I’m running on a treadmill that moves faster than I can run

Running on a treadmillCan I be honest for a second? (Of course I can, it’s my blog.) My church launches all our fall ministry programs this Sunday morning and I still don’t have everything lined up. It’s not because I’ve been lazy or slacking off, but because everything is moving and growing so fast. I started at this church last February with about 20 adult volunteers, but since I wanted to drop our adult/student ratio to about 1/5 in order to start jr. high small groups and be more intentional about building relationships, the existing volunteers and myself started hand-picking new volunteers that we thought might be a good fit. Well, we now have about 50 adult volunteers on our youth team, but due to growth, I still need to confirm 6 additional volunteers by this Sunday just to operate! Fortunately I’m in touch with a couple people who are thinking about making a commitment, so this may just all come together at the last minute, but still… And our church is completely out of space on both Sundays and Wednesdays. I even have some 9th graders meeting in the gym’s basketball closet. By January we definitely need to start meeting at different times, utilize homes more often or start using the hallways.

I guess it’s a good problem to have, but I’m totally confused about how we got to this point over just one summer. My church traditionally slows down their ministry programs during the summer, so I followed suit by having nothing more than two Bible studies at my house each week and a couple big trips. Most of our expansion is with the jr. high and I know several of them got fired up by hanging out at my house. Without any initiative, the jr. highers invited many friends to my house (some of them said it was the highlight of their summer!), but that doesn’t account for all the growth. Our youth ministry also made some pretty significant scheduling and programming changes based on months of dreaming a new vision, several volunteer trainings and solidifying as a team. We communicated well with each other, with parents, students and church staff, so it all seemed to flow pretty naturally as we progressed to this point. I know there also were several teams of incredible volunteers working diligently to overhaul programs, organize new ones, plan events and a secretary who took over many of my administrative tasks just so I can focus more on students. Having a new youth pastor in place naturally adds excitement and everything we do is based on prayer, asking for God’s wisdom and guidance.

So why all the growth? I don’t know. I’m not complaining, just perplexed, but maybe I shouldn’t be. We didn’t plan for this on purpose, we just wanted to be as effective as possible in all that we do in order to bring glory to God throughout all generations. I guess He’s honoring that and deems us as faithful stewards. What a tremendous responsibility; what an overwhelming privilege.

Posted on September 6, 2007

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