I’m completely thrilled to be able to share this news with you. Like 99.99999% of the youth working world, I’ve watched changes happen at Youth Specialties over the past year with interest in where it would all settle. The video below is an instant addition to the YS classic list, and the details are in the text below. Though change can be difficult, I’m grateful this pillar of youth ministry training and resourcing is changing to serve us more effectively. Check it out:
From Youth Specialties:
The past 12 months at Youth Specialties have been crazy, filled with way too many changes. The good news is that—whew—things are finally settling down and exciting developments are on the horizon!
Now—appropriately—you are asking, “What’s next?” We’ve heard you and we’re excited to share the latest news.
Youth Specialties is now a part of YouthWorks! On December 16, YouthWorks finalized the acquisition of Youth Specialties from Zondervan. What does this mean? YouthWorks purchased the Youth Specialties brand—all the events, the websites, the stationery and even the truck that is used to pick up the mail. Zondervan will continue to operate the publishing division of Youth Specialties. In one form or another, Zondervan has been publishing Youth Specialties’ stuff for more than 30 years, so we’re excited to see that relationship continue.
On the same day YouthWorks purchased Youth Specialties, some staffing changes were made. This was by far the most difficult aspect of the transition, but you can be confident that it was managed with great compassion, care and dignity.
Over the holiday period, a lot of the transition work began. After 40 years of operating as a for-profit business, Youth Specialties is now part of a non-profit ministry. This will certainly shape how we operate and how we serve you, but we’re convinced that this will allow us to be even more effective in providing training, resources and encouragement.
Also during this time, we’ve come to know the YouthWorks team and we’ve seen that God’s hand has been shaping this relationship for a long time. YouthWorks’ purpose is “to help the Church be the Church” by providing life-changing, Christ-centered resources for ministry—it’s the Youth Specialties purpose as well. God has found a great home for our ministry!
What will Youth Specialties do now? The short and simple answer is that Youth Specialties will do what it’s done since it was founded. With our full focus on serving youth workers and the church, we will continue to provide world-class events, training opportunities and resources.
He’s back—Tic Long has returned to Youth Specialties! In the early years of the Youth Specialties ministry, Wayne Rice and Mike Yaconelli hired Tic Long. For more than 30 years Tic helped lead Youth Specialties and helped pioneer much of who and what the ministry is today. Tic’s return as Executive Director of Youth Specialties is effective immediately. Most importantly, Tic has been tasked with leading Youth Specialties forward. His wealth of knowledge and expertise in the arena of youth ministry and his personal passion and love for youth workers will serve as a solid foundation in the growth and success of Youth Specialties.
Finally, thank you for standing beside us during these past months. Your prayers and words of encouragement have been a blessing to both the Youth Specialties and the YouthWorks teams. We look forward to the next 40 years of ministry and the opportunity to grow the Kingdom by serving the world’s youth workers who are impacting the next generation of Christians.