When it comes to blogging or anything else in life for that matter there is a delicate balance that must be maintained in order for you to be effective. I call it the production vs. consumption dilemma. Catchy I know. Here is the problem. We live in a time where more content is being generated than ever before in our history. Check out this info graphic on how much content is created in one minute on the web. The numbers are staggering.
What has happened has been a seismic shift in content creation. The internet has removed all the previous gateways that filtered content. For example you want to write a book you can anyone can. There are literally hundreds of sites that will help you get your content out there. Years ago the publishing companies where the gatekeepers of books. If your book wasn’t good or what the publishing companies thought people wanted your content didn’t see the light of day. This was a good thing and a bad thing. It was good because it acted as a filter and mostly worked. It was bad because it kept us from finding new voices and hearing new ideas. This is just publishing the internet has broken down so many walls when it comes to content creation it’s almost overwhelming.
One of the things I have noticed over the past few years in the kids ministry community, is kids and youth pastors seem to move around a lot. I always found this to be quite curious. I moved around many times as a kid. So I always chalked up my awareness of how often kids and youth pastors move because of my personal experience growing up. Last year I went to Australia and I found that they don’t have the same ministry culture there. To be fair there are some pioneers in kids ministry in Australia but the whole of kids ministry in Australia is largely done by volunteers and part-time kids and youth pastors who were raised in the church they are serving.
I think the problem in the American church is not a problem of relevance at all. I think many kids and youth pastors leave their churches prematurely. The reason is they misinterpret their feelings of frustration. I remember feeling antsy around 4 years in and I also remember God say you haven’t finished what I have for you to do. So I stayed. 10 years in I had accomplished all I knew that I was to do. I started to ask God if I was done or just in the wrong place. I felt that he was saying neither. I was confused. I then felt in my heart that God was calling me to spend the rest of my time releasing and training others to do what I do.
I think Lead Pastors and Kids pastors get it wrong at exactly the same time.
Let me start off by saying ALS is an awful disease. I am grateful to hear that donations over the past two weeks are at 1.35 million versus 22,000 over last year. That’s great news. I hope that some headway if forged in finding a cure for this fatal disease. I have known personally a few people who have gotten ALS it is a tragic diagnosis with no hope of recovery other than divine healing.
If you have Facebook or have been on the internet doing anything for the past week you will have seen everyone from Bill Gates to Martha Stewart pouring buckets of ice on their heads. They are doing this to be part of the ice bucket challenge where someone challenges you to give 100$ or pour a bucket of ice on your head. You video tape the ice being poured on your head and then challenge 3 friends to do the same.
This is the last of the series of posts I have done talking about the three things that have most affected my life and ministry as a result of being part of Infuse. Those three posts.
1. Three things I learned from Infuse: Introduction
2. Three things I learned from Infuse: Ask good questions
3. Three things I learned from Infuse: Staff Level Volunteers
4. Three things I learned from Infuse: Thankfulness
The greatest thing I have learned from Infuse is the discipline of thankfulness. In life and ministry few things will destroy you like a lack of gratitude. Life is tough. Working in ministry can be thankless. The result is that we are tempted to see only the things that are frustrating and everything we see and do is based on that frustration. A lack of gratefulness taints all we do.
Francis Shaeffer says it better than I ever could:
The beginning of man’s rebellion against God was, and is the lack of a thankful heart.
Tim Keller says:
Worry is not believing God will get it right Bitterness is thinking God got it wrong.
One of the traps the enemy uses to marginalize leaders is envy. If I only had a bigger building. If I only had more staff. If I only had a bigger budget. The reality is that no matter how we don’t like to admit it none of us are immune from these thoughts. I know that I have struggled with each of these at different points in ministry. I remember having a conversation with a kids pastor who had less kids than we had and had 3 staff members to help. I left the call with this overwhelming feeling of frustration and discouragement. I remember actually breaking out a calculator adding up how many kids we had and what my staff to kids ratio should be.
It was on an Infuse call I asked Jim Wideman at what point is it reasonable to get help. Our church had grown and our kids ministry nearly tripled in a few months. Jim said I could use some help that having at least an assistant seemed reasonable but help never came like I expected it.