In the last year, our Children's Ministry Director has done a great job at motivating us all to be proactive in training our volunteers on the issue of Child Abuse. Part of the push has come because the local Presbytery has begun to get tougher on the issue of fingerprinting and training for volunteers. For the last few months I've been after my volunteers to get their fingerprinting done but it just hasn't happened. Yesterday a couple of the volunteers and I made plans to go today and get it done.
The Sheriff's office we went to is right across the street from one of the larger churches in the area. As we were pulling out of the Sheriff's parking lot, there were two big buses, a truck pulling a trailer and a smaller church bus pulling out of the church parking lot. Driving the smaller church bus was the Youth Pastor. It took seconds for it to click in my head...they are going to the snow.
Many times in Youth Ministry, we Youth Pastor/Director people tend to play the comparison game. We toss numbers around like they are the be all, end all of how our successful our ministry is. Some will tell you that your ministry isn't successful if there aren't numbers behind it, others will tell you that it doesn't matter the numbers, it matters the quantity and so on. I've struggled with the numbers game a lot. Partly because that's the way that the "big church" measures success as well.
As I watched the buses and truck pull out of this other churches parking lot, I had a moment of envy. That's a lot of youth going to the snow. And then it hit me. That's A LOT of youth going to the snow. That's a budget that seems way too out of control, way more food that needs to be fixed, big vehicles that may possibly need chains, more bodies to get hurt or sick, more leaders needed, more of everything.
I doubt that the Youth Pastor from the other church is going to be huddled in a room, with his whole entire group, listening to each persons life story. They wouldn't be able to do anything else for a morning, at least! He won't have the opportunity to be one on one with everyone on that trip, which is why there is volunteer staff as well. While big groups tend to add more excitement and energy, I like the small moments.
Guess that's why God has me leading a little group and not a big group. I choose to be just fine with that.