Early morning, Thursday, October 30, we lost a friend, a father, an inspiration. Co-founder and owner of Youth Specialties (YS), Mike Yaconelli, was in a fatal car accident in northern California Wednesday night.

The number of lives touched by Mike is beyond what we could even estimate. He is the father of modern youth ministry in many minds. Through his books, speaking engagements, and YS events, he has ministered to untold thousands all over the world.

Mike dedicated his life to what God had called him to do. He believed in youth ministry, and did all he could to equip youth workers to change the lives of students. He lived with a passion that was unmatched. He was the incarnation of his book titles, Dangerous Wonder and Messy Spirituality. He lived a life of wonder and amazement at God’s grace. He never claimed to be perfect; he just lived as he was—a man after God’s own heart.

In this time of grief and confusion, as we all deal with our loss, it is the hope of the YS family that you will reflect on how God used Mike to touch your life. Please keep Mike’s wife, Karla, his father, Ernie, his children and grandchildren, and the YS staff in your prayers, as we deal with this painful loss.

As more information is available regarding services, we will update you here on the YS Web site.