Yesterday, I commented on the awkward situation Saturday night. As I wrote about trying to communicate in the unexpected, I wrote this phrase,“I felt stuck between a group of church banqueters looking for some spark of inspiration or encouragement and a group of party-goers just wanting to relax and have a good time.” As soon as I saw the words on my screen, I was hit with the thought that that statement is much larger than Saturday night.
It’s a metaphor for my life in student ministry. I’m not saying I feel stuck in a job I don’t like. If I didn’t love doing student ministry, I would have found something else to do a long time ago. But I keep finding myself stuck between two (or more) sets of people, each with very different desires/values/goals/etc.
Here are some rocks & hard places I live between:
Seasoned Leaders with tempered expectations][Idealistic Teens who have huge dreams.
My family][My church.
Church Kids’ Parents who want a safe environment][Kids who need Jesus to rescue them from the dangers they’re living in.
Peers who see me as one of the kids][Kids who see my as a ‘parental type’.
Loving Church matrons and patriarchs][Kids who love Jesus LOUDLY.
Usually, it’s not that one or the other is right or wrong – it’s just that these groups can approach life very differently. I get both points of view. I want to be encouraging to the ‘church banqueters’ – but we’re also called to reveal God to people who don’t even seem to be looking for Him. This space I was so tangibly reminded of Saturday night is the space between church people, striving together to know what it means to follow an Invisible God, and those who are living unaware of just how loved they are by their Maker. For me, I feel like doing what I need to do for one, sometimes inhibits what I need to do for the other.
How have you seen this tension in your life & ministry?
How are you leveraging your position between rocks and hard places to bring attention to the greatness of the God who put you there?