A few weeks ago, because my wife is extremely organized and on the ball, she brought home a pair of the much sought after eclipse glasses that everyone was searching for yesterday. Until yesterday, I was admittedly kind of "meh" about the whole eclipse thing, but once I caught my first glimpse of it through those glasses, I was overwhelmed. I was overwhelmed at the sheer beauty of the moment. I was overwhelmed at a creator who could give us such wonderful gifts purely for our enjoyment. It was really cool. I snuck outside a few times to see the event in various stages of completeness (we in Pittsburgh never really got beyond 80%, but it was still cool), in-between feeding the boys apple sauce pouches.
Today I'm back in the office, gearing up for the coming ministry season. Ministry for all intents and purposes works on the school year calendar. We start getting busy a few weeks before the kids go back to school, getting geared up for youth group, trips, events, and the normal week to week goings on around here. So for me, today feels a bit like going back to school. As I'm hitting the reset button on habits and happenings, I thought the blog could use a good old kick in the pants. So what you read now is the 845 time I've recommitted to publishing a semi-regular blog!
Any time I do that, I wonder what it is I'm going to be focused on. There is so much of my life that I think is actually worth considering, that without focus we'll bounce back and forth like a kid with ADD in a room with sugar coated walls. Do I write about youth ministry, this being my 11th year of ministry at Westminster? Do I write about media stuff, which I am just really starting to get into here, but have absolutely no idea what I'm doing? Do I write about politics, because it absolutely interests me and let's be honest, everyone else is doing it at this point? What do I do?
What I resolved to is that I would love to write about all of those things, but to write about them through the lens of the Kingdom of God. I think that's something that a lot of people attempt to do, but don't always nail. A lot of people when they write about youth ministry, or ministry in general, tend to write only about leadership. Leadership is great, you need to be a decent leader to get things done in the church, that's for sure. But Jesus never mentioned leadership. It wasn't on his radar. He was way more focused on the Kingdom of God, and that came about through meaningful relationships and interactions, what we might call discipleship. Media is great, but can it be the vehicle through which we proclaim the in breaking Kingdom of God? What stories are out there that need to be told? Where is Jesus moving in people's lives, and how exactly do we capture it? And as far as I can read on Facebook, our discussion of politics has turned into a food fight where there are clear winners and clear losers, all the while forgetting that all the issues we toss back and forth impact real life flesh and blood people. I really don't want to have the food fight conversations any more.
So let's have a better conversation, you and I. Let's talk about how the actions we take, the work we do, and the conversations we engage in are impacted by the coming Kingdom. Let's be critical of ideas and be respectful of people at the same time. Let's find a way to teach our students how to have that conversation, and let's teach them how to keep their eyes open for the ways Jesus is moving in their midst every day.
As long as they're wearing protective glasses...