Aug 6, 2007

Crazy time

Ok, You have to understand, my life has been insane these past few weeks, sooooooo we have been re-running episodes, but, this week we shoot again. YEEEEESSSSSSSSSSSSSS. I'm pumped. We are traveling to Charlotte North Carolina where I will be working with the North American Youth Congress.
This event will draw more than 18,000 people, so it's going to be sweet. I will be helping coordinate the event as well as ram-rod the media while I am there. It's going to be fun. I have a session on Friday that should be pretty crazy. I will film a show there and blast it around the world so that you guys can see what I'm doing. Check the blog, I'll also be putting updates on the blog this week.

Below is an interview that I did for

90&9: What is your official NAYC title?
JF: I think it’s Global Functionality Developer or Internal Usability Architect or Chief Configuration Facilitator. I’m waaaaaaay up there at the top. I’m the guy you never hear about who makes people disappear.
Okay, really, I made it sound cool, but I just do whatever the 3 Musketeers (Todd, Wayne, and Shay) tell me to do. It’s fun!

90&9: How’d you get this job?
JF: I started working with event coordination and general “do-whatever-it-takes-guy” at Louisiana Youth Camp about nine years ago and that’s where I first worked with Scott Graham. He called me before NAYC one year and asked me to be involved that year. We had a meeting before service the first night and he informed me that I would be sitting beside him on the platform. It freaked me out; I had to go buy some ties.
After Scott Graham retired Todd Gaddy called me and now they couldn’t get rid of me if they tried. It was and still is a massive honor to just be a part of the event and get to work with all of the incredible people involved.

90&9: How long have you been doing it?
JF: I think I’ve been at it with Youth Congress for about six years now.

90&9: Do you ever sleep at Congress?
JF: No, I have an assistant who actually does that for me so I can just stay up and work. It’s a sweet arrangement!

90&9: What’s the biggest challenge you face?
JF: The biggest challenge that I will face this year is “shot calling,” basically that is ensuring that everyone is where they need to be when they need to be there and that the production runs smooth and without any glitches. If a video doesn’t work or the platform falls apart, it’s pretty much my fault.

90&9: Any horror stories from the past?
JF: Yes, last year we had to move about 600 people who were sitting in the wrong section. They were not happy campers; they had gotten there like two hours early to save their seats. I think they ended up hating me, but I just smiled and told them it was all Todd Gaddy’s fault. (Just kidding.) I apologized and moved them to a VIP area that had a killer view and close vending machines. They were satisfied. We aim to please.

90&9: What’s the greatest satisfaction you get from doing this?
JF: I get to hang out with some of the greatest men and women on the planet. There are no cooler, more dedicated, and passionate guys than Todd, Shay, and Wayne. My satisfaction comes from getting the opportunity to serve them and make their job easier. Any time that my team accomplishes something that makes those guys breathe easier, it’s a win. It’s also a pretty big payoff to watch 18,000 young people get totally immersed in God.

90&9: What’s the first NAYC you attended and what do you remember?
JF: Wow, I’ve been going to these things forever. I don’t even remember the first year that I went, maybe it was the very first year in Indianapolis and I remember there was this girl I liked but she dumped me. Thank God because my wife is smokin. Oh yeah, and the preaching was really good.

90&9: What’s your favorite NAYC memory?
JF: Well, many moons ago I had a band, and we played at NAYC one year. We got killed because our music was a little crazy but it was fun. I listen to the stuff the bands are playing now and think, “I almost got excommunicated for waaaaaaaay less than that.” I saw one guitarist playing worship music on the stage at a sectional youth rally with a guitar strap that said, “Dept. of Metal Health.” I thought that was pretty stinking hilarious. How times have changed.

90&9: What do you see as the biggest challenge for youth today?
JF: I think the biggest challenge for this generation is building their own relationship with God and not relying on what someone else tells them. I want them to realize that Jesus Christ is culturally relevant and understands who they are and what they are going through.

It’s almost as if God’s not cool anymore. I fear that we are raising a generation of bottom-line believers who know how to act the part but have no idea how to be a Christian. The most important hurdle for this generation is getting beyond the frills and getting into a deep friendship with Christ and that takes a lot of personal time.

The second most important challenge is getting beyond condemnation and understanding mercy. I see a distorted view of mercy and grace that keeps a lot of students in chains and holds them out of a true and happy relationship with God. They are afraid to commit because they aren’t “perfect.” You can never earn it, you just have to trust God and give Him your mistakes.

90&9: (Excluding the Bible and family), I can’t live without…
JF: my iPod. It’s always with me, especially on long flights. I loooooooove my iPod.

90&9: The last item I downloaded was…
JF: B. J. Penn’s Instructional Jiu-Jitsu Seminar. (I’m a geek.)

90&9: _________ drives me crazy because __________
JF:PCs drive me crazy because MACs are so much cooler. Why wait on a PC when you could be working on a MAC?

Money drives me crazy because who needs it? Oh yeah, me. Am I getting paid for this?