Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Here's a Curious Thing 

Most folks in my business know the plight of young ordained persons. You get to your new job, your first job out of seminary, and practically the first words out of anyone's mouth are, "Oh good! We've really needed someone to work with the youth!" In both my field ed experience and now here at St. Mark's, I've tried to be careful to say that while I am happy to work some with the youth, I don't want it to become my sole job responsibility just because I am closer to them in age than the Rector or other aduly lay volunteers.

So, when I arrived at St. Mark's, what happened? You guessed it. "Oh great! We've really needed somone to jump start the youth program again!"

And I have been happy to do it. As I've mentioned, it turns out several of the youth of this parish remember me from DaySpring days of yore, and it seems they have shared that with their friends, so that I came into this job with an established rapport that other youth workers could probably envy. And after the success of last week's kickoff youth group meeting, I think I've intrigued them sufficiently enough to come back. I find I have a lot of ideas that I am excited about and when I share them with the youth, they get excited about them too. One young lady said to me, "I like it that you have so many ideas." Last week I sent them off to think about coming up with a name for themselves, and this week they'll report back on what they've come up with. I did this with a mind toward eventually coming up with a logo of their design that we can put on tshirts and signs and things like that. But I didn't tell them that part yet. One thing at a time. But, one young man said, "Yeah! And we should come up with a design or something to go with it, that we can put on tshirts." They make my job easy.

Anyway, back to the point of this post, which was "a curious thing". As I was planning this week's Bible study (they have an intense desire to look at the stories of Genesis) I was getting excited about all the questions and possible tracks the conversation will have. The Boss Man says to me, "You know, for someone who didn't want to get stuck doing only youth work, you absolutley have a tremendous amount of energy for it. You just light up around them and when you're thinking about what to do next. It's wonderful."

So, indeed, this is a curious thing. No matter how hard I wanted to push against God on this, it seems I do have some gifts for youth work.

I think that's why I wanted to push against God on it. Cause I knew I was good at it and I wanted to get good at other things too. But the Boss Man said, "You know, there's a certain sector of people who think you should always be working on your weaknesses. But then all you ever do is just bring everything up to a level of mediocrity. Focus on your strengths; it's good for you and for the Church." Now, that's not to say don't ever stretch yourself or never look at your dusty corners, but I guess right now I don't have to do that. Heck, to really think about it, I just spent 3 years doing that. Maybe God wants me to focus on my strengths right now.

And as it turns out, one of those strengths is getting youth group kids excited about Scripture, the Faith, and finding out how to serve God.

Praise be to God.



Heck yeah! With all that talk about young people not being interested in God, the World, and Everything...you could facilitate something amazing here.

By Blogger Tripp Hudgins, at 11:05 AM  


By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:53 PM  

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