Youth ministry – just like any other field – has its own shorthand. I was in a meeting talking about upcoming youth ministry conferences, and I felt like I’d jumped into a bowl of alphabet soup: NYWC, SYMC, YS, NCYC, WXYZ (okay, that’s not a real one!) It was nuts. Hey, that’d be a great acronym for a youth ministry conference: NUTZ … hmmm …
At interlinc, we’ve developed our own shorthand over the years. YLO. MVL. The loop. The box. The book. I was reminded (yet again) that we get so busy throwing around these acronyms we forget not everyone knows what we’re talking about. So here’s a quick primer on the language of interlinc.
YLO is short for Youth Leaders Only, our flagship resource that has been an integral part of thousands of youth ministries for over 20 years. You’ll also often hear YLO referred to simply as “the box” or “the YLO box” because of the pizza box style package we’ve used all these years. We ship YLO 4 times each year (February, May, August and November).
MVL is our shorthand for the Music Video Loop, the 4 times a year DVD that features video resources – music videos, teaching clips, theme based videos, and artist drop ins (think of them as public service announcements for your student ministry by artists). You’ll also hear us call it “the loop” or “the video loop” … apparently because we want to make it even more confusing. Fun fact: the very first MVL (on VHS) featured Geoff Moore and the Distance, Petra, Audio Adrenaline and dcTalk. The Music Video Loop is provided as a bonus to all our YLO members, and comes inside the YLO box (you see how this can get confusing?)
Every YLO and every MVL comes with “the book” … officially the “Music Resource Book” or “the YLO book” for YLO and the “Video Resource Book” or “the loop book” for the MVL. (The YLO books are printed and included in every box, the MVL books are available online in a digital format for downloading).
Each book includes all the Bible studies for the songs or videos, plus the YLO book includes theme based articles, artist interviews (we call them “Heart of the Artist” or “HOA” interviews), thematic listings for all the songs in that box, chord charts, and the re:tuned section, which features discussion starters for popular mainstream songs.
But wait, there’s more!
One of my personal favorites we use is “YLOHA” (pronounced “Y-L-O-ha” – seriously, what did you expect from a bunch of youth ministers?!) This is an abbreviation of “Youth Leaders Only Hospitality Area” and refers to the super-cool-hang-out-areas that we host at conferences and festivals across the country. At festivals we’re typically in a tent or out building; often at conferences you’ll find us in the “youth leader lounge” or similar area.
One of the things we really like to do at the YLOHA is host “talk-backs” (sometimes known by their more formal name: “artist talk-backs”). This is something we’ve done for nearly two decades and gives you a chance to hear from an artist directly. But it’s not just a “tell us about your latest album” interview; our focus is on student ministry, letting you hear from the artists their role in student ministry or the impact student ministry had on them.
Hopefully that will help clarify some of the jargon we use when we talk about our resources. Is there anything I’ve forgotten? Any phrase or resources you’ve heard about from us over the years that you weren’t quite clear on? I’d love to help clear things up … so let me know.