Something personal about calling…

Where are you called? Sure, many of us would say “church production”, “technical arts”, “lighting”, “video”….but for who? This weekend was emotional for me. Huge victories and huge challenges. I listened to some teaching about work, occupation and calling which has broken down some of my fairly-established assumptions about my work in the church. My all too simple responses to the “where are you called” question…. “oh–I’m a lighting guy” or “I create worship experiences” is no longer enough.

I heard this weekend that God calls us to use our skill set and experience to serve people we never thought we would serve, in ways we never could imagine. Challenging.

I’ll admit, I’ve never been a youth or children’s minister. I’m not ordained. I don’t pretend to know what makes middle schoolers tick–or how to reach their heart. I know my own kids and I’ve watched the response to the teaching, pastoring and leadership of some talented passionate ministry folks…but I’m clueless to the inner workings of “age-level” ministry.  In my experiences volunteering or working as staff in the “big room” weekend-service, I’ve honestly always taken for granted too important work of kids and youth ministry.

I keep finding myself in these situations where I’m privileged to help guys in the trenches of youth and children’s ministry. Why I wonder?  I survey my circle of friends in ministry and so many are former kids ministers, college creatives, youth pastors or former high school worship leaders.  I’m seriously the last person that would have a clue to understand their world—I didn’t grow up in a youth group. I didn’t have a classic kid-in-church experience.  Why are they all soooo appreciative of  a tiny fraction of help or guidance? Why do they approach things with such humility? It seems that a spending a fraction of my attention, pouring a few drops of artistry into the world of youth and kids ministry seems to be so transformative for my friends. For guys who do ministry for a year with 200 bucks….or even nothing?

I get jaded sometimes. In some of my work– a couple of LED par cans won’t drastically alter the experience for folks in the congregation. But for other ministries, colored light is transformational.

I love that. I crave that. Maybe venues, experiences and programming outside of the weekend experience are the “least of these”?  Maybe we should all take a portion of our creativity, artistry and passion and go help the smallest venue, the children’s room or a no-budget youth retreat. Maybe we’d be the catalyst for a wave of transformation.

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