this is no longer my blog

Saturday, September 10, 2005


just trying to let things go

So, Friday evening the Mothership had a picnic. It's a pretty big deal. Faculty, staff and students all drive out to a park, and they usually have barbeque and non-barbeque pulled pork sandwiches, along with chips and cookies and other yummy goodness. Then, there is time to be social, and there are games for the kids.

Every year that I have been at seminary, I've helped with leading activities for the youth. The first year, I signed up to help. The second and third year it was pretty much expected of me, because I was the co-chair of the youth ministry committee on campus. We usually had parachute games for the little ones, and we'd start ultimate frisbee or kickball or something like that for the bigger kids. It was usually well organized (by the committee co-chairs) and we usually had one or two volunteers to help.

This year, I wasn't officially expected to help lead games. Unofficially, I think it was very expected of me. Especially by the youth. And I wanted to help, so I signed up early in the week to do so. There were two other seminary students who had signed up to help.

Fast forward to the picnic. The eating and announcements were basically over, and people were milling about and socializing. So the games should have been starting. But they weren't. Part of me wanted to take charge and announce that games would be starting, and then taking the kids over to play games. But I didn't want to step on toes, or make people angry because I was taking charge of something that wasn't mine to take charge of. I had people in my class asking me when games were going to start, because they expected me to have some idea of what was going on. I didn't.

Eventually, one of the guys who volunteered came over and said, "So, should we start some games?"
"Finally!" I thought, and started trying to round up kids to play games. At that point, we had three adult volunteers (the three of us who signed up). Somewhere, in the time it took us to round up a good group to play games, we lost one of the volunteers. In the time it took us to figure out what game the kids wanted to play, and to walk across the road to the field in which we would play, we lost the other volunteer. So, it was just the kids and me. So we played some games.

Later on, the first AWOL volunteer showed up, although he watched a group of seminary students playing some yard game. We were ten feet from them, playing a game, and he didn't ever come over to volunteer like he signed up for.

Finally, the second AWOL volunteer showed up, with the intention of getting his son to go home. He did stay, however, and played for about five minutes with us. After that, the game sort of broke up and we all walked back over to socialize.

The co-chairs of the youth ministry committee did not plan any activities, and only brought a few things for the kids to play with, and did not help at all.

I'm kind of angry. I think it was the job (as it has been in the past) of the youth ministry committee to organize, plan and equip the games for the kids. I think it was the job (because they commited to it) of the people who signed up to actually lead games and activities for the youth. I'm angry that none of them followed through on what they were supposed to do. I suppose I could say something, but would that do anything? If I was going to say something, it should have been during the picnic because that is when it would have done the most good. Now, after the fact, it can't really help at all.

Well... Because it is the way I am, the youth ministry co-chairs are expecting me to help at a lot of youth activities. If something like this happens again, I will be sure to say something about it. People need to do their jobs. The youth deserve it.

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