Tuesday, June 2, 2009

The Future

Saturday night I was at a presentation for Youth Link, an AMF mission point in Paradise, Pennsylvania. Youth Link is an influential youth ministry in that area. I have written about its leaders, Sam and Tina Gordley, before. Sam is connected with the superintendent of schools, coaches, teachers, and churches. He’s the glue. He’s the one God seems to be using to reach that high school and junior high generation.

Sam is an amazing leader. He thinks about the future, not just the present. He thinks about building leadership skills and vision into his youth volunteers and his co-director, Ed Campagna. I wish you could have been there to hear Ed articulate the vision, purpose, and procedures of Youth Link. It was electrifying. That night I didn’t see Sam, the leader. I saw Sam, the delegator, the discipler, the mentor, speaking through Ed. Sam understands clearly what succession is about. He understands that he’s building the future.

At the pre-meeting for this presentation, which was made up of high school students, Sam asked for volunteers to mop up the floors, pick up the chairs, and take care of the tables. He actually had to choose which students to pick because so many of his people wanted to help.

Sam and Tina offer a tremendous amount to the students of that area. One of the things they offer is a model of what a great marriage is about. Tina stood up at the meeting and almost apologized for not being involved enough. She felt like she, as the mother of three rambunctious boys, needed to spend more time with them and get them to bed at a decent hour. But, she said, “I sneak away after they are in bed, and I get to interact with some of the students.”

The Gordleys model marriage. They model a marriage that these young people in high school and junior high will remember when they get married. They’ll think about Sam and Tina and say, “That’s what marriage is about. That’s what a Christ-centered marriage is about.”

I say hats off to Sam and Tina Gordley and hats off to Youth Link. They understand what it means to build into the future.


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