Archive for September, 2007

25
Sep
07

The War

One of those things that I aspire to be, at least casually, is really interested in history.  Relatedly, I love reading, watching and studying WWII.  So, I’ve been watching The War on PBS for the past couple days.  It’s an amazing film – so far – I’ve only watched parts one and two of 7. 

I’m amazed at the unity that swept across our country and how the American public joined together for one specific cause.  I’m also amazed at the sacrifices that were made at home and abroad in the name of freedom.  Good stuff.  Comparing that picture of our nation with what we see today – whoa different!  I wonder if the differences are all bad.

Just a thought… 

19
Sep
07

Now introducing…My Soapbox

I would begin by apologizing for straying from the topical norm with this post, but there’s nothing consistent about my blog – so there’s no worries.  I don’t usually write about ministry stuff here, (I haven’t written anything here for a good month or two) but I’ve really been wrestling (in a good way) with some ministry thoughts for a while now and I think it’s time to write them out…or at least ramble a little. 

The “opponent” that I’ve been wrestling with for some time now is the idea of a family basedministry approach.  Most commonly we approach ministry in an age driven fashion; splitting our churches into various ministry “silo’s”.  I know that I could really dig into this topic and write pages upon pages; but I think I’d like to get some skeleton thoughts down.  Really for my own benefit, not a worry, since there are like 3 people who read my blog. 

I believe the “what, why, how” approach will serve well for an overview…

So, what exactly am I thinking on?  The idea of family ministry is HUGE and definitely not new.  So, perhaps its best to begin by stating what I’m nottalking about.  I’m not talking about programs.  Family driven programs are great, and there are a thousand great practices out there, but I’m thinking on a broader scale.  I’m not thinking about events.  Events go hand in hand with programs.  Sure, they communicate some more deeply held values but I want to get beyond that.  If you were to enter into a discussion about this with a group of youth workers, which I just had the privilege of doing, you’d get lots and lots of great ideas and experiences.  You would probably even hear a decent passion for the topic.

I’m thinking beyond that though.  I want to take it to a broader perspective.  I’m thinking about re-ordering everything we do in youth ministry.  I’m wrestling with the thought of scrapping everything I know to be true in Middle School ministry and center it around the family.  Heresy?  Probably so.

I’m wondering what it would look like for our ministries – and churches as a whole – to be sold out to the family.  What would it look like for us to make the work of building strong, healthy, Christ following families a significant priority?   I’m wondering if this is just some more youthful, idealistic, exuberance or an actual legitimate, and worth while, discussion to bring to my peers.   

All of that being said, (and probably not well, I’m felling all passionate and convoluted) now, the question is why?  Why is this causing such a stirring?  Why am I finding such a deep seeded passion here?  What is being poked and prodded within my soul?  I’m not entirely sure. 

What I do know: family is one thing in life that you don’t choose and can’t change; for most of us, our families will have the most profound influence on our lives; a collection of strong, Christ following families could revolutionize a community; a revolutionized community could impact a larger city; a larger city could impact a state; a state could impact a region; a region could impact the nation – and some of the more depressing norms within our culture.   I know that there’s an absence of strong families (generally speaking) in our world.  I also know, again speaking generally, that churches are often more interested in the “silo” model, whether they admit it or not. 

So, how does it happen.  This is the best part, I haven’t any flippin clue!  I don’t know, period…end of story.  But I think that it begins with humility.  We’ve got to humble our hearts and minds and unite in a search for what serves the world we live in, and the church within it, the best.  We’ve got to pull together and find out what exactly is going to be the best possible way to utilize the influence of the church (global) in order to pursue our redemptive potential.  I have a hunch that it may be the family.  And I happen to think that one of the best ways to influence a family is to love on their early adolescent. 

We may have to risk.  We may have to dump some inclinations.  We may have to scrap some assumptions. We may have to admit we’re wrong.  We may have to fail. 

If the result is inching our way closer to full redemption and the will of God, I’m in. 

Stepping down from the soapbox now…for the time being.