I’ve been running for years and I’ve swallowed my fair share of moths, flys, rain drops and snow flakes. You could attribute these incidents to the fact that I run with my mouth partially open with a strong air withdrawl, but after today I need to figure out something new. I was running my usual 3 mile route when all of a sudden I sucked in a mouthful of garbage. It was a mix of rotten fish, moldy something and baby diaper disaster, I nearly spewed all over the sidewalk.
Now before you start imagining how I swallowed garbage while I was running let me explain. As I was running my usual 3 mile route a garbage truck drove by at a slow enough pace where my entire olfactory system was filled with it’s aroma. Not wanting to slow down I mustered through it, but could never get the taste out of nose, mouth and mind.
In student ministry we can face a lot of garbage, whether it’s from people to experiences. I’m willing to assume other ministers are like me where we are at danger of holding onto it, embracing all the mistakes, flaws and holes in our voccation even when it’s not of our doing. To get rid of the garbage it takes the willingness to run through it:
- With People – Look at the gap in the relationship. Is it communication gap or a trust gap? What is it being filled with trust or suspicion?
- With Experiences – Was it in your control or out of your control? Was it a system or a personality that caused the sour experience? Sometimes we are quick to abandon a program or a system because of something out of our control.
I know there are more areas of garbage in student ministry, but these two seem to be the most impacting in a ministers journey. Unfortunately many ministers leave because of bad relationships and experiences they just can’t shake.
I’m definitely interested in learning about other areas ministers get burned.