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neurological dryer lint

dirty deeds... and the dunderchief


distance is the thief

we are quite safe from your pitiful little band.

plenty of days go by when i feel like a weak, untalented screw-up part of the church. the one who gets hit and crash lands in the middle of the big fight. the porkins, if you will.

Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him.
- 1 cor 1:26-29
amazing the things you pick up when you bother to read.


for this post

Blogger The Barber Says:

I Love that verse. The older I get the more I realize that I don't have a clue about anything that is important. So as the weakest person I know, I feel it is my lot in life to shame the strong. Not intentionally of course, but as a designed purpose for Christ.

Justin this doesn't pertain to you, but it is important that all YL and ex-YL Leaders hear this from one of several outside sources. Brace yourself this is going to be blunt, Young Life leaders are some of the worst snobs I have ever met (J- reread the first line). Which I always found odd because Miami has a poor reputation for being stuck up, but some of the worst snobs at Miami have been more accepting of me and maybe fourty others I am on a first name basis with, than more than 75% of all Cincinnati YL leaders. Most of us have been shunned mainly for not being a leader at some point in our lives. This information might tug at the heart of any leader who reads this, but don't let pride get in your way. The purpose of this information was not to shame, but rather to challenge any YL leader reading this to start honestly dealing with everyone with a "there you are, not a here I am," attitude. An area in which I admittedly have fallen short in over the past two years, but I write this to challenge and shame myself as well.

Any way, I write this on your blog, because many ex-YL leaders read your blog and you (Justin) have not treated me completely differently than other leaders. OIf this bothers any of you don't be afraid to respond to me. I am not writing this from hurt feelings, I have always had several non-YL, christian friends to lean on, but I have seen too many lives destroyed from graduating and all of a sudden feeling alone and being abandoned. I won't wrtite names on-line, but next time any of you meet with me I can throw out several names if you need examples.

Sorry to write so much. Talk to you hopefully Friday at Snakes.

Blogger Nickolini Says:

I think that any type of Christian ministry, including YL, forms a type of community that is not always invested in those outside of it. I've noticed the same thing....YL leaders can be snobs (Not all, but there is definitely a trend). However, I imagine that Navigators and Campus Crusaders are snobbish as well (I have not had a lot of experience with them, so I can't say for sure). My experience(correct me if I am wrong YL people) is that YL leaders are so consumed with the ministry and high school kids (to their credit, isn't that what it is about?) that they sometimes sacrifice relationships with peers and certainly come across as snobbish. I think the other side of that is there are also those leaders who had such a great YL experience in high school, that they are in it for themselves, and not for the kids (I think this may be rare) and the snobbishness comes from being part of something "cool." These are observations mostly based on my experience with YL in high school, so there may be a different perspective from those who have actually led YL. Overall I've had great experiences with YL leaders (with the exception of that Brian Callahan jerk) and think they are dedicated and have huge hearts. But I have seen the snobbishness as well.

Blogger The Gooch Says:

Wow, dude, who pissed in your Wheaties?

Blogger Justin Hall Says:

Hmm. I can't speak for anyone else, but I know that I've felt that way (exclusionary to non-leaders) in the past - not because I feel superior... more because, like Nick said, Cinci Young Life was a very close-knit group of people, a tight community. When someone focuses much of their life into that kind of work within that kind of community, it sort of becomes their identity. So when you ask yourself "who am I?", your answer often starts with "well, I'm a young life leader, and..."

That sort of mindset, I think, starts to fade after a few years. You stop thinking that you're a member of the Justice League. But the first few years you do volunteer, it's exciting, it takes over your life, and it can probably make people relate differently to those outside the circle.

But talk to Murph, Kolia, John Chambers, Jeff Sims, guys that have been around for years and I think you'll see that it's truly a trait of new leaders, and they're not doing it to be exclusionary or mean or superior.

Does that make sense?

Blogger ryanham Says:

No, you jerk!

But seriously, I can see both sides of the discussion. Gooch, not sure what's gotten into your craw, but really comments like that are exactly what the Barber and Justin's original post are about. When you challenge someone, when you question something, when you're there to be their opposite, it makes them either incredibly stand-off-ish, or loosens their grip on their way of life, allowing other opinions to flow in. That's why I love things like the "Colbert Report" because he's SO over the top Republican, that it hopefully makes everyone else realize how ridiculous they're being.

I've been in the same position as the Barber. I wasn't a leader after high school, despite being closely tied to many who were, and there is a sense of loneliness and abandonment when you're no longer part of something. Granted, YL isn't for those after high school, but it doesn't exactly show them what to do with themselves or give them a direction to follow all that well either. Luckily I had quite a few christian friends (most of them YL leaders) to help keep me on track, and to be completely honest, even those who have been leaders forever seemed to not talk to me as much after I graduated, except in passing. Maybe it was just me. Maybe I was the jerk. Who knows?

Anyway, Gooch, lighten up. Seriously.

Blogger The Gooch Says:

Darren, sorry if I offended you, it was a joke. I hadn't seen nick's comments yet. The only point I have to make about this is that people are usually friends with who they are around (probably why the neighbor thing is so consistent in the Bible). So, naturally, YL leaders tend to hang out together...kind of like people who play sports together or go to church together, it's kind of a community thing. Crazy, I know. I don't know what it's like to be on the outside looking in, but if you sit at home feeling lonely because your friends are involved in something (ministry) that you're not, maybe you should evaluate your motives for having friends. It's no so that you're entertained or anything like that, it's so that you can grow together, sharpen one another, and just have fun. I'm thankful that YL leaders hang out with other YL leaders, because otherwise, 4 of my groomsmen wouldn't have even been at my wedding.

The bottom line is Darren's comments were offensive, blanket statements that came out of left field. I wasn't offended because Darren and I are friends and I don't think that he thinks I'm a snob. Ryan, take a bit of your own advise, but thanks, I'll think about it.

Blogger MikeE Says:

I did YL in high school, been a YL leader and been a NAVs leader so let me speak on this.

I can say that when you truely get involved with a ministry and truely give your life away doing it, some friendships outside of that ministry get pushed away. Those realationships aren't any less important than normal its just that the person doing the ministry is ususally focused on their job, trying to show others Christ.

I know I put a lot of stuff off and gave up lots of stuff to do ministry over the years but I never wanted to loose friends or not hang with friends. You can relate it to getting married if you like. I don't see the guys hanging out like we used. Reason? Beause most are married. Now is that because we don't like each other anymore? No. I think its cause we are so focused on the wifes and families. Its just a shift and some people do the shift and others don't. Just like ministry. We all don't do the same ministry so we don't all have the same experiences or relationships.

Blogger The Barber Says:

I wasn't offended. My statements might have been offensive, but they remain true. Do you really want leader names that have been just jerks to close friends of mine, I can give you more than six this very second. I won't argue that it is important to grow inside a community, which I had at CBC and the Vineyard so I remain a Christian today. It was out of concern for others that led me to write what is seen above and by those on the outside. I can say with confidence that several YL leaders once becoming leaders sacrificed those who helped them come to Christ in the first place. That was just to surround themselves in the ministry. The Bible speaks very clearly against this kind of thing. In fact the Bible clearly states that we should report back to fellow Christians who played a role in our faith development in order to build each other up in Christ.

Don't get me wrong, YL is something I support with my whole heart. My fear is that the community becomes a hinderance for outside Christians who are on the fence with the choice to serve Christ or themselves.

One of my friends, Matt, no longer believes in Christ because when he reached out to a leader several times and that leader shunned him (He was in High school at the time).

YL leaders have great hearts, but play with fire a lot. They work with kids who are completely selfish all day, and sadly when a thought process enters a mind it can stay that way for a long time.

As a person in ministry I am simply saying- be careful. The Bible is clear on this, those who choose to be teachers will be judged harshly.

I am glad that I am friends with so many YL leaders, I feel that I am one of a couple of exceptions to the rule I speak of above.

The meek will not speak up on this issue, so I will speak for them. It is out of friendship and hope that no one person will take this to heart.
Sadly, by defending YL at times I learned of some of the hard times non-leaders had to face. Most of the stories I get to deal with relate to abondonment issues steming from a loss of a friend. At times my ministry has been picking up the peices that YL left behind. Chirst wouldn't leave them behind why is it so easy for solid Christians in Ministry (I speak of all ministries now, not just YL)to leave so many drowning? Just a thought.

Blogger The Barber Says:

Please don't take offense. I speak out of love and in service of those who are stronger than me.

Blogger Nickolini Says:

I think Darren's discussion leads to a good point. If you are in ministry, you are being watched as a representative of Christ. If you openly preach Christ, you have to do your best to live as Christ would want. Obviously we can't be perfect, but any person in ministry has to do their best to be blameless. If you lead YL or Navs or work at the Vineyard or whatever, you sure as hell better not get caught drunk at a bar by somebody you shared Christ to. This is an open statement, not directed at anyone in particular. Maybe this is why I don't work in ministry, I am too afraid to have my life examined. It takes a committment to be blameless, and that is a hard job.

Blogger ryanham Says:

I'm officially done with this conversation.


Blogger Justin Hall Says:

i'm officially done with these MOTHERF(*&ING SNAKES on this MOTHERF*&ING PLANE.


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