It’s already Wednesday afternoon and I’m just getting to my first post of the trip. It’s been a total blast hanging out with Adam McLane and youth pastors/leaders in the trenches along the west coast.  Absolute fun and a total blessing to me!  I love youth ministry and youth workers, so helping Adam make this trip a reality is golden.  Loving it!  Here’s Adam from the first day of the trip, before I met up with him on Monday…

Day two, I met up with Adam and Tic Long, long time YS staffer and another dude that has really encouraged me in my youth ministry walk. Tic, as I understand it, was YS’ first hired employee back in the day.  I mean he was part of pioneering what we know as modern-day youth ministry.  It was such a joy to get to chat it up with him and a group of youth workers in Berkley, CA. Taking Tic back to the airport while Adam finished up, we only got lost once. This is Tic’s old stomping grounds, but he says there’s a few highways that have changed numbers since then (grin).

I also made a wrong turn on the way back… a poor South Dakota boy lost in the big city. Thankfully, Adam had left his GPS-toy — affectionately named “Fergie” — in the car. She helped me find my way back to her owner fairly easy. From Berkley, we journeyed on through endless rain, until we arrived at around 9:00 PM in Redding, CA. We were both dead tired, but it was really cool for me to connect briefly with the son of my former pastor, Chris Buechler, who’s now a student at Bethel’s School of Ministry. He and his roommate graciously gave up their futon beds for the evening. I had the top mattress; here’s a pic…

We got up early the next day.  Upon awaking, I was hurrying around the place because I thought Adam had told me that there was two inches of snow on the ground and four more inches were expected.  Turns out it was just a dream. My second day on the road started off with Adam not feeling so swell. Poor guy was going back-and-forth between cold and hot sweats and running a low-grade fever. Thankfully, he seemed to get better as we progressed through the day.

We stopped in Eugene at a coffee place called “The Wandering Goat” to meet up with a youth worker that had left a comment on the YS blog. It was a short stop, but fun. Adam shared his peanut butter and chocolate Rice Crispy treat with me!

Next up was a stop was in Salem to meet Brock Morgan, a YS author and speaker. I really liked this guy. Especially his amazing story of taking in a troubled teen from his student ministry and adopting her as his own. So moving and inspiring. The breakfast we enjoyed at the Word of Mouth Bistro was great. We all ordered the Flying Biscuit at Brock’s recommendation…

Here’s the video recap from that day…

Here’s a the youth pastor we spent the afternoon and evening with in Albany, OR. His name is Joel Varner and Adam and I were both impressed with his leadership and vision for student ministry. We got to sit in on one of his adult leader vision casting meetings and also an evening high school small group where students were going to ask awkward questions about sex. We let ourselves out before the discussion started… it would have been a little weird to have two dudes there that students totally don’t know in on that conversation. So anyhow… meet Joel…

Adam has been the tech rock star on this trip. Getting all the videos edited and posted up on the YS blog each day.  I’ve got mad respect for this guy; someday I might grow up to be just like him.  I’ll probably share more about the trip when I have a bit more time after I get back.  For now, you can keep up with the moment-by-moment updates at http://twitter.com/ShawnMichael.


Shawn Michael

Husband, father, musician, pastor, Internet junkie, and Foursquare District NextGen Rep for the Gateway District

  • Brent

    You want your rib back?