All you youth pastor/worker types who read this blog take note. It is not very common to see a church youth worker gain access to local campuses. High schools are focusing on security and warding off any hint of proselytizing by religious groups. These conditions make it hard, especially for urban youth workers to gain access to local high schools. And when it happens – which is rare – access to schools is often restricted to attendance in a lunch hour Christian club.
That is what makes this award so much more significant – Mark Dyck has an established reputation with the local high school that he has been listed as auxiliary staff in the school. Huge marks need to be given to the school principal whose insight can take advantage of another pair of eyes and ears on the school campus. Mark shows up whenever he wants to – hangs out in classrooms during class, walks the hallways at lunch, and hangs with kids in the parking lot. He has successfully endeared himself to the staff of the school. His commitment to long term ministry has developed a deep trust even with staff who might have some basic animosity against Christianity.