the dumbest most obvious YM advice ever.

It’s groundbreaking. Are you ready? Here it is:

Have one unexpected point of communication with one parent and one youth every single day.

There, you’re transformed. No cheating, either. Don’t count the call you had to make to replace a Sunday school teacher. Don’t count the visit to the lunchroom at the high school. You can fudge with a FB message or a text to the youth, but speak to the parent. Just check in.


Because somehow, even though they know you’re out there somewhere, the unexpected contact buys you acres of good favor. Because the I-don’t-need-something conversation means more than you’ll know. More often than not, it puts you into their lives at a new depth that you’d never find waiting for them to show up or reveal in a call about chaperoning a lock-in. Why every day? Because your work is demanding, so much so that if you don’t make sure you do it every day you’ll look up one day and realize that weeks have gone by without a personal conversation that wasn’t “work related,” so to speak. It’s minutes of your day and affirming 99% of the time when you initiate it.