The Future Is Here

EP. 8: Reclaiming Mission w/ Erica Schimelpfenig

August 05, 2020 UYWI Season 1 Episode 8
The Future Is Here
EP. 8: Reclaiming Mission w/ Erica Schimelpfenig
Chapters
The Future Is Here
EP. 8: Reclaiming Mission w/ Erica Schimelpfenig
Aug 05, 2020 Season 1 Episode 8
UYWI

In a world where "Evangelical" has become a dirty word, we as believers in the future of The Church must ask ourselves, "How do we reclaim evangelism?" UYWI believes we must lead this next generation to be on fire for Jesus, and excited about sharing the beautiful and powerful truth of Christ. But what does that look like and how do we separate it from the increasingly notorious connotation of the mere word, "evangelical." In this episode of The Future Is Here podcast, our host and CEO Tommy Nixon speaks to Erica Schimelpfenig, Executive Director of YouthWorks in Minneapolis, about including all kids of color in living on mission and what that movement looks like for the future. 

Support the show (https://interland3.donorperfect.net/weblink/WebLink.aspx?name=E12333&id=12)

Show Notes Transcript

In a world where "Evangelical" has become a dirty word, we as believers in the future of The Church must ask ourselves, "How do we reclaim evangelism?" UYWI believes we must lead this next generation to be on fire for Jesus, and excited about sharing the beautiful and powerful truth of Christ. But what does that look like and how do we separate it from the increasingly notorious connotation of the mere word, "evangelical." In this episode of The Future Is Here podcast, our host and CEO Tommy Nixon speaks to Erica Schimelpfenig, Executive Director of YouthWorks in Minneapolis, about including all kids of color in living on mission and what that movement looks like for the future. 

Support the show (https://interland3.donorperfect.net/weblink/WebLink.aspx?name=E12333&id=12)

Speaker 1:

Are you listening? Hey fam . Welcome to the features here , podcast. This is for the leaders, the dreamers provocateurs misfits, the frustrated frontline leaders who are charging in the kingdom. You're tired of a reactive church. It's time to build a church we dream of now the future is here. So don't get left behind. Are you listening? Let's get into it. What's a family. Welcome to another episode of the future is here podcast. I'm your host, Tommy Nixon. So glad to be with you. Hey, I want to say a shout out to all of you guys who are tuning in downloading the podcast. Streaming it. Thank you so much. I had a homeboy from Turkey. He's actually in Turkey right now. Send me a message and said , Hey, listening to the podcast. Thank you so much, Paul. I see you out there, brother, guys. Thanks for joining him . Today is an important one. Uh, we're talking about , uh , reclaiming missions. Now, if you don't know for 16 years and in 2002, I actually started and ran a nonprofit organization called solidarity at the heart of solidarity. Was this idea of being on mission , um, and, and still, you know, sharing the gospel, but living it out, what would it look like if a church, as a church, we actually lived out the teaching of Jesus. Well, before I started pointing fingers at who's a hypocrite, who's not, we decided why don't we go try to do it out, moved into a low income neighborhood. Um, and it was that neighborhood and got through that neighborhood that just changed me, taught me what being on mission looks like. And to be honest friends, we still made a ton of mistakes. Um , but here's what I'm really hoping for. I'm hoping through this conversation that we can kind of reclaim mission because I know for a long time , um, you know, it was viewed as kind of colonialistic, it's , it's kind of like the us and them mentality. It's um, we were privileged and , and you're not, and we need to help you and all this ugliness. And that's what we were trying to figure out as we did this experiment of solidarity for 16 years. And so , um, I want us to make sure friends and this and this future that we're living in right now , uh , as the future is young, as urban as multiethnic that we don't throw, as I was saying earlier , as we don't throw the baby out with the bath water, that , that it's not like as we kind of dismantle , uh, even white evangelicalism as we kind of look at that and figure out, Hey, what's, what's what needs to be fixed, that we don't throw out things that are really important friends. We, we have to reclaim evangelism. We , we have to figure out how to get this next generation to be on fire for Jesus. Um, and how do they share that? We have to figure out this idea of , of being on mission and what does that look like for the future? And so that's the conversation for today and I'm really excited. I have a friend of mine I'm on the call today. Our special guest for today is Erica Schimel Fennig . She is the executive director for youth works. Um, and so we're so excited to have you on Erica . Welcome to the show.

Speaker 2:

Thank you, Tommy . Thank you so much. It's always good getting to have conversations with you.

Speaker 1:

Absolutely. And , uh, so I'm excited for this. If you can explain a little bit, so you're the executive director of youth works and so it kind of give us the context, what is youth works? What do you guys do?

Speaker 2:

Yep , absolutely. So youth works is a youth missions organization. And basically what we do is we , uh, we prepare mission trip opportunities for teenagers all across the country and mostly do domestic work. So our heart is to partner with communities that have , um , invited us to come and serve alongside of the work that they're already doing in their communities and expose teenagers to the work that they're doing , um , through the short term week, long mission trips and on these mission trips , um , they get to listen and they get to learn and they get to come alongside and understand the strengths of communities and struggles of communities. And , um, and then hopefully as they experience that move, move home and, or go back home and to continue , uh , living missionally and utilizing the things that they were exposed to during a week long mission trip , uh, to continue to impact their lives and continue to impact the world. Um, and so I've been with these works for , uh , about 20 years now, we've been in existence for 25 years. And, you know, as an organization we've been on a journey, you know, youth mission trips or short term term missions across the country , um, hasn't necessarily always had like a positive connotation with it. You know, there's been a lot of heat that short term missions has there has had in the past because you know, our , our people pimping out the poor , um, through these experiences, are people just going as they experience for the teenager to actually for the community. Um, and honestly I would say that, you know, as a youth missions organization, we had to be on our own journey of , of really coming to grips with making sure that we are , um, that we are working in deep partnership with communities. Uh, so that teenagers were getting a proper perspective of where they were surveying and the history of the places that they were serving. Um, because it's really, we say, it's this idea of it's a youth plus a community that creates this experience and that , um, youth works couldn't exist without deep community relationships that we have. So, so we're based in Minneapolis, Minnesota , um, which y'all know what's been going on here. Um, so though we're not, you know, with COVID, we're not doing mission trips in summer, so that has been really difficult for us, but given us an opportunity to, to spin and, and do , um, some focus efforts on some other things this summer. Um, but here we are in the midst of a climate that has changed. Um, and if there's a time more than ever to talk about missions and the understanding of, of, of the places that we serve and how they're impacted and affected , um, by all of the things that are happening in our world right now around COVID and impacts of that on the communities that we serve. And then also the conversation around the death of George Floyd and the national uprising, and that we've seen there , um, it's an exciting time to be part of a youth missions organization. Yeah .

Speaker 1:

So let me, let me brag on Erica a little bit because Erica man , uh, ever since I've met you, I've been like, man , uh, I love your leadership, but I really feel like God has placed you like specifically you. So , um , what's really interesting. You've been with this organization for 20 years when you said the term short term missions. And I know that for a lot of us, you know, as we've kind of grown and understand the world and grown in our, in our experience. Yeah. There's a little bit of like , uh , like, you know, and , and there's that shade on it. Right. But what I love about you and what I love that you're leading this now, you're , you are the leader of it as an African American woman and come on Minneapolis, you know what I mean? Like, like all this stuff of who you are, but your deep love for the gospel for mission for youth, like I really believe God has placed you into this leadership role. And I think you have been leading wonderfully, I don't know many other , uh, uh, you know, orgs like yours. That would be like, it's an exciting time to be in this cause. And , and the reality too is you're carrying a lot right, right now, but here's, here's what I love about you and, and your vision we met. I don't know I was there like a year ago or

Speaker 2:

Maybe a little more. Yeah. But it was cold. It was cold. So

Speaker 1:

You're there. And I was just asking you , Hey, what's your vision? And , and you have this really beautiful vision of, for youth works and , and the youth of our nation. Can you kind of share a little bit about that?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, absolutely. So, you know, historically youth missions , uh, at least in our context has been very, very much surrounded around a, I would say a white suburban culture, especially at youth works. You know, youth works was born out of the Midwest, the founder and president originated here in Minnesota. And so it drew in a lot of , um, churches that looked like the church that he grew up in, which was , uh , a very wealthy suburban church in the twin cities area. And so when the first several years of the organization that's, who came on mission trips, that's who was part of these short term mission trips. And the vision at that time of youth works was that every teenager have the opportunity to go on a Christ centered life changing mission trip. And that's, and that's the season actually that I came in to youth works. I came into youth works under that same exact division . And , um, I came in as a addition to an all white team. Um, I was charged with the role of responsibility of we need to diversify our team. Um, we needed to diversify the organization. And so when you think about the context of that and you think about, okay, so how do I take responsibility as the person here of color came from New York to Minnesota , uh, to help diversify the organization , um, and really started thinking, you know, this has to be much deeper than let's just add people. Let's just add, add, add more people of color to the organization. We need to think deeply , um, really what is our vision and , and, and, and are we actually living that out? And so I became the executive director four years ago , um, and got the opportunity to really look at our vision in a deeper and , and larger way, and actually influence the organization with a vision that I have , um, which still centers , uh , you know, ironically around that vision that our founder had, every teenager have the opportunity to be part of a mission trip. Um, and I started kind of breaking down this idea of every and who, every teenager and in what I had seen over the 15 years of being part of the organization is that the teenagers that got to be part of these experiences, all looked very similar and came from the same background. So I started challenging our team to say, if we are, if we are serious about a vision that is bigger than ourselves, and that is, is truly wanting to, to build the kingdom, it looks broader than those who are participating in, in mission trips now. And so , um, my heart became very much , um, you know, targeted toward this vision that said, we need to provide a way for every teenager to come. And so that means that , um, teenagers who live in the urban context should get to come teenagers that live on native American reservations, get to come that teenagers everywhere, Brown, black teenagers get to be part of this. Cause those are the teenagers that I'm not seeing. I'm getting to take part of in youth mission trips, and really wanted to figure out how do we, how do we kind of rewrite a narrative around this idea that , um, the places that we go to serve specifically, I look a certain way and the people who come to serve come from specific places because , and also look a certain way , um, because you know, I've been on the end of the receiving, you know, I live in North Minneapolis and Minnesota, and we are a highly economically , um, impacted community here in Minneapolis. And we are the community that people come to serve. And, you know, and let, like, let me not have this be misinterpreted. There are people here who are doing the work, you know, people in North Minneapolis and, and cities all along all around the country are serving their own communities. Um, but we're not necessarily always going to be places to serve. And so we're in taking part in short term missions, as it's been defined, I would say by the church where we're sending teams to go do ministry or do service , um, around the country. But the group that come are coming from a status update , um, and an area where , um, they're they're middle class and they have , um, the privilege and opportunity to find themselves as volunteers for a week long mission trip in the inner city of Minneapolis or Chicago or wherever it might be. And so my desire is to see all teenagers, get the opportunity as we, as we are, are telling teenagers that , um, that has followers of Christ. This is part of this is of how we live out our faith. This is part of the example that we follow that Christ has set for us , uh , is to go into and to serve others and to, and to continue to proclaim the gospel , um, all around the country and to, to the nations. You're all part of that. That's not, that's not a special privilege for the middle class. We all get to be part part of that. Um, so I mean, really, that's, that's a small glimpse of my vision. Um, but ultimately when I think about the teenagers who are part of this organization, my hope is that we are not creating , um, ignorant teenagers. I do not want to be part of creating , um, teenagers who don't fully understand , um, the fullness of the gospel , um, and that are closed minded. I really want to, to help, to be part of creating this next generation of , of people who become our leaders , um , who become leaders in the church. We become leaders , um , in our government, in all of the places where we need , um , leaders who have a kingdom perspective , um, that through a mission trip through service, that there would be a broader perspective that there would be a deeper passion , um, for things that matter. And, and, you know, I think a passion , um, the things that break that break our hearts or the things that care about though , that we care deeply for. So issues of justice, that that's the generation that we're raising are people who are passionate about things that matter, and that are close to the heart of God. Um, in that they would in turn, as they have those passions, that they would begin to see the possibilities of how God might use them in the world and how God might use, use them to change the church and to change our world, continue to share the gospel , um, and that they would then go ahead and pursue that. And that would be how they find themselves living in the world, that they are pursuing ways to continue to build the kingdom of God. So that's a lot in my vision, but

Speaker 1:

I love it. I love Excel. So when I, when we were doing solidarity, people would call us , we lived in a, in a low income neighborhood. Okay. So live there. So then churches would hit me up and they'd go, Hey, man, we want to come down and help. We want to bring a group. It was basically like, can we do a short term, you know, deal like a day here or there. So what we started doing, it's like, yeah, sure. You can come down and we would do this thing called lifestyle training. And what we would do is we're gonna say, alright , if you want to come, you can go out. We're not going to go with you, but you can go onto our neighborhood and you could do like, just do the work of God, whatever that looks like. And we let them go out there and they would come back and inevitably they would have done one of three things. They would have played soccer with some kid picked up trash, or they'd gone door to door. Cause you know , this is what we do when we go overseas, they come back and I go, well, how , you know, we would debrief with them. How was Alvin was amazing. God did this and that. I go cool. You know , um , what's the name of the kids you play with? And they'd be like, Oh, most of the time they wouldn't know. And, and so then I'd , I'd be like, okay . And we'd ask these questions. I go now imagine if we took our kids from here and we came to your neighborhood and did what you just did to our neighborhood. Right. What would happen? And like rails , like you bring all these Latino kids from the Vario . And we go to N a middle class or upper class neighborhood. We went door to door. We tried to play with their kids. They call the police like, like without a doubt. But somehow we feel like it's totally okay. And then you also see the graciousness of the neighborhood to be like, okay, like just kind, you know what I mean? Like, okay. All right . You know, as we change this kind of like perspective, what would it look like for, for, you know, all these, the students in the hood to go out and engage right. In what God's doing in the world. Now last summer, you and I, we partnered and you were like, Tommy, Tommy, we wanna , we want to test some of this vision out. Do you have some youth groups around the country that we can send on a trip and just get their feedback right now? What was like, share with us a little bit, like what happened in those ? So you basically had what we had a team from Queens, New York and they went to

Speaker 2:

Philadelphia Philly. Yeah .

Speaker 1:

Yeah. I mean, what was some of the feedback what'd you hear?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, well, you know, I, it wasn't an opportunity for us to , to live out this vision. And so the group from Queens went to , um, went to Philadelphia and our focus in Philadelphia is , uh , food insecurity and what we're really trying to do. And , and that's, and that's what we do with these mission trips. It's not just like, Hey, let's go do our , do some stuff, but let's learn about an issue that exists in this community so that we can think about this on a deeper level than just , uh , we're doing some hard work here. Right . And you know, the, the experience and the way that we format the experiences is you have groups from all over the country that make up a larger group. So there was the group from Queens that week. And then there were like two other groups that were part of the week as well. So as I said, mostly the kids from Queens were inner city, black kids that came to be part of this experience. But then they were joined by kids who I believe came likely from the Midwest to be part of that trip. So, I mean, you have like worlds colliding on all different levels, right? You have these urban kids who are in an urban context and they're like, this is where we live like this , this is not Queens, but you know, it kind of looks like our hood. And like, we've been here, this is no different for us. Um, and then you have, you know , the suburban churches who come from the Midwest and they're like, this is new for us. We've never, we've never been here. We don't understand food scarcity and insecurity. It's not, it's not our reality or it's not what we've seen. We don't know what a corner store is and, and why that has implications on community is right. Um, and so it's interesting because as I talked to the leader who brought the students , um, she said, you know, it , actually, one of the most powerful experiences was that was, was watching the group become one. And so we mix the groups up during the week. Um, and so they serve together and the groups became , um, became immeshed in and got to know each other. And, you know, and I, I personally think that the, the experience likely, and this is just my own conclusion. I'm not saying that this is what I heard from the other leaders was that I have a feeling that the experience for the kids who came into the urban area , um, was a whole lot richer because they were serving alongside of an urban population of peers as well. Um, but to hear that the kids who had the opportunity to serve absolutely loved the experience and loved the opportunity to , to , to dig in and to go deep with the community , um , and be part of working , um, for , uh, for justice around food insecurity issues and , and taking part of that. And so really it was, it was a positive experience. You know, there were, there were a few glitches as there always are. Anytime you take a group of teenagers anywhere, but I mean, truly it was a really rich time that they got to share together. So,

Speaker 1:

No , that's, I mean, so part of it is what I'm hearing too, from that, and from that experience, I mean, friends, if you think about that, think about what our country needs right now, there needs to be an understanding of each other, because basically one of the things that's been tough about this time is you have a large part of the body of Christ in the United States saying that the pain of another part of the body or another part of humanity of our country doesn't matter, that , that , like, I don't understand your pain. I don't care about your pain. In fact, I refuse your pain. Um, and by doing that, I'm going to cause you more pain like that's , but when you have people come together and what's beautiful about Christianity, about following crisis, we should be brought together because we're on the same mission. And being on that mission actually shapes our identity. What I love about. And , and I know the leader, her name's Tanisha, and she's an amazing youth pastor in Queens. And she brings her, her students out there. But what I love the picture of that is when you think of short term missions, think about the pictures you see, who do you see? You see, you see white blonde hair, mostly girls, right? That's the picture you have, and they're carrying , they're carrying some kid or they're in poverty, whatever. But what I love that the kingdom of God looks like where it's, it's the people that are from that space that are doing that work, that, that then they're elevated to not the peop people. We feel bad for we're trying to help or whatever that they're actually the leaders and that shapes their identity. As I could do something about this, if you like, what you're hearing, keep listening, but also make sure to check out our newest leadership, the leadership journey by hitting up our website, a UI wwi.org . One of the issues that we're all struggling with in the hood is the victim mentality, right? It's like we've created the church in, in our, you know, trying to help and , and do all these things like through missions as well. We've created cultures of poverty. We we've trained people to be like, wow , I guess I'll just wait until you give it to me. That is not who, who God's created us to be. That's not who God's created these young people to be as, as leaders. And so it feels like there's a space for mission and identity. Um , that is so, so important for all of our youth. Um, and youth workers. You guys out here listening, you got to get your, your students on mission. You got to allow them to get to, to do it. The way I got saved really was , uh , I went to camp. That's a whole nother episode, but , uh, but I also was asked to be the leader on a , on a Mexico missions trip. I had no idea what I was doing and , and I was not qualified. I, you know, I was a punk and that, and that shaped me. Um, and that changed my whole trajectory of my life. How many young leaders do we have coming from our communities that aren't getting that, that fire lit because they're not having the opportunity to do that. Right. And so part of that too, is we were talking earlier , um , offline , um, about, okay, how important, why is it so important for missions? Why, why do you think it's so important for the church this next and for this next generation to be on mission? Like where, why do you think that's so important beyond, right. I've just kind of shaped, like it's so important for their identity. What else would you say is so important and why should we , uh , continue on getting our students on mission?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, absolutely. Well, I mean, you know, really what it comes down to is the fact that first as followers of Christ, when we look at , um, when we look at the life and example of Jesus, and we look at , um, how, as , as followers of Christ, this , this desire, or this, this mandate and call that we have to follow the example that Christ set for us , um, missions truly becomes this outpouring of, of our faith and an opportunity to follow the example that Jesus set , um, by loving our neighbors and by , um, you know, really making , um, making more disciples here and, you know, and it pains me, honestly, Tommy , the thing that , um, that potentially this next generation is gonna, is losing sight of that, of the evangelical church and the way that , um, that missions has maybe kind of steered people in certain directions. And it pains my heart to think that this next generation would, would kind of in a sense break themselves from that call , um, to do that in , in, in a traditional way or even in a nontraditional way. So , um, you know, it's important because we , um, you know, I think admissions gives us the opportunity to also , um, help unders people understand the fullness of the gospel. Um, you know, offline, we were talking about this conversation around missions and justice and how do you know, how do those work at play together? And, you know, and I've been asking myself and our team a lot of questions about that, given our current realities, because as you think about , um, you know, those who come on, mission trips, traditionally, you know, people are like, Hey, I want to do something. You know, you hear about something. Um, you're like, Hey, I want to get behind that. And I want to do something. And so people sign up to go on a mission trip and they get to work alongside a little kids. Um, they get to , um, maybe paint a house, they get to , um, you know, serve at a homeless shelter. And , um, and really, I think that those are all good things within themselves, but I think the larger part of the piece is that kind of that passion part, that the compassion, the passion and compassion part, where our hearts are breaking for what we're experiencing and what we're seeing. And then as we are seeing those things, we are doing something more than just , um, putting a quick fix on something or , or just , or just giving something simple , um , that we're really kind of peeling back a layer and saying, there's something deeper that's happening here. Um, and as we understand what's happening on a deeper level , um, within systems or in communities that we're serving, I think that that's where we are getting closer to the heart of God. I'm into the heart of ministry that Jesus has. Um , and had is , is this, this unveiling of oppression , um, this unveiling of , um, systems that are destroying communities and have , um, for, for centuries. Um, and, and I think that that's, that is why missions is so important is drawing us into the character of Christ. And , um, and I don't want this next generation to , to lose, to lose that. Um, and to miss out on understanding that we can do all day, but until we understand on a deeper level , um , why Jesus was hanging out with the woman at the well, like, and , and , and why Jesus uses the story of the good Samaritan to explain, and like turn upside down all of these things that were the cultural norms. He turned, all those things upside down, bait the Samaritan, the hero in the story , um, and made the Jewish person, the person who was in need, you know, and so it's like all of these things are helping us as we do missions. Um, and as we do it in a way that we're looking below the surface is drawing us in closer, closer to

Speaker 1:

That's so good. So couple of things that I just want to pull out some things and make some connections for our listeners, that you said one, you mentioned discipleship, friends , you, we cannot disciple people, especially these young people outside of being on mission. It's impossible without that it becomes theoretical. It just becomes like this philosophy that may or may not be affect your life to following Christ is being on mission. You , if you are going to disciple these young people, you have to get them on mission, which means you have to get them to join in on what God's up to in the world. Now that could be in another city, it could be overseas. It could be on your block, right. It could be in your home. It gets so there's a lot of ways to be on mission. But so it's about discipleship, but here's the thing you have , uh , over a million young people leaving the church every year, they're leaving the church because they're not compelled by the life they see. And if we're going to help them and they desperately want this next generation, that's what he wants. Identity. They need purpose. They need a mission, right? And yet we've, we've wrapped the way of Jesus into this and to, you know, the system of evangelicalism and this next generation is rejecting it. So I'm not saying that we just got to get rid of everything. When I was younger, I was that guy. I was like, Hey, burn it all down. You know what I mean? Like rage against the machine. Now I'm more like, look, we've got to address some things, change it. But there are some really good things that we have to reclaim and hold onto . Right? When you talked about, we talked about , um, when you help students be on mission, it helps shape their identity. It gives them a purpose if we're doing it right. It informs an and engages justice, right? It brings it like diversity. Think about this France, if one of the reasons why, maybe why a lot of these, a lot of the things that maybe you guys are involved in young life crew, you know, the , uh , youth works like all these things. Why do we have a problem with diversity? Maybe it's because the thing that really infuses that discipleship is mission. And it's been, we have blocked a whole group of people out of being on mission, right. But they had to go and find Erica in New York and be like, we need you, you gotta come over here. And it was one person of color and amen for that. That's great. But you gotta, you gotta think about why, why aren't there a lot more of these young people, leaders of color that are, that are, that are, are on fire that are on mission that are, that are running these kinds of organizations that are, that are doing the next thing. It's still pretty white space. And you got to think about, well, why is that? Right? Um, and, and what we're saying is if you guys, as leaders understand and help this next generation, disciple them into this and to being on mission, if we have to, if we deal with and recognize how important it is, this could actually change the game. Absolutely. Right. So we're not just talking about like, Oh, Hey man, did you get, did you get that short term mission thing, check box , we're talking about a lifestyle being on mission, getting your students do it. And, and what I love about you, Erica and youth works is, I mean, you guys are really pushing the envelope on how do you do this deeply through it? I mean, you said some things in there about which we kind of glossed over, but , um, you know, really being , um, community engaged, like you're not just jumping into a hood somewhere and be like, okay, what can we do? We're working with vetted people who are respected from the community, from the community. You're , I mean, you guys have thought deeply about this, right. Even I know you do worship, right . I think on the trips, and I know you guys have talked about that, like, Hey , you know, whenever a dude gets up and starts strumming a guitar , uh , the audience , you lost half the audience, you better get a keyboard in there. And you know what I mean? And so you guys have really thought through that. And so , um, uh , friends, I hope that you've heard through this conversation, that how important mission we just scratched the surface. I mean, there's so much in fact , um, Erica, you and I just did a podcast for you guys or a piece for you guys , um , share a little bit too about , um, what's coming up. I think it's , um, people will be able to tune in on it when, you know, when this comes out, but share a little bit about what you're doing this summer and then can people know if they're saying, okay, I need to be on mission. How can they engage with you guys? Or what can they learn from you to start this journey? Yeah .

Speaker 2:

Well, I mean , let me start there real quick, because I think that, you know what you're saying, if I were to , if I were to kind of summarize it, this is all intentional. Um, there's so much intentionality that has to go into us saying that missions, that , that, that missional living and missions is for all people and everybody , um, all teenagers should be a part of this. Um, and you know, what it comes down to is it has to do with leadership within the mission structured organization. And I say , none of this stuff that we're talking about is easy and it's not overnight stuff, you know , um, you know, the group that came on on a trip to Philadelphia, you know, my, my ultimate desire is to see students who, whose lives were impacted that they went home and they were like, Hey, listen, I can be part of this in my own community. And I don't have to go on a mission trip. Um, but I can take part in leading others to be part of Epic experiences like this. And when part of an experience like this, it says to my brothers and sisters, Hey, listen, we, we, we can be part, we, we are part of missions and it is part of the call , um, that , that has on our lives also to be part of , uh , being part of a missions experience. And so , um, my hope one day is that it re it's reflected within all of the leadership throughout , um , our summer staff. It's reflective throughout our leadership within the broader organization here in the twin cities. Um, but that is our hope, and that is our vision. And we're going to continue to work to that end. Um, but, and we're going to continue to have hard conversations. I think, you know, one of the things about her conversations is really the intersection of missions and justice, which is what we're doing a summit on in a couple of weeks. Um, actually next week on Thursday, the 23rd, we're doing this conversation about what is the missions ? What is justice? And then where did these two intersect? Um, and can you have one without the other? And, you know, we're having hard conversations about , um, black lives matter and we're having hard conversations , um , with our audience , um, that are new to this conversation. Many of them are very new to the conversation. Um, and you know, we're inviting and saying, you know, as a, as a youth missions organization, we have to be more than about just like getting teenagers and experience. Um, really have to be about changing , um, changing the perspectives and forming the perspectives of , uh , of our future generation of generations to come that are going to lead our country , um, lead our world, lead our church , um, as we continue to move forward. So that's what we're up to the summer. We're not running mission trips, unfortunately. Yeah , it's a crazy time, but we're doing other things. Um, and the time is now too .

Speaker 1:

If , um, if people wanted to, to , to follow you, if they wanted to connect with youth works, if, and I think you guys have, do you guys have , um, like , um, my content or curriculum that helps people go, Hey, here's how we , we go on mission. You have that, where can they go working and getting , yeah .

Speaker 2:

So if you go to youth works.com , um , we have a whole section of resources that we give it to you completely free and their guide books from basics on like how to do a mission trip, how to plan for a mission trip, how to budget for mission trip all the way to let's talk to our kids about , um , systemic injustice before they come on a mission trip. Let's talk to our kids about poverty one Oh one, before they come on, let's talk to kids about the assumptions that we make about communities and people before they come on a mission trip. So, you know, what we're really trying to do is say there's some preparation that has to be done before you bring your teenagers on a mission trip , um, and said , cause it sets up the, the, the week long mission trip , um, by doing that and then allows it to be more impactful. So all those resources guide books are free guide books that people can download it, use force.com.

Speaker 1:

I love it. I love it. Erica , thank you so much for your time today, friends . I hope you enjoy this episode. Listen, you gotta be on mission. And if you don't even know what that means, God works.com, right ? Dot com.com. And then Erica , is that summit going to be anywhere? Cause I think you said it's going to be on July 27th .

Speaker 2:

Yeah, July 23rd, Thursday to half day summit. Um, and you can see you'll get , um , all the information. Um , if you go to summit that use works.com. Uh , you go to that, to that link and you can register for the free, it's a free event. So we want you to come

Speaker 1:

And then, Oh , well it'll be recorded.

Speaker 2:

Yes. We'll record him . And yeah , it'll be your course , if you, if you miss it, I get it. It's it's it's central time. It's not am central time. So I don't think that you'll hit that. You'll hit it on the West coast, but um, yeah, we'll record it and we'll put it out so that people can download it.

Speaker 1:

Awesome. Well, thank you. So sir, guys, thank you so much for joining us on another episode of the future is here. Uh, we're reclaiming mission. So friends bless you. I hope you have a great day and I hope to see you next time on the futures here, please . If you enjoy what you heard today, we don't want to leave you empty handed series, a couple of resources to help you shape the future. Get access to our latest leadership resource by visiting you Y wwi.org and join our email list.