This last week I went on a journey. One that I have been dreaming up for a long time. I have one final semester of seminary before I get my master’s degree on Aug 13th. In this last semester I have ONE UNIT. It is an independent study where I get the privilege of choosing a mentor. I typically choose someone I respect, and want to invest into my future. I have had powerhouses in the past, and they were local people that I enjoyed spending the semester with. This semester I wanted to do something different. So instead of having six meetings with one mentor, why not have one meeting with six people? I dreamt big and made big asks. I will be posting about the whole experience, but for today I wanted to share a phrase that haunts me a week later. I met with Tic Long, the current president of Youth Specialities. YS is an organization that shapes and directs youth ministry for so many people. They don’t take themselves too seriously but always think outside the box and ask what a student needs to grow their relationship with God.
Tic said that in his life, he was always grateful for the times that he saved his creativity for his family. Allow me to explain:
In the youth ministry world we do some weird stuff. We have barn dances, run city wide scavenger hunts, food fights with Jello and oatmeal, and ultimately create a “no way” factor for our students. After I am done dreaming up all that stuff for my students I come home and sit on a couch, take a walk, go to the park, and go to bed. I am engaging to my family, but defaulting to lowest common denominator for events and activities. Why do I not desire to create that same “no way” factor for my family? The truth is I am tired and have spent all of my mental energy on people that I love, but are not my family.
What would our family dynamic look like if we did movie nights outside? Set up a tent in the living room for a sleep over? Or even have a night where we celebrate Christmas in July. Crank up the AC and wear sweaters in the house while we sing Christmas songs and decorate a palm tree. I have the role and honor of creating memories and experiences for my family. I am the father to three wonderful children and the only husband my wife will ever hopefully know. I know that every day can’t be a 3-ring circus, but what if one day a week was? Or one day a month?
Tic finished the time by reminding me that students will have lots of leaders and pastors, but they will only have one person that is their dad. Frankly I don’t want anyone else filling that role for my children, so I need to give them high quality experiences that is a part of my parenting. Let them enjoy the family and look forward to us spending time together.
Ho Ho Ho-pe this helps you too!