Bridging the Generation Gap


Famous Dave's, Rancho Cucamonga: the BBQthDirector doing some BBQ mentoring along with our awesome server Famous Roberto and G.M. Famous James.

Hitting thirty was pretty traumatic.  I refused to acknowledge that dreaded number and dubbed the first couple subsequent birthdays, “anniversaries of my 29th birthday.”  Sometime in the last year or so, I heartily embraced my oldness.  I now see the mid-thirties as being in the prime of life.  Sure, it’s when I squint and tilt my head slightly, but, still, I see it.  OLD GUYS RULE!

For a youth minister, I’m fairly ancient.  Most of the kids in my youth group are less than half my age.  To them, information has always been just a click away, there has always been one Germany, and Google has always been a verb.  On the other hand, I remember having to look things up in my World Book Encyclopedia.  Not only do I remember a split Germany, but I remember when war with the U.S.S.R. meant total annihilation of the human race. 

And I remember when pagers were cool.

Monday, a group of my teens joined me for some door-to-door outreach.  After a profitable time inviting folks to church, we headed over to Famous Dave’s for lunch.  Naturally, we were all pretty excited….


Ten of the eleven kids who took part in this first Youth BBQ Mentoring Workshop, have eaten at Gate’s BBQ in Kansas City, MO, a legitimate legend amongst BBQ researchers.  Of those ten, eight said that Famous Dave’s was better than Gate’s (every youth group has it’s bad apples, my two just happen to be S.J. and Heather)!  After I gave the “Sauce Tour” myself, we made quick work of two All-American Feasts, with high praise coming from some of the best kids you’ll ever meet.  Three brought their P.I.G. Club welcome gifts and received free desserts.  The others found the strength to put away the Sweet Dixie Minis. 

IMG_6735One very pleasant surprise was that my good friend Jesse and his family happened to be there to celebrate their son, Colton’s, first birthday.  That boy has a bright future.  Just look at him working that sparerib with one hand, and protecting a precious corn cob with the other.

As incredible as Famous Dave’s BBQ is, I must say that it pales in comparison to the young people I had the pleasure of hanging out with on Monday.  Intelligent, talented, athletic, repectful, compassionate, ambitious, faithful …  I could go on and on.  The kind of kids that make the future look really, really bright. 

Is it normal for a 30-something year old man to hang out with teen-agers?  To try on hats, learn the secrets of accessorizing, drool over the coolest phones?  Nope.  Normally, that would make me a bonafide loser!  But, considering these kids, it makes me a very blessed man.


7 comments so far

  1. S.J. on

    Hey!! Jay that’s not fair!!! I hate being critical about food, I just eat! Give me a second chance! Don’t put me in the bad apple list!!! 😦 (maybe it has something to do with the fact that I wasn’t very hungry at all and by the time I gained a lil appitite, the boys took the good stuff :() wow. This is a long comment, I’m gonna put the happy comment next. lol.

  2. S.J. on

    Jay, thanks so much for taking us! Thanks for letting me invite as many people as I did last minute. Be glad EVERYONE didn’t come. haha I had a great time. You know, for an old guy you’re pretty cool. 😉 I’m really gonna miss everyone when I’m away for 10 days. I don’t know who I’m gonna see before I leave so I’m glad I got to hang out before Sunday. THANKS!!!

  3. Renae on

    I am glad you are educating the youth in the finer things in life! The All- American feast is delicious! 🙂 And no you aren’t weird to be hanging out with teenagers… you still are one! 🙂

  4. jaynepomuceno on

    Y’know, S.J., for a bad apple you’re not all that bad. Heather on the other hand…. Hope you’ll somehow be able to blog and follow the BarBeQuethMinistry! while you’re away.

    Renae, you’re too kind. I do feel like a teenager. Usually, a Jr. Higher, but, that’ll work!

    No jingles from anyone?

  5. Becka on

    I think we are all breathlessly awaiting your jingle before attempting our own. lol

    Hey, being able to be crazy even when you are looked upon as “old,” is a great perk of working with teenagers. Though only 25 myself, it feels pretty weird when the teens in my youth group refer to me as “old.” Sigh. Well, hey, they always say that you have to grow old, but you don’t have to grow up. (and I don’t know who “they,” are, but pretty sure they are right.) 🙂

  6. dar... on

    jay thanks again for taking us. i had so much fun!

  7. Renae A. on

    Hey, Jay! It looks like you guys had a really good time! I miss going door-knocking and hanging out with you guys! By the way, Ironwood does some pretty bomb BBQ. Not as good as Famous Dave’s, but good none the less!

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