Remembering Mike Yaconelli
On Monday, Oct. 27, I went to the Charlotte Convention Center to catch the last session of the National Youth Workers Convention put on by Youth Specialties. I went hoping to see Lost and Found perform and to hear Mike Yaconelli speak. I missed Lost and Found, but I heard what turned out to be Yaconelli’s last public message.
When I heard that Yaconelli had died in a car accident just two days after the convention here in Charlotte, I was in shock. I still am in shock, I guess. I remember experiencing a similar sense of shock when I read (months after the fact) that Mark Heard had died of a heart attack after performing at Cornerstone Festival — a concert I had attended. Except this time, it was so much closer and freakier to me. Freaky because death is no respecter of persons. I hear all the time that “none of us is guaranteed tomorrow,” but it isn’t until someone dies suddenly and unexpectedly that this reality becomes really real.
Thankfully, Mike is heaven with the God of the Universe, where there is no more pain and no more tears and no more struggling; where Mike will be experiencing joy and endless wonder forever (Psalm 16:11).
Anyway, I first met Yaconelli back in late ’95/early ’96, when I interviewed him for my little underground magazine, Kamikaze. I dug up that old interview and was shocked again by some of the things that he had to say — about death, funerals and the BGEA.
+++ Here’s that interview (circa January 1996) [1.6 MB PDF]
[Thanks to Nick Ciske for his PDF wizardry.]