Church

Out of Energy

For the past four years I’ve run an after school group for junior high students. Junior high is 7th and 8th grade, so, at most, a student will participate for two years before they’re off to high school. Essentially two groups of students have cycled through for two years each. Both groups had at their core a student from the church whom I invited to bring some friends.

School started a month ago, and there are no junior high students coming after school anymore. One came the first week, zero the two following weeks. The conditions that enabled the group the past four years aren’t there this year, namely a student whom I know and who wants to hang out after school with their friends.

Going where the energy is means letting silence have its say. There’s no energy for this among the people it’s for. So I just freed up 90 minutes once a week.

Still kind of feels like a failure, though.

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11 thoughts on “Out of Energy

  1. I get the failure feeling, but you gotta say no to the wrong thing so you are free to say yes to the right thing.
    I had a ski trip that worked for many years. Until it didn’t.
    So we did other things with the weekend.
    Kudos to you for freeing up the time to be ready for the right thing when it comes along.
    (And glad my son ended up where he did for college, but really wish he were down the street from you and able to have you as a pastor!)

  2. Josey says:

    I get it totally. Feelings of failure is a common feeling these days for me as well. When young familes with children leave because they are feeling disconnected with the church and they just don’t say anything until they inform you that they are leaving. I appreciate them saying “it’s not you nor your program” but that just is not heplful at all. So I gave them my blessing…. Makes me wonder about the new catch pharse “Gracious dismissal” – nothing Gracious about it!

  3. Everything has a season. Don’t take it personally (I need to remind myself of that too). Programs support relationships primarily. When the relationships change, the programs should as well. 90 minutes a week is plenty of time for coffee with Reece”

  4. I talked with Rex about you and how you were dealing with these issues of the declining importance of church activities in the lives of today’s church families. One thing that came out of our conversation was a possible shift in the way in which we could be more influential in the lives of our young people. And that was through their parents. Perhaps sitting with parents at the events that they do attend or finding other ways to spend time with the parents could be an entry port. During that time you become Christ for them (not their kids). If they were me, I would then want my kids to spend as much time with you as I could manage. You are are a super resource right under their noses.

    I think most parents are into these multiple activities because they seem to be what will prepare their kid for the next things in their lives. They do care about the spiritual and moral development of their children. Neglecting to make time for it could be a mistake. Spending time with godly people and learning the ways of Jesus does need a bump up in priority. We have to be more creative in the way we get parents to see this because our culture is leading them away from it.

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