This has been in various newspapers in the last week, this version is from the Metro, certainly interesting, has Christmas got all too commercialised, yes, but does having a green Santa really make that much of a difference:

A school is forcing Santa Claus to wear a green suit this year – in case his traditional red costume reminds children of Coca-Cola adverts.

It claims Santa’s image has become too commercial and want pupils to learn about his origins instead of sitting on his lap and asking for the latest toy.

The school’s 200 pupils, aged from three to 16, will instead be greeted by a green-suited, slipper-wearing Father Christmas at its festive bazaar.

Sarah James, spokeswoman for the Steiner School in Brighton, said: ‘The red-suited Santa was created as a marketing tool by Coca-Cola, it is a symbol of commercialism.

‘We are not trying to be a spoilsport or anything like that. The children are bound to come across Santa Claus plenty of times in the run-up to Christmas and we’re happy for them to. We just want the bazaar to give them a different experience.’

But some parents are happy for their children to meet the ‘commercial’ Santa. Mother-of-two Cheryl Williams, 24, said: ‘What a load of nonsense. What are they going to ban next, snow? Once again the PC brigade has clamped down on everyone’s fun.’

Early images of Father Christmas show him in a variety of coloured outfits. One early incarnation, dating from 1809, sees him in green. But, contrary to legend, red and white became his familiar dress long before Coca-Cola used the image in an advert. A familiar version of Father Christmas was used on the cover of Harper’s Weekly in 1863 but Coca Cola did not use his image until 1931.

Married to the amazing Sarah and raising Jakey, Daniel, Amelia, Josh & Jonah in our blended family. Passionate for Jesus, social work & sport.

0 thoughts on “Prioritising opportunities”

  1. It’s an interesting one, and difficult to say the least. Obviously my life and work are rather different from yours, but I think a lot of the principles should be the same. From a work perspective I have to look at things objectively – where can we do the greatest good in the shortest time. Where is the critical path within any deal, if I don’t do something, will it cause more things to fail? Likewise, are some of the things that I’m being asked to do helpful, but ultimately there’s someone else that can do it, freeing up my time to do more important things.

    Obviously I’m poorly qualified to comment on the spiritual aspect these days, but I would say from past experience, ask, and you do tend to get an answer. You just have to be accepting, ready and prepared to see it.

    There’s never a simple answer, and someone will always be disappointed that you couldn’t be there for them.

    For what it’s worth, my thoughts are with you.

  2. Andy Stanley uses the phrase: ‘only do what only you can do’
    So basically, delegate the things that others could do equally well or better. I guess that’s easier to do when you have a large Staff team around you as Andy does ;o)

    But it poses a useful question to ask when considering opportunities for yourself: ‘I am I the only person who could do this?’ – either through skills & gifting or availability.

    In my experience, having a couple of people to chew over and bounce around these kind of decisions with is incredibly helpful. Preferably those not directly involved in the Youth Ministry. Sharing them verbally with others helps to set out the pros and cons in your own mind. Allowing others to assist you in making the decision also (hopefully) avoids the potential for selecting opportunities which are the most exciting and enjoyable rather than the most necessary and important.

    It’s an ongoing challenge, but trying to define a process should make the whole exercise less tiring and more efficient and focussed in the long-run.

    1. Thanks, I love this Andy Stanley quote, but I agree it’s how you translate that into a British church system where staff are expected to do so much.

      I can’t remember where I read about it but the concept of a personal board is something we’ve been looking at over the last few months – maybe time to try and make it a reality.

  3. I try to make sure I don’t let my work take up all of the time I could be spending with my wife and my boys. I do not allow my self to be out on a regular basis for more than three nights a week. There are always occasional exceptions but I feel it’s more important for me to be home at night more often that out. I have a fear of making my kids resentful of the church because I allowed it to make me to busy to see them. It’s complicated when church is work because you have aresposibility to your employers to do a good job abd develop the churchs ministry to young people. One thing I do is to have meetings at my house after the kids bed time, this means I’m around and that my wife, who is a lot smarter than me, can be involved. I have always valued her contributions even if she is less directly involved now. I think its a balancing act that goes on all the time between commitment to your job and ministry and commitment to your family. It’s great to see how God is blessing your ministry and I’ll look forward to hearing how it all pans out.

    1. Thanks Gordon, similar to you we try to host more meetings because although there’s some mess to clear up it’s easier to be around for bedtime.

      Are you down for Youthwork the Conference, would be good to properly catch up some time soon.

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