3 and a half months ago I packed out my schedule. I had two weeks full of lunches, coffees, and walks with local youth leaders, pastors, and advocates of youth ministry. The conversations were all really similar: let's start collaborating, let's start working together to serve the Kingdom as a team." This stemmed out of the belief I have in scripture that God can do, "more than I could ask or imagine." (Ephesians 3:20). All of those conversations felt like the beginning of something. Chapter 1. The funny thing was that none of us quite knew what it was the beginning for.
Last night I had a late-evening conversation with a close friend from Young Life staff. We laughed and we reflected on the last two weeks that included a combined youth group overnighter as well as more than a few stories of funny God moments. We declared that it felt like we were entering chapter 2 of the year. Without fully realizing it we had shifted from talking about being collaborative to actually being collaborative.
Here's what being collaborative has looked like so far this year in the PL/OB area. First of all, we hang out with each other. Every monday night a crew of youth workers from various churches, church-plants, and ministries hangs out at Pizza Port starting around 9. We typically close the place down. This is prized time in the week. We also officially meet regularly, the third tuesday of every month from 9am-11am is an open invite meeting for youth leaders to come and be honest with each other. The third thing is that I feel like we are genuinely seeking after the Kingdom together. The difference of talking vs. being is that we could talk about collaboration and do an event together; however, being is more of a way of doing the everyday and the in-between together. Its shifting into letting these friendships become part of our DNA. Its becoming who we are. I'm excited that as future leaders join youth ministry in Point Loma and Ocean Beach they get to join into something that is a growing framework for who we are as ministers and leaders.
Scripture: "May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God. Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish immeasurably more than we might ask or think. Glory to him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen." Ephesians 3:19-21.
This is my prayer today: that we would seek first the kingdom of God and that it will be on Earth as it is in HEAVEN. When a couple renews their marriage vows its often not because they took a siesta from being married. It is a re-commitment to who they are as a married couple. I hope we daily recommit ourselves to seeking the Kingdom, loving families and teens, and lifting one another up. Amen.
Follow up: join in! The Kingdom is for everyone. Hang out with us monday nights at Pizza Port, 9pm. Come to our meetings, next one is Tuesday, November 19th from 9am-11am. Start loving teens and families with the radical and transformative love of God!