This Year… If Grumpy, Do Contact Work (Knowing Yourself)

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Over the summer I normally try to post a couple things that I learned over the previous school year. If you have anything you learned from last year that you would like to tell me about, send it my way smcgever (at) pv dot younglife dot org.

In the course of a YL year a lot things come at you. Heck, in the course of life a lot of things come at you! It is good to know what fuels you in the ministry of YL. In my case, my life was changed when a YL leader met me on my high school campus. Since then, to me the most authentic part of what I do as a YL leader is show up on campus. It is in my YL DNA.

In the whirlwind of YL we can get drawn away into so many things… the powerpoint for club songs, finding a prop for a talk, getting the Facebook event up, working with club kids, junior leaders, leaders, people from other clubs, local churches, planning a campaigner lesson, trying to get kids to show up to campaigners, cleaning your house before… during… and after an event, on and on and on it goes, and that is just the tip of the iceberg. In most days, weeks, and months, this whirlwind is challenging, rewarding and engaging. But there are days, weeks, and even months when it is a grind, it can feel like driving down the wrong side of the road, every second feels like you are weaving through traffic while everyone is honking at you and giving you nasty looks. Basically, I get grumpy and worn out. Fortunately I have who I consider the best person in the world around me every day… my sweet, godly, insanely intelligent wife. Often in the midst of this I am walking with the Lord, praying… everything spiritually you would recommend. She knows that when it comes to YL, I just need to go back to my roots and simply show up on campus.

Yes, just like my first day of contact work, people are confused why I am there and I’m just wingin’ it as I stroll around the campus. But, just like in golf.. there is a chance your next shot might be your best ever… in contact work, there is always the hope that you might stumble across a miracle just waiting to happen. It happened to me, and for my leader it was his first day of contact work. So, in a nutshell, this year I was reminded that when I’m stressed with YL, often I just need to get in the car and drive to the campus… I might just run into “me”.

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