At youth group on Tuesday night I asked students to answer a couple of questions so that I could share the answers with parents to hopefully spark conversation and open up dialogue. My favorite answer of the night:
Q: What is the biggest thing your parents don’t understand about you?
A: That I keep my room dirty so I don’t have to look at my ugly carpet.
I was talking this morning with one of my youth volunteers over breakfast about the Dalai Lama. I had just read that when the current Dalai Lama dies, the powers that be will re-find him when he reincarnates as a baby. They will spend the next 20 or 30 years educating him on his past lives and training him to be a spiritual leader. Obviously I don’t agree with the whole reincarnation thing, but I love the view of how things happen. They realize that history is long, and great things can take a long time to accomplish. So they spend a couple decades getting ready for each generation. In my experiences of church in America, we usually go for the quick payout and want immediate results. The Bible, however, models something different.
John the Baptist’s whole ministry was one of preparation.
Moses wandered and wandered and wandered in the desert.
Jesus spent 30ish years preparing and 3ish years ministering.
And then this afternoon I came across this quote from Mike Yaconelli:
Jesus knew hurried disciples become ex-disciples. Modern youth ministry needs to understand our mission: planting, watering and waiting… in other words, unhurried discipleship. Jesus knew, and so should we, that discipleship lasts a lifetime.
In other words, this May when seniors leave the youth ministry, I don’t need to be concerned that they have met some predetermined criteria for having been successfully discipled. I do need to be concerned that they are equipped to continue on the journey of knowing and following Jesus for the rest of their lives.
In your place of ministry are you willing to be a preparer if that is where God calls you to be and leave the results and the time line to the Holy Spirit?
A couple days ago I was putting together a toy kitchen set that my kids got from their grandparents for Christmas. Being the responsible male I am, I was occasionally glancing at the directions. As I looked, I saw instructions for cleaning the toy phone that came with the kitchen. I decided to read that section, as it seemed pretty obvious to me as to how to clean a little toy phone that has batteries in it. Here is what I read:
Directions for Cleaning Phone
Slightly dampen a cloth with water or mild detergent solution and wipe surface. Never submerge in water or spray liquid directly on steering wheel.
And that’s when I realized why they had instructions, I didn’t even know the phone had a steering wheel! And until I find the steering wheel, I am going to be watching my kids very closely to make sure they don’t submerge the steering wheel in water. That sure was a close one!
If your interested, the youth group newsletter is available over on my churches website. Make sure you have adobe reader installed. And if you want an email about when the next one is available (mom) just leave a comment with your email and I’ll add you to the list.