Sorry I have only been throwing in short little posts about trivial things. I have been working almost non-stop on a new RPG session for tomorrow. One of my youth is inviting some of his friends (between 3-6) to come to the church for an afternoon of paper and pencil role playing. I have been working on a campaign that is both fun and points them towards God. Of course the most important thing is that it is a chance for me to hand out with these non-churched guys in an informal setting for a few hours. That to me is worth a whole lot of hours of work. The cool thing is that we are also having this at the church so hopefully it will help them to feel more comfortable about coming.
So that has been taking up most of my time lately. In the middle of that I end up in a meeting tonight where I am fussed out for having Jell-O fights and not setting up the fellowship hall (where we meet for our Wednesday night meeting) to look like a fellowship hall, (whatever that means.)
So here I am killing myself to use whatever means necessary to “become all things to all men” so that I can reach a few more students in this town and I get blindsided with complaints about the way I use the fellowship hall. Of course this space is space that I was forced into because other people wanted to use the sanctuary (where we were for a year) but I apparently don’t have enough respect for the space. Now understand that there isn’t a single spot on the wall or floor from us, (there may be a small red spot on the ceiling). Understand that this is a place where we have church dinners and 3 year olds are allowed to eat there, but for some reason the youth should act like they are in a hospital in the place.
I am at a loss for word at this whole thing. I am killing myself trying to find new ways to reach out to the community and to bring in new students and all that they can see is the way the chairs are set up every week. And it isn’t like we aren’t reaching students. We have around 30 students every week (we had more before we were forced to start meeting at 6:00, but that is another story) We are doing what we can to reach out into our community, but apparently that sort of thing isn’t as important as keeping the church looking pretty.
Just once I want someone to come to me with a problem and them be upset not because we threw Jell-O and a seventh grader found out that church can be fun and wanted to come back. I want someone to come to me all up in arms because there are 500 students in this town who don’t go to church anywhere and something has to be done to reach them. Just once I want someone to come to me and say, “I don’t care what you have to do, just do what you can to reach these teenagers.”
I don’t know how to tell the church this, but I would burn the place down if I thought it would help me reach teenagers.
What baffles me are the people who don’t think I should take it personally. These people are questioning the way that I do ministry. They are questioning my integrity and saying that the way that I see God leading me to do this stuff is wrong. This isn’t a question of choices here or even preferences. This is a question of people who have no respect for what I do or how I do it. I just feel like I get zero respect. I feel like I should get a little bit more understanding. I know that you may question the way I do things, but if the fruit is there, if we are producing students with changed lives shouldn’t I get some sort of leeway? Especially if the stuff that you have a problem with is just a few little messes in the church!
Whatever happened to the church being a place for outcasts and marginalized people? Whatever happened to the church being a place where people could come and feel at home? What ever happened to the church where people, not building and rooms were the most important things?