Final percolations from Phoenix and the Youth Specialties National Youth Workers Convention:
Mike Yaconelli, founder of Youth Specialties, pointed out some things at the closing session that we all nod at but rarely put into reality in our lives.
He spoke on the danger of leaving here and falling back into the same old routines. I guess in some ways, this conference is a “camp high” for youth pastors. We come here. We get more information than we can assimilate. We get a pollyanna view of everyone else’s ministry and life. Then, we go back. Maybe implement a thing or two or add a game or neat illustration for our talks or whatever…but ultimately we fall back into our routines and comfort zones.
Some things I gleaned from that last 20 minutes:
Routines: They are an acceptance of the way things are. And they rob us of our creativity and uniqueness and innovative mindsets. They make us one dimensional…and they lead to the same old results (both in our lives and in our ministries).
Breaking routines: We don’t need to work harder or necessarily smarter, but rather we need to ask God to change and renew our expectations of our end results (both in our lives and in our ministries).
As an example he talked about kindergarten children. Ask a child when they last drew a picture or danced or sang or kissed their parents or played with the dog, or if they want to do any of those things. They’ll say they do those things pretty much every day. You get excitement and passion and creativity and belief that they can do it and then they do it. Sure the results can be surprises and sometimes lead to disappointment or danger or suffering, but they are not routine.
Then he said to think about the results you would get if you asked those same questions to college kids…or your parents…or your grandparents…
Think about the explanations you’d get for why they won’t or haven’t done those things.
Think about the reasons we’d give for not doing those things.
Routines…one dimensional…same results…
And then I saw “Under the Tuscan Sun.” Kinda the same message. What is God trying to tell me…