Youth Ministry: Practicing Our Priorities
- 2004 6 May
He said, "That you love the Lord your God with all your passion and prayer and muscle and intelligence - and that you love your neighbor as well as you do yourself. (Luke 10:27 - Msg)
For the last three days and nights, I have listened to the wind howl through my home, as we have experienced Spring moving through the Midwest. I was sitting at my desk early this morning as my oldest son, Parker, came to explain that our patio furniture was all over the backyard. Seriously, the umbrella, table, and chairs were everywhere except on the deck. He also pointed out the way our large white pine trees in the front lawn swayed back and forth dramatically from the power of the wind.
The dichotomy contained within the same yard provided two great lessons, which made for an awesome teachable moment with my nine-year-old today. It will be good for you and me, too. Let's really think about it.
Our lives are really out of control, too often. We find ourselves blown about by the winds and worries of our work. When I got up this morning, my mind was consumed with a to-do list that has to be done before I fly out tomorrow.
Thank God for a spouse who recognizes my weaknesses. "Go in and get your reading done before the boys get up," she said. Without her prompting, I might have missed my devotions in order to manage my date book.
The irony of today's object lesson is incredible. When I had the opportunity to share the thoughts about being connected to something solid in order to overcome life's trials, Parker was able to observe his dad sitting quietly enjoying quiet time with God.
Yet, I have to wonder about the times my children see me frustrated and frazzled due to the fury of the storms of life. Maybe those days are ones when I fail to practice my priorities.
An advertisement by a nursery once read, "We move our trees every year, so they won't grow deep roots." That sounds a lot like many of the young people we serve in youth ministry.
Whether they literally move from place-to-place or are just moved by the post-modern messages they are bombarded with everyday, kids struggle to establish roots that will hold them firmly grounded when life gets rough.
Like my son, they looking at us to set the example and practice the priorities we preach, as we share the love of Christ with them.
Pray about that today and remember that youth ministry is all about relationships.
© 2004. All rights reserved. Permission to reprint may be obtained at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Timothy Eldred is the President of One Passion Worldwide (OPW) in Branson, MO and the founder of 1:1 Solutions Seminars. While he travels extensively teaching principles of relationship-based ministry to churches, he continue to serve as the Teaching Pastor of New Beginnings Christian Family Fellowship in Six Lakes, MI. Tim resides in Edmore, MI with his wife, Cindy, and their two sons.