Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Practicality Was Never One Of My Strong Suits

I guess this is my question. How does our youth ministry go about producing students who are letting their faith shape every area of life: in personal spiritual practices, reaching out to peers, serving the community, loving Jesus and resting in the knowledge of their belovedness, and generally living their lives for the Kingdom of God?

This is the desire of my heart, but I don't know if the students get it. I don't know if they realize that this is my (and I think, God's) desire for their lives. But maybe they do. I don't read minds. And I have to understand that they don't read mine, either.

I think I consistently run the danger of being nothing but the king of good intentions. I know all the right things, I've written all the right things, I have it all down in philosophies of ministry. I thought I would be a great pastor, but now that I'm in ministry, it's not working out as pretty as I had seen it in my head. No, I'm not giving up, just dealing with that disappointment. I'm sure it's normal. All the youth ministry professionals tell me it is.

I think I know what one of my big problems is. My intentions are great, but I am not willing to do the work to make it happen. I know what I need to do. Spend time with them. Model Christlike behavior for them. Be authentic. Love Jesus. Show them how. And in my own mind, I do a pretty good job of those things, but am I living it out in a way that will really impact these students? Or is my obedience to Christ all in my head? Have I taken my personal faith and made it private, and therefore dead to anyone outside myself?

Okay, so I might have stepped up to the edge with this, but it is the reality I am facing. I have always been applauded (and have applauded myself) for my gifts, but is it really showing itself in changed youth? All I know is that it is summer, and I cannot spend 40 hours a week in the office. I need to get out. I need to be with them. I need to live with them. I need to be Christ to them.

I just need to make it more than a good idea, and actually do it.

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