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An Andy Goodbye

 —  May 8, 2012 — 3 Comments

Goodbyes are hard. I don’t care how stoic you are; dare I say – and yes I dare: goodbyes can suck.

If you’ve been in youth ministry for longer than a second, you know what I mean. We graduate favorite (and not so much) seniors out of our ministry. If we’re lucky, we see them over a few college holidays. And if we’re really lucky, we get to do their weddings and a few baby baptisms over the next decade.

I want to say a “from my heart” goodbye to someone who has impacted small church youth ministry more than you may know. My friend, Andy Brazelton, is leaving Simply Youth Ministry to move back to So. Cal. His kids need to know their extended family. I get that and I support it.

But I don’t have to like it. Andy gave me several shots at creating a specialized ministry area designed for reaching the needs of small churches’ youth workers. Not one but two books came under his regime. He said “yes” to an 8-hour deeper learning track at the Simply Conference. He signed off on this blog. There are too many other things to name.

I will miss Andy at the Simply helm. I will miss Andy’s constant mocking me into 21st century technology. I will miss Andy shouting, “Hey, C!” I will miss him allowing us to make fun of him and trash his office. (Though I was NOT present for that event and Michael Novelli is my alibi.)

Andy came to the job young and leaves still young…but wiser.  We’d notice the gray hairs if there was any hair to notice.

Andy, you will always be in my heart like a mom (from a distance) proud of what another son has accomplished. I love you and won’t get to see you nearly often enough now. I don’t like it;  I don’t  like it at all.

Ah crap, now I’ve started to cry again…which is embarrassing sitting on this airplane surrounded by people going somewhere…just like Andy.


Stephanie Caro

Stephanie Caro

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Stephanie Caro has been involved in ministry to youth and youth workers in the local church since…well, a long time – 30+ years. Her humorous, straightforward style keeps her busy presenting and coaching at conferences, training events, camps, mission trips, retreats, churches, etc. Her latest books are, “Thriving Youth Ministry in Smaller Churches” and “99 Thoughts for the Smaller Church Youth Worker,” published by Group/Simply Youth Ministry. Stephanie is a contributing author to several youth ministry resources in addition to her regular column “Smaller Church Youth Ministry” in Group Magazine. Stephanie is Senior Consultant for Mark DeVries’ Ministry Architects and the director for their Small Church Ministry Architects division. She and her hubby, Steve, live in Houston, TX. All 7 kids are grown and out – praise God!

3 responses to An Andy Goodbye

  1. Thank you Steph for putting your thoughts into this blog. Andy has meant a lot to all of us, and will be greatly missed. As you said, I understand & even applaud the choice to move, but I don’t have to like it!

  2. Much much much love Caro!

  3. Kelly Bricker May 8, 2012 at 9:03 am

    Et tu, Andy??? We only “know” Andy from SYMC, but since we’re SYMC groupies, we know him well enough to know that he is going to be missed. Thank you for your legacy, Andy!!! :o)

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