Singer/songwriter Paul Simon once immortalized Kodak Kodachrome film in a #2 Billboard charting song.
They give us those nice bright colors
They give us the greens of summers
Makes you think all the world's a sunny day.”
That sunny day lasted for quite a while as Kodak captured 90% of the US film market in its heyday and became the world’s fifth largest company. However, the bright colors and greens of summer came to a dull end in 2012 when the company declared bankruptcy.
What went wrong? Was Kodak blindsided by the digital camera wave? Actually, no. Steve Sasson, a Kodak engineer invented the first digital camera in 1975.
The problem was that management saw digital as a threat to the sale of Kodak film and instructed Sasson not to tell anyone about it.
As writer Avi Dan put it in Forbes Magazine, “Kodak made a classic mistake: it didn’t ask the right question. It focused on selling more product, instead of the business that it was in, story telling.”
Focusing on the wrong thing and not asking the right question can have the same detrimental effect on Young Life as well. Kodak mistakenly thought they were in the film business.
What business are we in?
Fundraising? ‘NO’...Camping? ‘NO’ ...Ministry Management? ‘NO’
We are in the business of -
Relationships...Going where kids are.
Contact work...Earning the right to be heard
Sharing the gospel...and giving students a chance to respond.
When we serve AT CAMP during the summer it is to leverage and develop the relationships we have fostered over the year. When we plan for year toward our FUNDRAISING BANQUET, it is to hopefully showcase the effect and impact that the gospel is having on adolescents in our community. The funding need will follow. . We go to TRAININGS and RETREATS so that we can sharpen our ministry skills. We DELEGATE and DEVELOP TEAMS so that we will have more time to be in the lives of kids.
Perhaps the one thing you should never stop doing as a staff person is contact work. It has proven to be the non-negotiable of ministry and one of the historical ‘marks’ of YL. After all, there is not a staff person who got into this gig to sit in an office all day. So go. Go to the game tonight. Show up at school today. Go to the pep rally. Camp out at Starbucks or Chipotle closest to the school. What could be more fun or energizing for the other parts of our job? Go.
PERMISSION, TO DO WHAT WE’VE ALWAYS DONE.
GO, SHOW UP IN THE LONELY PLACES.
SHOW UP IN THE STANDS,
IN THE HALLWAYS, AND CAMPUSES.
SHOW UP WHERE NO ONE ELSE WOULD THINK TO GO.
GO. SHARE YOUR LIFE SIDE-BY-SIDE WITH A KID.
IT IS THE METHOD OF CHRIST. IT IS THE METHOD OF YL.
THERE IS NO OTHER THING.
THERE IS NOTHING BETTER. GO.
GO, WASTE SOME TIME WITH A KID TODAY.
GO, IN THE NAME OF JESUS.
Contact work may not be the most photogenic thing we do , but it is the most beautiful.
‘GO’ by Lauren Bocci