Doug Fields was recently considering his neighboring destination, Disneyland, the “Happiest Place on Earth,” which he considers a great place; clean, creative, fun, and entertaining. Good enough for millions to go there… but wonders what it has that his and your youth group doesn’t?
The advantage that youth ministry has is that “less is more. Students need relationships more than they need arcade games and inflatable jump houses. As soon as a student enters our youth ministry, I want them connected to a loving adult who will care for this student and be a mentor and disciple the student. When people ask about our ministry, I say, “It’s real simple; we try to introduce students to Jesus, get them connected to a caring adult (within a small group) who will disciple them, and challenge them to do ministry. And, we train adult volunteer leaders.” Read more here.
All this Disney chatter, however, got me thinking about how my blog chaplain, Father Austin Murphy is doing. (He blogs at Jesus Goes to Disney World.) And he has posted on relationships as well. He thinks that “Our experience of the Church is a lot like my relationship with (his recently retired barber), Mr. Jim. Sure, there are jazzier haircuts, more convenient shops and cuter barbers; but this place is ours, and we love it. Our priests might not be perfect, our rules might seem “oppressive,” our participation might be spotty, but the Church is patient. Better still, the Church does not retire! Together, we are connected in a bond of love that transcends the incidental elements of normal life.” Again, read the whole post.
Again, relationships win… and seemingly make this place a small world after all!