Families and Fathers

It’s funny how youth ministry (or any ministry profession for that matter) can infringe on your life outside of work. It’s just the nature of the job. It’s built upon relationships and constant reflection on one’s own life. I suppose this blog is even a testament to my statements!

The current topic for our Sunday youth sermons is a book called Orphan, Slave, Son by Ben Pasley. Today we covered the idea of being an orphan and how our families shape our identity in Christ. In preparation for today’s message, I had to reflect on my own family and how our parents affect our image of God as our Father. One of my colleagues asked me a lot of questions about my dad and how he’s affected my faith throughout my life.

The thoughts and conversations I had were quite challenging for me. Even though my earthly dad passed away nearly five years ago, I think there are still things I’m thinking about and working through. I tried to reflect about it via Men’s Fraternity (check out the “Garrett’s Wound” video) a few years ago, but I don’t think I fully delved into all my thoughts and feelings. This week’s message gave me a good excuse to re-hash the “dad” topic, and I’m glad it happened. I think I’ll continue thinking about some of this stuff.

Another upside to my current interest in my dad is that I’ve decided to spend some of my upcoming holiday time at home, looking through all of my family’s old photo albums. I hope I come across some funny photos and get a chance to hear my mom share some stories. Keep an eye out in early March for a bunch of old photos that I hope to scan into my digital library!

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Learning About Leadership

God has blessed me with leadership qualities. However, this is something that I’ve been reluctant to embrace. I tend to err on the side of gentleness rather than on the opposite end where tyrants are born. However, it’s time I “seize my manhood” (no sexual pun intended) and be the man God has called me to be.

It’s time I step it up in my marriage, and it’s time I embrace responsibility. Some things that come to mind are: setting budgets (and sticking to them), planning my travels (and not just letting Kristin do that), helping more with chores and errands (especially paying the bills), setting more long term goals (in both my career and marriage), making date nights sacred again (and not letting things like the NFL interrupt these days), and honoring a Sabbath day (and actually spending it with Jesus).

One other area that I want to practice leadership is with my guy friends. Somehow I’ve ended up as the point-man in a small group on Tuesday nights where we’re working through a curriculum called Men’s Fraternity . I’ve participated in a similar group with Union Church, and it was quite eye-opening. However, I haven’t put all the things I learned into practice. My goal, as I watch this DVD sermon series a second time, is two fold: 1. To more intentionally apply the things I learn, and 2. To facilitate discussions well with my guy friends, being the leader I know I can be.

These are seemingly insurmountable goals. However, I know they are achievable in time and with God’s help.

I can do all things through him who strengthens me. -Philippians 4:13

And this other verse is why I want to be motivated to do these things:

If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is,seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. -Colossians 3:1-3