Monday, July 9, 2012
Well now, it has been quite a while since I took the time to post any "heresy" to this little blog of mine. So, I decided I would break the silence and once again let my fingers do some talking. As with all my posts, I will not be held responsible for my desecration of the English language. Grammar Nazis be darned!
Today's actual topic: Why Ken Richmond Is "Unmarketable".
Unfortunately, this post has nothing to do with "Why the World Will End in Two Weeks". (I just thought that title was so cool and I liked the sound of it better….sorry I am a deceiver!)
I like youth ministry. I really do. Not only do I enjoy it, I'm fairly good at it. You might say, "Well, aren't we sounding a little prideful today?" Possibly, but truth is truth. God has gifted me in that particular area of ministry and I know it. I like kids (well most of them), and kids generally like me. Am I the best? Nope! Are there others out there just as "gifted" as myself if not more so? I suppose, still I make a pretty darn good youth dude. Some might say, "If that's the case Mr. Awesome, why aren't you out blessing the world with your tremendous gifting?"
That dear friend is a good question, and I intend to answer it. By the way, I love music ministry too, but I'll save that for a different post!
The truth is while I do enjoy "ministry", I do not enjoy much of what we call "doing church". Now before you jump to conclusions and see this as another, "Ken is once again bashing church" session, STOP! It is not that. I am simply attempting to provide an explanation as to why I sit (not so quietly) on the sidelines. I am trying to be transparent and vulnerable here and you should be moved with great emotion at my obvious sincerity and candor.
I realize most people think I'm completely against "church", but I'm not. Actually, I really miss certain aspects of gathering with other believers in an organized fashion especially when it comes to working with kids. I enjoy sharing life with them, hearing their stories, and walking with them through their struggles and victories. I love teaching them truth, mentoring them, and helping them to realize just how crazy in love God is with them. As a matter of fact, I love just about everything dealing with youth ministry. So what's the problem you ask?
The problem comes when "doing church" begins to suck the joy out of what could and should be a thrilling adventure with people I love.
I suppose I could waste keystrokes with some guarded attempts at diplomacy, but I'm just going to cut to the chase here.
The bottom line is I usually do not enjoy a lot of the other "stuff" that comes with the job of working for a church. You know, stuff like attending meetings that have zero to do with anything remotely concerning me, youth ministry, or even Jesus, serving on boring committees, being expected to show up at every non-youth thing going on in the church, and to be honest with you trying to fulfill the all-important "we need lots of kids to make it look like we're a growing church" expectation. It all really gets old, and unfortunately drives many gifted guys and gals right out of ministry altogether.
Add to that my general disdain for the almighty "Sunday Service" (at least in most cases), and you can see there are probably not many churches out there that would want to hitch their youth ministry wagon up to this particular horse.
So has been my experience, and up to this point it has kept me out of the fray.
I think it's sad really, but I cannot imagine any church out there allowing me to just work with the kids, and not be involved in the showy aspects of "doing church" I just don't care about. Oh I've heard an endless number of reasons why they deem my involvement as being "very important", but in the end it really just ends up being all about appearances. Well, if you know me, you know I don't give a rat's rear end about keeping up "appearances", so I sit on the sidelines because most of the time "church" seems to be more about protocol…than people.
Now, if someone could find me a church that will let me work with the kids and their parents, and skip out on the non-youth "stuff" (unless of course it's "stuff" I want to participate in). I just might be persuaded to lock arms with those folks and bless them with my incredibly gifted self (sarcasm…sort of).
Better yet, why not just get some folks together on Sunday morning in a very "you're free to be yourself" manner, celebrate Jesus, testify of His goodness, sing, dance(if that's your thing), and let God do His thing in the midst of His people. Now that sounds good. If you're there, great! If not, no one will bust your chops about it. Wanna wear shorts and flip flops? Go for it! Will there be a "sermon" every Sunday, not sure, but there might be if God lays something on "your" heart. Are there leaders? Yeah, but chances are you couldn't spot them in the crowd. They'd probably be spending most of their time hanging out with, loving on, and serving people.
Oh my, there I go again. Dreaming about something a little outside the box, something that looks and smells a lot like…family.
Anyway, regardless of my little church "wish list", I am more than willing to "lock arms" with people regardless of where they are in this journey. The question is, are they willing to lock arms with a very talented (there's that pride again), but very opinionated man such as myself?
Survey says…. not likely.
Chances are my unsightly, free-spirited baggage will continue to land me a spot…on the bench.
The good news is that I know the owner of the team very well (oh yes I do!), and "by george" if He wants me in the game…I'll be in the game regardless of my shorts, flip flops, or even my over-inflated view of myself!
Oh, and if the world does end in two weeks, don't blame me.