It's a Monday afternoon - half way through the month of May and I am sitting at my desk. I've been at this position for exactly two weeks.
I have a copy of "One Thousand Gifts" by Ann Voskamp, "Dangerous Wonder" by Michael Yaconelli, the youth version of Groups VBS for Youth - Kingdom Rock sitting on my desk and I just reread through the first two weeks of "Sticky Faith Every Day: 8 Weeks of Knowing God More".
I decided about an hour ago that I should already know what I'm teaching on for the summer and to start planning for the fall - and I started to feel overwhelmed by all the things that I think the youth NEED to know NOW! I'm already behind! How do I cover everything now?
-having a thankful heart
-wanting to serve others but not because they should
-having faith like a child
-build relationships with adults in our church
I also need to get the parents and volunteers caught up! I need them to make this ministry work. So I've got to buy Mark Yaconelli's book - "Contemplative Youth Ministry" for all of the adults. I should have done that last week! And how do I best figure out what the adults are best gifted at and plug them in?
I've even skimmed Chris Folmsbee book " A New Kind of Youth Ministry".
And then I just started to tear up. Thank goodness for the Holy Spirit.
I put my head on my arm and I stopped.
I prayed. I asked for forgiveness. I asked for wisdom. I asked for grace. And I asked for insight in how to lead this ministry with humility and inclusiveness. (Mind you this didn't take a long time)
~~Now I need to make sure that I say - I know that all of the things that I am hoping to teach and invite these youth and adults into are good things. Good. The books that I listed above are GREAT. FYI - I think everyone should read them. ~~
I am good at youth ministry.
Meaning that I'm good at doing what needs to be done. I make ministers and parents feel like their youth have a good group to belong to. And that's good!
But I don't want to only be good at youth ministry.
I want to be an individual who loves Jesus and loves teenagers and helps them know that they are loved by Jesus in such a way that these youth can't wait to know more about him.
To be perfectly honest...since I started this new position two weeks ago - I started building the youth ministry machine. It's what I'm good at! And it already looks good.
Even though I knew I didn't want to.
I forgot to love Jesus first.
I haven't forgotten about loving teenagers - I'm good at that too. But I'm wondering if there is a way that I could be even more present. In a way that I have never done before or at least haven't done in a while.
Inviting youth and adults into relationship with me.
Into relationship with each other.
Into relationship with Jesus.
It really is that easy. Why do I make it harder?
I need to be more intentional to pray for them. Not just in my time of Sabbath but also as part of my work week.
Invite people to pray with me.
So I'm done with planning for today.
I've got a list of youth that I haven't met yet. Time to pray and maybe contact.
But first - pray.