As I contemplated the launch of Youthmark, as I considered the question, “what am I most passionate about, and most gifted in?” I narrowed it down to a couple different things. These are the areas I want Youthmark, and more so, Brian, to concentrate on. So, a lot of the resources Youthmark will produce will be high on the administration side. I want to free youth leaders, students and parents to be in relationship with one another, and not organizing the opportunity to be in relationship!
The area of passion I have been able to really jump into lately is that of networking. Over the last couple weeks I have been meeting with individual youth pastors/leaders but also with networks of Youth workers. I have traveled up to Snohomish County twice, been south to Graham, north to Greenlake, west to Burien (every week, for one of my own local networks), and east to Maple Valley. In the next week I’ll head over to a new network in West Seattle and as far south to Portland; in addition I will network with the youth leaders in Vancouver, WA too.
I wish all of you could see the heart of the youth workers in this area. They are broken. Broken for the teens (and parents) in the northwest. In a couple of the meetings I have sat in, I have seen leaders begin crying for the teens/parents.
We have 81 local youth networks in the Northwest… however, the northwest is defined by Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming and Alaska. 81 local networks, that number is very small. This means there are a lot of lonely youth workers! A lot of guys/gals who don’t have that refuge, that iron-sharpen-iron place. Pray for me and other who are trying to get some stronger networks rolling (and others started). I will specifically be concentrating on the south end of Seattle. A box from West Seattle east to Renton, south to Enumclaw and west to Gig Harbor. It’s a big box, but one which needs to be filled with more encouragement, more brokenness and certainly more unity!