The Timex Standard in Youth Ministry

clock 2Have you ever spent an entire week sweating and bleeding and not sleeping alongside teenagers on a mission trip only to return home from the trip to a parent who is 40 minutes late picking them up?  It’s maddening.  We’re physically tired.  We’re spiritually spent.  We love our students and exult in all that God has done over the week…but we’re ready to go home.  We’ve had these kids for a week – the least the parents can do is show up on time, right?

And so the hypocrisy begins.

We internally rail on parents when they show up late to retrieve their students or the group has to wait because someone is running late for departure time.  But we’re also the first to pull out the Holy Spirit when we need to run late during Bible study.  I mean, we can’t rush the things of God – and maybe the Spirit is just thick amongst our students one night.

Or how about this one – we tell parents we’ll be back from the outing at a specific time, but we’re running late because…well, hey, things happen.  We are coordinating an eight car, two passenger van convoy.  And you’d think that fast food restaurant had never served a bus-load of teenagers with an abundance of special orders and a pocket full of pennies before!  Cut us some slack!

Life cannot be ruled by the clock.  Sometimes issues do arise.  Sometimes the Spirit of God does demand additional minutes to complete His work.

And sometimes parents run late picking up their kids.  If we want to hold them to a Timex standard, we better keep an eye on our own pocket watch.  Clocks can be sinister inventions…but they are also powerful communicators about what and WHO matters.

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Author: Darren Sutton

I'm a dad - husband - veteran youth pastor. I'm trying to follow God's call on my life, despite my own shortcomings & because of His unfailing love.

3 thoughts on “The Timex Standard in Youth Ministry”

  1. A wise Student Pastor and mentor of mine once told me that we must be “FLUID” in our ministry. That attitude has followed me throughout my seasons of ministry.

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