Monday, March 13, 2006

I am not claiming to be an expert at ministry, youth ministry, Para-church ministry or any other form of ministry- I am simply writing/blogging an insight I have about ministry in general. For my Youth Ministry practicum, I am a part of Young Life Geneva/St. Charles and not for recognition/bragging rights/etc. I spent close to 20 hours involved in various ways with the teens I ministry unto this past weekend... It was awesome and I got thinking and I decided that I should pass this on...

Ministry should be about relations; Hanging out and doing things with the teens such as playing Halo, playing Risk, Frisbee golf or just sitting around the kitchen table eating cinnamon rolls and talking is ministry, 'borrowing' one of the leaders car's and driving it off and down the block with one of the teens is NOT
ministry, it just makes for a great story... but back to the subject on hand.

When I worked at my church for two years, I did not do this enough: sometimes (looking back at it) it was just seeing them in the morning on Sunday and in the evening on Sunday and maybe AIMing them during the week - and that was it. Before I left for Judson I hung out and ate dinner/played video games/talked/listened with several of the guys in the Youth Group. I only wish that I did more of this back then, but I have been learning from my mistakes...

We are human beings, not human doings - From this, I recognize how sometimes I guilt trip myself in Young Life about playing Halo instead of going back to campus and doing some homework, but sometimes I just realize that I'll have to stretch the evening a bit longer... It is the being part that makes me hangout in the kitchen of my site supervisor's house when the singing part takes place during Campaigners; Why? because there are some people who avoid the singing part like the plague and they just sit upstairs and sometimes step out for a smoke, I usually accompany them outside, just so that the being part can continue without break. They do the Bible part and I usually am with them in the particular group they chose to sit in on. I find it wonderful just to sit back and be instead of do, it is something that needs to be done in different forms of ministry...

Balance out talking and [active] listening - With the teens I minister unto, there are people who will talk and those who will listen, in both cases, I take time to talk and actively listen to what they have to say. Sometimes it is off subject or just random, DON'T WORRY! this is how adolescents act and behave, we as ministers (those who minister) need to realize and recognize that this happens, our goals and reason is because of God and even though it won't always go as planned, keep it about God and make sure you can roll with the punches - because they definitely be thrown your way!

Hang out with those you minister as yourself and someone else - this may seem like an odd thing to say, but sometimes I catch myself being someone that is not truely me. Don't let your whole self hangout to those you minister unto, but don't come into the scene acting like 'uber-Christian' - someone who has it all together and that you never sin, you never have bad days: no such Christian exists, so don't act like it. I've noticed two things with those who act this way - 1) Kids/Teens today can sniff out a fake and 2) There may be a wall that is set up between you and those they minister unto, as if we who minister can do no wrong! Be real and honest amongst those you serve and also those you work along with in your ministry... It can be hard, I know, but this is something that needs to be done.

I have some other things to type out,
but not at this time... School demands my attention.

Going on by God's strength alone,


Jacob John said...

You are right,especially about trying to be somebody you are not. I myself am learning these things now.