Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Getting Fired for the Glory of God

Another excerpt from another book, I do lectio divina with:

Look at the disciples.  They spent all their time with Jesus.  He did talk, but the disciples never understood a word he said.  That didn't seem to both Jesus, by the way.  They saw Jesus in action, living his faith (healing, praying, losing his temper, agonizing, dying) and running from fame and power.  They witnessed Jesus' relationship with his Father, which was turbulent to say the least  -- everything from gentle prayers to agonizing screams.

They watched Jesus taking time for himself, avoiding crowds, refusing to rush people into the kingdom.  And they noticed that the majority of Jesus' time was spent with them.  Oh, and one other thing:  Jesus talked about all the issues facing the people of his time -- all of them (the future, friendships, prayer, service, dealing with government, community, servanthood, humility, divorce, lust, poverty, the priority of following him over family, and so on.)

What do we conclude?  What's the job description of an effective youth minister?  Effective youth ministers don't talk much; they spend enormous amounts of time with a few students, creating opportunities for students to experience God, to know God intimately, to be with God.  They deal with the whole person, not just hormones (sex), egos (activities), and obvious problems (parents, school, drugs, alcohol).  They also deal with kids' jealousy, insecurity, anger, depression, fear, doubt, guilt, restlessness, self-absorption, loss, confusion, and their concerns about justice, war, poverty, and reconciliation.

Above all, youth ministers have relationships with Jesus characterized by the absence of anxiety, the presence of humility, and a visible intimacy with him.

(Getting Fired for the Glory of God:  Collected Words of Mike Yaconelli for Youth Workers)