Many of you who read this blog know that I have worked for the last six years as part of the CORE/YS ONEDAY TEAM. If you read this blog you also know that one of the people at YS that has had a major influence on my life and the lives of so many youth workers is Tic Long. Tic was the President of Events at YS and was with the company for over 30 years. AMAZING! Tic was sadly let go this past Summer by Zondervan who was the owner of YS up until recently when YS was bought by YOUTHWORKS. Many youth workers around the country were shocked and saddened by that development and didn't quite understand what was going on. I was one of them. It was like the youth ministry world was losing something that it could always rely on.
Well Amazing news everyone! TIC IS BACK!! IT'S OFFICIAL. TIC IS BACK! TIc Long has been brought back by Youth Works to lead Youth Specialties. It feels like things have been put right in the youth ministry world. Those of you who were there in Atlanta at the NYWC this year for the announcement that Youth Works was buying YS were surely wondering what was going to become of YS, I know I was.
So what does this all mean? It does mean it's a new day for Youth Specialties, while at the same time maintaining a connection with the original vision and passion of YS. It means the company that you have trusted for so many years to provide you with quality training and has an uncanny way of knowing what was going on in your world as a youth pastor is still alive and well! Obviously all of that is not just because Tic Long is back, but is due to all that Youth Specialties is and has been over the last 40+ years. I think for me the bottom line is TRUST. YS earned my trust many years ago when I was a young youth pastor. Years later when I got the privilege to see "behind the scenes" of YS on a regular basis and be a part of the team, what I found were people that grew that trust even more, people like Marko and Tic. It has been my privilege to work with Tic and I am excited to see what new things he has planned for YS.
So it's a new/old beginning in the youth ministry world. One thing I know for sure is that YS is being led by a man who loves youth workers with everything that he is. Do you really need to know more?
I hope you will join me in praying for the future of YS, for Tic Long and for all that YS is going to become. I also pray that you support them with your attendance at the NYWC in 2010.
The Future is So Bright I've Gotta Wear Shades!
Here is one of my favorite pics with Tic, Marko and Brock Morgan the day of last year's AFC playoff game between the Chargers and Steelers. Of course Pittsburgh won!