Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Youth Ministry Success

This past Sunday was Youth Sunday at our church. It's a popular thing among smaller churches to have the youth lead the service once or twice a year. It's very draining to me, but it's a great thing for so many reasons. But as you know I've been having some troubles in my job, and consequently, I was feeling a lot of pressure to perform. It took a lot of prayer on my part to move past that.

The service was thrown together in so many ways. The students are all so busy this time of year with musicals and track and soccer and proms that getting them all together in one place at one time was nearly impossible. When it cam down to it: the boy who played the offeratory messed up badly and laughed (with Richard) during the middle of it. I was literally running copies 3 minutes before the service. And I never even read what the girl who was doing part of the sermon with me was going to recite! It seriously had disaster written all over it and the result: a miracle.

I stepped out in faith and put in an element of experiential worship. At the end of the service I had the youth stand in the center aisle and had the adults cheer for them, and then I asked them to keep cheering and imagine surrounding them "So great a cloud of witnesses" from the past 180 years who went before us to be with the Lord. And we finished with reading Hebrews 12:1-2. I really wasn't sure how'd they would respond and I told Richard beforehand that it was either going to be well received or an epic fail. (I contiously did not ask them to leave their pew because people in our church have a tough time giving up their assigned seat - you know, the frozen chosen). One woman even got out of her seat and gave all the students a hug.

How do I feel: relieved, and thankful, and hopeful. Hopeful, that it was a step of growth. Sometimes I feel like so much of church life is two sides pitted against each other (and lately it's been young v old). Hopeful, that we can see that we're different and worship different ways, but with the same goal: preserving the legacy of faith. The faith that has been passed down to us from Abel, and Noah, and Abraham, and Isaac, and time would fail me to speak of all those of the past and present who are leaving me and the younger generations a heritage of faithfulness.

I seriously only heard one complaint (and it was the standard, "this was so nice, I wish we could the kids in church every Sunday"). But I've resigned myself to that complaint. All in all, when the church secretary emails and tells you she heard nothing but good things: relief! Thank you Jesus! :)
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1 comment:

Amanda said...

Yay! That's so good! Now we can all understand how tough music ministers have it, right? It seems like a fun job but it can be so demanding and StReSsFuL!

People in our church used to write anonymous comments on their bulletin "prayer request" form and say things to our pastor like, "You need to cut your hair." Or tell our worship pastor, "I can't believe you think songs that say la, la, la a hundred times are actually worship." People think they can throw out comments without hurting feelings and without really explaining or doing it out of love. And they'll do it no matter how talented or wonderful or holy you are!