The big news in YM this week is the sale of Youth Specialties to the folks at Zondervan. If you've talked to me about resources for youth ministry you've heard me talk about YS. I don't work for them (although I did serve as a moderator on their forums prior to the forums going on hiatus. For that I got the occasional small gift) and I don't get a percentage for any sales that come from my recommendation. I recommend them because I like their stuff and use it. Mike Yaconelli's books have been a GREAT inspiration to me over the last couple years, not only in youth ministry but in my faith life. I got to meet Mike once and shake his hand. It's a special moment for me.
So what's all the hoohoo about? Well, YS has always had a feel of a free wheeling, let's see where the Spirit takes us kind of organization. They have to have had some basic good business practices to stay in business as long as they have and still put on some major events. So that "Hey kids, let's put on a show" feeling is probably a certain amount perception rather than completely true. The bottom line is this:
YS has done some good stuff over the years.
They were attractive enough to tempt Zondervan to spend some cold hard cash on them.
Zondervan wants them to succeed.
And so do we.
So I'm still firmly in the YS camp (I'm not a fanatic. I also use and recommend stuff from Group and several other places). I look forward to what may develop out of being part of an org with slightly deeper pockets.
And I think we all need to take a breath. Even if YS disappeared tomorrow we'd have the wisdom that has grown under their stewardship to carry with us into the future.
Based on what I've read by Yac, I think he'd advise some of us to chill.