Published Thursday, February 07, 2013
By JOHN A. WINTERS
(Editor's note: The Newnan Times-Herald reporter John Winters shares his first-hand knowledge of Chap Clark, a national expert on parenting and teen issues.)
I first met Chap Clark, a nationally renowned expert on parenting and teens who is speaking in Newnan this weekend, in Alaska 15 years or so ago.
I remember my wife and I and some friends took him out on the Inside Passage for a little salmon fishing. I remember he caught a "double ugly."
I have no idea what the Latin name is, but this fish is twice as ugly as anything you've every seen, hence its name. It's also a cursed fish. If you catch one, you might as well give up for the day because you won't catch anything else.
A lot of prayers were thrown up by my wife Corby, a true prayer warrior, and her friend Patsy DeWitt, another warrior. And I'm sure Clark did too. He was up in Alaska to speak at a church's revival series. Those prayers worked, because we did pull in a few salmon after that.
At the time, I had one of those Palm PDA's (Personal Digital Assistants), the precursor to today's smartphones. And he was impressed that I have a Bible loaded up on it and wanted to get one. And I was impressed because he had the latest Leatherman multi-tool — the Micro. In Alaska, a Leatherman was just standard clothing. So yeah, I had to get one.
Corby and Patsy had first heard Clark speak a couple of years before. They were both youth ministers and took their youth groups down to California for the national Youth Specialities conference.
They came back and just said "wow." And immediately worked on getting Clark up to Alaska to speak.
My wife got one of his first books, published in 1987, "Next Time I Fall In Love," in high school. She got Clark to sign it on his Alaska visit. I think he felt a little old.
At the time, I was running the newspaper up there. As is always the case, we had some major crisis and I missed his talk. And all Corby and Patsy said was how awesome it was and did I ever miss an incredible opportunity and so on and so forth.
I won't again.
Clark will be speaking this Saturday at Trinity Fellowship Church, 8817 Highway 54 West near Peachtree City, as part of his new organization called Parenteen. The topic is helping our kids navigate technology, relations and faith.
The program, which is free and open to the public, starts at 1:30 p.m. and goes to 5:30 p.m. Free child care is provided.
You can sign up to attend at www.tri-church.com .
Clark has written more than 20 books, among them "Hurt 2.0: Inside the World of Today's Teenagers"; "When Kids Hurt: Helping adults navigate the adolescent maze"; "Hurt: Inside the World of Today's Teenagers"; "Disconnected: Parenting Teens in a MySpace World"; and "Deep Ministry in a Shallow World."
He's also senior editor of Youthworker Journal and associate provost of regional campuses and special projects, as well as professor of youth, family and culture at Fuller Theological Seminary.
As stated on several websites, "People from all walks of life find Chap refreshing, real, and able to speak to them in a way that connects."