Saturday, February 20, 2010

The Best of Bread

Today I want to share with you one of the worst kept secrets in youth ministry.  Youth Pastors have favorites (shhhh...).  We shouldn't, but we do.  There are some students you just connect with in completely unique ways, and being around those youth is always a joy.  Well- most of the time, anyway!

Today's story has two parts.  You need to know that when I was in junior high school (shortly after the invention of electricity!) there was a very popular band called BreadBread specialized in slow, touching love songs that were the absolute best for slow dancing (except for the Beatles' Hey Jude- over 8 minutes long!  You had to pick the right girl for that one...).  If you were looking for a little snuggle time with a girl, the album The Best of Bread was the one you wanted in the old 8-track player.

Fast forward to the late '80's.  Like I said in the beginning, youth workers tend to have favorites. And at that time, no sub-group of our ministry was closer to me than Keri Vinson, Shelley Godwin (both pictured at left) and Heather Beggs.  We shared a ton of adventures over the years, from all the youth trips to attending a Billy Joel concert together with Marilyn and Shelley's twin brother Jeremy.  I was involved when they needed relationship help; I helped throw Keri and Heather surprise 16th birthday parties; and all of them stopped by my office and our house on a regular basis.  Keri and Shelley attended church someplace else; but they had become very active in our youth ministry.  The good part was how close we became; the interesting parts were the questions they would ask me and the things we would discuss.  Nothing seemed off-limits, whether it was serious, spiritual, or just the kind of thing you would talk to a friend about.  I always tried to "be there" for every student in our ministries over the years.  With the kids you grow closest to being there goes to whole new level.

Perhaps no story illustrates this better than the night Keri called me at 1 AM (it might have been Heather and Keri; they were seldom apart in those days) to tell me she had just heard a song on the radio.  It was a very sad song  about a guy who found a girl's diary under a tree.  The guy thought she had written about him, but it turned out to be another guy that she loved.  Keri loved the song but had no idea the title or the band.  She thought I might know.  At 1 AM.  And no alcohol was involved.  I suppose this should have irritated me, but instead it made me laugh.  I told her that the band was Bread, the song was simply called Diary, and that she could borrow the album anytime- or I could just sing it for her!  She laughed, said she knew I was the right person to call, and that was it.

You want to know what it is like to be in student ministry?  Just read the previous paragraph again.  Your life becomes part of their lives. You are their resource at 1 AM when other adults are not happy to participate in their lives.  You share in their joys, their tragedies and their accomplishments.  You are there when they fail.  And hopefully, along the way, you teach them that Jesus will always be there to share in those things.  Because even with your favorites, you can't be there forever- but Jesus can!  And now I am off to listen to some Bread and cry- man could they write some sad songs!

Because of Jesus,


  1. Anonymous2/26/2010

    OHMYGOSH!!!!.... wait, I gotta say it again... OHMYGOSH!!!!
    It's so totally WEIRD to see my picture and my name on this blog. I'm freaking out, I actually screamed when I saw it, and my kids think I'm absolutely lame.
    I feel like I have just had a flashback. Most days I can't even remember what I ate for breakfast, let alone things that happened 20 years ago, but the past has just washed right over me and I'm sitting here smiling my fool head off and laughing right out loud. By the way, I still LOVE Bread! I even upgraded my cassette tape to one of those new fangled CD's!:) Think I'll go listen to it right now...
    Thanks for the walk down memory lane. It made my day!:)

  2. Keri you were such a HUGE part of those years- glad I could take you back there for a moment! Every day when I sit down to write this blog the memories make me smile, so I know just how you feel. It is great to hear from you!


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