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 I was reminded of more outdated, 90’s words for awesome in one phone call than I probably learned in that decade of youth ministry.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.)