You will be missed. I have to admit that I was not very familiar with YS or NYWC when Mike Yaconelli was at the helm. So I never felt the great sense of loss and wonderment about the future of YS when Yac died.
However, I get that sense now. There seems to be a difference in this case though, because when Yac died Marko was already in place as President and kept the spirit and heartbeat of Yac’s dream for YS alive.
Now YS seems to be a ship with no captain. Zondervan, who bought YS back in 2007, has always been quite a bit more conservative then YS. I always wondered how that relationship would work out and it seems like we may be seeing that it really hasn’t. I had a friend say to me that it is like those cute little quirks that your fiancee has, but then when you get married you realize they annoy you. It appears like Zondervan has gotten annoyed with those quirks, which is the only reason why I see in them getting rid of the person who not only had the heart and soul of YS but was also it’s leader.
I think that this will be a huge win for Group and Simply Youth Ministry along with the SYM Conference. I think that a lot of people are going to jump to there products and to their conference, because they feel that YS is just not going to be the same.
However, I think that this could be a loss for youth workers. We will now no longer have that place where we can all gather together and be stretched in our think by the speakers. One of the hallmarks of NYWC is that we were able to hear from a broad spectrum of people and so it forced us out of our comfort zones and made us think. I just don’t see Zondervan continuing with that and I hope that I am wrong.
In the meantime I will be praying for Marko, and I agree with Len that “YSMarko now stands for You’re Special Marko”. Of course, Marko was always special. I look forward to what Marko does to bless youth workers in the future, even if it is just a return to blogging.
But I will miss his antics like this….