8.17.2010

What wakes me up at 7 AM Sunday morning: A mini rant

Can we talk? (I guess so since you're reading this.)

If I'm honest I have to admit that I'm frustrated. There are a handful of amazing youth workers that show up to volunteer first service on Sunday morning. I realize that support and consistency are huge emotional needs for me, but what frustrates me goes beyond my emotional health. I could rant about being true to one's word, keeping commitments, and duty. Relax, I don't think that will help. I realize that much of my frustration comes from the fact that I'm asking people to serve 12-14 year olds at 8 AM on a Sunday morning. The rest of it comes from an inability I've had as a leader to cast a vision that helps people see the importance of what happens from 8:30 AM -10:00 AM each week.

I want to be clear that I'm not mad at any specific person. I don't think there are bad guys or gals in this situation. I also do not think that a church service is an 'end all' 'be all' to a young teenager's spiritual formation.

I have however, accepted the responsibility and the task of making sure that young teens are loved, guided to God's presence, and personally engaged every week, regardless of the time.

Here's a few reasons why I show up on Sunday.

  • Someone did it for me.
  • On some level, young people expect to meet with God at church. It's an honor to be a concrete representative of Christ when someone is looking for Him!
  • It's fun.
  • It makes a difference. The longer I'm involved in relational youth ministry, the more effective I've been with teens, parents, and their families.  Trust takes time, and after 5 years I'm seeing more "results" than ever. 
  • The "week to week" matters.  With tons of change at school, community, and family, young people benefit greatly from knowing that there is some consistency in their lives.
Ok, I feel a bit better now. I keep thinking if people really knew what goes on in our services, it would be difficult to STOP them from helping these teens. Maybe I'm crazy. 

Thoughts?

4 comments:

sharcieb said...

It's ok to rant every once in awhile, Mike. You are allowed.

mark said...

Keeping volunteers responsible and motivated is a challenge I think every church faces. All I know is this, the things I love to do are the things I go out of my way to do. So the key is for there to be a real heart connection in the volunteer that creates a personal desire to want to do that.

I'm about to read a book called Hipster Christianity, sounds really good from what others are saying about it.

Mike Collins said...

@sharcieb, thank you for your support! It's strange (and fun) to see someone other than my sister leave a comment.

Mike Collins said...

@mark, I agree that there needs to be a heart connection with the volunteers! I think the lack of a heart connection is what frustrated me. I've been a youth pastor for 10 years and I know when the connection is there and when it's not.

I think the team I'm on is moving out of a season of disconnect and into a season of heart connection. So that's good.

I'm going to read Hipster Christianity too!

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