Wednesday, March 26, 2008

What are we teaching them?

I've been in youth ministry for 15 years now and I still haven't arrived at that auspicious place of knowing it all. So saying that here is the question, are we teaching them to run from those bad influences in life or are we teaching them to stand. I have to admit and say I think I've been teaching them to run. When talking about negative influences I've been teaching them to walk away or even run. Hear me out, I'm not talking about possible situations where someone might get hurt, I'm talking about the worldly influences. The everyday friend who doesn't have a relationship with God. The "bad apple". But again I always encourage them to be a "witness" but when I have a teenager or a group of them that seem to be getting pulled in by the influence the first thing I say is "run".
But what is that really saying? I think more than anything it says, "Hey, when the tough get". Don't pass go, don't even think about collecting 200 bucks, just run far from that situation and influence. But could we be sending the wrong message? Could we be telling people that when life gets tough, even as a christian, than run? Maybe what we should be doing is teaching people to stand in the midst of their adversity, to face it head on with Christ, to rejoice in suffering because we know suffering produces perseverance and that produces character and that in turn produces hope! The writer goes on to tell us that hope doesn't disappoint. Maybe it's time to rethink what it means to stand and what it means to run. Maybe this generation needs a renewed hope.

Worth a thousand words!

Friday, March 7, 2008

I quit!

This is one of those days! Honestly quitting is not hard for me to do. My dad would always say to me, "You can quit your job as much as you want as long as you get up and go to work tomorrow." I've learned to quit every once in a while, if anything it's therapeutic. There are days how ever that you wonder if all that you do is really worth it. As a pastor I am constantly putting my life out there being vulnerable in front of the masses and there are times when students or people connect with that. In those moments a mentor relationship is created and sometimes as life moves on it becomes a real friendship. I have enjoyed over the years being a mentor and then a friend to teenagers and then adults. But at the same time it's painful to watch them choose a path that leads them away from God. It hurts to know they are walking away when they were so close. In moments like that you just want to quit. You wonder why and what it's all for. There is hope, it's what I fight for everyday. I believe that God is working in his life and I hold to the hope he will come back to him. Today I quit and tomorrow I'll be back.