Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Staff Meeting or 25 Things I Don't Care About

Not to long ago I shared how God uses staff meetings to disciple us. Often times it literally becomes the 25 things I don't care about. If this is true for us then it must be true for our students. To tell the truth I am sick of meetings. Meetings, for too long, became the measuring stick of our success in youth ministry. Who came to the meeting? How many were there at the meeting? How did the meetng go? Why do I rant? I recently had a terrible/wonderful youth staff meeting. It was terrible because only 3 others beside myself showed up. It gave us pause, after I complained, to discover the wonderful: Maybe we don't need planning/youth staff meetings at least in the sense that we knew them. Now if you are a bi-vocational youth pastor with 0 help; consider that not to be a bad thing. The large groups staff, which I was always envious of, is not the standard of measurement. I would become green with envy when I saw a team of 20 somethings laughng and marching through the hallways with their leader always wishing that was me. I'm over it. Meetings are too often about egos and control.

When it comes to discipleship and the impartation of Christ to others the meeting is the least effective way to do that. I don't care if it's your youth staff meeting, your student leadership team or your small group bible study. I have, like you, a wide range of kids I minister to. Some do not come to our church. If we make discipleship about the meeting we become legalistic. I understand that we have things to do and tasks to perform in the uber youth group of business. Ministry , drama group, etc. are all important and avenues of discipleship. I guess I question the whole deal. In the beginning of my ministry I wanted to create the super-Chrsitians. The Bible toting, scripture quoting, always there, never fails student. Consider that about 40 years ago another man with a tiny mustache tried and partially succeeded in doing just that. Not my role model.

Back to the students. I have two guys in my group who are not leadership or leash-ership quality. They don't want to be on the leash or in the stall of traditional leaders as we have seen them. They want to love God and serve God in their own way. "But, if they don't come to the meeting, how will you do that?" simple, not have a meeting. Not create walls, barriers or standards that keep them in a dated model of discipleship. I have lunch with them, they love me, they joke with me, they invite me out after service to eat. It's different and refreshing. They do come to small group Bible study and to service and they do want to serve. They recently started playing in a band. At first not a very good one. They play at their schools campus Bible study. Idea! I'll get them to play Halloween at our youth center, play Halloween Family fued, and just let them go. Give them parameters, but just let them go. I'll tell you how it goes. Anyway, that is just one example of many that shows me that the traditional once a month meeting of blah, blah, blah is out and I must continually change how I disciple students. I loved meetings, the energy, and one day God may change my mind or bring back the need for the meeting; but for now, I am enjoying the meeting free dscipleship freedom God has offered me.

Let the sparks fly!