year, year after year.
my trip to world youth day in sydney. this was a wonderful ministry moment for me in that it was an extremely rich experience, but i wasn’t leading anything. particularly, the saturday night candlelight gathering of 500,000 will be burned into my soul.
celebrating 10 years at ys in early september. we have a tradition of giving 10 year employees a nice ys jacket (like a letterman’s jacket). roni meek, the managing editor of our publishing team, and i both passed the 10 year mark this year, so we got our jackets together at the ys christmas party.
walking 12 miles for clean water in africa, with my family, as part of walk their walk.
the awesome discussion on the youth ministry 3.0 facebook group. i’m blown away that we have 1600 people in it, and that the conversation has been so rich.
starting my 6th grade guys small group. 4 new guys and a new co-leader. we met at the church for a couple months, then moved to my house. i’m really enjoying getting to know them.
shooting podcast videos. our team really stepped it up this year by starting a weekly video podcast that’s short (always 10 minutes or less) and helpful. i’ve enjoyed the handful of times i’ve been a part of it.
writing the middle school ministry book with scott rubin. scott’s such a great guy, and i’ve really enjoyed co-authoring with him. plus, when i’m sitting at my coffee shop, writing away, i’m always thinking of all the middle school youth workers i hope will be helped by this book.
the canadian youth workers conference in toronto. our second year of this event, and it’s such a cool thing to be a part of.
as always, the ys staff christmas party was a hoot. good times.
last bit tomorrow: my favorite ysmarko posts