Tuesday, January 15, 2008

    If You Don't Enter...You Can't Win!

    You are invited to enter our very first Rethinking Youth Ministry Contest! And entering is simple -- all you have to do is post a comment.

    This first contest will be a sort of on-line group Lectio Divina. Take a few minutes to sit in silence and read through the scripture text below, just to get the sense of the passage, focusing on what it might be saying to you and your situation in life/youth ministry right now. Then just post a quick comment about your reactions and thoughts about the passage. Everyone who posts their thoughts will be entered in a drawing to win two youth ministry texts:

    When Kumbaya is Not Enough: A Practical Theology for Youth Ministry by Dean Borgman (The title alone makes it a book worthy of sitting on your shelf!)

    Tough Topics: 600 Questions That Will Take Your Students Beneath the Surface by Jim Aitkins (great little book for lock-ins, road trips, or weeks when you need a quick last-minute discussion starter).

    Contest ends midnight this Sunday, JAN. 20.

    Here's your text:

    Matthew 5:1-12
    When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain; and after he sat down, his disciples came to him. Then he began to speak, and taught them, saying:
    “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. “Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy. “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.


    Brian said...

    As I read the passage, I was most drawn to the words "hunger" and "thirst" as I sense that the youth I work with do hunger and thirst for a deeper sense of their faith...that just aren't quite sure how to seek it through the haze of the cultural noise all around them.

    Dj said...

    The part where Jesus says "blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted" is what really stuck out to me. That's interesting because as a familiar passage, I thought the part about hunger and thirst would be the first thing that latched on to me. I guess lately I've really been mourning for my students. Why? I guess because like most youth workers, you want the absolute best for your students and you get so frustrated when they know what to do and don't do it. Then again, that makes me look at myself and say 'I'm not really that different, I do the same thing.'

    andy said...

    When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain; and after he sat down, his disciples came to him. Then he began to speak, and taught them

    As I read this passage the first sentences seem to leap out at me. Jesus saw the crowds, and retreated. I am reminded that I don't retreat enough, and when I do it is behind a TV set or computer screen.
    His Disciples came to him. I think it is cool that they knew where to find Him. I think it is such an amazing gift that I can always find Him in my life, if I will just leave the crowd and look...
    Then Jesus began to speak, and teach. I wonder why they didn't just say "Then Jesus began to teach." I think it is a reminder that even my casual conversations with youth can be used by God to show His will, His plans, and His way.

    StevieC said...

    I am reminded that we need to go to Jesus, seek Him, take time our for Him. Why? Because as a youth pastor there are always great times (which for most of us are very easy), but there are the times that our students come to us bringing scars that are so deep, or parents that are hurting so much, that we need to remember that we can't do it all on our own. We have to 'hunger' and 'thirst' after God and what He can offer us! And that this is normal for us to have hardships. That we are to be constantly sitting and listening to God.

    jenn_coffill said...

    wow. the word revile struck me between the eyes. i don't think i've seen a translation with that word... so i looked it up. and it's amazing how that word, without even understand at first, totally applies to me and my personal/occupational situation at the moment. wow. He says i'm blessed. a beautiful refreshing thought.

    Brian said...

    Thanks to all who have posted so far.

    It's interesting how we can all see such different things is a text. I've done group lectio divina with youth and always get a rich spectrum of responses from them on a single text.

    Tim Lynch said...

    This passage always brings me back to Jesus. Through Him alone can we accomplish all those things. And with jesus.. we are blessed. Also... i love that this passage contradicts everything the world tells about victory and success. The world rewards us for ego, pride, drive and so on. And yet those that will be blessed are those that are perecuted, holy, pure and righteous. We need to be like Jesus and this is the truth that our young people need to see.