And maybe you’ve wondered, “What’s up with that?”
So.. about that.
And maybe you’ve wondered, “What’s up with that?”
So.. about that.
“I hope some teams will never come back again.” These words were spoken by my new senior pastor, a 26-year career missionary who joined our church staff last year. He said these words last April during training for our short-term mission teams. After a lifetime in the mission field as well as leading various international mission organizations where he’d welcomed teams from all over the world, these words were most profound to me.
By Adam Mashni
Cartel note: Adam Mashni was one of five youth workers who gave a 5 – 7 minute ‘soapbox’ talk in the Saturday morning main session of the Middle School Ministry Campference a couple weeks ago. We loved what these people talked about, and thought they would make great blog posts for others to access their thoughts.
On May 8, 2014 I was told I most likely had Testicular Cancer. I went in for a referral appointment to essentially push aside any extreme worries. Within 10 seconds the urologist said, “this doesn’t feel good.” That night I went in for emergency surgery to remove my left testicle. My life, everything about it, was put on pause (and I also started leaning a little…too soon?). A few days later I would find out it is indeed cancer and it had spread to my abdominal lymph nodes and my lungs. I was to be married on August 8, 2014…so the 3 months leading up to my wedding was full of Chemo treatments and doctor appointments.
I will preface this list with: You can’t make this stuff up.
During this season of life, I have chosen to treat my singleness as a gift in some aspects. But, I don’t want to stay single forever.
So, if you’re reading this as a single person, let’s collaborate and support each other (but that isn’t code for date each other).
And if you’re reading this as a married person, male or female, I ask that you be advocates for us single people. Our lives revolve around ministering to your family, and we would appreciate the same—even if our family is a party of one.
On the women in youth ministry Facebook group, I asked the ladies what their first association was with ‘women in youth ministry’. To be honest, I had expected answers along the lines of ‘struggle’, or ‘loneliness’. Instead, some women replied that they were more worried about having too many female leaders in the/their church.
It reminded me once again of the diverse positions of women in youth ministry. Some of us do struggle, with being accepted for instance. With getting treated as an equal to men. With finding a position that befits our calling and spiritual gifts.
But that’s certainly not the case for everyone. A few women responded that they were grateful to be in a church where women leaders were the most normal thing in the world.
Women in youth ministry. We’re one, but we’re not the same. We’re sisters in Jesus Christ, but we come from different places, backgrounds and walks of life. We’re in different churches, roles, places in our lives. Yet we get to carry each other.
As we count down to the Women in Youth Minstry Campference in April 2015, we want to share some of our stories with you and with each other. We long to get to know each other, learn from each other and encourage each other.
If you have a story to share, we’d love to publish it on this blog! Just contact us through the contact form.
p.s. The Early Bird deadline for a discounted registering to the Women in Youth Ministry Campference is coming up fast. Reserve your spot today!
Have you ever wondering where stories come from and why they are so powerful?
The origin of story is found in something we lovingly refer to as oral tradition. From the dawn of time, human beings gathered together to share in story – story of life’s origin, story of purpose, story of definition and story of hope. Every human culture that has ever existed has elevated story to be the capstone of their existence. We are immersed in story.
Story is in the sinew that binds the human narrative together.
One of my favourite things to do as a parent is to tell stories to my children. Sometimes these stories are about my own childhood memories; sometimes the stories I tell are focused on producing some sort of desired response; and at other times stories are simply about celebrating something.
Stories are powerful because they matter to us. Here are three ways the power of story is revealed.
Story inspires. Have you ever heard someone say, “I’ve gotta great story to tell?” They proceed to dive into a great tale of some triumph or failure, evoking emotion, engagement and wonder as a result. Great stories are ones that inspire us in some way. Inspiration is a fickle thing. At times it demands an active response, and at others it invokes a pensive state. In all its forms, great story-telling catapults the listener into an emotively saturated climate called inspiration.
Story celebrates. The best stories told through image or words are those that seek to elevate a cause, an individual or a dilemma that is worth celebrating. While Hollywood has done society a great disservice is many regards, what Hollywood does do well is celebrate great stories. Historical turning points, social awareness issues and personal triumphs have been captivated in print or on-screen in ways that have allowed millions of people to be influenced in some way. Awards shows like the Grammys & Emmys provide a platform through which the telling of story is honoured, and the stories themselves may gain the recognition and joy they deserve.
Story breathes. Stories are alive. Don’t believe me? Try telling someone a story and see what happens. Stories evoke question, wonder & hope at the drop of a hat. What we say, how we say it, and how we choose to live in response to what we’ve experienced are signs of life…life that is wrought into existence by the power of story.
One of my goals as a leader is to learn to harness the power of story in my own life – knowing that what I say and what I do are stitching together a narrative that influences the world around me. More importantly, knowing that my life as story exists within the context of a greater unfolding story known as human existence, which has been authored by a creator God in a loving and determined fashion.
It’s this story that all of human kind finds itself immersed in. Which leaves me to ponder how we are engaging the power of story in all its forms to inspire, celebrate & breathe in present reality and the not so distant future? What do you think?
After watching the video I’ve got 3 questions for my fellow youth workers:
As you can see from the questions above, I don’t have answers to these questions. But I think these are truly important questions for our ministries to think about as our culture sees a rapid increase in non-English speakers within our population.