Andy’s Farewell Post

You know when you just inherently trust someone?  They have your back – you know they do – you’ve never discussed it – you’ve never questioned it – you just KNOW how this person is.  Period.


I don’t know if Andy has siblings.  I’ve never met his wife.  We don’t live in the same city.  And our personal face-time in a room together might total 25 hours.  But I know Andy has me.

Andy is leaving Group/Simply Youth Ministry at the end of this week.  He has been a stellar, visionary leader and a good friend.  His innovation and broad thinking has shone a bright light on youth ministry for a while now.  And while I am sure there will be another innovator – another broad thinker – another person who will embrace Andy’s role in leading the youth ministry team at Group…I will still miss Andy.

No one does conference calls like Andy.  I was reminded of more outdated, 90’s words for awesome in one phone call than I probably learned in that decade of youth ministry.  Though bald, every call makes me think  ‘business in the front – party in the back.’   We always get the work done – but it’s fun…and funny.  I will miss those kinds of calls.

Andy opened wide the door for me to pursue writing about my passion.  He encouraged me – and in many ways, at least in my eyes – validated me.   One well placed word from Andy ramped up my game…and I’m pretty sure he wouldn’t even remember saying it.  But I remember.  He had the chance to be critical – but he flipped it in the way that only Andy can – and spurred me to examine everything I write with an eye for excellence before production.  We appeared on a Group Live podcast together and I still have the email that Andy used to encourage me to step into a very personal, uncomfortable subject with him and a few thousand of our closest youth ministry friends.  :)

Someone will definitely assume Andy’s position.  But in case people may think otherwise – ANDY BRAZELTON is IRREPLACEABLE!


(PS – And in case you didn’t know:  Chuck Norris wears Andy Brazelton pajamas.)

Author: Darren Sutton

I've been in student ministry nearly 30 years…which generally just confirms how much I still don't know. Some days I'm the pizza-eating, over-responding, teaching-on-the-fly, desperate-for-volunteers, frustrated-with-co-workers youth leader that we all are. And sometimes…I knock it out of the park. I'm everywhere on social media that you are!

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