Tuesday, September 1, 2015

To the Moon, Alice!

The youth are dreaming.  In a good way.  Brittany told me about a conversation they had on Sunday wherein they were considering what kinds of things they would like to see in their meeting space.  Then she sent me the list.  Here are a few highlights:

· Cool access like escalator, elevator, or fireman pole.
· Large windows with seating, port hole, foamed out curve, seats 2-3.
· Large tubular swirly slide from escalator, could be soapy with hose in some occasions, shot out into ball pit but with foam squares and no rules.
· Entire wall of phone chargers.
· Cool photo area with cool background and costumes.
· Pool.
· A place with no cobwebs,  no mold, working bathrooms, toilet paper, and is functional and clean [editor’s note: this seems a reasonable request].
· Soft serve ice cream and seasonal toppings.

You get the idea.  They were told anything goes, and they went with it.  Man, did they go with it.  But having looked at the whole list, my award for biggest dream goes to Jerry Hudspeth, who said, “Everything they’ve said so far is great...but put it all on the moon under a half sphere of glass.”

While many of these ideas are surprisingly doable in the medium term (I’m praying twice a day for the twisty slide and the fireman pole), some of them are clearly less so.  Mostly because if we get a soft serve ice cream machine, someone has to clean it.  I did that at Baskin Robbins 20 years ago, and I’m not doing it again for at least 20 more years.   And everyone knows you have to have some rules when you start letting people slide down a soapy slide into a foam square pit (incidentally, does anyone else see a problem with water heading down into a pit of absorbent squares?).  And listen, every pool has rules.  Placing the entire ministry on the moon, while possibly the coolest idea I’ve ever heard, is really not doable at present, and likely not in the foreseeable future.  I hope this doesn’t mean Jerry is going to quit youth, because I really like him.

And I’m glad he said that.  Because so often we don’t dream big enough, particularly in the church.  That’s odd, because isn’t the church the place where “all things are possible?”  The missional writing team, now folded into the future story writing team, began their presentation with a dream that was so large we could not accomplish it without God’s help.  Their dream was matching money spent inside the church, dollar for dollar, with money spent outside the church.   A bold dream!  Maybe it doesn’t seem possible, but of course it is if that’s where we as a church feel God is calling us.  Even the sky is not the limit!  Let’s put the youth ministry on the moon.

Alas, there is a catch.  Actually a couple of catches.

First, we have to make sure we’re going where God is leading.  If God is leading us to lunar ministry, then nothing can stop us from getting there.  But if that’s not really where we’re supposed to be right now, I suspect it will be much tougher-going.

Second, and really more important, is that God’s commitment to making things possible doesn’t mean in any way that God will be doing it for us.  So if we’re supposed to go to the moon, then it will definitely be possible, but we’re going to have to work our tails off to get there.  When we answer that call, we have to strive, seek, find, and never yield.  We have to commit our whole selves to the cause...and not just our whole selves but the whole of our community, which in Christ is greater than the sum of the parts.

Dream on.  Dream bigger.  Use the creative Spirit to reimagine bold new directions in which God is calling you and us and others around us.  Prayerfully consider if those big dreams may be part of the future into which God is calling us.  And if they are, stop at nothing to realize them.

Jerry, if that means youth ministry needs to be on the moon, then you tell me what I need to do to help it go there.

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