Get on the Bus

Back in the day, when I started in youth ministry (in the days of Moses, of course) we used to go off on retreat and bunk down in a “staff cabin,” removed from the kid participants and their chaperones.  I still hear stories, occassionally, of youth leaders travelling seperately from their groups… there are always great excuses: we need an “emergency car,” gotta get back early because of another committment (sooo busy!),  leaving in a different direction…

I remember one tale of a youth leader who left early to catch a plane.  Unfortunelatly, this person has the contact information for the bus company in their stowed away luggage high in the sky at the same moment a bus broke down along the interstate, making decision making and communication more difficult than it needed to be…

But, we have a new example of servant leadership. Pope Francis recently went on the Vatican’s Lenten retreat… and took the bus with the rest of the gang.  He didn’t even claim the front seat with the better view and potential of more leg space (which, I will admit, I often do.)

At last year’s Chrism Mass in Rome, Pope Francis called on the world’s priests to stay close to the marginalized and to be “shepherds living with the smell of the sheep.”  He reminded them that those “who do not go out of themselves” by being mediators between God and men can “gradually become intermediaries, managers.”

And, if we who are also ministers of the Lord think that was directed only to them (priests) and not us, well, then, shame on us.  It is not enough for us to just manange the details of the next event, coordinate the details of the bus ride, or develop and own the binder with all the details.  We should always take whatever opportunity we can to live with the smell of the sheep… and our next bus ride with middle school boys can pretty near guarantee that for us.

D. Scott Miller

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 three delightful kids (so, maybe he is just plain old!) Scott presently serves at Saint John the Evangelist in Columbia, MD as the director of 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 and has returned to posting regularly (keeping regular is important to old guys) at ProjectYM.


D. Scott Miller


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 three delightful kids (so, maybe he is just plain old!) Scott presently serves at Saint John the Evangelist in Columbia, MD as the director of 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 and has returned to posting regularly (keeping regular is important to old guys) at ProjectYM.



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