So, about that goal…

Y’know the whole “writing 2 posts a week” thing?  Yeah, obviously I’m off to a great start with that one.

This school year is off to a great start… I’ve hit the ground running with several things, but I’m a little concerned about my lack of real direction with it all.

The youth group has started well.  Our new group of freshmen have really changed the dynamic of senior high, and while there’s still a bit of split between the new and the old high schoolers, I think it’s a good change.  We’ve also had a number of very new immigrants coming to our youth group… new enough that they don’t speak much English, if any.  I’m happy to include them, but it does add a very different dynamic… how do you teach a lesson and create a community with the kids when half of them have trouble communicating with the other half?  Games and activities are a great way to start fostering relationships, but that will carry things only so far.

Neighborhood outreach has been fun.  I’ve started doing bi-weekly lunches with a group of Jr. High guys.  Most of them were from last year’s Junior High after school program, but they all attend Wednesday potluck regularly now. It’s been a good way to keep in touch with kids from the now-defunct program, but it started rather spur-of-the-moment, as my consolation for not having a program this year.  It’s been good to interact with these guys in a different context, outside of the church building. Being in a place where I don’t have the same authority, and don’t enforce the same rules, is an ongoing battle…. how I do I speak to them and support them in their context, more as a friend instead of a teacher or leader?  Right now, I’m just spending a lot of time listening…  I’m excited to be taking more of an “incarnational” approach to reaching the guys, but the nitty-gritty of how to do it is definitely a subject of a prayer.  Probably should be even more…

In a larger outreach sense, things are at a little bit of a standstill.  The amazing woman who has been leading the church’s efforts with these kids is leaving the country for 3 months, leaving me and whoever else steps up to keep things going.  I’m also working on finding funding for her to be hired by the church in March, so she can do a much more focused job of outreach and constructing broader, multi-organizational programs to work with the kids that we’ve come to know and love.  We’re looking for money, talking to kids, exploring options… but I’m really waiting for someone to has the TIME to take the lead on making these bigger dreams and visions a reality.

Until then, I’m just trying to keep up, and going through the doors that God opens when they appear.  Things don’t really ever change much, do they?

~ by Peter on October 10, 2008.

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