“I’m not a youth worker”. For about 10 years that was one of my repeated lines. I was part of a big church where there were other people capable, and better at reaching the young. So I let them do it, and focussed on other things.
Now in a way there’s nothing wrong with that. There is only so much time any of us have and it makes a lot of sense to focus on the things God has called us to, that match our skills and passion.
Except that then God called me to youth work. My wife and I moved churches and our new job involved overseeing youth work. There were still extremely capable people doing the work too, but I was with them, and leading them.
We were there for the last couple of years (just left), and it’s been a blast! I discovered I loved getting to know young people, and seeing God move in their lives, and I realised I was quite good at aspects of it.
I also realised I could have learnt all that earlier, if I’d just not said “I’m not…”
What do you claim you’ll never be? How would you finish the sentence I’m not… ?
From Fast Company
Yahoo! is slowly buying up sites I love and use. Flickr, Tumblr, Astrid.
Should I be excited, sacred or indifferent?
I suppose its promising that I like what they’ve just done with Flickr.
I wrote a couple of days ago about our current missional community, and how great it is.
I’ve been reflecting this week about the communities we’ve been part of. In the last ten years or so Helen have led 4 communities. Each has lasted a few years, all of them ended; some well, some more painfully.
Each community had a good life, and in each we found some brilliant collaborators, many of whom are still good friends.
Here’s the thing though, I think each one worked a little better than the one before, I certainly think we got better at leading them.
I know a few people who have been part of communities and have found that its got difficult, or failed in some way. That’s normal, these things are hard work. What is sad though is that for some that is their only experience of belonging in, or leading a community.
That’s a great shame, because I think you get better each time you have a go. Which means your next community will be stronger than your last.
Perhaps you lead a church or network of missional communities. How do you help your people get back into the game after a perceived death or failure of a community?
Maybe you’ve been part of a community but have backed off since things got tough. Is it time to get back on it and have another go?
Maybe you have no idea what all this is about, if that’s the case you can either move on, or check out Missional Communities UK, who will tell you about something that is a lot of fun!
Imagine has been our missional community for (almost) two years. We started it with a BBQ in October in our garden. I used our new Weber and smoke went everywhere then the sun set and it got dark much quicker than I expected so everyone stumbled around in our unfamiliar garden.
We committed to being a community that showed God’s love to young adults. We also committed to functioning like an extended family to one another.
We ate a lot, went camping a few times, set up a monthly acoustic night, spent a fair bit of time in pubs, read the bible, worshipped and prayed.
A lot of this has happened in our lounge and made it feel a bit like a holy place.
We’ve seen about 45 people be part of it. Some have left to get jobs (praise God) others are students who plug back in over the hols, others are going to carry the vision on after we have gone.
It’s been such a pleasure being part of it and leading it. We’ve loved learning with our community and seeing many of them being profoundly shaped by God as they find somewhere to belong. It’s been amazing seeing some of them discover God for the first time.
Tonight was our final BBQ with the community before we go. Actually it rained all evening so we had barbecue style food cooked inside. Then they all prayed for us as a family. One really cool thing was that for our last night there were new people who we didn’t know, just starting to connect in with what’s going on.
There is cost to being extended-family-on mission. One cost is that it hurts when God calls you to go. But it’s worth it. Being part of a missional community is so much fun!
Imagine, you are collectively and individually amazing! We Askews love you. We’ll be watching how you continue to get better and grow on your adventures with God.
Blessed is the one whom God corrects;
so do not despise the discipline of the Almighty.
For he wounds, but he also binds up;
he injures, but his hands also heal.
From six calamities he will rescue you;
in seven no harm will touch you.
In famine he will deliver you from death,
and in battle from the stroke of the sword.
You will be protected from the lash of the tongue,
and need not fear when destruction comes.
You will laugh at destruction and famine,
and need not fear the wild animals…
…We have examined this, and it is true.
So hear it and apply it to yourself.
From Job 5
Job loses everything, seemingly at God’s hands. His friends come to see him and to offer some comfort, this is what one says.
Looks good, even resonates with other parts of the bible (Psalm 94 for example).
But at the end of the book God is angry with the friends. They have “not spoken of me what is right.” Makes me think about St Paul’s famous clanging gongs.
They’re right, but they’re very very wrong.
I love bits of the bible like this, where it just gets a little bit messy, challenging, real..
But bits like this scare me too: Where am I getting it right, but am actually wrong?
Help me God, to know your truth. Help me to handle that truth humbly, gently and carefully. Guide me Holy Spirit. Amen.