Spring Cleaning in November

At youth group tonight, one of my amazing volunteers (all of my youth leaders are pretty much amazing) organized a service night for our kids.  It’s really important to me that we make a point of getting the youth outside of the church, actively doing something in the community.  They’ve done stuff in the past, but I want it to be incorporated more thoroughly into their church lives.  I don’t think any of my leaders or their parents disagree…

My issue, however, is that organizing and scheduling everything to create the youth program I want to see, would require much more than just my part-time position.  It’d need to full-time plus another half.  I’m thankful, at least, that this isn’t a  youth group at a larger church, or I’d be screwed.

Enter my amazing volunteers… for a church our size, I have a great and large group of people willing to commit their time to the youth.  Although I occasionally complain about them all being young 20-somethings who might not be long-term members in the church (that applies to my wife and me as well), and lacking in diversity, I can’t help but praise God for how blessed I am.  The youth ministry is still being slowly reconstructed and redesigned… but the the currently quality and continuity is largely due to me having so many people who are helping me to keep it running, and who are willing to invest in getting to know the kids when I don’t always have enough time.  Yes, they are awesome, and I lost count of how many gold stars they all deserve… if I ever remember to buy those stickers someday.

Anyway – our first youth service night went really well.  I’m always a little bit scared of handing off responsibility to other people (I have to be careful not to micro-manage; I’m more comfortable with hands-on, direct control), so I have been a little bit worried this week about what tonight was going to look like.  The fact that it changed shape a little bit in the week leading up to it wasn’t as reassuring, either… but that’s to be expected without tons of planning time.

The most interesting part of the night was that we had NO senior high students.  They were all on trips, or were busy with something… so tonight wasn’t a youth group service night, it was a junior high service night… and we had close to as many leaders as students.  Oy.

Their mission for the night – we had four households, all of them in the church, who we were going to help with cleaning or some other task around their house.  The original plan had been to do surprise visits to clean people’s toilets – intended as a modern-day footwashing… but circumstances changed that.  So now, we split into groups and attacked the tasks at different houses.  Two middle school boys and I went and helped one family clean and wash their kitchen cupboards, and wipe an exploded egg off of their ceiling.  I’m still not entirely sure how it got there.

Afterwards, we all met back up for food and several rounds of “20 Questions”.  We had a few new people who joined us, and a number of the kids were honestly surprised to find that they could have FUN helping other people with their chores, and expressed interest in doing it again.

Tonight changed a lot from what was originally envisioned, but it’s always excited to see how God can make good things happen anyway.  And it’s always reassuring to be reminded that He’s surrounded me with very dedicated and capable people.

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~ by Peter on November 5, 2007.

2 Responses to “Spring Cleaning in November”

  1. it’s true. we have ideas .. and they get changed over time, but God uses them for good anyway. glad you have such dedicated and able people. that is truly a gift. also .. it’s cool that you have links to my blog. (3 times, even!) glad to know you have one and to hear bits and pieces about you and your wife. makes me happy.

  2. Hey Peter, blogroll me away. Your blog is sweet.

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