Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Now this whole idea seems totally bogus. Intentional relationships. I think if the kids in Youth knew that this was something we planned then they would rise up and revolt.

If you aren't in the know on this, it goes like this. Jesus had intentional relationships. He had a circle around him with 3 people in it. Peter, James, and John were in there with Jesus for everything. They got to be at the transfiguration and got to have the best sleeping spots for the Garden scene. Everyone hated them but it was cool because that just proved they were it. Then Jesus had 9 other mostly close disciples. They got to hear the parables explained after the sermon and see Jesus walk n water and other awesome stuff. Then there were a bunch of other disciples that were around but never really mentioned by name. Finally they had everyone else. They might have gotten some fish and bread from Jesus but so did 5k other people so nothing special really.

The thing is, those kind of relationships don't happen by accident. You have to plan them. OK sure I'm likely to have close friends, occasionally close friends, and acquaintances by accident, but I'm talking about ministry.

Left to our own devices we will pick the cool kids to focus on. The ones that are easy to talk to and the ones that interact with us. Jesus went the other way with things though. He found people that didn't fit the disciple mold and then shaped them for 3 years so that when the Holy Spirit came at Pentecost they would shake the world. I just don't see the rich young ruler, aka the cool kid with money that follows all the rules, as the one that would have stuck around for days waiting on the promised gift. That is why Jesus didn't invest in him like he did in Peter, who stood up and preached so that thousands were saved that day.

This means I have to sit down with my leadership team and walk them through planning our relationships. It is kind of like draft season. I get first draft because I'm cool like that and so pick my 3 before anyone can steal them. I like to have my ringer, thats the go to guy you can count on for sure, but I also like a couple of 2nd string picks that I think will round out during pre-season. I think most people overlook those kids. They are around most of the time but never really involved. They are the one we should be pouring into and they are the reason why we have to plan our relationships because we would overlook them otherwise. Now, like the draft no one can have the same people in their 3 as others, so the fun starts. We trade to try and make sure we get the ones we want. I would actually let my ringer go if I couldn't have one of those 2nd string Youth. I believe they will grow past the ringer.

Anyways, once the inner circle is done the second circle is easier. We get to allow some overlap in this area so long as most of the regular attenders are in someones regular circle. Of course, this is where the evil draft gets started. It is sort of like picking sides for kickball in grade school. You get down to the last four and tell the other captain they can have the best of the four if they also take the worst of the four. This part is just wrong on so many level in church, but it is also why we have to be intentional in our relationships.

Maybe someone gets the short straw, or maybe the YP is just a sucker for lost causes, but there is that kid in the Youth that no one ever talks to. This kid doesn't quite understand the concept of deodorant and speaks Klingon or whatever. By planning our relationships we don't overlook this kid.

Oh, and bonus, it just might turn out the kid is really cool. I've known a few that blossomed from nerd/jerk/whatever into someone really awesome. Shoot I did. Maybe that is why I try to stop the evil trading by offering to take the kids that no one else wants in their circle.

Anyone else done this? How do you handle it?

Ps. I think this is enough posts for my first day. Sorry to explode like this. Most days won't be so prolific. I have just had a desire to start this blog for a while and needed to get a few things down right away.