Speed dating for single youth workers. You better believe this year’s youth specialties hosted an opportunity for singles in ministry to meet one another. When I first saw this seminar I was checked for Tutte; the classic non-existent jester host who puts on seminars like, “re-learning the women’s role in ministry: getting back to sewing, baking, and submission”. But there was no Tutte…speed dating was legit.
Love connection jokes were thrown around all weekend, and many of them were tossed out by yours truly. But then my friend Laura shared her contagious enthusiasm about the notion of lovers matching up at YS and asked me to join her. Refusing profusely, she finally won me over by the end of the night.
People by the dozens were standing outside the doors of the room, each of them immobilized by pride were only able to cross the threshold of speed dating because of a friend dragging them in by the arm. The room was bursting with embarrassment, jokes, and an overall mentality of “what the hell”.
The courageous participants were organized around circle tables in the classic boy-girl style while Spearmint flavored breathmints were being catapulted by the handfuls. The rule of the game was that you would spend a 5-minute date with each person (of the opposite sex of course) and then switch to the next partner. I dated all sorts of men. Men who were huge computer gurus and quarterbacks in their glory days. Men who were in youth ministry as volunteers, or full time directors. There was one that I found amusingly intriguing but that was because he was a pitcher and a huge baseball fan so we were saturated in conversation encompassing the series. Oh, and each of the men were at least a billion years younger than me. All together we accumulated 8 dates in 40 minutes, tons of awkward moments, and a large portion of laughter. If I hadn’t swallowed my own choking ball of pride I would have missed out on the hilarity of such an event that can only be found at a Youth Workers Convention.