Candidly Unprofessional

by DanWolgemuth on February 24, 2017

It was almost exactly nine years ago that I met Rick Voit. Like me, he was attending the 60th birthday party of my brother Robert in Orlando, Florida.

Rick’s connection with Robert began while Rick was a student at New Trier High School in the north suburbs of Chicago. Robert led a Youth For Christ Campus Life Club in the high school. In Rick’s own words, Robert was tenacious in sharing the message of Christ. Ultimately the hopeful and transformative message broke through and Rick embraced his new found faith.

Fast forward over thirty years later and Rick reconnected with Robert at a shared event in Atlanta, and within a couple of weeks Rick and his wife Emily were at a birthday party… and so was I.

It was in this context that I had my first conversation with Rick. It was in this context that a friendship was birthed.

Rick loves the ministry that I lead. Not because I lead it, but because Youth For Christ amplified the message of hope and love that Rick embraced. Rick loved me, not because he knew me, but because he loved my brother… the messenger through whom Christ had been articulated.

Over the last nine years, roots have formed under the seed of this encounter… and from these roots, branches and leaves and fruit. Over the last nine years, Rick has poured himself back into the mission that first poured into him.

All the while Rick has continued to flourish in his significant role with Merrill Lynch. He’s great at what he does, while at the same time challenging me to lead the YFC mission with unconventional vision, sacrifice and courage.

Today Rick Voit sat in my office. We dreamed together. We marveled at the flawless plan of God. We relished God’s gracious design that wove the threads of our lives together in a shared tapestry.

At one, unscripted and unguarded moment we were simultaneously overwhelmed with the power and joy of our shared love for Christ, our mutual commitment to His cause, and our unified passion for the ministry of Youth For Christ. It was raw, real, and compelling.

It was two grown men, sitting in my YFC office, tears welling up in a candidly unprofessional sort of way… but without remedy.

God had done what only God could do. And we marveled. And we prayed for more stories like Rick’s story. We prayed that God would turbocharge the 73-year-old YFC engine. We asked for more boldness, more courage, more grace, more favor, more open doors, and more of Christ and His Kingdom at every turn…

And yes, we celebrated.

Beyond friends, brothers. Genetically disconnected, spiritually inseparable.

When the message of Christ is unleashed, when the love of Christ is unconstrained, when the hope of Jesus is on display… then two grown men sense the lavish love of God in ways that only eternity can comprehend.

Good news. The good news. Simply amazing.

More please. More.

Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen. (Ephesians 3:20-21, ESV)


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