Momentum is a tricky thing… If you’ve got it going your direction, you’re golden. But if for some reason, it’s not rolling your way – watch out. I’ve been thinking a lot about momentum in relationship to student ministry lately. Our students are at a point in life where they’re gathering momentum in one way or another. The trajectory of their lives is being influenced by the momentum they’re gaining today.
While it may seem necessary for a ‘well-rounded college resume’ there is an inherent danger in the thinking that leads us to propel our kids in 30 different directions at the same time. I wonder if all of our frenzied activity is really doing our kids the good we think it is. What if competing on the debate team, and dancing in show choir, and playing for the chess club and the basketball team, all while maintaining good grades and learning to play the guitar and getting community service credits is leaving our students more tired and confused than it is preparing them for life after high school? What if all the bake sales and school concerts and band tours of Europe leave our students with a lot of experiences to talk about, but less substance to really discuss?
I’m not saying any of these things are bad. But the level of activity to which we as a society subject our kids is dangerous. Instead of the momentum that a student can gain with a focused direction, they get so busy bouncing from one event to the next that they’re like a spinning top – lots of movement, but it’s not really going anywhere and it’s going to topple soon. (And when that top ends up in a dusty pile in your basement in 10 years, it’s a little embarrassing and pretty depressing.)
Alternatively, I know some students who have gained a huge amount of momentum over the past few months. They still run in cross country, play in bands, sing in choirs, and stay up way too late doing homework and playing video games – but there’s something different. Their activity is gaining focus and direction because these students are getting God’s vision for what their lives could be! These kids aren’t just staying busy, they are actively infusing the kingdom of God into their lives.
I can’t wait to see where the momentum takes them…