The youth ministry calendar is full of things. Too full, really. Hardly a week goes by without a retreat, a lock-in, an event. We have created so many things for students, from 6th graders to high school seniors. “Multiple points of entry” is the word of the day.
But . . .
If a student doesn’t come to a thing, I don’t know them and I don’t have anything for them. No trusted adult mentors, no recreation, no contemplative space, no challenging conversation, no story. If he or she doesn’t show up to at least one of the things, they aren’t on my ministry radar.
It is becoming clear to me just how dependent my ministry is on people showing up to things. I think I’m okay with that; I make a lot of things–creative things, experimental things. Things happen on Sunday and over weekends and for a week in the summer. Things can be evaluated: how many participants? What cost? Whose story?
Things are not for everyone.
What is the thing for the student who won’t come to a thing, though?
Can you make a thing for students to experience at school today or at home this weekend, something that is for them and all their things, their family commitments and schoolwork, their dance recitals and hockey tournaments?
Of course you can. You’ve probably made that thing already. A blog, an Instagram account, a Lenten devotional over Skype. I’m glad you’re making that thing. I haven’t been.