If you work with middle school kids and don't read Mark Ostreicher's blog, you really need to. His post yesterday was a great reminder of why I respect him so much and enjoy reading whatever he writes.
I'm thankful for the friendship we have forged over the years, and even more thankful that it isn't a "cookie-cutter" relationship of complete like-mindedness. We differ theologically and methodologically (not even sure he knows what a "method" is), and he is one of the sharpest minds in youth ministry while I am one of the more simple-minded guys out there. A conversation between us is likely to look like this:
Marko: "Dude, (he'll start with that word to make you think he isn't all that smart), what do you think about the emerging, post-emergent, incarnational, communal, ecclesiastical, eschatological and formational implications of the current state of young teen ministry?" Note: I'm not sure I spelled all those big words correctly.
Me: "Dude, (I also start with that word to make you think I'm not all that smart) you wanna play dodge ball and then eat stuff?
Now THAT is an iron-sharpening iron relationship! This morning I'm thankful for Mark Ostreicher. I'm thankful that God is using him to shake me up a little bit and make me think outside my box. I'm VERY thankful that God is using him to do the same thing to the youth ministry world at large.
My question to you is this: Who do you have in your life who challenges you, forces you to question things, shakes up your paradigms and your status quo?