Where They Are At


So, there I am sitting in one an evaluation of a program.  It was not “my” program, but I played along and offered my “two cents.” Otherwise, I was pretty quiet (easy to do for an introvert) and listened…  I listened hard.

This is a large program.  It had many bodies, just over one hundred. It had many experienced leaders, over 20 showed up on a hot summer night to do eval. Most of all, it had much history of the “way things are done.”  There were many moving parts to consider, reconsider, and consider again

There were two moments in the discussion that were hot buttons.  They seemed pretty divergent… at first.

The second moment regarded the faith of young people.   You know the conversation. You have played along on it yourself; probably more than once.  “Is the program ‘spiritual / Catholic / promoting faith’ enough.” I was neither driving the conversation or steering it either.  I noted that there was an intriguing (passively defensive?) posture held by many. It claimed what we were offering was good enough because we are “taking the kids where they are at.”

It was one of those moments where I did not have a coherent thought to respond in the moment.  Thank God that I blog and can still work it all out after the fact.

The first moment regarded cell phone use throughout the whole program.  There has been a growing surge to  demand that cell phones be collected or left at home. Only adults need cell phones for use only in the case of emergency.  The more outspoken in the group seem to have little appreciation what cell phones offer. Things like the ability to take pictures. Stuff like updating social networking. There did not seem to be much appreciation for touching base with parental units while away.

I did not feel that I had any real skin in the game. I do not mind cell phones as long as they are not distracting away from programing. I have attempted to incorporate their use, occasionally, into programming.  The meeting broke late and it was on the long drive home that I began to make connections.

In the cell phone discussion, adults were urging that a higher standard be set.  They were recognizing where the kids were at, but wanted to demand / expect something more of them. Perhaps they were not comfortable with where the kids “were at” in their technology use.

The same urgency was not found in the  ‘spiritual / Catholic / promoting faith’ stuff.  These same evaluators were more comfortable with an undefinable “taking the kids where they are.”  There was not a similar inclination towards setting a higher standard.  They wanted to leave them be.

My realization was that so little of this really had much to do with the young people.  What we were discussing was the comfort level of the adult evaluators.

Thoughts:

  • We should accept kids “where they are.”  But we should have deeper conversations about where they really are at – their family lives, the way they communicate, their needs for connection, etc.  If we operated out of stereotypes, than we are likely to agree with the quote “The children now love luxury. They have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place of exercise.” Before recognizing that it attributed to Greek philosopher Socrates.
  • We should have expectations whenever we gather / minister with young people…  But these should invoke deeper conversations than our own need to clone the wonderfulness that is either found within ourselves or within our own nostalgia for the way we had first experienced a program.

Like I said, Thank God that I blog and can still work it all out after the fact.  Hit the comments and offer your own take on this.

D. Scott Miller is the dean of Catholic Youth Ministry bloggers which is a polite way of either saying that he is just plain old or has been blogging for a long time (since 2004.) Scott recently married the lovely Anne and together they have five adult young people and also grandparent two kids and two granddawgs (so, maybe he is just plain old!) Scott presently serves in two neighboring parishes in Maryland: One as a director of faith formation and the other as a coordinator for youth and young adult ministry. He has previously served on the parish, regional, diocesan, and national levels as well as having taught within a catholic high school. He is one of the founders of RebuildMyChurch. He posts weekly at ProjectYM.


Parish Pub Trivia

Flocknote

Join Thrive Today!

1 Comment

  1. GeraldBag

    SIP? What’s that?! And what does that mean to you in any case? It comes down to the way some digital telephone systems ahead phone calls to you. Sometimes they want you to use only their softphone or difficult telephone. But what if you currently use a VoIP service and want phone calls despatched to that?

    Fax Tones Trigger Discomfort- In the yr 2007 you ought to no longer have a fax machine that shares your telephone line. If you have to say, “Okay give me a couple of minutes to flip my fax machine on before you deliver the fax,” and then give anyone else that phone calls during that time a piercing scream to the ear, it is time to upgrade. There are internet fax options as well as get virtual sms number that allow you to still have the 1 number for telephone and fax, but will also allow both sorts of phone calls to arrive in at the same time with out getting to flip any switches.

    To link multiple computers with each other and to the Internet, you can use a wireless router. The router connects to the Internet, and then a network cable from every of the computer systems connects to the routers. This enables the computer systems to all share the exact same Web connection, and accessibility other servers that you may select to make available.

    It is a rough time for business right now. The economic climate is nonetheless down and people are pinching pennies. The money that they do spend, they spend carefully which means that companies have to attempt even tougher to make the company of consumers. One way to make the company of much more customers is to be a nearby business. But how can yo appear to be a local business if you are situated abroad or out of the city? You can get a digital telephone number?

    You can use phone and multi-media conferencing to cut down on journey. Totally free phone conferencing is accessible from providers such as FreeConference. If you require multi-media, such as telephone and computer sharing, use WebEx, Microsoft LiveMeeting, GoToMeeting, or Glance.Internet.

    It’s still there in your inbox, able to be printed out any time you select, and in as numerous copies as you require. You can save some money by not printing out every web page that you obtain. Sometimes you may not need to print out a cover web page, or a certain component of a document. You don’t require to any longer. You can also delete any faxes you don’t want, like junk faxes, with out losing any workplace supplies on them.

    http://www.juegosbombit.com/profile/isabellhuot

    Reply

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Try Out Our New Online Membership Community for Free!

Click the button below to find out more about Thrive and claim your invite to a free trial of the new community created exclusively for Catholic youth ministers.

CLICK HERE

You have Successfully Subscribed!