Wednesday, September 30, 2009
YM as a MT?
OK, so my plan was great, a fun, active game, an active lesson, time for discussion and then bring it home with prayer and hangout time. Sounds good right? Now remember when I said I was prepared for 15? Well, it's hard to do a large group lesson/game when only 4 show up...and one of those was a half hour late. UGH! (((heart slowly breaking))) I dragged myself home that night defeated. I had taken extra time planning the night, even rushing through a meeting for another church ministry so I'd have extra time to fine tune things. I even called a couple youth to come in early and help me set up...they were one half of the total group that night. I fell for it, I bought into it...and I failed...I failed at the numbers game. I bet Louis Palau would laugh at my small, teeny, tiny little spec of youth ministry in my church.
So the next morning I dragged myself into my office thinking that I was on the fast-track to a firing..."how can a church financially support someone who's only having 4 youth show up at YG? My church needs results...these aren't results...they are results of failure..."
Enter Pastor Gordon..."Do Hard Things"...and a return to what I know.
Ok, after a long talk with Pastor Gordon, I'm rethinking my ministry with the youth. So apparently I was the only one that was super upset with the turnout last week. From the mouth of Gordon, "Don't worry about numbers, worry about quality ministry." And he's right. It's what I've been taught all the way back to my first week in a YM class at Oak Hills...it's not a numbers game...and I shouldn't have let it become one.
So, what's "Do Hard Things" have to do with it? Well, I'm sure many people have heard of the book written by the Harris twins. Well, it's been on my "To be read" shelf for quite a while and I finally pulled it into my "Reading" group of books. I got four chapters in and had a revelation (most people would call it God speaking to me...which is probably more likely the case). "Ok, if I'm only going to have 4 youth show up...we're going to impact our community. What if we approached youth ministry as a mission team?" So here's what we're going to start doing. Each month has roughly 4 Wednesdays. The first Wednesday we head to the High School to engage in the Worthington Area Youth monthly gathering. It's a monthly gathering of all Worthington youth groups to worship, learn, and grow in community. That leaves 3 weeks to Do Hard Things. I'm going to be devoting probably about 90% of our youth programming to prayer and service. I received a globe donation last year that I was going to utilize for this. But then I had a different idea. In order for the youth (which is a small group) to see what sort of impact we can have globally through prayer, I got some Post-it flags. I'm going to have the youth watch the news for things they feel led to pray about (like the tsunami in Samoa or the earthquake in Indonesia) and write the prayer request on the flag and point it at the location of the event/request. Then we'll devote time during the meeting to praying for these events/requests. Over the course of the school year the globe will be covered in flags showing the breadth of our prayer, but also God's presence across the globe.
Now I know there's not much mission in just praying, so in order to impact our community as a group, I'm going to get a hold of the Catholic Charities director in town and see how we could best volunteer in the community. Then the bulk of the extra three weeks each month will be us out in the community volunteering. Who doesn't learn best by learning? Doesn't this fall into Paul’s, "Work out your own salvation..."? Or how about, "Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin." (Zechariah 4:10 NLT). I'm excited to see these youth grab onto this! I'll try and keep everyone posted on how things are working out with it. But first we're going to do a 6 week study through the book, "Do Hard Things" to hopefully empower the youth and motivate them to take action! Watch out Worthington, FMY IS COMING!!!