Editor’s Note: This is one of a series of 30 Stories that appeared in the 100th edition of Youth Leaders Only. Make sure you check out the other great stories from this special edition celebrating 30 years of YLO.
- WriteGroup Annual Retreat (2003)
For this one hundredth issue of YLO, we asked the WriteGroup to explain why they are involved, why they passionately pitch in their efforts, and what benefits they derive from their involvement.
Here’s how a few of them responded.
Calvary Church, Souderton, Pennsylvania
While sitting in a general session at the national youth workers convention, I heard a speaker say, “Now I feel know what a donkey feels like at the Kentucky Derby. I know I’m not the best, but it sure is fun to run with the best.” That’s exactly how I feel being a member of the WriteGroup. I have the privilege of writing Bible studies for thousands of youth ministries with the likes of Ken, Rick, Mary, Eric, Jeremy, Paul, and others.
In the last few years, I’ve been invited to join Team interlínc at music festivals and leadership conferences around the country. Countless times youth leaders have shared how much they appreciate and value the Bible studies in each YLO magazine. Their words are encouraging, humbling, and serve as a powerful reminder of the privilege of serving on the WriteGroup.
Marie Baptist Church, Dublin, Georgia
An eccentric old hermit told me the force was with my family and I, so I decided to join the rebellion. After all, who wouldn’t want to use a light saber? Actually, I have loved writing since my college days. I was looking for an outlet for my passion for writing that intersected with my passion for youth ministry. But wait, there’s more! I love music—especially great faith-based music. Writing for interlínc was a no-brainer, if given the opportunity.
Ken McCoy sent out the call for potential new interlínc writers and I submitted a study. It didn’t get published because the album didn’t make the cut for the box. I thought it was because I had not made the cut. A few weeks later during a challenging time in my ministry I got an email. It was Ken and he invited me to join the WriteGroup. I’ve been in the group ever since! From writing movie studies, song and video studies, and even a retreat based on Si Robertson’s first book, I know that my studies have the potential to help many youth leaders.
Having been a YLO member long before becoming a member of WriteGroup, I was truly humbled to join the top-notch folks in the WriteGroup. These people had unknowingly helped me in my ministry countless times through their studies. And now I had the honor of calling them my colleagues! I still haven’t met many of them face to face, but the camaraderie via internet definitely spurs me on in my ministry.
There’s something so much bigger than just being published in a tall stack of magazines (or are they “Resource Books”?) along with the other in-the-trenches youth workers of the WriteGroup. It’s about impacting youth ministry across the world by engaging students in the media that drives culture. Ultimately, it’s about proclaiming the blood of Jesus to the world. And what more fun way is there than music and media?
Kauai Christian Fellowship, Poipu, Hawaii
One thing that lunatics really dislike is to be alone. Lunacy is only fun when it is goaded along by other lunatics. What lured me to be part of the Write Group was the idea that someone actually was willing to host (with other similar smart aleck, witty, imaginative thinkers who all happened to be youth ministry veterans) unfettered out-of-the-box thinking about what interlínc might be able to do that would be innovative. The lunatics were invited to suggest how to run the asylum! How could you turn down an invitation like that!
- WriteGroup at Hog Heaven (2006)
For a number of years we descended upon Nashville and, taking our role as the vanguard of youth ministry, created havoc in some of the fine dining and lodging establishments interlínc hosted us at—such as “Hog Heaven” and Montgomery Bell State Park. (We did get to stay at the Opryland Hotel once, but I think someone stole the towels—so that ended that.)
In the end, all the wild and wacky stuff aside, I think all of us ended up in the WriteGroup because it seemed as if we could be useful in helping connect kids with good stuff that points them to God.