You might have already seen him at NYWC 2013 or read his recent blog interview but we wanted to formally introduce you to the incredible Fred Oduyoye. (His last name is pronounced either “oh-do-yo-yay” or “oh-do-yo-awesome.”) Fred is a recent addition to the YS team but he’s a long time veteran of youth ministry with a ton of experience working with urban churches. I asked Fred for a quick interview so that you can have a look into his world and get to know him a little better.
We know you do a lot but to help us get a quick look at your role with YS, what is your main focus?
(Fred) My focus at YS is to help youth workers find and connect with local networks through YS Networks, a new YS resource that we’re getting ready to launch. Most people today want to be connected to something. Without the benefit of a local network, youth ministry can be a lonely place. We don’t want that for any youth worker. YS has always believed that the local network is where youth workers can develop relationships, share resources, and forge partnerships. Another way I work to connect youth workers is by leading the YS Unconference and other organic settings to intentionally help leaders explore how to work together to better serve the local church.
What is your favorite thing about working with youth workers?
(Fred) I love to see youth workers enjoying the company of others who serve in the trenches of grassroots ministry. I enjoy their faces when they’re in a relational setting and something clicks—and now they have what’s needed to transition their students to the next level. I am so excited about the opportunity to blend multi-cultural, multi-ethnic, cross-denominational entities together, in an effort to do our part to expand the capacity of serving in the Kingdom.
What are you up to when you’re not connecting with youth workers?
(Fred) I am a Trainer for the Cincinnati United Soccer Club. My passion for the game of soccer has been evident since age 8. I enjoy golfing (when I can) and watching a movie every night with an Arnold Palmer!
Fred is hard at work right now preparing for the launch of YS Networks and putting the final touches on the National Networking Day. If you'd like to be kept in the loop on both of these, you can fill out the form below and we'll shoot you an update as soon as more info is available.