This is a guest post from Dave Rahn. Dave is a senior vice president at Youth for Christ overseeing all kinds of important things. But at the Campference he’ll be serving as Pastor Dave, chief listener and official stirrer of pots.
I have loved the surprising trajectory of my youth ministry career. The Lord burned a compelling Kingdom assignment into my heart while I was still in high school: share Jesus with kids who, like me, were not part of a local church and were pretty clueless about what God has in mind for us humans.
As I stepped into that calling I kept getting updates from the Lord. I was stirred to go to work on specific challenges that hindered direct ministry with un-‐churched kids. Over the years that led me into leadership, research, writing… and 22 years as a faculty member at Huntington University.
Until July 1, 2007.
On that day I was at a Youth for Christ/Campus Life middle school camp in Seymour, Indiana. It was the first day of my newest—and most ridiculous—career transition. I left the job safety of being a tenured full professor for national leadership with the organization I began my ministry with in 1972. It seemed to be what the Lord wanted me to focus on. Honestly, it didn’t make a lot of sense.
When I’m at the Campference October 11-‐13 I intend to spend a minute or two standing in front of the SpringHill Camp cabin I was assigned to during that week in 2007 when my pay stubs started to come from another source. That particular cabin had beds that were too short for my 6’5” frame, so I pulled my mattress onto the floor. This, of course, meant that others stepped over me all week. And the shower stall was more like a tube with a nozzle that hit me in my sternum. When I dropped the soap during my July 1st shower I had no idea how to retrieve it. There simply wasn’t room to bend over in this slim-‐fit stall.
That’s when I started giggling. It hit me that the Lord called me to a task in the twilight of my youth ministry career that was going to be full of such indignities. If I could have named something “Isaac” I would have. Some of my YFC friends call me “Dr. Dave” but it sounds more like they’re cussing at me than paying respect.
I have loved following Jesus into questions that matter for the kids he loves. Being at Campference next month will be a sweet reminder of God’s goodness to me and I am thrilled to be there with so many heroes in ministry.