I just got back from Mitchell’s Family Books where they are having a closing sale. The company is in receivership and is thus selling off all of their product at low low prices…soon they’ll be giving it away! I just picked up four new books: The Shaping of Things to Come by Michael Frost and Alan Hirsch, Performing The Faith by Stanley Hauerwas, Exiles by Michael Frost and NT Wrights commentary on Colossians and Philemon. Stoked!
So Christina and I had a nice weekend. Yesterday was our one year anniversary but let me go back to Thursday for a moment.
On Thursday Christina and I packed our bags and headed up to the Delta Rocky Crest resort in Muskoka, Ontario. The resort is situated in Hammer Bay on Lake Joseph. It was such a sweet spot! We had this loft that we stayed in that was literally right on the water. We did some hiking and swimming and all in all it was a nice little retreat. We went away to celebrate our first anniversary which was actually yesterday, but we knew yesterday would be a busy day so we did it in advance.
Friday night when we got home we rented Run, Fatboy, Run and relaxed on the couch. The movie wasn’t as funny the second time around but I’d definately recommend it to everyone.
Saturday, we were total bums all day. We literally did nothing which was nice until Christina went to work at 5pm and I headed out for a poker night with some guys.
Sunday was good and was our actual anniversary so Christina made us eat some one-year old cake that she had been saving in the freezer. I don’t quite get that tradition but the cake was good anyway. Then in the evening we celebrated by going to Laser Quest with a bunch of students.
Currently, I’m a youth pastor in Aurora, Ontario. I love hanging out with students in the community. It’s great. Often times I find that there is loads of pressure on youth ministers to properly disciple students. There is an expectation from many parents and others that the job of a youth minister to make sure their child grows up to know and follow Jesus. I have a book of quotes from Mother Teresa and I read the following today:
It is very important for children to hear their parents talk about God. The children must be able to ask about God. Once I gave a prayer to a communist and he took it back to his family and the children started to pray. When he saw me again he said, “Mother, you don’t know how your prayer and picture have disturbed the whole family. The children want to know who God is. They want to know why Mother is speaking this way.” The children are hungry. That is why we need to pray together. If the parent sets the example, the children will not forget how to pray, how they love each other, how they share sorrow, how they share joy. Children watch…they watch and they grow with that. They will learn that it makes a difference how they live their lives by watching what the parents do.
The family is fertile ground for discipleship. In fact, parents need to realize the importance, not just of teaching their children proper beliefs, but of putting the Gospel on like a coat and modeling what it might look like for the Gospel to come alive in their family, neighbourhood and lives. There is a difference between teaching and modeling. You can teach without modeling, but one can never model without teaching, for modeling in itself is a form of teaching. Possibly the greatest form of teaching. For Jesus showed us not what to believe, but rather, what to do. He showed us the better way to live.
As a youth minister I do not feel as if it’s my sole responsibility to disciple young people. However, I desire to create a space where people can pursue God and be pursued by Him. I feel that a big part of what I ought to be doing is coming alongside parents to help support them as they disciple their kids. Part of this, certainly, is creating a space where students can feel safe to let their guards down and discuss what it means to follow Christ.
This all raises the question, ‘what about students whose families are not believers and therefore are not being discipled at home.’ I’ll save that for a later post.
Grace and peace,