Wild dreams

Wild dreams

Lawrence, Rick


Take Note: We’ve promised to shed new light on Barna’s “teen evangelism is a bust” survey report. Look far the surprising results of our own survey next issue.

Stop dreaming already, you bunch of, um, dreamers!

To mark our 25th anniversary last September, we asked you to send us your wildest youth-ministry-ish dreams-we promised to pick one and make it happen. Well, we had a torrential response-a veritable busted pipe of wild dreams. (Note to self: If you give youth leaders a blank check they’ll fill it in with a slew of zeroes.)

Our team relished sifting through the doozy-laden pile of ideas, including these finalists…

* Maine youth minister Renee Garrett’s dream of taking her youth group kids on a cross-Atlantic sailing-ship journey from Plymouth, England, to Plymouth, New England, to trace the Pilgrims’ path and explore their church’s Congregationalist roots and convictions.

* Colorado youth minister Jeff Lee’s dream of purchasing a building in downtown Estes Park and turning it into a Christian coffee shop/ counseling center for local and vacationing teenagers.

* Texas

youth minister Paul Ingram’s dream of taking his youth group to an “on-location” Bible study in Israel-for example, on Day One they’d go to Bethlehem to study the Incarnation, on Day Two it’s the Sea of Galilee (where Jesus calmed the storm) to study Jesus’ lordship, on Day Three they’d head into the wilderness to focus on resisting temptation, and so on…

Well, the big news is our team (with near-shocking unanimity) chose just one big winner, whose name and dream we now announce with an air drumroll…

BAY Ministries (Brainerd Area Youth Ministries)-It’s a cross– denominational youth ministry networking group made up of youth leaders from 35 congregations in Brainerd, Minnesota. BAY’s purpose is to work together on joint community outreach projects. The partnership grew so successful that they decided to incorporate, convincing one of their own BAY youth leaders (16-year veteran Dale Kuglin) to quit his church job and take over the organization’s leadership.

They “hired” Dale, then spent a good deal of time raising money to pay him. BAY’s grand pooh-bah of wild dreaming, Vicki Foss, asked us to pay his salary for one year so Bay members could funnel all their time and money into their one-and-only mission: “To make Christ known throughout our community.”

Our team flat-out loves what BAY is doing-they’ve found a way to continue nurturing their church– based youth groups while partnering to reach kids in their community who may never darken a church door. And they’re doing it cross– denominationally with passion, vision, and a spirit of support.

So we’re thrilled to announce that we’ll be giving BAY $5,000 as seed money to generate the funds to pay for Dale’s salary for one year. We’ll partner with BAY to come up with a really big idea to turn $5,000 into a lot more (we’re already trading dreams about how we can do it). And throughout the next year, we’ll bring you regular reports about BAY’s journey toward the dream.

In addition, because we were captured by so many of your dreams, we’ve decided to give each person who entered the contest (including one youth leader from each BAY church) free registration to our National Youth and Children’s Ministry Convention, January 18-21, in Nashville, Tennessee. The convention is a perfect place to celebrate dreams and the risk-taking youth ministers who dream them. I hope I see you there, because I’m sure I’ve just described you…

Copyright Group Publishing, Inc. May/Jun 2000

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