Note: Monday Morning Quarterback is a recurring post that examines personal and pastoral events of Sunday.
5:25. No timestamps this week.
Friday and Saturday was our overnight youth retreat and service day with another church in town. This used to be a 30 Hour Famine, but for reasons I explored here we had food this year and focused on the problem of homelessness. Some kids missed the famine. I’m listening.
I spent a lot of mental time on Saturday mulling future possibilities with this other church. This is the third consecutive year we’ve done this event together, and our students clearly benefit from working together. And they’re very different types of kids. Also, I like their leader, and he’s told me in other conversations that he’s mulling a change in format away from weekly youth groups and toward more frequent special events.
So I’m having youth collective ideations and wondering if the next several months might not be the time to move on them.
Three things from Sunday:
- A mother with three small children who months ago arrived as a frazzled guest and left 10 minutes into the service after he toddler went tearing down the center aisle was back yesterday so that her daughter could receive a Bible in worship. Our Children’s Ministry Director has maintained contact with her and invited her. I was totally in the dark. The work our Children’s Ministry Director done is second to none. And I mean none.
- A “Big Picture Group” gathered in the afternoon to grapple with some of the major transitions happening in the world and think about how our church needs to respond: strategic thinking; discernment; opportunities; risks. So much energy. So many ideas. More please.
- Fresh off of the Big Picture conversation about opportunities, the last 15 minutes of junior high youth group got interrupted by one of the leaders of the Indonesian congregation that worships with us. A few weeks ago we’d spoken for a couple minutes about their youth joining ours some time. “Sure,” I’d said. “Let’s talk about that!” Now, he’s at the door with four obviously reluctant students behind him, saying, “They’re joining you now.” Stop everything. Welcome them in. Reboot the gathering with ice breakers. One of their students doesn’t talk, and my volunteer takes the reigns and leads a game that requires no talking. My people are great. Seriously, great.
Now I’m indulging speculation about what our junior high youth group might become with a contingent of Indonesian youth. But they’re in high school. So now I’m wondering how the whole schedule of gatherings might change.
What if, instead of an afternoon junior high group followed by an evening high school group, you had an afternoon gathering for ALL youth that was high on recreation and physical activity like service projects followed by an evening gathering for ALL youth that was more conversational and study-based. Theoretically they might both combine junior high and high school students. Theoretically some students might want to do both. Theoretically . . .
How would you decide?