Monday, May 23, 2011

TIED...and then some

Since May 11, 2011, I am officially a married man. Just like I promised my church friends, the moment I got married, I’ll turn my back in anything connected to the Youth ministry. The normal temptation and tendency of someone who used to be a youth leader is still to meddle (in Tagalog transliteration, “nakikialam”) with their own church’s youth ministry.

The concern to your former organization is just normal. The habit of going to church because there are leaders’ meeting, the fact that God allowed you to lead a group of youngsters (if left unchecked, gives you the tendency to have the “kuya/ate complex”) is a hard habit to break, especially if you’ve been in the ministry for about 10-20 years! However, just like high school graduation, just like college life, just like further studies (if God gave you the chance), things must come to an end. “Grow up!” as some maturity/age freaks will say to you. Right. Grow up. That also means not to interfere of meddle with Youth ministry related stuff, unless asked to do so. That also means not to give them unsolicited advice. That also means giving them positive image when asked by outsiders or those who used to be active attenders.

Yes, a newly married man/woman should still have single friends of mixed genders. Befriending the young ones will contribute to optimism. However, when it comes to matters like youth ministry, a newly married Christian man/woman should leave them alone.

You’ll not expect any flashy literary regarding my married life. I’ll not dazzle. I’ll discipline myself not to give “ecclesiastes type” of advice to the youngsters. I find it irritating when someone newly married gives you unsolicited advice and to the point of calling you immature.

It’s been 12 days since I got married. I’ll learn the ropes brick by brick, as days go by. By God’s grace, I’ll learn the ropes.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Voluntary Ecclesiastical Exile due to Internal Negative Experiences

I am tempted to share cases (putting it as case 1 and 2) regarding the topic for today, but as a respect for these people, I decided not to. That's the reason why opinion sharing regarding a post goes down: they don't want to be labelled "nakikipagaway sa facebook" (which is understandable), even if the opinion makes perfect sense or is positive.Now, let's stick to the point. Let's face it, Christian young people has mixtures of experiences, be it good or bad, in the church. However, sometimes, there are certain experiences that has a tremendous impact. Let's stick to negative experiences. These negative experiences, one way or another, jeopardizes their church attendance. This escalates when the parents found out what happened to their kid. Because of this experience, there are things that parents of affected will do, and normally, either of these happen: 1) the whole family will move to the other church (classic) 2) put the youngster in a sort of an exile by putting him or her to another church 3) allow the youngster to attend the same church, but unfortunately, not allow him or her to have ministries that is the alleged source of a youngster's negative experience.All of those three reactions are normal course of action, being parents. After all, one way or another, negative experiences hurt, especially if those experiences happened inside the church.Now, I'm not implying that these three courses of action are all overkill, if not wrong. However, before such courses of action can be taken, let me share these things:1) Not all people in the church are Christians. This is what Satan wants: for us to leave a church that will make us grow and will make us stronger.2) It is never a certain ministry's fault why a youngster had a negative experience. Church ministries were put to win souls for the Lord and glorify God. Putting him or her away from that ministry, unless it's his or her choice, will more likely do more harm than good. Chances are, it may jeopardize his or her calling, if the youngster has one. If you happen to do that and he/she has a calling, he/she might become more miserable than the usual. After all, the youngster didn't answer the call, just because certain experiences done by people to him/her. 3) Unless it is decided by the church, putting someone in exile and putting him or her in a new ecclesiastical environment may give him or her a fresh start, but there are new negative experiences there. This is the reason why some Pastors discourage their members or make them think twice to move to another church. More likely than not, if you go out of the church with baggages, you go to the new church putting that same baggages there. Believe me, it will reflect eventually. 4) When this situation happens, try to be a detective. I know this sounds weird, especially for those who have typecast me in that manner. However, it pays to investigate what really happen. If you really want to truly understand, you can put a notch higher by tracing actions leading to that negative experiences. Chances are, you'll be surprised. Chances are, you may even blame the affected youngster once you found out what truly happened. Chances are, you will never put the youngster to exile.Experiences will make a youngster tougher. When these experiences happen, parents and authority figures should guide and support them in these experiences. If the youngster surpassed these negative experiences, he/she will become a better Christian. He/she will become a good example to the younger generation.

Moving away from the place is not the automatic solution, unless his or other people's lives are in danger. Like I said, moving oThank you very much for reading.