WORDS FROM MIKE

I just want to be remembered as a person who loved God, who served others more than he served himself, who was trying to grow in maturity and stability.
- Mike Yaconelli

If I were to die today, I would be nervous about what people would say at my funeral. I would be happy if they said things like "He was a nice guy" or "He was occasionally decent" or "Mike wasn't as bad as a lot of people." Unfortunately, eulogies are delivered by people who know the deceased. I know what the consensus would be. "Mike was a mess."
- Mike Yaconelli

Jump first. Fear later.
- Mike Yaconelli

It's not about perfection; it's about our intimacy with God, or our connection, our relationship with God. Once we get through that, once we realize that we can be imperfect, flawed, broken; those kinds of things are the ingredients of spirituality.
- Mike Yaconelli

We'd like to have it all neat and orderly. We want to be able to measure it and control it, but the reality is that Jesus is a mystery. The Christian faith is a mystery. The disciples spent their entire time following him going, "Uhh, what the heck are you doing? We don't understand what you're doing and we don't know why you're doing it." And when he would explain why he was doing it, they still didn't get it.
- Mike Yaconelli

The truly holy people I've met in my life are really interesting people. They're a mix of the most incredible godliness and at the same time, the most unbelievable earthiness. I know a woman who curses like a sailor, but she's the most holy woman I know. She is! I'm not kidding. We've created this image of what holiness looks like that's just nonsense. Good holy people probably drink too much some times, and have colorful language, and there's plenty of room in the Bible to see people like that. We have to see life for what it is, entirely more complicated then simple. Spirituality is not simple; it's complicated. It gets messy sometimes.
- Mike Yaconelli

There are a whole lot of people who are so freakin' busy—they've so cluttered up their lives—they're at their wits' end. And if they'd only just stop for a minute, they could hear the God of the universe whisper to them, "I love you."
- Mike Yaconelli

I'm in awe of youth workers, and I think Jesus is, too. I just wish the Church felt the same.
- Mike Yaconelli

Christ never promised that Christianity would be exciting, adventurous, or radical. He simply said it was the truth.
- Mike Yaconelli

I am beginning to understand that faith is not the way around pain, it is the way through pain. Faith doesn't get rid of the opposition, it invites it over for dinner. Faith doesn't give you the winning point at the last second, it ties the game and sends you into overtime. Faith doesn't give you the solution, it forces you to find it.
- Mike Yaconelli

The power of the Church is not a parade of flawless people, but of a flawless Christ who embraces our flaws. The Church is not made up of the whole people, rather of the broken people who find wholeness in a Christ who was broken for us.
- Mike Yaconelli

We have a room here full of rag-tag, foolish, unsophisticated, unfinished, work-in-progress, weak, disrespected, ragamuffins, who have been called to work with a group of rag-tag, foolish, unsophisticated, unfinished, work-in-progress, wondering young people. What an honor. What a calling.
- Mike Yaconelli

Youth group should be an adventure, a cauldron of fire and passion, an uncontainable terrifying presence of the Holy Spirit overflowing into the souls of students resulting in a volatile desire for Jesus regardless of the chaos caused by following Him!
- Mike Yaconelli

I'm beginning to believe that if those who are called into youth ministry follow the lead of the One who called them, getting fired is inevitable. Why? Because, in general, the institutional church doesn't get it. The institutional church has become hopelessly corporate, hopelessly tangled in a web of secularism. Instead of the church being the Church, it has opted instead to be a corporation.
- Mike Yaconelli

"Real Christians do not condone unbiblical living!!!" And they would be correct. Christians do not condone unbiblical living, we redeem it. Youth ministry, also, is about redeeming more than it is condemning.
- Mike Yaconelli

A youth worker in our town was recently fired because he was reaching the "wrong kind of kid." I thought the wrong kind of kid was the right kind of kid. The elders insisted that youth ministry was not about bringing in the "riff raff" off the streets but working with the kids that were already Christians. I thought we were all riff raff.
- Mike Yaconelli

If I were to have a heart attack right at this moment, I hope I would have just enough air in my lungs and just enough strength in me to utter one last sentence as I fell to the floor: "What a ride!" My life has been up and down, careening left then right, full of mistakes and bad decisions, and if I died right now, even though I would love to live longer, I could say from the depths of my soul, "What a ride!"
- Mike Yaconelli

I want a lifetime of holy moments. Every day I want to be in dangerous proximity to Jesus. I long for a life that explodes with meaning and is filled with adventure, wonder, risk, and danger. I long for a faith that is gloriously treacherous. I want to be with Jesus, not knowing whether to cry or laugh.
- Mike Yaconelli

I want to be "dangerous" to a dull and boring religion. I want a faith that is considered "dangerous" by our predictable and monotonous culture.
- Mike Yaconelli

The grace of God is dangerous. It's lavish, excessive, outrageous, and scandalous. God's grace is ridiculously inclusive. Apparently God doesn't care who He loves. He is not very careful about the people He calls His friends or the people He calls His church.
- Mike Yaconelli

Christians believe in life. We seek it, long for it, and weep when life is snuffed out. Our belief in life after death doesn't cancel our love of life before death. Death is never better than life. That's why Jesus wept at Lazarus' tomb and defied death by bringing Lazarus back to life again. Although the Christian recognizes that death is not the end, that by no means justifies the belief that life doesn't matter.
- Mike Yaconelli

For the Christian, there is no distinction between the sacred and secular. Everything a Christian does is an expression of his faith. He does not make choices based on the religious significance of the alternative. As a Christian he makes the choice that is a logical extension of the values he has derived from his faith…
- Mike Yaconelli

Peace describes a condition rather than a demeanor. Peace is the result of salvation, which means that man and God are no longer at war. Peace describes the state of man after conversion. He is at peace with God.
- Mike Yaconelli

We're attempting to convince the world how good Jesus is by how great we are. This is precisely how Madison Avenue sells toothpaste, automobiles, and underwear. People don't need any more images of success, wealth, and power; they're surrounded already. What they need are their sins forgiven. What they need is healing. What they need is love.
- Mike Yaconelli

It is time for us to reclaim the glory of the common, the power of the plain, the authority of the unpretentious. It is time for us to reclaim the radical consequence of the Gospel—which is that the weak, the broken, the fragmented, the suffering, and the non-experts are the authorities of the Church.
- Mike Yaconelli

Conversion does not get rid of the secret self; instead, Jesus becomes a friend to it. We can live fully and honestly in the presence of the real tension between both selves.
- Mike Yaconelli

The tragedy of modern faith is that we no longer are capable of being terrified. We aren't afraid of God, we aren't afraid of Jesus, we aren't afraid of the Holy Spirit. As a result, we have ended up with a need-centered gospel that attracts thousands...but transforms no one.
-Mike Yaconelli

We are afraid of unemployment, we are afraid of our cities, we are afraid of the collapse of our government, we are afraid of not being fulfilled, we are afraid of AIDS, but we are not afraid of God.
- Mike Yaconelli

When people look at the Church and see only impostors, they conclude that Jesus is an impostor. But when they see followers of Jesus who are real, they see a Jesus who is real.
- Mike Yaconelli