WORDS ABOUT MIKE

Aloha a hui hou, ka'u hoaaloha. Aloha Ke Akua.
(Goodbye till we meet again, my friend. God Bless.)
- Ramon Garza

Heaven

WATCH OUT HEAVEN! Cuz who knows what this man can do with wings!
- Kent Neal

I imagine he's already got Jesus in stitches. The fact that Mike is already in heaven means he'll just have the place softened up for the rest of us; it won't be nearly so hard to be misfits when we get there!
- James Sennett

I can only imagine how much dancing Mike is doing up in heaven right now. Probably with a loud shirt, silly hat and a huge smile on his face.
- David Park

It is far from frivolous to turn our mourning into his joy. Yac has just lit up heaven! And heaven will have lit him up even more, if that is possible.
- Steve Stockman

Now they have finger blasters and chicken hats in heaven. I can just see Jesus popping Paul in the back of the head with one while Peter's running for cover wearing his chicken hat and Mike running around shooting everyone hollering, "Woooo hooo!"
- Jay Crouch

Gosh, I hate to think of him as gone...but can only shudder to think that heaven just got funky, the angels a tad bit nervous, and God's arms just welcomed His aesthetic spirit personified in one bearded dude, Mike Yaconelli.
- Mark "Link" Warde

Here's to Mike, one of those in glory: There will be laughter in heaven with that big holy guffaw of a man in there.
- John Davies

I know there is one serious party happening in heaven right now! I'm guessing that Mike is leading the conga line with Jesus right behind him!
- Pastor Watauga

There is one helluva party right now in Heaven—Yac is probably smoking a cigar, talking with the misfits & misbegottens that make up so much of God's creation. I am so thankful a misfit like me got to hear him, get to know him & celebrate him.
- Bob Carlton

Carpet

Guess Mike is dancing on the Jones' Memorial Carpet.
- Tom Martin

Even better - he's dancing with the "Joneses" and he found out that they were as P.O.'d as Mike was that nobody was ever let into that room!
- pastorized

I think that our "carpet in the youth room," the carpet that's stained, funky, worn out and needs to be replaced, that carpet that's used week after week, the carpet we laugh on, cry on, think on, love Jesus on, and more memories are contained in that carpet...I'm renaming it to...the Yaconelli Memorial Carpet!!!
- HolliMack

I'd like to suggest that from now on, carpets in youth ministries everywhere be referred to as yaconellis—or perhaps "yacs" for short.
- UrbanPastor

Tomorrow night I'm inviting ALL my students to DANCE ON THE CARPET, TO DANCE IN HONOR, TO DANCE...in wonder...
- Holli

Youth Ministry

On Sunday at our Bible Study, we shot a glazed donut at the wall with a Water Balloon launcher. It was our "21 gun Salute" to the man who was committed to youth and youth pastors.
- Tim

Thanks Mike for saving me from making that fatal mistake...giving up youth ministry. I now live my life as if it is the last day of my life...I want my FATHER to find me doing HIS work!!!
- Ms. Elise

Not too many 61 year old people have the anointing to impact a generation of such a vast age difference. When I start to think I am getting too old I inevitably think about him and that encourages me.
- Shon King

Some day I hope to get fired for the glory of God! If I am able, I will dedicate my firing to Mike. I think that will make him smile.
- James Carmichael

Mike understood youth, he understood us, he was—and will remain— one of us. But more importantly, he understood God and Jesus Christ. He was unashamed of who he was and WHOSE he was. He helped us understand who we are and WHOSE we are.
- Tom Martin

Mike was a strong Champion of youth leaders, someone who has walked in our steps, who knows the struggles and the joys firsthand, who understands that if it isn't real, it isn't worth it, who knows the radical Jesus that calls us to recklessly follow him. His words of encouragement will be sorely missed, there is not another voice out there that has touched the hearts of youth leaders in the way that Mike did.
- lauraplum

I just wonder how many of us have responded to Mike's words at a NYWC to go home and quit. After hearing God speak through Mike, three years in a row, I wrote a resignation letter during one of Mike's Sabbath conferences in 1999. I decided to go on a wild ride - trusting in Jesus. I have not regretted that move. It was so liberating. It wrecked my life and it was wonderful. Thank you Mike for instilling in me a courage to run after Jesus no matter the cost. You live on in so many of us!
- Jeff Hayes

"Messy Spirituality" taught me to lighten up and all of his other works taught me to how to be a great Youth Pastor.
- Tracy Jeffries

General

Twenty-some years ago, Michael Yaconelli walked straight out of my rejected fairy-tale dreams into my disillusioned life and heart, and he gently breathed the sparkle back into me…and I've gotten to be Cinderella for almost 2-1/2 decades. From the beginning to present, the romance never diminished. The romance certainly hasn't ended with his death.
- Karla Yaconelli

The first time I read his work in The Door, I thought he was one of the coolest, most thought-provoking writers I'd ever encountered. The past twenty-some years have done little to change that opinion.
- Randy Southern

Woohoo!!! You have lived an AWESOME, INSPIRING Christian ride...and you have ridden it to the FULL!!!!
- Kevin Bratcher

our father
who art in heaven
how is yaconelli doing?
- Pip Wilson

It was about a year ago that I picked up his book, Messy Spirituality. It did not change my life. It affirmed my life. All my suspicions about risk, failure and being a loser were confirmed to be true. Oddly enough, it was just this Thursday that I handed a copy of that book to a struggling friend. The circle of losers is ever-widening.
- Aaron Alford

I don't know about other denominations but All Saints Day is big in the Lutheran church. We remember loved ones who've died and all the saints in heaven—all those who embodied Christ's love in our lives. Mike definitely qualifies.
- cindy

Even though he didn't know my name, I always felt that he knew my heart.
- lauraplum

I talked to Mike before that afternoon session on Sunday in Charlotte. We were standing next to the stage. Mike was looking out at the crowd coming in. With a twinkle in his eye and smile on his face, he told me that "it never gets old." Thanks Mike I really needed that!
- Ray Owens

I believe he was the epitome of what being down to earth is all about. In fact, he made us positive it was a good thing.
- Alisa Hopper

One of the things he was saying on my Greenbelt chat show was that he was beginning to take things much easier and stepping back from Youth Specialties and his Church so that he could spend more time with Jesus. Mike, you now have all the time in the world. Enjoy!
- Steve Stockman

In five years at YS Conventions, I never missed the early morning Bible Studies with Mike. At the end of every Bible Study, at the end of every seminar, at the end of his books, I like Mike more ... but I love Jesus more. He had the fragrance of the knowledge of Christ. Mike, I want to be like you. I want to be like you because you wanted so much to be like Jesus. Thank you. I'll see you soon.
- rich cook

The North American church could use 100 Mike Yaconellis and I suggest it will be some time before we truly realize what we've lost.
- Tim Callaway

Mike mentored me through his articles, his books, and his speaking—all of which combined to bring the powerful force of God's grace and His love for me, no matter how messy I got, into the forefront of my life, and spurred me to share that love with the teens I care for in my ministry.
- Dale Kaufman

He never knew me personally, and never knew how much he influenced my ministry and my personal walk with God—yet I'm comforted that today he knows. Enjoy the presence of our Lord. I'm so, so jealous. You will be missed incredibly!
- r.nak

Don't worry, there are probably many like me whom you have influenced, who are still here and who would be happy to step up to the plate and take over your role as:
Agent of Change
Kingdom Shaker
*%!# Disturber
Servant of The Losers!
- DG Marshall

Mike could see things others could not see. His mind was such a gift.
- Wayne Rice

I guess I could say he is a wonderfully complex group of seeming contradictions. Many of you know that Mike is extremely playful; and while many playful people are only that, Mike is a deep well— a contemplative man with a mushy pastor's heart. Mike is one of those rare people who truly lives in the upside-down kingdom of God; he values mercy, change and truth (even when it's uncomfortable).
- Mark Oestreicher

Isn't it so tragic that we only realise what we had when it is gone? So it is with Mike Yaconelli.
- Roz Stirling

Mike will be sorely missed, and the world is just that much less interesting now that he is gone.
- Will Johnson

Like many others, I'll remember him for his courageous and clear-eyed attacks on faith gone wrong, and also for his inspiring exposition of true faith, in all its messy, human glory.
- Simon Jenkins

Mike was a voice of sanity in a religious community that can often be insane. He was a man of integrity in a religious community that needs more of what he had. He was a friend who was always there in good times and in bad. He did his best to be faithful to Jesus.
- Tony Campolo

Yac was a rare prophet for our time who came with the full set of prophetic characteristics: he was brave, brash, bold, balding and bearded. He was a lion thrown to the Christians, roaring of God's limitless love and shaking us out of our complacency and self pity.
- Martin John Nicholls

Mike 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.
- Tic Long

All this makes me remember the truth Yaconelli always held as self-evident: That laughter is heaven's language.
- John Davies

A Greenbelt favourite speaker who managed to make you laugh and cry and feel inspired all at once; cheeky, fun, a writer, a prophet, said it how it was, a storyteller... youth ministry has lost one of its heroes.
- Jonny Baker

I never meet him, but I feel like I know him. I am in shock. Youth ministry has lost a giant.
-Todd Smith

We say "thank you" for this guy who not only pastored a church but a nation of youth workers.
- Andy Byrne

Mike was the first Christian leader that ever taught me by example, and not just his words—his transparency, honesty and vulnerability was like a magnet to my soul.
- Keith and Heidi Turner

One time I walked up to him the same time Doug Fields got to him. He treated me with the same respect and love he showed Doug. I truly felt like an equal. He sincerely lived out Dangerous Wonder and his love for God and people were evident in his attitude and authenticity.
- Chet Andrews

We've lost a voice that dared to say what we only hoped to believe: A ranting, belligerent tirade for grace.
- Scott Marshall

Mike, you angered me so often. I thought it was your irreverence...but, after thought, realized it was my irrelevance. You were talking about a relationship; I was talking about rules. You helped me discover that when Jesus was talking to the Pharisees, sometimes he was talking to me. What an awkward, awful, helpful, heart-healing gift. Thank you, brother.
- Fellow Traveler

Oh, if only we were a tenth as messy as he.
- Sjshark67

Mike Y. was one of those unpretentious, simple-hearted people that you were glad were in ministry to offset the others.
- Anon

In his honor I might just come to the conference with my wife, and do what Mike always suggested: "Go to your room, grab a bottle of wine and don't come out until the conference is over."
- Paul

Mike demonstrated a faith that was messy, dangerous, and most importantly, real. He will be missed terribly by a generation of us who looked to him as both a mentor and a friend.
- Jay Voorhees