… to forget … to be complacent … to slip back into old habits …
It’s Lent season again, and I’d wanted to better last year’s effort of going without chocolate and alcohol, but I literally forgot, because I’d been away the whole carnaval long weekend, got back Ash Wednesday (when Lent officially begins) in the evening and rushed straight to work. And have had massive chocolate cravings. Which I’ve been caving into.
And this past week, I’ve been thinking about my weaknesses, even little things that add up to a lot, and are not what God wants for my life; how easy it is to slide back into routine – both personally and as a team in ministry – and forget that every day is fresh, new, a blessing, another opportunity to live for Him, testify of His love in word and deed.
Caught a post on Facebook linking to this video by Jarrod McKenna for World Vision. I heard him speak back in 2010 at a Make Poverty History summit, and apart from it being a great, engaging message, I remember being more affected by how affected the non-Christians were by this young Christian’s words about calling, about life with meaning, passion. And I am both pained and frustrated that there aren’t more young Christians burning to change the world.
Definitely here in Loja it’s sadly lacking within the church, and a lot of it has to do with church leadership and the way youth ministry is done, the way youth are viewed. As in any other part of the world, young Christians are being absorbed by popular culture, the ways of the world. I think this is a constant struggle for any child of God living on this earth (and I definitely count myself as one of these strugglers), but there are some additional issues here.
1. Young Christians are viewed as children needing to be separated and protected from the world. The church lays down rules like no drinking, no sex, no partying – but the youth go out and do all this anyway, because there is no foundation, no support, behind the rules. No alternative.
2. Young Christians are not viewed as capable of transforming their world.
3. Young Christians are not taught the Word of God, not taught to read, study and understand the Bible themselves. They are told that the Bible says not to do this and that, but without explanation, without room to explore why and how and exactly what the implications are.
I feel like I’ve been facing an uphill battle with this at my church here, where there is a tonne of potential with youth ministry, but an awful lot of work to be done to realise it. And in spite of the work I’ve been doing here, I never got round to setting ministry and personal goals here – something I was told to do back in September. Something I should’ve done back in September.
But I’m doing it now. With little over five months left on the clock, I’ve gotta stop just being, just living, just working, just serving – and do it with greater purpose, greater clarity, greater focus. Got the draft down, will share my goals in my next post.