At our volunteer leaders training back in the start of September we talked about discipline, and praying with young people, but I started by reading from the start of Contemplative Youth Ministry: Practicing the Presence of Jesus with Young People by Mark Yaconelli, here’s some of the bits I read from pages 2-4:
The real crisis facing those of us who seek to share faith with youth is this:
- We don’t know how to be with our kids.
- We don’t know how to be with ourselves.
- We don’t know how to be with God.
Increasingly, it appears as if we in the Church have forgotten how to be in relationships – which is tragic, since our primary calling as Christians is to be people of relationship.
You have to slow down and live at ‘God’s speed’, you have to be patient, give yourself permission to pray, to listen to people, and to be humble and willing to wait on the Holy Spirit to lead the way. How can we share God if we’re too busy to be with God? How can we love kids if we aren’t present to them?
For Christians being present means practising the presence of Jesus.
Maybe it’s just me, but I’m greatly challenged every time I read those words, how often have I become a business manager rather than a relational youth minister. Any thoughts?