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::simple::

May 5, 2008

Finally, I’m able to post some reaction to the Practitioners experience.  It’s been almost two weeks and hopefully we’re still remembering the conversations and the experiences of sharing that make this retreat unlike any other. 

We began our discussions on the book Simple Church by Eric Geiger and Thom S. Rainer.  As youth ministers, the biggest question seemed to be, “Can the simple church process exist within the youth ministry even though the entire church isn’t operating within this model?”

My (Fred) thought was that, Yes, it can be done within the youth ministry.  I think that youth ministers get painted with a couple of brushes: (1) The revolutionary:  Which is what some would like to be known as, but often can be seen as ‘the renegade’ with little or no regard for larger structure.  (2) The Silver Bullet Specialist: these are the youth ministers with progams and ministry models that change with the latest book or podcast that they’ve read/listened to. 

I’d like to be painted with this brush (3) The grinder: here’s the guy/girl that keeps his head down and works day in and day out.  The grinder knows where the path is and knows the tools needed to continue heading in that direction.  They continue to ‘sharpen themselves’ through new resources, but take them critically into account before allowing them to dictate their course.  The grinder is not oppressed by the ‘tyranny of the urgent’ but relentlessly zooms out to view the big picture.  The grinder acheives the respect of fellow leaders because of they have dealt respect to others by making them better.

As for youth ministry and Simple Church, it is a paradigm that can operate within the youth ministry EVEN IF the church at large does not use it.  With this caveot, take time to establish this (or any) paradigm into the youth ministry.  Show the church leadership that this isn’t some “flash in the pan” ministry idea.  Over the span of years, (If you stay in that specific ministry for that long) you will have proved that this model is worth pursuing. 

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